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Left: “St. Louis Bertrand,” Basilica of San Domenico (Siena). Right: Unknown, “St. John Leonardi.” (photo: Public Domain)

St. John Leonardi and St. Louis Bertrand share Oct. 9 as a feast day.

By Kevin Di Camillo, EWTN News, February 7, 2022

Kevin Di Camillo

In one of those happy coincidences that occur so often in Church history that we must be convinced that it is not a coincidence at all, but the hand of God at work, Oct. 9 is the Optional Memorial of St. John Leonardi and, per the official Roman Martyrology, the date we also recall St. Louis Bertrand. Both men are responsible for the systematic spread of Catholic Christianity, especially here in America.

St. John Leonardi

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has written and spoken at length of the great St. John Leonardi. There is little I could add to this to make it a better form of hagiography, but here’s a thumbnail sketch: St. John Leonardi was born in Lucca, in the Tuscan region of Italy, in 1541. Early on he was apprenticed to a pharmacist, but he turned his mind and soul to the Franciscans who, for reasons that remain obscure, refused him admittance. Undaunted, John joined a loose confraternity of the laity that shared a common life of prayer and active ministry, especially to the poor and sick. …