St. Leander of Seville
St. Leander of Seville,
brother of St. Fulgentius, St. Florentina, and St. Isidore, was
born at Carthage about 534 to a Roman family. Some historians claim that
his father, Severian, was duke or governor of Carthage, but St. Isidore
simply states that he was a citizen of that city. The family emigrated
from Carthage about 554 and came to Seville. St. Leander and St. Isidore
both became bishops of Seville; St. Fulgentius, Bishop of Carthagena, and
St. Florentina, a nun, who directed forty convents and one thousand nuns.
Leander became at first
a Benedictine monk, and then in 579 Bishop of Seville. In the meantime
be founded a celebrated school, which soon became a centre of learning
and orthodoxy. His main efforts were directed to the convention of Spain.
In his labor to save his country from Arianism, Leander showed himself
an orthodox Christian and a far-sighted patriot. Exiled by Leovigild, he
withdrew to Byzantium from 579 to 582. It is not known exactly when Leander
returned from exile, it might happen between 582 and 589. After his return,
Leander did most to ensure the religious unity, the fervent faith, and
the broad culture on which was based Spain’s later greatness. St. Isidore
wrote about his brother: "This man of suave eloquence and eminent talent
shone as brightly by his virtues as by his doctrine. By his faith and zeal
the Gothic people have been converted from Arianism to the Catholic faith".
St. Leander died at Seville, 13 March, 600 or 601.
See: Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. St.
Leander, St. Leander and St.
of the Saints: From Mary and Francis of Assisi to John XXIII and Mother
Teresa by Richard McBrien (Author). Harper San Francisco, 2001.