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November 6

St Leonard of Noblac - November 6

Saint Leonard of Noblac
Monk, Abbot, Hermit
(Unknown – 559)

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Saint Leonard of Noblac

His Early Life

Leonard was born on an unknown exact date, probably late 5th century, in France to noble and illustrious parents. Born into Frankish royalty, Leonard belonged to the court of King Clovis I. His relatives were dignitaries, military commanders and people of both privilege and society. Leonard was baptized by future Saint Remigius of Rheims, who was also his godfather.

While Leonard was still very young, the kingdom was threatened by an invading army. The Queen, knowing of Leonard’s Christian faith, jokingly suggested to Leonard that he invoke the help of his God to repel an invading repeal the attack. Leonard prayed, the tide of battle turned and the armies of Gaul were victorious. Saint Remigius of Rheims used this miracle to convert Leonard, the King, and thousands of followers to Christianity.

Freed Prisoners from Their Chains

Saint Remigius of Rheims had persuaded King Clovis to decree that whenever the king entered the city of Rheims, all prisoners there, either in chains or in prisons, would be set free. As a disciple of Saint Remigius of Rheims, Leonard was granted the power to visit and free anyone held in prison. So, his particular association with the liberation of prisoners grew quickly and is the reason why he is patron saint of imprisoned people and prisoners of war. Leonard declined the bishopric offer from King Clovis.

Entered Monastery Near Orleans, France

Looking to Saint Remigius for advice and spiritual guidance, Leonard quickly came to embrace and exemplify the greatest of Christian virtues. While still a young man, Leonard took the tonsure (monk’s haircut) as a symbol to the world of his commitment to serving the Lord.

Leonard began an austere life practicing sanctification, mortification, prayer, and fasting for long periods in his zealous dedication to God. His desire to know God grew until he decided to enter the monastery at Micy near Orleans, France, under the direction of Saint Mesmin and Saint Lie. His brother, Lifiard, followed his example and left the royal court, built a monastery at Meun, and lived there.

Hermit

Leonard desired further seclusion. Through his prayers the Queen safely gave birth to a male child (making him the patron of women in labor). In recompense, Leonard was given royal lands at Noblac, 21 kilometers (13 miles) from Limoges. So, he withdrew into the forest of Limousin, converting many on the way. Here, Leonard lived on herbs, wild fruits, and spring water.

Leonard built himself an oratory, leaving it only for journeys to churches. Others begged to live with him and learn from him. So, he founded the abbey of Noblac, around which a village grew, named in his honor Saint-Léonard-de-Noblat.

Legend Prisoners Chains Breaking

According to legend, prisoners who invoked Leonard from their cells saw their chains break before their eyes. Many came to him afterwards, bringing their heavy chains and irons to offer them in homage. A considerable number remained with him, and he often gave them part of his vast forest to clear and make ready for the labors of the fields, that they might have the means to live an honest life.

His Death

He died in 559 most likely in Noblac, France. However, details of the exact date and location of his death are unknown. Saint Leonard of Noblac (also known as Saint Leonard of Limoges) is generally represented holding chains in his hands.

Saint Leonard’s cult spread through all of Western Europe. After his death, churches were dedicated to him in France, England, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Bohemia, Poland and other countries. In fact, in England with its cultural connections to the region, no fewer than 177 churches are dedicated to him. Pilgrims flocked to his tomb, and in one small town in Bavaria there are records of 4,000 favors granted through Saint Leonard’s intercession.

Born :                   Unknown exact date (late 5th century) in France

Died:                    559 most likely in Noblac, France

Beatified:            Pre-Congregation

Canonized:         Pre-Congregation

Feast Day:          November 6

Patron Saint:     Captives; Childbirth; Imprisoned People; Locksmiths; Prisoners of War; Women in Labor

Source:

Reflection 

Saint Leonard of Noblac’s life had a few u-turns. First, Saint Leonard grew up in a priviledge and noble life that he gave up as new convert to follow God into a deeper spiritual life. Later, Saint Leonard just wants to be a hermit eating herbs, fruits and spring water leaving his oratory in the forest of Limousin only for journeys to churches. Instead, Saint Leonard gets others begging to live with him. In fact, there are so many followers that Saint Leonard has a monastery formed around his hermitage. Saint Leonard take those u-turns from what he wanted because, through prayer, he was following God’s will.

What u-turns is God asking you to take today in your life so that “His will be done” rather your wants be met? Deepen your own spiritual life and extend kindness and mercy to those around you.

Prayers

Saint Leonard of Noblac,

You who embraced a life of solitude, prayer, and compassion, we turn to you in prayer, seeking your intercession.

Inspire in us a spirit of renunciation of worldly attachments, that we may focus on the eternal values of the Kingdom of God.

As a patron saint of prisoners, intercede on behalf of those who are captive, either physically or spiritually, that they may experience the mercy and compassion of God.

In moments of change and uncertainty, help us to trust in God’s guidance, even if it requires leaving behind the familiar for a deeper spiritual life.

St. Leonard of Noblac, pray for us. Amen.

Saint Links 

All Saints & Martyrs – Saint Leonard

Angelus – Saint of the day: Leonard of Noblac

Bartleby – Rev. Alban Butler. Volume XI: November. The Lives of the Saints. 1866. November 6 St. Leonard, Hermit and Confessor

Catholic Exchange – St. Leonard of Limoges

Catholic Lane – St. Leonard

Catholic News Agency – St. Leonard of Noblac Feast day: Nov 06

Catholic Online – St. Leonard

CatholicSaints.Info – Saints of the Day – Leonard of Noblac, Abbot by Katherine I Rabenstein

Daily Compass – Saint Leonard of Noblac

New Advent – Poncelet, A. (1910). St. Leonard of Limousin. In The Catholic Encyclopedia

Reason2BCatholic – Saints Alive! | St. Leonard of Noblac

RC Spirituality (Uncle Eddy) – St Leonard of Noblac

Saints, Feast, Family – Saint Leonard’s Story

Saint for a Minute – Saint Leonard of Noblac

Saints for Sinners – Saint Leonard

Saint of the Day – November 6 Saint Leonard

Sanctoral – Saint Leonard Hermit, Patron of prisoners

The Daily Mass – St Leonard

uCatholic – Saint Leonard

Video Link

St Leonard Of Limousin – Saint of the Day with Fr Lindsay – YouTube (St Francis Xavier – SPRING of FAITH)

The Story of St. Leonard || Patron of Political Prisoners and Captives – YouTube (JOY OF HEAVEN)