Nov 6 - “St. Leonard of Noblac” © artwork by Brenda Nippert. Happy Feast Day St. Leonard!
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The son of a nobleman, Leonard was a member of the royal court in France. He could have just enjoyed it - being popular, wearing the nicest clothes, etc., but he lived in a time when commoners could practically be thrown in prison because their socks didn't match. Armed with his faith, Leonard became a champion of justice. He visited the prisoners and listened to their stories. He could have stopped there, and patted himself on the back for doing a nice thing, but he didn't. He used his position on the court to talk to the king, and many of the prisoners were pardoned and released because of his efforts.
Later, he left the court and built a hermitage in the woods so he could pray, and be alone with God. The king who owned the woods, gave him a large chunk of land after Leonard's prayer brought healing to the king's sick wife. Even then, he didn't just retire and relax, Leonard gave away the land piece by piece to those being released from prison, helping them make a fresh start with dignity. Many ministries and programs helping people re-enter society from prison bear Leonard's name today, though few people know who this obscure saint was.
His feast day is November 6.