Saint of the Day ~ March 22

SAINT LEA of ROME (?-c.384), widow and religious

Today, the Church honors Saint Lea, who was renowned for her humble and austere lifestyle and who longed for the gift of eternal life with her Savior, whom she adored and served faithfully while on Earth.

Saint Lea was a widow who lived in fourth century Rome. After the death of her husband, she retired from the world to a monastery and eventually became superior of the religious community.

Much of the information available concerning the life of Saint Lea, who has long been honored in the Roman Church, comes from a letter from Saint Jerome. An excerpt of this letter, the Twentieth Epistle of Saint Jerome, is as follows:

“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…

“Hence, I tearfully beg you to refrain from seeking the favors of the world and to renounce all that is carnal. It is impossible to follow both the world and Jesus. Let us live a life of renunciation, for our bodies will soon be dust and nothing else will last any longer.”

Saint Lea died about the year 384 from natural causes, and was known for her strict lifestyle and extreme penances.

We commemorate her feastday on March 22.

(From, and



(The following prayer is from the Roman Breviary from the Commons for Holy Women ~ religious)

“Lord God, You kept Saint Lea faithful to Christ’s pattern of poverty and humility. May her prayers help us to live in fidelity to our calling and bring us to the perfection You have shown us in Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.”

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