Body of Favourite Croatian Catholic Saint Leopold Mandić Returns to Croatia

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A large number of people welcomed the body at the Zagreb Cathedral.

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 where it will remain until 18 April. It was welcomed by a large number of people in front of the Zagreb cathedral, reports Jutarnji List on April 14, 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.


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