This calendar of saints is drawn from several denominations, sects, and traditions. Although it will no longer be updated daily, the index on the right will guide visitors to a saint celebrated on any day they choose. Additional saints will be added as they present themselves to Major.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

March 7 -- Feast of Blessed Leonid Feodorov

This is one of those stories where you can admire someone's faith in the face of adversity, or you can marvel at his unwillingness to get a clue and protect himself. In either case, it is easy to condemn the governments involved for their persecution of minority faiths. Hey, Russia! If the Orthodox faith is so strong, why you gotta lock up the Catholics? Whatcha 'fraid of?

Hey, USSR, if Communism's so great, why you gotta lock people up for believing in God? Whatcha 'fraid of? And by what standard are you better than the Tsar's government?

Leonid was raised in the Orthodox faith, but as he studied, he chose to convert to Catholicism. He was ordained in the Greek Catholic Church, taking the name Father Leontios in 1913. He was arrested for his faith immediately upon returning to Russia and sent to Siberia. In 1917 the Kerensky government released him in the general amnesty, but the Bolshevik government re-busted him in 1923. I'll say this for the Reds: Vladka can't be as bad as Siberia as a place to be exiled. Still, I'm sure the Bolshi guards found ways to make Father Leontios uncomfortable.

He was released in 1926, which shows some clemency, since it was only three years from a ten year sentence. Nonetheless, he was re-busted and resentenced. He was transferred from prison to prison, and his health worsened with each transfer. He was released in 1933 in recognition of his poor health, but he was barred from living in many of the Soviet cities. He died in 1935 at age fifty-six.

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