Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Saint November 11 : St. Martin of Tours : Patron of #Poor, #Alcoholics, #Beggars and Wine makers


BISHOP, CONFESSOR
Feast: November 11
Information:
Feast Day:
November 11
Born:
316, Savaria, Hungary
Died:
November 8, 397, Candes, France
Patron of:
gainst poverty; against alcoholism; beggars; Beli Manastir; Buenos Aires; Burgenland; cavalry; Dieburg; Edingen equestrians; Foiano della Chiana; France; geese; horses; hotel-keepers; innkeepers; Kortrijk; diocese of Mainz; Olpe; Pietrasanta; Pontifical Swiss Guards; quartermasters; reformed alcoholics; riders; diocese of Rottenburg-Stuttgart; soldiers; tailors; Utrecht; vintners; Virje; wine growers; wine makers; Wissmannsdorf
Today, November 11, we celebrate the feast day of Saint Martin of Tours (also known as “Martin the Merciful” and the “Glory of Gaul,” 316-397), bishop, and theologian. Saint Martin saw himself as a member of the “Army of God,” not the army of man. Zealous in his love for the Lord, he served (sometimes reluctantly, but ever obediently) those in need, and those who sought him out, for his eight-one years on the earth. Remembered for his great charity, Saint Martin inspires us still today to help those in need, as Christ would have helped them.
Martin was born to pagan parents in Sabaria (modern-day Hungary). The family soon moved to Italy, where Martin discovered Christianity and entered himself into the catechumenate at age 10. Of course, his parents were greatly opposed to his conversion, and attempted to dissuade him, but by age 12, his love for the Lord was so strong, he wished to live as a hermit and devote himself completely to prayer and contemplation. His father, an officer in the Roman army, conscripted Martin against his will into the army when he was just 15, in accordance with a Roman law forcing the sons of veterans to enlist. Martin, convinced that his belief in Christ was in direct opposition to military service, refused to present when required, and was taken by force, in chains, to make his oath. Out of obedience, once his oath was administered, he felt bound to obey. Due to his reluctance to fight, he was assigned to a ceremonial duty, designed to accompany the emperor, and rarely saw combat. Martin became a member of the Roman army prior to his baptism, as preparation for baptism at that time took several years. However, by his active duty, he was basically living the life of a monk, rather than a soldier, much to the irritation of his fellow soldiers and officers in the legion. He was promoted to officer, and because of this was entitled to a servant. However, he insisted on switching roles with his servant, cleaning the servant's boots instead of the other way around!
The event that is most often cited as changing the life of Martin occurred one cold day in France, where Martin had been stationed on garrison duty. As he was making his patrol, he noticed a nearly naked beggar, freezing, and ignored by those whom he implored for help. Martin did not have a penny to give him, but he remembered the text of the Gospel: “I was naked, and you clothed Me.”
“My friend,” he said, “I have nothing but my weapons and my garments.”
And taking up his sword, he divided his cloak into two parts and gave one to the beggar. slicing the heavy and luxurious fabric with his sword. That night, Martin received the Lord in a dream. Jesus appeared to him, wrapped in the cloak Martin had given away, and said to him, “Martin, yet a catechumen, has covered me with this garment.” Following his dream, Martin proceeded with haste to be baptized, officially entering the Church at age 18. Martin’s military career proceeded without incident for several years, and at age 20, after five years of service, he was summoned before Caesar to receive a gift of money reserved for soldiers of outstanding service. Martin refused the gift, saying to Caesar, “I have served you as a soldier. Let me now serve Christ. Give the bounty to these others who are going to fight, but I am a soldier of Christ and it is not lawful for me to fight.” The emperor, of course, was irritated by this lack of gratitude and respect, and accused Martin of cowardice. For his part, Martin replied that he was willing to go into battle unarmed and stand between the opposing parties in the name of Christ. He was immediately thrown into prison for refusing to fight, but received his discharge soon after, as truce was declared and the war was over. Upon discharge, Martin was drawn again to life as a hermit, wishing to lead a quiet life of prayer and contemplation. Saint Hilary recognized in Martin a man of extraordinary virtue, and took him as a disciple, repeatedly attempting