t. Leander was born of an illustrious family at Carthagena in Spain. He was the eldest of five brothers, several of whom are numbered among the Saints. He entered into a monastery very young, where he lived many years and attained to an eminent degree of virtue and sacred learning. These qualities occasioned his being promoted to the see of Seville; but his change of condition made little or no alteration in his method of life, though it brought on him a great increase of care and solicitude. Spain at that time was in possession of the Visigoths. These Goths, being infected with Arianism, established this heresy wherever they came; so that when St. Leander was made bishop it had reigned in Spain a hundred years. This was his great affliction; however, by his prayers to God, and by his most zealous and unwearied endeavors, he became the happy instrument of the conversion of that nation to the Catholic faith. Having converted, among others, Hermenegild, the king’s eldest son an heir apparent, Leander was banished by King Leovigild. This pious prince was put to death by his unnatural father, the year following, for refusing to receive Communion from the hands of an Arian bishop. But, touched with remorse not long after, the king recalled our Saint; and falling sick and finding himself past hopes of recovery, he sent for St. Leander, and recommended to him his son Recared. This son, by listening to St. Leander, soon became a Catholic, and finally converted the whole nation of the Visigoths. He was no less successful with respect to the Suevi, a people of Spain, whom his father Leovigild had perverted.
St. Leander was no less zealous in the reformation of manners than in restoring the purity of faith; and he planted the seeds of that zeal and fervor which afterwards produced so many martyrs and Saints. This holy doctor of Spain died about the year 596, on the 27th of February, as Mabillon proves from his epitaph. The Church of Seville has been a metropolitan see ever since the third century. The cathedral is the most magnificent, both as to structure an ornament, of any in all of Spain.
Gabriel Possenti, born March 1, 1838, the eleventh of thirteen children, was reared in a home that was none the less pious because cultured. Inordinately vain and passionately devoted to the pleasures of the world, it is little wonder that his teachers and companions were incredulous when he announced that he would enter the Passionist Order after graduation.
His life in religion was one of love throughout – joyous love, made all the sweeter by the penance prescribed by his rule, which he fulfilled to the letter. There was nothing extraordinary about him except his fidelity to prayer, his love of mortification, and his joyfulness of spirit. At the age of twenty-three, just as he was finishing his studies, he was stricken with consumption, of which he died at Isola on Feb. 27, 1862, which is also the day of his feast.Reflection –
Let us in imitation of this youthful Saint, diligently ponder the sorrows of our blessed Mother, that her maternal care may insure our salvation.
Taken from the “Pictorial Lives of the Saints: with Reflections for Every Day in the Year”