Saint-Leopold the Pious

Léopold III called "the Pious" or Saint-Léopold born in 1073 and died on near Klosterneuburg, was Margrave of Austria from 1095 until his death. Coming from the house of Babenberg, he is the founder of the abbeys of Klosterneuburg and Heiligenkreuz, a Catholic saint celebrated on , as well as the patron saint of Austria in general, of Vienna and of the Land of Lower Austria.


Saint-Leopold III of Austria called Le Pieu (der Heilige or der Fromme)

A native of Melk or Gars am Kamp, the residence of the Babenbergs at that time, Leopold III was the son of Leopold II of Babenberg, known as the beautiful, and his wife Ida de Cham. His father ruled the Margraviate of Austria from 1075, at the time of the bitter Investitures quarrel between King Henry IV and Pope Gregory VII. The margrave has distanced himself from the king; it is also less and less dependent on the central power.

Leopold III becomes the sixth Margrave of Austria upon the death of his father on  ; He was called princeps terrae and pursued the objectives of achieving the greatest possible autonomy in its fields. Around 1104, he married Countess Adélaïde de Perg and two years later, in second marriage, Agnes of Franconia, the second daughter of Emperor Henry IV, which gave him great prestige. Agnes was also the widow of Duke Frederick Ier from Swabia, from the House of Hohenstaufen.

In 1125, on the death of Emperor Henry V, the last of the Franconian dynasty, the princes offered him the imperial crown, but Leopold declined the offer in view of his advanced age, preferring to devote himself to the Danubian principality.. Instead, the sons of Duke Frederick of Swabia, Frederick II and Conrad III of Hohenstaufen, fought for succession, at first to no avail. In 1127, Conrad III was elected anti-king opposing Lothaire of Supplinburg.

Leopold established his authority over Vienna, the future capital of Austria, while residing in Klosterneuburg where he founded a convent of canons in 1114. During his forty years of reign, when Bernard of Clairvaux was still alive, he facilitated the spread of religious institutes and introduced Cistercian monasticism in Austria. In 1133 the margrave founded the Cistercian monastery of Heiligenkreuz in the Wienerwald mountains. Léopold also founded the Cistercian Abbey of Klein-Mariazell near Altenmarkt. He favored the cities of Vienna, Klosterneuburg and Krems; the works of Heinrich von Melk and Ava von Göttweig were carried out during his reign.

Margrave Leopold III died of the after-effects of a hunting accident on , at the age of 63, and was buried at the Klosterneuburg Abbey he founded. He leaves the memory of a good administrator, and leaves the clergy with rich donations. Praised by the Pope upon his death, he will be canonized on . At the instigation of its namesake Léopold Ier, he will become the patron of Austria in 1663.

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Today Austrian Catholics celebrate St. Leopold, known as Leopold III of Austria said the Pious. He died on November 15, 1136 at the abbey he himself founded in Klosteneuburg. He contributed to the dissemination of religious institutes in Austria and developed the city of Vienna which would become the future capital. #mythology #mythe #legend #calendar #15November #autriche #leopoldIII #saintleopold

Saint-Leopold the Pious Saint-Léopold