to ordain him as a deacon. Martin, however, continually refused ordination, preferring to live a solitary life on some land given to him in Liguge. There, he was joined by other hermits, and together, they founded the first monastic community in Gaul. Saint Martin codified the model of monastic lives of the hermits—models used by other saints since that time. He performed miracles and exorcisms, and confronted demons not with threats, but through subduing them by prayer. On a trip over the Alps to visit his parents, Saint Martin was attacked by robbers who not only wanted to steal what he owned but threatened to take his life. Calm and unperturbed, the saintly man spoke to the robbers about God. One was so impressed he converted and became a law-abiding citizen. But Martin was to find even more trouble in his own home town. Though his mother converted to Christianity, his father stubbornly refused. When Martin began to denounce publicly the Arian heretics that were then in power throughout the empire -- even within the Church at that time -- he was whipped and driven out of his own hometown! When the second bishop of Tours died, the congregation there, knowing of Martin’s piety, demanded that he take his place. He refused, but was taken by force by a mob of townspeople to the church, where the bishops had gathered to consecrate him. Dirty, ragged, and disheveled, the bishops were appalled, and refused to consecrate him, thinking him unworthy of such an important office. However, the people demanded his consecration, stating that they didn’t chose him based upon his outward appearance, but because of his holiness, poverty, charity, and grace. Their minds changed by the acclamations of the people, Martin was consecrated the third bishop of Tours. As a bishop, Saint Martin continued to live his austere life, taking up a modest cell near the church, but soon retreating to an isolated place which would eventually become the famed monastic abbey at Marmoutiers. There, he was joined by eighty monks, living in wooden cells or caves in a nearby cliff. The monks spent their days in prayer and writing, rather than art or business as was the custom in the day. Martin personally instructed each of them, leading them in the faith, and creating an army of God. Many of the monks went on to hold important positions in the Church, having been firmly grounded in doctrine and faith by Saint Martin. Saint Martin became a model bishop, traveling from house to house through his mainly rural community and preaching to individuals and families (rather than limiting his efforts to the cities, or expecting rural Christians to travel into town for Mass). Once converted, he organized these rural communities under the direction of a priest or monk, and would visit each of his communities throughout his diocese at least once per year. He traveled on foot, or by donkey, exchanging the fine robes of a bishop for the simple cloak of a pilgrim monk. This system of rural communities became the model for modern-day rural dioceses, and his practice of visiting every community each year is still practiced by bishops today. Saint Martin was also a champion of social justice, and insisted on the freedom of prisoners who were mistreated, wrongly accused, or held for periods of time that did not befit their crimes. Many leaders began refusing to see him, knowing he would request freedom for prisoners, and they would feel obliged to acquiesce. One day a general named Avitianus arrived at Tours with ranks of prisoners he intended to torture and execute the next day. As soon as Martin heard of this cruel plan, he left his monastery for the city. Although he arrived well after midnight, he went straight to the house where the general was staying and threw himself on the threshold crying out in a loud voice. Avitianus was awakened by an angel who told him Martin was outside. Avitianus went to the door and told Martin, "Don't even say a word. I know what your request is. Every prisoner shall be spared.” Martin served the Lord until his eighty-first year. As death approached, his followers begged him not to leave them. He prayed, "Lord, if your people still need me, I do not refuse the work. Your will be done." When about to die: He saw the devil standing near and cried out, 'Blood stained beast, what are you doing here? You will find nothing of yours in me, you living death. I go to the arms of Abraham.' These were his last words. Then he surrendered his soul to God. From a letter by Sulpicius Severus, his hagiographer: “Martin knew long in advance the time of his death and he told his brethren that it was near. Meanwhile, he found himself obliged to make a visitation of the parish