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Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Saint Leontie, Bishop of Radauti (+ 1432)

St. Lentie of Radauti (Feast Day - July 1)

Saint Leontie (Leontius) was born in Radauti, Moldavia in the fourteenth century to pious parents who raised him to be a faithful Orthodox Christian. From an early age he loved church services as well as prayer. In the years 1359-1365, when Bogdan I, the first ruler of Moldavia, founded the Bogdana Monastery in Radauti, dedicated to Saint Nicholas, Leontie entered the monastic life in this monastery. He was named Lavrentie (Laurence) when he received the monastic tonsure. In time he was found worthy of ordination to the holy priesthood.

He received the blessing to retire to a hermitage in the woods of Radauti, in the Putna valley, where many experienced monks were found, who instructed Lavrentie to advance in the spiritual life. After a while, more and more disciples began to gather around Lavrentie's cell, asking him to guide them in their spiritual life, as abbot of the growing community. He thus founded a monastery near Radauti, which later became known as Lavrentie's Hermitage. Among his many disciples was Saint Daniel the Hesychast (Dec. 18).


Prince Alexander the Good recommended that he be made the Bishop of Radauti, an episcopal see he founded in 1402 and which had as a cathedral the Bogdana Monastery. Though he did not want this position, he accepted and Bishop Lavrentie led his flock with wisdom for many years. Because of his holy life, he received from God the grace of working miracles. Many sick people were healed by his prayers, and he became a father, teacher, and protector to all. In his old age he retired to live alone in the wilderness near his hermitage. Before his repose he received the Great Schema with the name of Leontie, and departed to the Lord soon afterward. His holy relics were found incorrupt, and many people received healing at his tomb.

Hearing about these healings, the faithful and the clergy of the diocese of Radauti asked the Metropolitan of Moldova for a blessing to move the holy relics of Holy Hierarch Leontie from Radauti to the episcopal cathedral. The metropolitan approved, so that the holy relics were brought to the cathedral from Radauti and placed on the right side of the nave. Many believers came here daily and received healing from sickness and help in trouble. News of Holy Hierarch Leontie had spread beyond the borders of Moldova.


In 1639, the city of Radauti was pillaged by robbers from beyond the northern borders of Moldavia, who stole, among other things, the coffin with the relics of the Holy Hierarch Leontie. The relics of the Saint have not been found. Some of the relics of the Saint have been rediscovered as a result of archaeological research at the end of the last century. Then, when in 1783 northern Moldova was occupied by Austrian troops, the Bogdana Monastery was disbanded, the monks scattered, and the church transformed into a parish church, so that, in time, the veneration of Saint Leontie was lost. Later, the church of the Lavrentie Hermitage also became the parish church of the village of Laura.

Saint Leontie was glorified by the Orthodox Church of Romania in 1992, thus reviving his veneration. The relics of Holy Hierarch Leontie, together with those of Saint Theodosius from Brazi, were put in a coffin and placed in the church of Bogdana Monastery in Radauti.


Apolytikion in Plagal of the Fourth Tone
Spending your entire life in spiritual endeavors, and being found worthy to be a bishop, you served the Church of Christ with humility and in the fear of God. Holy Hierarch Leontie, entreat the Lord to save our souls.



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