San Leone Society of Cleveland

Society's History 

Our roots stem from a little town, Longi, in the foothills of the Nebrodi mountains in the province of Messina, Sicily. The town's first recorded history is in the ninth century, when the castle of Longium was invaded by the Saracens.


In the early years, the patron saint of the townspeople was St. Michael, the Archangel. In the nearby town of Catania, there lived a very popular Archbishop named Leone, and on the outskirts of Longi they erected a statue in his honor. He was made a saint in the year 1530 by Pope Clement VII.

In the year 1851, an earthquake had shaken the mountains and caused a tremendous landslide which stopped just short of the statue of San Leone. The townspeople believed that the landslide stopped through the miraculous intervention of San Leone. Since that time, San Leone, Archbishop of Catania, has been the patron saint of the people of Longi.


In the early 1900's, the Longitanis started to arrive in the US and many of them settled in an area which was know as Big Italy in Cleveland, Ohio. The area is around Woodland, Orange and Central Avenues - between East 9th and East 55th streets.

On August 26, 1920 became officially known as the Società di M.S. San Leone.