A Penitent Blogger

Mindful of my imperfections, seeking to know Truth more deeply and to live Love more fully.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? Quem patronum rogaturus? Cum vix iustus sit securus?
Recordare, Iesu pie, Quod sum causa tuae viae: Ne me perdas illa die...

Saturday, November 10, 2007

The man who stopped the enemy of Civilization

He wasn't from the big city, he was relatively young, and he was only a deacon, but Leo was the bishop's "go-to" guy.

Leo could do it all: helping with thorny theological problems, administering church matters, and even traveling to aid churches in strife-torn lands.

Leo was on one of those trips when the bishop died. It was no surprise that Leo was chosen to be the new bishop.

Leo faced a number of challenges, inside and outside the Church. Yet he always remembered his primary duty was pastor.

He improved the organization of the Church and continued to help churches in strife-torn lands.

At one point, strife seemed about to spread to Leo's own city.

At the center of the strife was an exceptionally violent man: the Enemy of Civilization. The government went to Leo to help.

Leo went out and talked to the man face-to-face. The man who was terrorizing the civilized world turned away and spared Leo's city.

Leo's sermons were so magnificent, they became widely published.

When he was unable to attend an ecumenical council, he sent a letter that clearly set out the truth of the Christian faith. When the letter was read, the bishops at the council stood up and exclaimed, "Peter has spoken through Leo!"

Leo died on this very day in the year 461, having proved to be a very worthy successor of St. Peter as Bishop of Rome: a great teacher of Christian truth and pastor of souls, who successfully faced down heretics and even Attila the Hun.

Later centuries would refer to him as Pope St. Leo the Great.

(adapted from an earlier post)