Thought for the Day – – 10 November – The Memorial of St Pope Leo the Great (c400-461) Doctor of the Church
Leo is called Great in large part because he saved the city of Rome on two separate occasions. But far more noteworthy is his work safeguarding the Roman and apostolic faith from the confusion of so many different figures. Since Christ as perfect Man reveals man to himself (concerning which Vatican II reminds us in Gaudium et Spes §22), understanding Christ’s dignity is essential for recognising our own as restored and elevated in the grace He has won for us.
Preserving and transmitting this teaching does not usually oblige us to face the barbarians at the gates. In the face of those who would obscure the truth, our call—Pope Leo’s call—is to put on what St Paul calls “the mind of Christ.” Embracing what we ourselves have received, we can be tailored to His understanding of us, rather than our conjectures about Him. There are only two choices: we can either remember Him Whose members we are in the Body of Christ, or slide into the grave danger highlighted by John Courtney Murray, SJ:
“Self-understanding is the necessary condition of a sense of self-identity and self-confidence, whether in the case of an individual or in the case of a people… Otherwise the peril is great. The complete loss of one’s identity is, with all propriety of theological definition, hell. In diminished forms it is insanity.”
As to insanity, some would say riding out to meet a barbarian without an army fits the bill. But knowing himself and the One who called him, Pope Leo could ride out to Attila, confident that the Hun’s efforts would amount to an empire built on sand, a mass of broken lives and a brief (but memorable) footnote in the textbooks….(Br Leo Camurati OP)
St Pope Leo the Great Pray for us, that we may build our houses upon the Rock of Christ and His Church!
Quote/s of the Day – 10 November – The Memorial of St Pope Leo the Great (c400-461) Doctor of the Church
“Peter has spoken by the mouth of Leo.”
“Those who are not good to others are bad to themselves.”
“PEACE is the first thing the angels sang. PEACE is the mark of the children of God. PEACE is the nurse of love. PEACE is the mother of unity. PEACE is the rest of the blessed souls. PEACE is the dwelling place of eternity.”
“The faith of those who LIVE their faith is a serene faith. What you long for will be given you; what you love will be yours for ever.”
“Our sharing in the Body and Blood of Christ has no other purpose than to transform us into that which we receive.”
“God decreed that all nations should be saved in Christ. Dear friends, now that we have received instruction in this revelation of God’s grace, let us celebrate with spiritual joy the day of our first harvesting, of the first calling of the Gentiles. Let us give thanks to the merciful God, “who has made us worthy,” in the words of the Apostle, “to share the position of the saints in light; who has rescued us from the power of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of this beloved Son.” This came to be fulfilled, as we know, from the time when the star beckoned the three wise men out of their distant country and led them to recognise and adore the King of heaven and earth. The obedience of the star calls us to imitate its humble service: to be servants, as best we can, of the grace that invites all men to find Christ.”
“The cross of Christ is the true ground and chief cause of Christian hope.”
“Let no one be ashamed of the cross by which Christ has redeemed the world. None of us must be afraid to suffer for the sake of justice or doubt the fulfillment of the promises, for it is through toil that we come to rest and through death that we pass to life.”
“By Baptism we are made flesh of the Crucified.”
“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.”
St Pope Leo the Great (c400-461) Doctor of the Church
One Minute Reflection – 10 November – The Memorial of St Leo the Great (c 400-461) Doctor of the Church
No temptation has overtaken you, that is not common to man. God is faithful and he will not let you be tempted beyond your strength but with the temptation, will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it....1 Corinthians 10:13
REFLECTION – “Virtue is nothing without the trial of temptation, for there is no conflict without an enemy, no victory without strife.”…St Pope Leo the Great (c 400-461)
PRAYER – Lord God, You built Your Church on the firm foundation of the Apostle Peter and You promised that the gates of hell would never overcome it. So too, may we trust in Your power, that by our faith we may receive the grace to withstand the enemy who will not prevail against us. May your Holy Spirit grant us the grace of fortitude to withstand our temptations, supported by the prayers of St Pope Leo the Great, keep us ever faithful to Your love. Amen
Only two Popes have earned the title Great—Gregory I and Leo I. Leo was born in the beginning of the fifth century. When he was a Deacon, other Church leaders looked to him for advice and for explanations of the faith. Leo was sent to settle arguments between leaders. With strong conviction of the importance of the Bishop of Rome in the Church and of the Church as the ongoing sign of Christ’s Presence in the world, Leo the Great displayed endless dedication as Pope. Elected in 440, he worked tirelessly as “Peter’s successor,” guiding his fellow Bishops as “equals in the episcopacy and infirmities.”
