Leopold Mandić

May 24, 2022

Leopold Mandić suffered from all kinds of ailments.  Despite having health issues, including throat problems and stuttering, the 4’6’’ tall man never let his ailments prevent him from accomplishing his goals. However, Leopold Mandić eventually succumbed to esophageal cancer after working years in the reconciliation ministry,hearing confessions, and attempting to unite others in the Christian faith. 

Leopold Mandić’s Background History

Leopold Mandić was born in Castelnuovo in a fishing family of Peter and Dragica (Zarević) Mandić on May 12, 1866. As the 12th born, he was given the name Bogdan, meaning God-given. Bogdan entered the Seraphic Seminary in Udine. He realized it was his dream to become a member of the Capuchin Order on November 16, 1882. On September 20, 1890, Leopold was ordained after years of studies and a series of vows.

Leopold Mandić as Capuchin Priest

He worked in various parts of the province of Venice. However, he returned to Padua, where he spent some of his years imprisoned after refusing to renounce his nationality. Later he became a director and Patristics teacher for students. He spent his adult life as a Capuchin. Leopold spent almost 40 years in a tiny room around Padua’s church of the Holy Cross, listening to the confessions of thousands of souls. One of the people that benefited from his eight to 16 hours a day devotion to hearing confessions includes Albino Luciani, who later became Pope John Paul I.

Leopold Mandić’s Inspiration

Leopold chose the ministry of dialogue after witnessing the effects of the tension between Orthodox churches and Latin Catholics. Although he wished to have a direct influence in bridging the gap between religions, his ailing body prevented him from being an active ministry of reconciliation. Instead, he spent his time hearing confessions and living the gospel, believing that “all may be one.”


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