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San Leo: Famous People

Saint Leo

Was the founder of the town and later its Patron Saint.

Saint Leo

Saint Leo was the founder of the city of San Leo and later its Patron Saint.
At the end of the III Century, this humble stonecutter fled Dalmatia to escape Diocletian’s persecutions against the Christians and found shelter, as a hermit, on top of Mount Feliciano, as Mons Feretrius was called at the time. Today, that same mountain, which gives its name to the whole region (Montefeltro), is called San Leo.
Leo fled Dalmatia with his friends Marinus and Agata: the former settled down on Mount Titano establishing what later became the Republic of San Marino (after the saint’s name) while Agata, founded a town called today Sant’Agata Feltria.
Once settled in San Leo, Leo built a small cell and a shrine. Christians started gathering there, in secret, and Leo preached the Gospel. He managed to spread Christendom in the area and, from that moment on, the word Montefeltro came to represent not only the citadel but also the entire parish extending over the valley of the Rivers Montefeltro, Foglia, Savio, Conca and Uso.
After his death, in 360 AD, the corpse was laid in a stone sarcophagus in the Cathedral’s crypt, of which unfortunately we can only admire the carved lid today. The Parish Church rises today on the same spot on which Saint Leo usually prayed. Saint Leo is traditionally considered to be the first Bishop of the dioceses of Montefeltro, although the Dioceses was officially established much later, in 826 AD.

Giannini R, Mosconi T (1995). I sentieri Magici della Valmarecchia. Touring Club Italiano e Comunità montana Alta Valmarecchia/Zona A: Milano.


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    San Leo lies in Rimini's hinterland, in southern Emilia Romagna, on the border of Tuscany, Le Marche Region and the Republic of San Marino.
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