April 26, 2019

Saint Leo, Bishop of Samos

St. Leo, Bishop of Samos (Feast Day - April 26)

Saint Leo was a simple, pious, humble and philanthropic man who was born a pagan and converted to the faith of Christ. He served the flock of Christ as Bishop of Samos some time before the seventh century, and reposed in peace. Before his death he became known as a wonderworker for his numerous miracles, including those after his death towards those who approached his grave with faith. In the early eleventh century his relic was taken to Venice. Originally his feast day was April 29th, but the people of Samos today celebrate his memory on April 26th.

It is said that his relics were transferred to Venice in the following manner. One day a Venetian ship was docked at Samos on the feast of Saint Leo, but due to a severe thunderstorm it was prevented from leaving. Because this happened twice when the ship tried to leave, it was taken as a divine sign by the people, and an old man who was a sailor suggested after the crowds went away that the Venetians take the relic of Saint Leo with them. Therefore by night the Venetians went to the church, and after the doors were miraculously unlocked for them, which they believed confirmed this plan was God's will, they took the relic from Samos to Venice. After a series of other miracles along the way, the relic arrived in Venice, where it was placed in various churches over time, until it finally ended up in the Church of Santa Maria dell’Umilta in Venice in 1615, but from there it somehow disappeared, and its whereabouts are unknown till this day.