Posted in MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Thought (and Smile) for the Day – 19 April – Thursday of the Third Week of Eastertide & The Memorial of St Pope Leo IX (1002-1054)

Thought (and Smile) for the Day – 19 April – Thursday of the Third Week of Eastertide & The Memorial of St Pope Leo IX (1002-1054)

POPE LEO!  OR, A SKETCH ABOUT A DEAD PARROT

Pope Leo IX is a celebrated figure in medieval history, famous for his role in church reform – attacking clerical marriage and simony, and strongly asserting the superiority of St Peter’s see within the church.   He had also been deeply affected by the attack of a demonic toad (!) during his childhood, which one might imagine would encourage a degree of circumspection about animals.

Yet the Toul Life of Pope Leo IX, from which this information comes, makes it clear that this deeply serious man was thrilled by the gift of a bird that talked (presumably in Latin).   Whenever implementing Church Reform and papal primacy just got a bit much, Leo would go to his rooms, and be cheered up by listening to his parrot saying ‘Pope Leo’, over and over again.

Extract from the Life of Pope Leo IX, tr. Robinson (The Papal Reform of the 11th Century, Manchester, 2004)

“Among the many who strove to visit his [Leo’s] presence, the king of Denmark sent him a parrot as a gift, in which divine grace appeared through an admirable virtue. Certain birds can indeed be mastered by hunger and taught to pronounce human words; but it is said that this bird without compulsion throughout the journey on which he was brought to the lord pontiff continued to say, ‘I am going to the pope.’ Immediately on being presented to him, without being taught, the bird exclaimed in a sweet voice, ‘Pope Leo!’ Whenever this venerable pastor, fatigued by the conduct of business, retired to his private room or when some sadness chanced to oppress his mind, afflicted by excessive cares, this bird often alleviated his distress and, by sweetly and succinctly repeating ‘Pope Leo’, he restored his mental vigour.”

Pope Leo died in 1054.   One might wonder whether his successor, Victor II, would have found the parrot’s constant repetition of ‘Pope Leo!’ quite as endlessly entertaining. Luckily for him, he did not have to put up with it.   For according to a number of manuscripts, the parrot fell into Leo’s grave and died ‘from excessive grief’, ‘as if it were unwilling to live without him’.   Leo’s affection for his divinely-inspired pet was, apparently, reciprocated.

St Pope Leo IX, smile with us and pray for us!st pope leo IX - pray for us no 2 - 19 april 2018

Author:

Passionate Catholic. Being Catholic is a way of life - a love affair both with God and Father, our Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, our most Blessed and Beloved Virgin Mother Mary and the Church. "Religion must be like the air we breathe..."- St John Bosco With the Saints, we "serve the Lord with one consent and serve the Lord with one pure language, not indeed to draw them forth from their secure dwelling-places, not superstitiously to honour them, or wilfully to rely on the, ... but silently to contemplate them for edification, thereby encouraging our faith, enlivening our patience..." Blessed John Henry Newman Prayer is what the world needs combined with the example of our lives which testify to the Light of Christ. This site will mainly concentrate on Daily Prayers, Novenas and the Memorials and Feast Days of our friends in Heaven, the Saints who went before us and the great blessings the Church provides in our Catholic Monthly Devotions. "For the saints are sent to us by God as so many sermons. We do not use them, it is they who move us and lead us, to where we had not expected to go.” Charles Cardinal Journet (1891-1975) This is a papal fidelity site. Loyal and Obedient to the Current Pope and to the Magisterium United With Him.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s