St. John Leonardi was born in 1541 at Decimi in Lucca, Italy, and from childhood he manifested a desire to seed solitude and give himself to prayer and meditation. At the age of thirty-two he became a priest and guided many youths in the way of perfection. To convert sinners and restore Church discipline in Italy, he founded the Clerks Regular of the Mother of God.
A contemporary of St. Philip Neri and ST. Joseph Calasanz, John labored zealously for the defense of the faith and in 1603, together with Cardinal Vives, he founded the College of the Propaganda. He died at Rome on October 9, 1609, while caring for the victims of the great plague, and was canonized in 1938 by Pope Pius XI.
PRAYER: God, the Giver of all good things, You had the Gospel preached to the people through St. John, Your Priest. Grant, through his intercession, that the true faith may spread always and everywhere. Amen.