of Candes. The clergy of that church were quarreling, and he wished to reconcile them. Although he knew that his days on earth were few, he did not refuse to undertake the journey for such a purpose, for he believed that he would bring his virtuous life to a good end if by his efforts peace was restored in the church. He spent some time in Candes, or rather in its church, where he stayed. Peace was restored, and he was planning to return to his monastery when suddenly he began to lose his strength. He summoned his brethren and told them he was dying. All who heard this were overcome with grief. In their sorrow they cried to him with one voice: “Father, why are you deserting us? Who will care for us when you are gone? Savage wolves will attack your flock, and who will save us from their bite when our shepherd is struck down? We know you long to be with Christ, but your reward is certain and will not be any less for being delayed. You will do better to show pity for us, rather than forsake us.”
Thereupon he broke into tears, for he was a man in whom the compassion of our Lord was continually revealed. Turning to our Lord, he made this reply to their pleading: “Lord, if your people still need me, I am ready for the task; your will be done.”
Here was a man words cannot describe. Death could not defeat him nor toil dismay him. He was quite without a preference of his own; he neither feared to die nor refused to live. With eyes and hands always raised to heaven he never withdrew his unconquered spirit from prayer. It happened that some priests who had gathered at his bedside suggested that he should give his poor body some relief by lying on his other side. He answered: “Allow me, brothers, to look toward heaven rather than at the earth, so that my spirit may set on the right course when the time comes for me to go on my journey to the Lord.” At his request, he was buried in the Cemetery of the Poor.
Saint Martin was prone to lengthy fasts, many of which were accompanied by ecstatic visions of the Lord. Today, beginning the day after his feast day, and continuing until Christmas, some Christian communities continue to practice “Saint Martin’s Fast.” During this fast, the penitents engage in acts of penance and charity, as well as limit their food intake (of particular loved items, for example). The Fast of Saint Martin is meant to prepare the penitent to celebrate the Solemnity of Christmas. The fast reminds the penitent of several truths:
1. Our lives must be centered on God, not on self.
2. Our self denial is a prayer of the body to Our Lord Who came as an Infant to teach us and to redeem us.
3. Martin's act of cutting his cloak in two was both penitential and loving. All penances, if they are to have any merit spiritually, must be done in love.
4. We must be willing to give up anything and everything which keeps us from full union with God.
5. As soldiers of Christ, our struggle is to be against evil, not against others. We are always to be peacemakers as Martin was.
Saint Martin, a member of the “Army of God,” is also known as the patron saint of soldiers. On this, veterans day, we turn to him with a prayer of intercession for the protection of all those serving in armed forces around the world.
Prayer to Saint Martin of Tours for our soldiers
St. Martin, you were first a soldier like your father. Converted to the Church, you became a soldier of Christ, a priest and then a Bishop of Tours. Lover of the poor, and model for pagans and Christians alike, protect our soldiers at all times. Make them strong, just, and charitable, always aiming at establishing peace on earth. Amen.
Prayer to Continue to Fight for God (written by Saint Martin of Tours)
Lord, if your people still have need of my services, I will not avoid the toil. Your will be done. I have fought the good fight long enough. Yet if you bid me continue to hold the battle line in defense of your camp, I will never beg to be excused from failing strength. I will do the work you entrust to me. While you command, I will fight beneath your banner. Amen
Lord God of hosts, who clothed your servant Martin the soldier with the spirit of sacrifice, and set him as a bishop in your Church to be a defender of the catholic faith: Give us grace to follow in his holy steps, that at the last we may be found clothed with righteousness in the dwellings of peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
Almighty God our Heavenly Father, guide the nations of the world into the way of justice and truth, and establish among them that peace which is the fruit of righteousness, that they may become the kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen. Story of St. Martin by 365RosariesBlog

