The photos and the texts of each place or parish or association dedicated to Saint Leonard are edited by their representatives
who have accepted to appear in these documents.
Laupheim, Freundeskreis St Leonhard
The “Freundeskreis St. Leonard” was created just over twenty years ago in Laupheim, a small town in the south-west of Germany, and is enclosed in a mediaeval chapel consecrated to the Blessed Virgin and Saint Leonard.
Saint Leonard is venerated in this region and one can relate this double dedication of the chapel to the fact that St Leonard had himself dedicated his hermitage to the Blessed Virgin, Mother of God.
There is a chain suspended all round the church which was probably forged from the horseshoes of the peasant farmers, thus presenting St Leonard as the protector of prisoners as well as protector of domestic animals.
There is a remarkable gothic statue, in the interior of the church, of the patron saint.
A solemn mass is celebrated each year in honour of St Leonard, on the Sunday which follows his liturgical fête, with his relic being used to bless the parishioners and the horse riders who participate in the regional processions.
The church is considered an important spiritual place in which to hold funerals, pilgrimages and devotion to the blessed Virgin.
Its Holy Sepulchre is well known
Ülm, Chapelle Saint Léonard
ULM on the Danube (in the land of Baden-Würtenberg)
Ulm, a city with 120,000 inhabitants, is an economic centre (mainly metallurgy), scientific (with an important university and university clinics). It also has a considerable interest for tourists in the southern part of Germany as it has an interesting historic quarter.
In 1294 its statute as a city was granted by the Holy Roman Emperor.
In the 13th century a first hospital, for the sick among the poor, was placed under the patronage of St.Leonard.
1377 saw the start of the building of the Gothic church which was only completed in 1890. The apex of the main tower is at 161m and is the highest church tower in Europe. It contains fine sculptures and carved seating.
In 1397 there was created a “Great Letter of the Oath” which is a sort of democratic constitution and is celebrated in July each year.
In 1530 the inhabitants of Ulm voted to join the Reformation.
In 1805 Napolean received the surrender of arms of the Austrian army.
In 1810 Ulm was acquired by Würtemberg and lost half of its territory to Bavaria – the town of New-Ulm has a population of 50,000.
Chapel of Saint Leonard in Ulm, Sôflingen
The chapel of Saint Leonard constructed in 1490 in the main church of the city of Ulm which dates from the 13th century and which became, from 1400, a branch of the parish church of Ulm, whereas the church of the Monastery of the Poor Clares founded in 1258 was exclusively reserved for the nuns.
On feast days, the inhabitants of Sôflingen were obliged to go to mass in the main church.
When the citizens of Ulm voted to join the Reformation, the Christians in Sôflingen remained Catholic and the Franciscans took care of them.
In 1805 the church of the Poor Clares became the parish church which included the chapel of St.Leonard open for personal prayer and parish meetings (meditation, prayers for peace, daily rosary). The cemetery has been at the side of the chapel since 1626.
The exterior of the church:
Walls of trimmed stone, painted white. The choir is lower than the nave. A fresco above the door, completed in 1950, shows Saint Leonard between Saint Antony the hermit and Saint Elige.
The interior of the church:
There are three baroque alters. The main altar installed in 1663 is in wood, painted black and partially gilded. The retable dating from 1754 shows Saint Leonard in the black habit of a Benedictine with a priestly cross, holding a book and a chain. He is kneeling in clouds surrounded by angels. Below the saint on the left, one can see cattle in the middle of an old view of this place, and at the right a sick woman and a man holding a broken chain.
Above the entrance doorway there is a wooden sculpture (modern baroque) showing the saint.
Texts : Kath. Kirchengemeinde St. Maria Himmelfahrt in Ulm-Söflingen, D. Geis, R. Gründer, E. Schick