St. John Leonard

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St. John Leonard

John Leonard born near the city of Lucca, showed himself from early youth grave and mature beyond his years. At twenty six he was called by God to enter the ranks of the clergy. He began by studying the rudiments of Latin with young boys, but made such progress in letters and in the disciplines of philosophy and theology, that scarcely four years later he was under obedience, promoted to priesthood. He founded the congregation of the Clerks Regular of the Mother of God, by whose work and zeal a great change of attitude was effected in the republic of Lucca. This aroused against John the bitter complaints of wicked men but he bore everything with serenity of mind, obtaining the confirmation of his congregation from Gregorv XIII. He was very sorrowful over the multitudes in distant parts who lacked the light of the Gospel and, having taken counsel with the devout leader Vives, he founded an institute of Priests whose work was to form young men who would be sent to propagate the faith in far countries Finally. having carried out his sacred ministry so perfectly, clad in sackcloth and ashes he went to the Lord at Rome on October 9 in the year 1609, and was numbered among the Saints by Pope Pius XI. 1960 Breviary

Two or three young men, attracted by his sanctity and the sweetness of his character, had gathered round him to submit themselves to his spiritual guidance and help him in the work for the reform of manners and the saving of souls which he had begun even as a layman. Giovanni rented the beautiful little church of Santa Maria della Rosa, and in a quarter close by, something like community life was started. It was here, when it became evident that Giovanni’s lay helpers were preparing for the priesthood and that something like a religious order was in process of formation, that a storm of persecution broke out against the devoted founder. The Fathers of the republic seem to have had a real fear that a native religious order, if spread over Italy, would cause the affairs of the little state to become too well known to its neighbours. The persecution, however, was so effective and lasting, that the Blessed Leonardi practically spent the rest of his life in banishment from Lucca, only being now and again admitted by special decree of the Senate, unwillingly extracted under papal pressure.

Herberman, Charles G.; et al., eds. (1907). The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.

Facing Temptations

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Facing Temptations

CHRIST:

MY CHILD, with My help you will gradually overcome these temptations which annoy
you in your daily life. You are never entirely safe from them. As long as you are in this
world, you will have to protect yourself from them. All around you there are people or
things which may appeal to your weakness. When you cannot avoid them, meet them with patience rather than with anxiety or thoughtless severity. Correct and remedy what you can. As for things which cannot be remedied, bear them patiently for My sake.

2. Unless you keep your eyes on Me, you cannot stand up under the strain of this daily
warfare. Without My help you will never earn the reward of the Blessed in Heaven. Face
life bravely. With a firm determination, take definite measures to overcome the temptations in your daily life. I will grant heavenly strength to anyone who makes an honest effort. The sluggard is doomed to miserable failure.

3. Some try to run away from all temptations, and still they go on falling into sin. Flight
alone will not conquer all temptations. Wherever you go, you will always find some
occasion of sin. By humility, patience, and definite action, you will become strong against the enemies of your soul.

THINK:
Patience will help me to keep calm in my troubles and difficulties. It will help me think
more clearly. As a result, I shall find it easier to turn to God when I need Him. Humility
will help me admit my weakness and nothingness. It will make me less irritable and resentful of my distasteful experiences. These two virtues will help me have peace in the middle of my troubles. Then with a definite plan in mind, I can proceed against my faults and conquer my temptations.

PRAY:
My Jesus, with Your help, I hope to do my best each day to overcome my faults and
increase my virtues. When matters are beyond my efforts, and I can only suffer pain or disappointment, then let me see Your Divine Providence arranging my life in that way. Let me accept my cross with patience and humility. I will never stop trying to do my best. As for results, I leave them in Your loving hands. Amen.