He was still a deacon when he was elected pope. After Rome was sacked, anyway, by the Vandals in 455, Pope Leo I assisted in rebuilding the city. Ask your question. Since I wrote about Pope Leo the Great last week, it seems proper for me to write about the only other pope called “the Great”—Gregory I. Attila was, apparently, so impressed with Pope Leo I that he willingly withdrew. Leo is credited with orchestrating the dogmatic definition of Christ’s dual yet distinct natures that was issued from the Council of Chalcedon in 451 AD. The so-called "Sacramentarium Leonianum" is a collection of orations and prefaces of the Mass, prepared in the second half of the sixth century. The “important document” was written by one of his world-shaking popes, Leo the Great, who was born about 391 and reigned from 440 to 461. Indeed if it had not been for God choosing to reveal things about himself, we should be left knowing that he is but not at all what he is. A native of Topsfield, Massachusetts, he graduated from Brown University in 2004 with a degree in classics and history. Pope Leo was the first pope to call himself the successor to St. Peter. They were great in their example of holiness as witnessed in their preaching, teaching, evangelization, and leadership—especially in times of persecution and hardship. Their pontificates were similar in length (Leo 21 yrs; JP II 25 yrs). Thank you for the excellent info on Pope St. Leo! If he said that Jesus had only one nature, he was, in words, following good St Cyril of Alexandria’s slogan mia physis, “one nature”. Saint Leo the Great, also known as Pope Saint Leo I, was born into a Roman aristocratic family. Leo was born in Tuscany in Italy around the year 400 and served as an advisor and diplomat for two popes. Follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/StephenBeale1, Invite the Holy Spirit to Bring Fullness to Your Prayer. So I hope. Only two popes in history have been given the title “the Great.” Pope Leo is one of them. “A brilliant distillation of the no-nonsense conservatism of Latin Christianity,” says Professor Duffy, “the Tome restated the paradoxes of the New Testament in starkly simple yet eloquent language.”. Pope St. Leo the Great died on Nov. 10, 461. Others have speculated that Leo gave Attila “a large sum of gold” in return for sparing Rome. There have been 13 popes called Leo, and there appears to be no dispute about the numbering, as is the case with a few of the popes. When in 455 the city was captured by the Vandals under Genseric, although for a fortnight the town had been plundered, Leo's intercession obtained a promise that the city should not be injured and that the lives of the inhabitants should be spared. Learn more about his life, papacy, and legacy in this article. Some say the real reason Attila withdrew was an outbreak of a plague and food shortages in their camps. When Eamon Duffy mentioned “the most important document ever issued by a pope”, I thought it was about time I found out what it said. St. Leo the Great Parish Attacked in the streets of Rome by supporters of his predecessor's nephew, Leo sought the aid of Charlemagne and eventually crowned him emperor, establishing an important precedent. Leo’s indomitable spirit and profound mind has ever continued to influence and inform the Roman Catholic Church throughout the centuries after his death on November 10, 461, when he was buried, according to his wishes, as … Indeed, Leo takes to task a monk called Eutyches for not paying attention to the Bible but making up his own version of what to believe about Jesus. In fact his most famous writing, commonly known as the Tome of St. Leo (449), was the basis of the Council of Chalcedon’s (451) dogmatic definition of Christ as one Divine Person possessing two complete natures, human and divine. 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