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Updated:  Aug 12, 2013
prev: Leonard of Port Maurice, Saint Leonard of Port Maurice, Saint Leontius, Saint next: Leontius, Saint

Leonidas, Saint

Roman Martyrology records several feast days of martyrs of this name in different countries

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* Published by Encyclopedia Press, 1913.

Leonidas (or LEONIDES), Saint.—The Roman Martyrology records several feast days of martyrs of this name in different countries. Under date of January 28 there is a martyr called Leonides, a native of the Thebaid, whose death with several companions is supposed to have occurred during the Diocletian persecution (Acta SS., January, II, 832). Another Leonides appears on September 2, in a long list of martyrs headed by a St. Diomedes. Together with a St. Eleutherius, a Leonides is honored on August 8. From other sources we know of a St. Leonidas, Bishop of Athens, who lived about the sixth century, and whose feast is celebrated on April 15 ("Acta SS.", April, II, 378; "Bibliotheca hagiographica graeca", 2 ed., 137). Still another martyr of the name is honored on April 16, with Callistus, Charysius, and other companions (Acta SS., April, II, 402). The best known of them all, however, is St. Leonides of Alexandria, father of the great Origen. From Eusebius (Hiast. Eccles., VI, 1, 2) we learn that he died a martyr during the persecution under Septimius Severna in 202. He was condemned to death by the prefect of Egypt, Lactus, and beheaded. His property was confiscated. Leonides carefully cultivated the brilliant intellect of his son Origen from the latter's childhood, and imparted to him the knowledge of Holy Scripture. The feast of St. Leonidas of Alexandria is celebrated on April 22.

J. P. KIRSCH


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