Wow Catholic Nun wins on Food Network's "Chopped" Cooking Show - SHARE

 A Chicago nun's cooking talents enabled her to win on Monday on the Food Network. Sister Alicia Torres was one of four cooks competing on the Monday's episode of "Chopped." Torres won the competition. Torres uses her cooking talents to feed hundreds of needy West Side families monthly. On "Chopped," she and other contestants competed for $10,000 to be awarded to their charity.

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Tues. November 10, 2015

Memorial of Saint Leo the Great, Pope and Doctor of the Church
Lectionary: 492


Reading 1WIS 2:23–3:9

God formed man to be imperishable;
the image of his own nature he made them.
But by the envy of the Devil, death entered the world,
and they who are in his possession experience it.

But the souls of the just are in the hand of God,
and no torment shall touch them.
They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead;
and their passing away was thought an affliction
and their going forth from us, utter destruction.
But they are in peace.
For if before men, indeed, they be punished,
yet is their hope full of immortality;
Chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed,
because God tried them
and found them worthy of himself.
As gold in the furnace, he proved them,
and as sacrificial offerings he took them to himself.
In the time of their visitation they shall shine,
and shall dart about as sparks through stubble;
They shall judge nations and rule over peoples,
and the Lord shall be their King forever.
Those who trust in him shall understand truth,
and the faithful shall abide with him in love:
Because grace and mercy are with his holy ones,
and his care is with his elect.

Responsorial PsalmPS 34:2-3, 16-17, 18-19

R. (2a) I will bless the Lord at all times.
I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall be ever in my mouth.
Let my soul glory in the LORD;
the lowly will hear me and be glad.
R. I will bless the Lord at all times.
The LORD has eyes for the just,
and ears for their cry.
The LORD confronts the evildoers,
to destroy remembrance of them from the earth.
R. I will bless the Lord at all times.
When the just cry out, the LORD hears them,
and from all their distress he rescues them.
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted;
and those who are crushed in spirit he saves.
R. I will bless the Lord at all times.

AlleluiaJN 14:23

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Whoever loves me will keep my word,
and my Father will love him,
and we will come to him.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 17:7-10

Jesus said to the Apostles:
“Who among you would say to your servant
who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field,
‘Come here immediately and take your place at table’?
Would he not rather say to him,
‘Prepare something for me to eat.
Put on your apron and wait on me while I eat and drink.
You may eat and drink when I am finished’?
Is he grateful to that servant because he did what was commanded?
So should it be with you.
When you have done all you have been commanded, say,
‘We are unprofitable servants;
we have done what we were obliged to do.’”

#PopeFrancis “the Church, like Jesus, lives among the people and for the people” Holy Mass - Video - Text

Pope Francis waves to the crowds at the Mass in Florence - AP
Pope Francis waves to the crowds at the Mass in Florence - AP
10/11/2015 16:

(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis stressed the need for “the Church to live among the people and for them,” saying it should maintain a healthy contact with reality and peoples’ lives.  Christ’s disciples, he said, “must never forget that they come from the people and must never fall into the temptation of adopting an aloof attitude” and not being concerned about the thoughts and lives of the people. The Pope’s comments came during his homily at an outdoor Mass celebrated in Florence on Tuesday (10th November).
Taking the inspiration for his homily from the St Matthew’s gospel, Pope Francis reminded his listeners that Jesus wanted to know from his disciples what the people were saying about Him in order to communicate with them. He warned that without knowing how people think, “a disciple becomes isolated and begins to judge people according to his own thoughts and convictions.”
For this reason, said the Pope, “a disciple must maintain a healthy contact with reality and with people’s lives with their joys and sorrows,” saying this “is the only way” to be able to help and communicate with them. Christ’s disciples, he stressed, “should never forget from where they have been chosen, namely from among the people, and must never fall into the temptation of adopting an aloof or detached attitude as if the thoughts and lives of the people were not their concern and of no importance for them.”  
Pope Francis said “the Church, like Jesus, lives among the people and for the people” and we need to nurture a personal faith in Him, as the Son of God. Only if we recognize this truth about Jesus, will we be able to see the truth of our human condition and add our contribution “to the full humanization of society.”
The Pope went on to explain that “our joy” is to share this faith, whose truth scandalizes.  We must also “go against the tide” and “overcome the prevailing opinion” of our contemporary society where just as in the past people are unable to recognize Jesus as more than a prophet or teacher.
He said the good that we sow along our path as Christians helps to create “a new and renewed humanity where no one is marginalized or discarded, where the person who serves is the greatest and where the children and the poor are welcomed and helped.” Noting the importance of humanism in the most creative periods of Florence’s history, the Pope noted that this humanity always had a charitable face, and said he prayed for a new humanity both for the city and Italy as a whole. 

