Bl. Leopold of Gaiche
Born to a peasant family, he was a shepherd as a boy. He early showed signs of a religious vocation, and joined the Franciscans at age 19. Ordained in 1757. Taught philosophy and theology. Mission preacher. Minister-Provincial of Umbrian in 1781; his term was noted for insisting on study and adherence to his Order’s Rule by the friars, and support of the friars by their superiors. Established a cloister at Monte Luco near Spoleto, Italy, and lived there in solitude and silence for several years; it was closed in 1809 due to political suppression of monastic houses, and Leopold returned to life as a parish priest, working in periods of silent prayer whenever his schedule permitted. The community at Monte Luco was restored in 1814, Leopold immediately returned there, and spent his remaining months as a prayerful, silent monk.