Jesus is the physician of our souls, and it is through his priests that he exercises this healing power in our ailing world. Our hope is that priests and laymen may, through the study of this small volume from one of the great Franciscan confessors of the 18th century, arrive at a more thorough understanding of, and a greater love for, the healing sacrament which reconciles the sinner to the all powerful, all just, all seeing, and all merciful God.
Saint Leonard of Port Maurice
Saint, preacher, and ascetic writer, Leonard of Port Maurice was born on December 20. 1676, at Porto Maurizio, Italy. After a brilliant course of study with the Jesuits in Rome he joined the Friars Minor in 1697. At the request of Cosimo III, Saint Leonard was summoned to the monastery del Monte, near Florence, and began to give missions to the people in Tuscany, which were marked by many extraordinary conversions and great results.
He and his colleagues always practiced the greatest austerities and most severe penances during these missions. Everywhere the saint made abundant conversions, and was very often obliged both in cities and country districts to preach in the open, as the churches could not contain the thousands who came to listen. He founded many pious societies and confraternities, and exerted himself especially to spread the devotion of the Stations of the Cross, the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the perpetual adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament, and devotion to the Immaculate Conception.
The numerous writings of the saint consist of sermons, letters, ascetic treatises, and books of devotion for the use of the faithful and of priests, especially missionaries. A treasure for asceticism and homiletics, many of his writings have been translated into the most diverse languages and often republished.