Spirituality for Today – November 2015 – Volume 20, Issue 4

Saint of the Month
Saint Leonard of Noblac

November 6

A painting of Saint Leonard of Noblac

According to legend, Leonard was born a pagan in the sixth century. He converted to Christianity and was offered a bishopric by his godfather, King Clovis I of France. Leonard refused the position, preferring to withdraw from society and deepen his commitment to God.

One day, Clovis and his wife were part of a hunting party that visited the forest near Limoges where Leonard was living as a hermit. The queen went into labor and, with Leonard's prayers and help, gave birth to a healthy child.

In return, Clovis granted Leonard as much land as he could cover on a donkey in one night. On this tract, Leonard founded a religious community and later built an abbey called Noblac. Many people visited Noblac after hearing that Leonard could work miracles.

The compassionate Leonard also preached to prisoners. According to legend, Clovis agreed to release the captives once Leonard deemed them repentant. Later, Leonard became associated with prisoners of war. In the 12th century, a French nobleman who had been imprisoned during the Crusades came to Noblac after his release. He paid tribute to Leonard by leaving silver chains like the ones he had worn in prison.

Leonard's cult as saint spread from France throughout Europe. Today, more than 170 churches are named for him in England alone.

humble servant of God,
you opened your heart to everyone,
knowing that God's grace touches even the worst
sinners once they acknowledge His love.
By your example and the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ,
help me to show the same compassion,
and help others grant me forgiveness
when I wrong them.


From Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives