12 Mar

St Leo I, Pope, Confessor, and Doctor of the Church; [Memorial: April 11]

When Attila, Chief of the Nuns, surnamed the Scourge of God, had captured and burned the city of Aquileia in his invasion of Italy and was preparing to attack Rome, Leo I, an Etruscan who ruled over the Church at that time, met him and with inspired eloquence induced him to withdraw.

He was welcomed back in Rome to the great joy of all, and a short time later the Pontiff’s same power of eloquence persuaded Genseric, who had broken into the city, to refrain from arson, rape, and slaughter.

When Leo saw how the Church was disturbed by the heresies of Nestorianism and Eutychianism, he convoked the Council of Chalcedony. There, with six hundred and thirty bishops, he condemned Eutyches, Dioscorus, and Nestorius, the latter for the second time.

Leo confirmed the decrees of the Council by his authority. He restored many sacred buildings and built a monastery near St Peter’s Basilica. After many noteworthy acts and writing many holy and readily understood works, he died on the fourth of the Ides of November in the twenty-second year of his pontificate.

– From: An Approved English Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964



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