Santa lea

Saint Lea of Rome

Saint Lea is a third century saint in the Roman Catholic Church on the authority of Jerome about whom little is definitively known. The church father Saint Jerome, in a letter to Saint Marcella, said that she was a widow who retired to a Roman convent of consecrated virgins, where she became the prioress. Jerome provides no biography for Lea, for he assumes that Marcella knows it, and concentrates instead upon her death.

In a parallel with Lazarus and Dives, Jerome writes:

Who will praise the blessed Lea as she deserves? She renounced painting her face and adorning her head with shining pearls. She exchanged her rich attire for sackcloth, and ceased to command others in order to obey all. She dwelt in a corner with a few bits of furniture; she spent her nights in prayer, and instructed her companions through her example rather than through protests and speeches. And she looked forward to her arrival in heaven in order to receive her recompense for the virtues which she practiced on earth.

He then compares her with a consul who had lived in wealth and would find himself in agony in the afterlife and exhorts Marcella to serve Jesus rather than the world.

Jerome's use of the adjective "blessed" is taken as sufficient evidence for Lea's veneration by the Roman Catholic Church, where her feast day is March 22.


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