Franciscan Saints


 

 

 

21st June

 

 

The Servant of God Leonore Gusman

 

Virgin, Second Order

 

Leonore was the daughter of the duke of medina- Sidonia, a wealthy and distinguished Spanish gentleman.

Orphaned at the age of eight and placed under the care of an uncle in Seville, Leonore obeyed him with a childlike attachment until she was eleven when the uncle decided she should be promised in marriage.

An excellent match was found for her but Leonore was adamant that she would not marry but dedicate her life to God, when asked to at least meet the possible Bridegroom Leonore said that she had already chosen the heavenly Bridegroom.

Asking for permission to visit her aunt who was abbes of a convent of Poor Clares, Leonore took this opportunity to ensconce herself ain the convent nothing inducing her to leave it.

Her uncle and other relatives were embittered by this turn of events and even petitioned the king with a request that Leonore be returned home.

The king decided to take Leonore to another convent of Poor Clares where she could express her wishes to the Archbishop and the royal governor without duress. Leonore declared that she had chosen the religious vocation by freedom of heart and said that she would rather be torn into a thousand pieces than be unfaithful to her vocation.

Permitted to return to her aunts convent she took the habit of the Poor Clares when she was twelve years old.

Leonore was the pattern for all her sisters, in complete poverty, deep humility, strict penance and persevering prayer. After practising perfect obedience for twenty-eight years Leonore was made abbess a position she filled as a perfect administrator for the next forty-one years, until her death.

Thirteen months after death her grave was opened and Leonore was found entirely incorrupt, which is why she is buried in a beautiful tomb in the choir of the church.

 

 

 

 

 

Prayer of the Church

(Number 27 of Various Prayers)

 

O God, who withstandest the proud and givest Thy grace to

the  humble; endue us with that true virtue of humility, the

pattern of which Thy only begotten Son showed in himself to the

 faithful; and may we never by our pride, provoke Thee to anger,

but rather in lowliness accept from Thy hands the gifts of Thy

grace. Through the same Christ Our Lord Who liveth  and reigneth
with
Thee and the Holy Spirit,  One God, now and forever.  Amen

 

 

Habig, Marion A., O.F.M., 1959, ed., The Franciscan book of Saints, Franciscan Herald press, Chicago, Illinois

 

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