Saint Leo, Bishop of Catania

February 20

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 marketplace 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 completed 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.

Source: St. Nikolai Velimirovic, The Prologue of Ohrid – Volume One.

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