Saints and Holy People

Find out about their lives and how they changed the world

Saint John Leonardi (1541–1609)

Saint John Leonardi (1541–1609)

Patron saint of clerics and pharmacists

Feast day: October 8

Saint John Leonardi was ordained a priest and became passionate about ministering to prisoners and the sick. His commitment and devotion attracted other young men to assist him, and they later became priests themselves. John and his fellow assistants and priests formed the Clerks Regular of the Mother of God of Lucca. However, this group spurred political opposition, with many believing that John had founded the group for his personal glorification.

John was exiled from Lucca for most of the remainder of his life. While in exile, he was encouraged and looked after by Saint Philip Neri. John created the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine and put out a collection of Christian doctrine that was continually used until the nineteenth century. He died at age 68 from a disease caught while ministering to plague victims.

Saint John Leonardi was canonized in 1938. 

(Image in public domain-100)