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St Leopold Bogdan Mandic Croatian saint visited Croatia in April 2016
By Nenad N. Bach and Darko Žubrinić | Published  04/26/2016 | Croatian spirituality , Education , Charity , Religion | Unrated
Born in the Bay of Croatian Saints in Boka kotorska

St Leopold Bogdan Mandić (1866-1942), Croatian saint

The body of Saint Leopold Bogdan Mandić, a Croatian Capuchin and one of the two patron saints of the Year of Mercy, has arrived in Croatia on 13 April 2016, where he will remain until 18 April. He was welcomed by a large number of people in front of the Zagreb cathedral 2016.

The liturgy was led by Zagreb Archbishop Cardinal Josip Bozanić, who said that there were a lot of feelings and emotions in the act "that connects the past and the present, the universal church and the church of the Zagreb Archdiocese, as well as various parts of Croatian homeland". Bozanić expressed his joy that the faithful would be able to see the body first in the cathedral, and then in the Dubrava neighbourhood in Zagreb. The presence of the body of St. Leopold encourages us to be more faithful to Christianity, noted the Cardinal.

The body of St. Leopold will remain at the Cathedral until Thursday evening. The Mass will be celebrated by Cardinal Bozanić in communion with bishops from Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina and leaders of religious orders. Then the body will be transferred to the St. Leopold Church in the Dubrava neighbourhood.

The arrival of the well-preserved body of St. Leopold Bogdan Mandić in Zagreb is part of celebrations of the Year of Mercy and marking the 150th anniversary of the birth of this Croatian saint. The body will remain in Croatia until Monday.

Saint Leopold Bogdan Mandić was born on 12 May 1866 in Herceg Novi in today's Montenegro. He became a monk in 1885 and then went to study philosophy at Padua. He studied theology in Venice where he became a priest in 1890. He worked on achieving Christian unity, especially the unity between the Eastern and Western churches.

After his death, the body was located for 21 years at the city cemetery in Padua, and then in 1963, it was transferred to a Capuchin monastery church in Padua. In January 1946, the process for his beatification and canonization was launched. He was beatified by Pope Paul VI on 2 May 1976 and canonised by Pope John Paul II on 16 October 1983.



St Leopold Bogdan Mandic

St Leopold Bogdan Mandic (1866-1942, memorial day 30th July) was born in Herceg Novi in Boka kotorska, and died in Padova, Italy. Physically malformed and delicate, having height only 1m 35cm, with clumsy walk and stuttering, he developed tremendous spiritual strength. Although he wanted to be missionary in Eastern Europe, he spent almost all of his adult life in Italy, and lived in Padova from 1906 until the end of his life. He spent also one year in Italian prison during the WWI, since he did not want to renounce his Croatian nationality, see here. He dreamed unceasingly about going to Orient, but one day he gave Communion to a very good person. And, as he described:

After finishing her thanksgiving, she came to me with this message: "Father, Jesus ordered me to say this to you: Your Orient is each of the souls you assist by hearing confessions." (see here).

He became known as Apostle of Confession and Apostle of Unity. Here is a famous prayer in honour of this forerunner of today's Ecumenism:

O God, source of life and love, you gave Saint Leopold a tremendous compassion for sinners and a desire for church unity. Through his prayers, grant that we may acknowledge our need of forgiveness, show love to others, and strive to bring about a living unity among Christians. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.

Also the famous Pope Sixto V has Croatian roots from Boka kotorska on his father's side.

Gospa od SkrpjelaOut of 38 churches existing in the Kotor region (annexed to Montenegro in 1945) 36 are Catholic and only 2 are Orthodox (one of them was a gift of the Croats in Boka kotorska). On the photo you can see two beautiful churches on islets in the Boka bay, belonging to the Croatian Catholic community in Montenegro, built in the first half of the 17th century (Sveti Juraj and Gospa od Skrpjela near the town of Perast). It is interesting that the Church of Gospa od Skrpjela (on the photo) is built on an artificial island! Each year a procession of Croatian Catholics encircles in numerous fishing boats the island of Gospa od Skrpjela and pilgrims throw pebbles around it.

Cathedral of St. Tripun, KotorAn important monument, showing uninterrupted presence of the Croats in Boka kotorska during many centuries, is the cathedral of St Tripun in the town of Kotor, built as early as 1166. As we have said, it represents the oldest known Croatian cathedral. Its ciborium is decorated with a beautiful interlace pattern which is even older than the church itself, and of the same type as numerous exotic interlace patterns found in many pre-Romanesque churches along the Croatian littoral. The town of Kotor has a surrounding wall which is about 5km long.


St Leopold Bogdan Mandić in Zagreb in the Zagreb Cathedral

The above two photos were taken about 10:30 PM.

St Leopold Bogdan Mandić in Zagreb, in the church bearing his name.

Janjevo Croatians in their very beautiful solemn costumes.

Two Croatian women of the Polish descent in their very nice national costumes.

Formated for CROWN by Darko Žubrinić
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