#PopeFrancis “The glory of God that blazes in the humility of the cave of Bethlehem..." at #Convention - Text - Video

Pope Francis speaks in Florence's Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiori during the Fifth National Convention of the Italian Church.  - AP
Pope Francis speaks in Florence's Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiori during the Fifth National Convention of the Italian Church. - AP
10/11/2015 14:

(Vatican Radio) “I don't want to design in the abstract a ‘new humanism,’ a certain idea of man, but to present with simplicity some features of the practical Christian humanism that is present in the ‘mind’ of Christ Jesus.”
Pope Francis was speaking in Florence at a meeting of the Fifth National Convention of the Italian Church. In a programmatic speech, Pope Francis laid out his vision for "a new humanism in Christ Jesus."
Listen to Christopher Wells' report: 
The Holy Father said humanism should take its starting point from “the centrality of Jesus,” in whom we discover “the features of the authentic face of man.” His reflection took its starting point from the passage from St Paul’s Letter to the Philippians: “Have among yourselves the same attitude that is also yours in Christ Jesus.” What is this attitude? the Pope asked. He suggested three specific traits: humility, disinterest, and happiness (It: beatitudine).
With regard to humility, the Pope said we should pursue the glory of God, and not our own. “The glory of God that blazes in the humility of the cave of Bethlehem or in the dishonour of the Cross of Christ always surprises us.” Disinterest is seen in the quote from Philippians, which speaks of “each one looking out not for his own interests, but [also] everyone for those of others.” A Christian’s humanity, he said, is not narcissistic or self-centred, but always goes out to others, which leads us always to work and to fight to make the world a better place. Finally, a Christian is happy (It: beato) because he has within him the joy of the Gospel. Jesus shows us the path to happiness in the Beatitudes, which “begin with a blessing, and end with the promise of consolation.”
These three traits, the Pope said, show that the Church must not be obsessed with power, even if it seems as though power would be useful. “If the Church does not take up the attitude of Jesus, it is disoriented, and loses its senses.”
Pope Francis acknowledged the temptations the Church faces, mentioning two in particular: Pelagianism and Gnosticism. “Pelagianism leads us to have faith in structures, in organizations, in plans that are perfect because they are abstract.” The reform of the Church does not mean simply coming up with yet another plan to change structures, but instead means “being grafted onto and rooted in Christ, [the Church] allowing herself to be lead by the Spirit.”
Another temptation, Gnosticism, “leads to trusting in logical and clear reasoning, which, however, loses the tenderness of the flesh of the brother.” The fascination with Gnosticism, he said, “is that of “a purely subjective faith whose only interest is a certain experience or a set of ideas and bits of information which are meant to console and enlighten, but which ultimately keep one imprisoned in his or her own thoughts and feelings.”
The Pope noted that Italy has many great saints, such as St Francis of Assisi and St Philip Neri, whose example can help people live the faith with humility, disinterest, and joy. He also gave the example of Don Camillo, a famous Italian literary character. The Pope said he was struck at how the fictional priest always united “the prayer of a good pastor” with the evident closeness to his people.
Pope Francis also had specific recommendations for his audience. He encouraged Bishops to always be pastors, saying, “This will be your joy.”  He spoke, too, about the importance of the “social inclusion” of the less fortunate, recalling the teaching of St John Paul II and Benedict XVI on the doctrine of the preferential option for the poor.
He also called on the Italian Church to avoid being concerned with power, with its own image, with money. “Evangelical poverty,” he said, “is creative, welcoming, supportive, and rich in hope.”
“I recommend to you also, in a special way, the capacity for dialogue and encounter,” the Pope said. The best way to dialogue, he said, is not simply by discussing and talking together, but by working together with all men and women of good will. He also encouraged young people to overcome apathy, to become “builders of Italy, to put [themselves] to work for a better Italy.”
Today, Pope Francis said, “we are not living in an era of change so much as a change of eras.” In the face of the challenges we face in the modern world, he said we must seek to see our problems as “challenges, not obstacles,” reminding us that the Lord is active and at work in the world.” Wherever we find ourselves, he said, we must “never construct walls or borders, but [rather] piazzas and field hospitals.”
Concluding his address, Pope Francis said again he prefers to see the Italian Church as restless, “always close to the abandoned, the forgotten, the imperfect.” He said he longs for “a joyful Church with the face of a mother, who understands, accompanies, caresses,” and called on those present to “dream . . . about this Church, believe in it, innovate with freedom.” Pope Francis said it wasn’t his place to tell them how to accomplish “this dream,” but nonetheless encouraged them to look to his Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii gaudium, seeking ways to deepen their understanding of its message, and find new ways to implement its practical suggestions.”