Leo is known as one of the best administrative Popes of the ancient Church. His work branched into four main areas, indicative of his notion of the Pope’s total responsibility for the flock of Christ. He worked at length to control the heresies of Pelagianism–overemphasising human freedom– Manichaeism–seeing everything material as evil–and others, placing demands on their followers so as to secure true Christian beliefs.
A second major area of his concern was doctrinal controversy in the Church in the East, to which he responded with a classic letter setting down the Church’s teaching on the two natures of Christ. With strong faith, he also led the defense of Rome against barbarian attack, taking the role of peacemaker.
In these three areas, Leo’s work has been highly regarded. His growth to sainthood has its basis in the spiritual depth with which he approached the pastoral care of his people, which was the fourth focus of his work. He is known for his spiritually profound sermons. An instrument of the call to holiness, well-versed in Scripture and ecclesiastical awareness, Leo had the ability to reach the everyday needs and interests of his people. One of his sermons is used in the Office of Readings on Christmas. Almost 100 sermons and 150 letters of Leo I have been preserved.
It is said of Leo that his true significance rests in his doctrinal insistence on the mysteries of Christ and the Church and in the supernatural charisms of the spiritual life given to humanity in Christ and in his Body, the Church. Thus Leo held firmly that everything he did and said as pope for the administration of the Church represented Christ, the head of the Mystical Body and Saint Peter, in whose place Leo acted.
Leo died on 10 November 461 and, as he wished to be buried as close as possible to the tomb of St Peter, his body was placed in a tomb in the portico of St Peter’s basilica. In 688 his remains were moved inside the basilica itself.
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI said that Leo’s papacy “…was undoubtedly one of the most important in the Church’s history.”
The significance of Leo’s pontificate lies in his assertion of the universal jurisdiction of the Roman bishop, as expressed in his letters and still more in his 100 extant orations. This assertion is commonly referred to as the doctrine of Petrine supremacy.
According to Leo and several Church Fathers as well as certain interpretations of the Scriptures, the Church is built upon Peter, in pursuance of the promise of Matthew 16:16–19. Peter participates in everything which is Christ’s; what the other apostles have in common with him they have through him. What is true of Peter is true also of his successors. Every other bishop is charged with the care of his particular flock, the Roman pontiff with that of the whole Church. Other bishops are his assistants in this great task. In Leo’s eyes the decrees of the Council of Chalcedon acquired their validity from his confirmation.
Leo’s letters and sermons reflect the many aspects of his career and personality and are invaluable historical sources. His rhythmic prose style, called cursus leonicus,influenced ecclesiastical language for centuries.
In 1754 Pope Benedict XIV proclaimed Leo I a Doctor of the Church.
St Pope Leo the Great (Memorial)
St Aedh Mac Bricc
St Andrew Avellino
St Anianus the Deacon
St Demetrius of Antioch
St Elaeth the King
St Eustosius of Antioch
St Hadelin of Sees
Bl Joaquín Piña Piazuelo
St John of Ratzenburg
St Joseph the Martyr
St Justus of Canterbury
St Leo of Melun
St Monitor of Orleans
St Narses of Subagord
St Nonnus of Heliopolis
St Orestes of Cappadocia
St Probus of Ravenna
St Theoctiste of Lesbos
St Tryphaena of Iconium
St Tryphosa of Iconium
Martyred Sisters Adorers – 23 beati: 23 nuns, all members of the Sisters Adorers, Handmaids of Charity and of the Blessed Sacrament who were martyred together in the Spanish Civil War.
• Blessed Aurea González
• Blessed Belarmina Pérez Martínez
• Blessed Cecilia Iglesias del Campo
• Blessed Concepción Vázquez Areas
• Blessed Dionisia Rodríguez De Anta
• Blessed Emilia Echevarría Fernández
• Blessed Felipa Gutierrez Garay
• Blessed Francisca Pérez de Labeaga García
• Blessed Josepa Boix Rieras
• Blessed Lucía González García
• Blessed Luisa Pérez Adriá
• Blessed Magdalena Pérez
• Blessed Manuela Arriola Uranda
• Blessed María Dolores Hernández San Torcuato
• Blessed María Dolores Monzón Rosales
• Blessed María García Ferreiro
• Blessed Maria Mercè Tuñi Ustech
• Blessed María Zenona Aranzábal de Barrutia
• Blessed Prima de Ipiña Malzárraga
• Blessed Purificación Martínez Vera
• Blessed Rosa López Brochier
• Blessed Sinforosa Díaz Fernández
• Blessed Teresa Vives Missé
They were martyred on 10 November 1936 in Madrid, Spain and Beatified on 28 October 2007 by Pope Benedict XVI.
Martyrs of Agde – 3 saints: A group of Christians who were tortured and martyred together in the persecutions of Diocletian. The only about them to survive are the names – Florentia, Modestus and Tiberius. Martyred c 303 in Agde, France.