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Leopold III of Austria (Babenberg)

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Leopold III of Austria (Babenberg)

Saint Leopold III
Klosterneuburg Monastery, 1489–1492
Margrave of Austria
Born 1073
Melk, Austria
Died 15 November 1136
Klosterneuburg abbey, Lower Austria, Austria
Honored in Roman Catholic Church
Canonized 6 January 1485 by Pope Innocent VIII
Feast 15 November
Attributes Model of church
Patronage Austria
Lower Austria
Upper Austria
Vienna
Death of children
Large families
Step-parents
Leopold III
Margrave of Austria
Margrave 1095–1136
Predecessor Leopold II
Successor Leopold IV
Spouse Agnes of Germany
Noble family House of Babenberg
Father Leopold II
Mother Ida of Formbach-Ratelnberg

Saint Leopold III (German: Luitpold,1073 – 15 November 1136) was the Margrave of Austria from 1095 to his death in 1136. He was a member of the House of Babenberg. He was canonized on 6 January 1485 and became the patron saint of Austria, Lower Austria, Upper Austria, and Vienna. His feast day is 15 November.[1]

Life

Leopold was born at Babenberg castle in Gars am Kamp, the son of Margrave Leopold II and Ida of Formbach-Ratelnberg. He married twice. His first wife may have been one of the von Perg family, who died in 1105. His second wife was Agnes, the widowed sister of Emperor Henry V whom he had supported against her father Henry IV. This connection to the Salians raised the importance of the House of Babenberg, to which important royal rights over the margravate of Austria were granted. Also, Agnes had influential connections through her previous marriage, one of her sons being Conrad III of Germany.

Leopold called himself "Princeps Terræ", a reflection of his sense of territorial independence. He was considered a candidate in the election of the Kaiser of the Holy Roman Empire in 1125, but declined this honour.

He is mainly remembered for the development of the country and, in particular, the founding of several monasteries. His most important foundation is Klosterneuburg (1108). According to legend, the Virgin Mary appeared to him and led him to a place where he found the veil of his wife Agnes, who had lost it years earlier. He established the Klosterneuburg Monastery there. He subsequently expanded the settlement to become his residence.

Leopold also founded the monasteries of Heiligenkreuz, Kleinmariazell and Seitenstetten which developed a territory still largely covered by forest. All of these induced the church to canonize him in 1485.

Leopold also fostered the development of cities, such as Klosterneuburg, Vienna and Krems. The last one was granted the right to mint but never attained great importance.

The writings of Henry of Melk and Ava of Göttweig, which are the first literary texts from Austria, date back to Leopold's time.

He is buried in the Klosterneuburg Monastery, which he founded. His skull is kept in an embroidered reliquary, which leaves the forehead exposed; it also wears an archducal crown.

In 1663, under the rule of his namesake Emperor Leopold I, he was declared patron saint of Austria instead of Saint Koloman.

The brothers Joseph and Michael Haydn, each of whom sang in the choir of St. Stephen's Cathedral, both sang in that capacity at Klosterneuburg on this day. Joseph Haydn later became the more famous composer of the two. Michael Haydn later (1805) wrote a Mass in honour of Leopold, the Missa sub titulo Sancti Leopoldi.

Children

By his first marriage, possibly to a lady of the Perg family:

  • Adalbert or Albert II The Devout, Markgraf (1136–1137), d. 1137

By his second wife, Agnes of Germany, widow of Frederick I, Duke of Swabia:

According to the Continuation of the Chronicles of Klosterneuburg, there may have been up to seven others (possibly from multiple births) stillborn or died in infancy.

See also

Gallery

References

Citations
Bibliography

External links

  • AEIOU


Leopold III, Margrave of Austria
Born: 1073 Died: 1136
Preceded by
Leopold II
Margrave of Austria
1095–1136
Succeeded by
Leopold IV


Template:Austria Rulers

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