German Couple

St Leopold of Austria
Written and researched by Margaret Odrowaz-Sypniewski

St. Leopold

St. Leopold's feast day is November 15th. Leopold Babenberger was born in Melk (or Gar), Austria in 1075. Leopold was the grandson of Emperor Henry III. Leopold was instructed early in his life, in the lessons of the Gospel, and he spent many hours in prayer and meditation. At age 23, Leopold became Margrave (military governor) of Austria, after his father. However, Leopold did not let this power go to his head. He supported the First Crusade. He was known as Leopold "the Good." Leopold was educated by Bishop Altman of Passau. The bishop of Altman encouraged Lepold to do good works.

Ten years later, in 1106, Leopold married Agnes, the daughter of Emperor Henry IV (1050-1106). Agnes was a widow, at the time of their marriage, and she had two children. Agnes and Leopold had another eighteen (18) children of their own. Eleven of these children survived into adulthood. One of their children was named Otto. Otto became a monk, and he chronicled his father's life.

Agnes and Leopold dedicated long hours to church devotions and meditation. Leopold founded the Cisterian abbey of Heiligenkreuz and the Benedictine Monastery of Mariazell.

In 1125, Henry V died and Leopold refused to be named in his place as heir and king. After forty (40) years as Margrave, Leopold died, in 1135, at one of the monasteries he founded. Leopold is buried at Klosterneuberg. He was canonized by Pope Innocent VIII in 1485.


Butler's Lives of the Saints (on CD-ROM) USA: Harmony Media, Inc., 1996. Their Website

Hoever, Rev. Hugo. Lives of the Saints. New York: Catholic Books Publishing Co., 1989. 353.

Jöckle, Clemens. Encyclopedia of Saints. London: Alpine Fine Arts Collection Ltd., 1995, 52-53.

Kelly, Sean and Rosemary Rodgers. Saints Preserve Us. New York: Random House, 1993, 31.

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