Alpandeire - Fray Leopoldo

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Fray Leopoldo. © Michelle Chaplow
Fray Leopoldo.

Alpandiere is famed as the birthplace of a Capuchin monk, known later as Fray Leopold de Alpandeire. Born on 24 June 1866 as the oldest of four siblings, Francisco Tomas Marquez Sanchez, he became a local celebrity at the turn of the 19th century.

At the age of 33 he left the village to become a Capuchin monk in Granada and sadly, 3 years before his death, Fray Leopold suffered a fractured skull after falling down some stairs. He recovered enough to walk with the aid of two canes and for the rest of his life, he resided in a convent.

On February 9th 1956, in Granada, the cherished monk died at the age of 92. His good work has attracted a number of miracles and his tomb, located in the Capuchin convent in Granada, is visited by believers in search of divine help. In fact, Granada has now officially become the city of Fray Leopoldo.

The process of his beatification began in 1961 and was eventually completed on the 12th September 2010. Fray Leopoldo was beatified (given the title of 'Blessed') at an open-air ceremony at the Armilla air base in Granada, which was attended by more than 60,000 people, including 150 religious figures from around the world. His beatification brings him one step closer towards sainthood.

A monument to him can be found on the outskirts of the village, and following in his footsteps, his birthplace in the village and a later home on the Ronda road can also be spotted.

There are three Leopoldo monuments in the vicinity of the village of Alpandeire. A recent creation called 'Ruta de Fray Leopoldo' joins the villages in this area.