3. DEVOTION TO ST. LEOPOLD
The process for recognising the sanctity of Fr. Leopold began, at diocesan level, in 1946. On 1st March 1974 the decree recognising his heroic virtues as a Servant of God was issued, and on 12 February 1976 the degree detailing the miracles due to his intercession followed.
Pope Paul VI proclaimed him Blessed on 2nd May 1976 in Rome. Pope John Paul II canonised him on 16th October 1983, in Rome, indicating him as a model for confessors.
The faithful continue to pray to him in the chapel dedicated to him next to the church of the Capuchin Friary in Padua, where his body has rested since 1963. His tomb, together with the little confession room that survived the bombardment which destroyed the church on 14th May 1944, according to his prophecy, has become a place of pilgrimage. On the afternoon of 12th September 1982 a special pilgrim came, on the occasion of his pastoral visit to the city of Padua; Pope John Paul II visited the sites of Fr. Leopold Mandić’s priestly ministry and knelt in prayer at the tomb of the saint.
The liturgical feast of St. Leopold Mandić falls on 12th May, and traditionally is preceded by a novena of masses at his sanctuary in Padua. Special attention is paid at the same place to the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (from 18th to 25th January each year).