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Saint Leo, Bishop of Catania (20 February)

This Saint, who was from Ravenna in Italy, lived during the reign of Leo the Wise and his son Constantine Porphyrogenitus (end of the ninth and beginning of the tenth centuries). He struggled especially against the paganism and sorcery still prevalent in those regions.

In the town of Catania, below the volcanic Mount Etna, lived St. Leo, a good shepherd and compassionate teacher of the people. He had great concern for the sick and the poor. His zeal for the Faith was as great as his charity toward the less fortunate. A magician named Heliodorus appeared in Catania and deluded the people with various illusions, greatly demoralizing the youth of the town. At one time during the divine services, Heliodorus entered the church of God and began his obscenities.

St. Leo approached him, tied him to one end of his pallium, and led him to the market place of the city. Here Leo ordered that a large fire be built. When it was raging, he stood in the middle of the blaze and pulled Heliodorus into the fire. Heliodorus was completely consumed, but Leo remained alive and unscathed. All who had been bewitched by Heliodorus and who had looked upon him as someone divine, were ashamed. The compassionate and zealous Leo was proclaimed throughout the entire kingdom as a great miracle-worker, who helped men by his shining miracles. When Leo ended his course, he took up his habitation with the Lord, and from his relics there flowed healing myrrh. He reposed in the eighth century.

Apolytikion of Leo, Bp. Of Catania

Fourth Tone

A model of faith and the image of gentleness, the example of your life has shown you forth to your sheep-fold to be a master of temperance. You obtained thus through being lowly, gifts from on high, and riches through poverty. Leo, our father and priest of priests, intercede with Christ our God that He may save our souls.

Kontakion of Leo, Bp. Of Catania

Second Tone

With songs let us all crown him who was dedicated to the Lord from infancy, and who from his swaddling bands received grace from God, even Leo, the luminary and defender of the Church; for he is her support.