This name is related etymologically to the names Leontius and Leonidas and derives from the Ancient Greek “leōn (λεων)”, meaning “lion”. Pope Leo I (Leone Magno), was the head of the Catholic Church from 29 September 440 to his death in 461. Léonie Aviat, in religion “Sister Françoise de Sales”, was a French nun and founder of the Congregation of the Oblate Sisters of St. Francis de Sales. She was canonized by John Paul II in 2001. Leonidas was a Greek hero-king of Sparta, the 17th of the Agiad line Leonidas I (490-480 BCE), third son of King Anaxandridas II of Sparta.
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