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Feast of Pope Saint Leo the Great

(ca. 400-461 A.D.)

Pope St. Leo the Great was born in Tuscany to an aristocratic family. After serving as deacon under two popes he became the Roman Pontiff from 440 to 461 A.D. He was one of the greatest Holy Fathers the Church has known; he was the first pope, and one of only two, to bear the title “Great.” He guided the Church through the turbulence of the collapse of the Roman empire, waves of barbarian invasions, widespread disintegration of morality, and many dangerous heresies including Pelagianism and Manichaeanism. His feats include persuading the Emperor Valentinian to recognize the primacy of the Bishop of Rome; preventing a doctrinal split in the Eastern churches; persuading Attila the Hun to turn back and forsake his invasion of Italy; and convincing the Vandals under their leader Genseric not to pillage the city of Rome or harm its inhabitants. He championed the Church and the Catholic faith in an uncertain era by maintaining unity, defending orthodox doctrine with clarity, and preaching vigorously against false teaching. By his strong influence he changed the course of European history; he was known not only as a leader of the Church but also as the protector of all of Rome. Pronounced a Doctor of the Church in 1754, many of his writings survive today. St. Leo the Great’s feast day is November 10th.

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No one, however weak, is denied a share in the victory of the cross. No one is beyond the help of the prayer of Christ.

Saint Leo the Great, pope
The fresco was painted in 1514 by Raffael and showcases the meeting of Pope Leo I and Attila the Hun. St. Leo was known to have repelled the invasions of the barbarians or alleviated their effects, famously persuading Attila the Hun not to march on Rome in 452, and preventing the invading Vandals from massacring the population in 455.

Follow the saints because those who follow them will become saints.”

Saint Clement I, pope

Saint Leo the Great, defender of orthodoxy, champion of christian unitypray for us.

Be not afraid!  And may the peace of Christ be with you and your loved ones today and always.  Holy Family pray for us.  Amen.

The Holy Family, Murillo
The Heavenly and Earthly Trinities (c. 1675-82) by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (1617 – 1682)

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