Austria: St. Leonhard

In November 2002 the Austrian city Pettenbach issued a commemorative cancel for the theme of the St. Leonhard Drive. This is a traditional drive with horses between Pettenbach and Heiligenleithen.

St. Leonhard is one of the most well known saints in Central Europe. There are dedicated to him more than 600 churches and chapels.

St. Leonhard was born around the year 500 in France. Because of his holy life he got from the French king a forest in the neighbourhood of Limoges, where he built a Benedictine monastery.

Leonhard is said to be the patron of the farmers, knights, prisoners and handworkers.  Women ask him for a prosperous childbirth. But most of all he is the patron of horses and horse drivers. Hence the traditional drive.

On the stamp St. Leonhard is accompanied by four agriculture attributes: beneath his feet a cow and ears of corn; in his left hand a chicken and to the right of his head a honeybee with 3 drops of honey.

A sorry from Jan: it does not happen often. Two years ago I received 15 covers with the commemorative. Then I did not understand the cancel. After visiting (thanks to Jan Vlaardingerbroekvfor the tip) I now understand the meaning of the cancel.

But then - indeed a collectors' deadly sin - I have already thrown away the covers.

by Jan de Crom  
taken from "The Postal Bee"  4/2008 
Contact Group Bee Philately

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