St Leonhard and the horses

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St. Leonard was a French monk of the 5th century in Limoges, Aquitaine, and he is normally portrayed in a monastic habit. On the few paintings or tabloids he is identified by his attribute, a set of shackles or fetters, either made partly of chain or all of iron.
The Golden Legend tells of several miracles in which prisoners were set free by the intercession of St. Leonard. Some gained their freedom even while Leonard was still alive, just by invoking his name.

Portraits sometimes show the saint with not only his attribute but one or more prisoners praying to him (as in the first image at right) or being led out of prison by him.
As for narrative images, a pair of stained-glass windows in Regensburg/Germany presents fourteen vignettes from St. Leonard’s life.leonhardifahrt-bad-toelz-aufbruch-1220x550-2

Bavaria, Austria and the Saint

The Leonhardi fahrt (drive) or the Leonhardiritt (route/ride) is a procession on horseback, which is part of the tradition in Old Bavaria and Western Austria. It takes place in honor of St. Leonhard of Limoges (6th century) on his memorial day, 6th of November, or a neighboring weekend. Some villages in Bavaria also celebrate Leonhardi in the summer.

As patron saint of agricultural animals, today especially of horses, pilgrimages are made to Leonhardi with animal blessing. The motive for the blessing (often falsely also called consecration) of the animals, especially the horses, is their role, which they played as load and work animals for the rural population.

As the largest and most important Leonhardi ride, the Tölzer Leonhardifahrt was recognized as an intangible cultural heritage of Bavaria in July 2016 and in December 2016 was included in the National Register of Intangible Cultural Heritage by the German UNESCO Commission.Copy-20of-20Leonhardifahrt031

Miesbach, Bad Feilnbach, Utting at Ammersee etc..

The Leonhardiritt in Leonhardspfunzen is the largest in the district of Rosenheim and has a long tradition. Records of this event can already be found in writings from 1436. The oldest ride to date, which was first mentioned in 1442, takes place in Kreuth am Tegernsee. In 1809, a state commandment was issued prohibiting religious encride. When it was repealed by King Ludwig I (Bavaria) in 1833, many Leonhardi rides and rides were so stray that they usually had to be re-introduced many years later or were completely omitted.

As a secular supporting program, the Leonhardi fest usually takes place with beer tents, fairs and dance events. In Bavarian there is no distinction between Leonhardifest and Leonhardifahrt. Both are referred to as Lehardi (sometimes also Lehards or Leachats)

In Limoges, Aquitaine, St. Leonard, Confessor. He was a disciple of blessed Bishop Remigius. Born of a noble family, he chose the solitary life and was famed for his sanctity and miracles. He is especially noted for his effectiveness in the freeing of captives. – Roman Martyrology for November 7.Copy-20of-2063341920

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