Key to Umbria: Spoleto

Blessed Leopold of Gaiche (2nd April)

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Blessed Leopold berates Napoleonic sympathisers

outside San Francesco di Monteluco in 1798

Panel (19th century) in San Domenico 

Leopoldo Croci, who came from Gaiche, near Chiusi, joined the Franciscan Order in 1752 and rose to become Provincial Minister.  He retired to San Francesco di Monteluco in 1788. 

In 1798, he famously castigated a group of Napoleonic soldiers and their Spoletan sympathisers who profaned the sacred wood by celebrating under a tree of liberty that they erected outside the hermitage.  His retreat was closed under the Napoleonic legislation of 1809 and he took refuge at San Damiano, Assisi.  He was able to return to Monteluco in 1814.

An inscription in the palace at 16-22 Corso Garibaldi (see Walk II) records that Blessed Leopold died here in 1815 at the age of 83.  He was buried at San Francesco di Monteluco:  his relics are still venerated in the chapel in the church there that is dedicated to him.

Pope Leo XIII beatified him in 1893.