St. Leo the Great

Today is the feast day of St. Leo the Great. St. Leo is believed to have been born in Rome. He was a deacon under Popes Celestine I and Sixtus III and was elected pope to succeed Sixtus III. He reigned as pope between 440 and 461.

He coaxed Emperor Valentinian to recognize the primacy of the Bishop of Rome in an injunction in 445. He articulated the doctrine of the Incarnation in a letter to the Patriarch of Constantinople, who had already denounced Eutyches.( Eutyches was abbot of a convent at Constantinople who was demoted Patriarch Flavian for rejecting the two moods of Christ .) At the Council of Chalcedon, this same letter was confirmed as the expres of Catholic Faith concerning the Person of Christ.

All secular historical expositions glorify his efforts during the upheaval of the fifth-century barbarian invasion. His encounter with Attila the Hun, selling him to turn back at the terribly gates of Rome, remains a historical memorial to his great eloquence. When the Vandals under Genseric occupied the city of Rome, he coaxed the attackers to desist from pillaging the city and harming its tenants. He were killed in 461, leaving numerous characters and writings of great historical value.


St. Leo advanced the impact of the papacy to unprecedented meridians with his authoritative approach to occasions, buttressed by his firm belief that the Holy See is the supreme authority in human circumstances because of divine and scriptural commission. In a term of enormous disorder, he forged an industrious central arbiter that stood for stability and wisdom. His pontificate feigned the notions of the papacy for centuries to come. He was declared a medical doctor of the Church in 1754.

From Johnnette Benkovic’s Graceful Living: Reflections to Help You Grow Closer to God Day by Day

Graceful livingClick the image above to purchase your own copy of” Graceful Living .”

The word shaped flesh lived among us, and in redeeming the whole race, Christ afforded himself entirely.

— From a homily of St. Leo the Great

How do I see this definition of adoration as total self-donation lived out in God the Father? In God the Son? In God the Holy Spirit? In the Blessed Virgin Mary? In myself?


Dear St. Leo, I pray for all to understand that the part of the pontificate was first given to Saint Peter as indicated in sacred scripture( Mt 16:18 ), and that the power of this office comes immediately from God. There are so many in the world countries who do not accept or understand this truth — even many Catholics. Please St. Leo, intercede for those who are in darkness concerning the Church and the office of the papacy and invite our Lord to remove the scales from their seeings so that they are able to understand and be submissive to this authority that God, Himself, has given. Amen.

Other Saints We Remember Today

St. Andrew Avellino( 1608 ), PriestSaints Tryphon and Respicius( 3rd Century ), and Saint Nympha, Virgin( 4th Century ), Martyrs

image: Artaud de Montor( 1772-1849 ), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

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