#PopeFrancis “Mary is the one who, with prayer and love, in silent diligence..." Text/Video in #Florence

Pope Francis addresses the crowd from the balcony of the cathedral during his pastoral visit in Prato on November 10, 2015. - AFP
Pope Francis addresses the crowd from the balcony of the cathedral during his pastoral visit in Prato on November 10, 2015. - AFP
10/11/2015 09:23



(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis Tuesday commenced his visit to the Tuscan cities of Prato and Florence with a call to be ready to journey with Christ, and an appeal against the exploitation of workers.
Listen to Ann Schneible's report:
“The life of every community demands that we combat the cancer of corruption, the cancer of human and labour exploitation and the poison of illegality,” the Pope said, kicking off his  visit to the region to mark the Fifth National Convention of the Italian Catholic Church.
Before meeting with labourers and labour representatives, the Pope venerated the “Girdle of Thomas” housed in Prato’s main cathedral, a relic which legend holds was the cord or belt dropped from Mary during her Assumption into Heaven.
Speaking on the symbolism of this relic, the Pope noted how in scripture the girding of one’s loins means “being ready, prepared to depart, to go out on a journey.”
We are inclined to remain sheltered, the Holy Father continued. However, the Lord calls the Church to “a renewed missionary passion and entrusts to us a great responsibility” to accompany those who have lost their way, to sow hope, and to welcome the wounded.
The “Girdle of Thomas” relic also evokes the image of service, like the Gospel account of Jesus girding his loins and washing the feet of his disciples like a servant, Pope Francis observed.
“We were served by God who became our neighbour, in order to serve in our time those near to us.”
The Pope thanked those present for their continued efforts in integrating everyone into the community, in contrast to the “culture of indifference and waste.”
Speaking off-the-cuff, Pope Francis recalled the five men and two women of Chinese citizenship living in poor conditions in Prato who were killed during an industrial fire. The 2013 blaze broke out at night in a clothing factory as the workers slept in a loft. The Pope described the event as “a tragedy of exploitation and inhuman life conditions.”
The Holy Father concluded his address by encouraging young people to never give in to “pessimism and resignation,” and called everyone to place their confidence in Mary.
“Mary is the one who, with prayer and love, in silent diligence, has transformed the Saturday of disillusion into the dawn of the Resurrection. If anyone feels fatigued and oppressed by life’s circumstances, trust in our mother, who is close and who consoles.”

(Ann Schneible)

Saint November 10 : St.Leo the Great : Rome

St.Leo the Great



POPE
Feast: November 10
Information:
Feast Day:
November 10
Born:
400 at Tuscany, Italy
Died:
11 April 461 at Rome, Italy

Place and date of birth unknown; died 10 November, 461. Leo's pontificate, next to that of St. Gregory I, is the most significant and important in Christian antiquity. At a time when the Church was experiencing the greatest obstacles to her progress in consequence of the hastening disintegration of the Western Empire, while the Orient was profoundly agitated over dogmatic controversies, this great pope, with far-seeing sagacity and powerful hand, guided the destiny of the Roman and Universal Church. According to the "Liber Pontificalis" (ed. Mommsen, I, 101 sqq., ed. Duchesne, I, 238 sqq.), Leo was a native of Tuscany and his father's name was Quintianus. Our earliest certain historical information about Leo reveals him a deacon of the Roman Church under Pope Celestine I (422-32). Even during this period he was known outside of Rome, and had some relations with Gaul, since Cassianus in 430 or 431 wrote at Leo's suggestion his work "De Incarnatione Domini contra Nestorium" (Migne, P.L., L, 9 sqq.), prefacing it with a letter of dedication to Leo. About this time Cyril of Alexandria appealed to Rome against the pretensions of Bishop Juvenal of Jerusalem. From an assertion of Leo's in a letter of later date (ep. cxvi, ed. Ballerini, I, 1212; II, 1528), it is not very clear whether Cyril wrote to him in the capacity of Roman deacon, or to Pope Celestine. During the pontificate of Sixtus III (422-40), Leo was sent to Gaul by Emperor Valentinian III to settle a dispute and bring about a reconciliation between Aëtius, the chief military commander of the province, and the chief magistrate, Albinus. This commission is a proof of the great confidence placed in the clever and able deacon by the Imperial Court. Sixtus III died on 19 August, 440, while Leo was in Gaul, and the latter was chosen his successor. Returning to Rome, Leo was consecrated on 29 September of the same year, and governed the Roman Church for the next twenty-one years.
Leo's chief aim was to sustain the unity of the Church. Not long after his elevation to the Chair of Peter, he saw himself compelled to combat energetically the heresies which seriously threatened church unity even in the West. Leo had ascertained through Bishop Septimus of Altinum, that in Aquileia priests, deacons, and clerics, who had been adherents of Pelagius, were admitted to communion without an explicit abjuration of their heresy. The pope sharply censured this procedure, and directed that a provincial synod should be assembled in Aquileia, at which such persons were to be required to abjure Pelagianism publicly and to subscribe to an unequivocal confession of Faith (epp. i and ii). This zealous pastor waged war even more strenuously against Manichæism, inasmuch as its adherents, who had been driven from Africa by the Vandals, had settled in Rome, and had succeeded in establishing a secret Manichæan community there. The pope ordered the faithful to point out these heretics to the priests, and in 443, together with the senators and presbyters, conducted in person an investigation, in the course of which the leaders of the community were examined. In several sermons he emphatically warned the Christians of Rome to be on their guard against this reprehensible heresy, and repeatedly charged them to give information about its followers, their dwellings, acquaintances, and rendezvous (Sermo ix, 4, xvi, 4; xxiv, 4; xxxiv, 4 sq.; xlii, 4 sq.; lxxvi, 6). A number of Manichæans in Rome were converted and admitted to confession; others, who remained obdurate, were in obedience to imperial decrees banished from Rome by the civil magistrates. On 30 January, 444, the pope sent a letter to all the bishops of Italy, to which he appended the documents containing his proceedings against the Manichæans in Rome, and warned them to be on their guard and to take action against the followers of the sect (ep. vii). On 19 June, 445, Emperor Valentinian III issued, doubtless at the pope's instigation, a stern edict in which he established seven punishments for the Manichæans ("Epist. Leonis", ed. Ballerini, I, 626; ep. viii inter Leon. ep). Prosper of Aquitaine states in his "Chronicle" (ad an. 447; "Mon. Germ. hist. Auct. antiquissimi", IX, I, 341 sqq.) that, in consequence of Leo's energetic measures, the Manichæans were also driven out of the provinces, and even Oriental bishops emulated the pope's example in regard to this sect. In Spain the heresy of Priscillianism still survived, and for some time had been attracting fresh adherents. Bishop Turibius of Astorga became cognizant of this, and by extensive journeys collected minute information about the condition of the churches and the spread of Priscillianism. He compiled the errors of the heresy, wrote a refutation of the same, and sent these documents to several African bishops. He also sent a copy to the pope, whereupon the latter sent a lengthy letter to Turibius (ep. xv) in refutation of the errors of the Priscillianists. Leo at the same time ordered that a council of bishops belonging to the neighbouring provinces should be convened to institute a rigid enquiry, with the object of determining whether any of the bishops had become tainted with the poison of this heresy. Should any such be discovered, they were to be excommunicated without hesitation. The pope also addressed a similar letter to the bishops of the Spanish provinces, notifying them that a universal synod of all the chief pastors was to be summoned; if this should be found to be impossible, the bishops of Galicia at least should be assembled. These two synods were in fact held in Spain to deal with the points at issue (Hefele, "Konziliengesch." II, 2nd ed., pp. 306 sqq.).
The greatly disorganized ecclesiastical condition of certain countries, resulting from national migrations, demanded closer bonds between their episcopate and Rome for the better promotion of ecclesiastical life. Leo, with this object in view, determined to make use of the papal vicariate of the bishops of Arles for the province of Gaul for the creation of a centre for the Gallican episcopate in immediate union with Rome. In the beginning his efforts were greatly hampered by his conflict with St. Hilary, then Bishop of Arles. Even earlier, conflicts had arisen relative to the vicariate of the bishops of Arles and its privileges. Hilary made excessive use of his authority over other ecclesiastical provinces, and claimed that all bishops should be consecrated by him, instead of by their own metropolitan. When, for example, the complaint was raised that Bishop Celidonius of Besançon had been consecrated in violation of the canons—the grounds alleged being that he had, as a layman, married a widow, and, as a public officer, had given his consent to a death sentence—Hilary deposed him, and consecrated Importunus as his successor. Celidonius thereupon appealed to the pope and set out in person for Rome. About the same time Hilary, as if the see concerned had been vacant, consecrated another bishop to take the place of a certain Bishop Projectus, who was ill. Projectus recovered, however, and he too laid a complaint at Rome about the action of the Bishop of Arles. Hilary then went himself to Rome to justify his proceedings. The pope assembled a Roman synod (about 445) and, when the complaints brought against Celidonius could not be verified, reinstated the latter in his see. Projectus also received his bishopric again. Hilary returned to Arles before the synod was over; the pope deprived him of jurisdiction over the other Gallic provinces and of metropolitan rights over the province of Vienne, only allowing him to retain his Diocese of Arles.
These decisions were disclosed by Leo in a letter to the bishops of the Province of Vienne (ep. x). At the same time he sent them an edict of Valentinian III of 8 July, 445, in which the pope's measures in regard to St. Hilary were supported, and the primacy of the Bishop of Rome over the whole Church solemnly recognized "Epist. Leonis," ed. Ballerini, I, 642). On his return to his bishopric Hilary sought a reconciliation with the pope. After this there arose no further difficulties between these two saintly men and, after his death in 449, Hilary was declared by Leo as "beatæ memoriæ". To Bishop Ravennius, St. Hilary's successor in the see of Arles, and the bishops of that province, Leo addressed most cordial letters in 449 on the election of the new metropolitan (epp. xl, xli). When Ravennius consecrated a little later a new bishop to take the place of the deceased Bishop of Vaison, the Archbishop of Vienne, who was then in Rome, took exception to this action. The bishops of the province of Arles then wrote a joint letter to the pope, in which they begged him to restore to Ravennius the rights of which his predecessor Hilary had been deprived (ep. lxv inter ep. Leonis). In his reply dated 5 May, 450 (ep. lxvi), Leo acceded to their request. The Archbishop of Vienne was to retain only the suffragan Bishoprics of Valence, Tarentaise, Geneva, and Grenoble; all the other sees in the Province of Vienne were made subject to the Archbishop of Arles, who also became again the mediator between the Holy See and the whole Gallic episcopate. Leo transmitted to Ravennius (ep. lxvii), for communication to the other Gallican bishops, his celebrated letter to Flavian of Constantinople on the Incarnation. Ravennius thereupon convened a synod, at which forty-four chief pastors assembled. In their synodal letter of 451, they affirm that they accept the pope's letter as a symbol of faith (ep. xxix inter ep. Leonis). In his answer Leo speaks further of the condemnation of Nestorius (ep. cii). The Vicariate of Arles for a long time retained the position Leo had accorded it. Another papal vicariate was that of the bishops of Thessalonica, whose jurisdiction extended over Illyria. The special duty of this vicariate was to protect the rights of the Holy See over the district of Eastern Illyria, which belonged to the Eastern Empire. Leo bestowed the vicariate upon Bishop Anastasius of Thessalonica, just as Pope Siricius had formerly entrusted it to Bishop Anysius. The vicar was to consecrate the metropolitans, to assemble in a synod all bishops of the Province of Eastern Illyria, to oversee their administration of their office; but the most important matters were to be submitted to Rome (epp. v, vi, xiii). But Anastasius of Thessalonica used his authority in an arbitrary and despotic manner, so much so that he was severely reproved by Leo, who sent him fuller directions for the exercise of his office (ep. xiv).
In Leo's conception of his duties as supreme pastor, the maintenance of strict ecclesiastical discipline occupied a prominent place. This was particularly important at a time when the continual ravages of the barbarians were introducing disorder into all conditions of life, and the rules of morality were being seriously violated. Leo used his utmost energy in maintining this discipline, insisted on the exact observance of the ecclesiastical precepts, and did not hesitate to rebuke when necessary. Letters (ep. xvii) relative to these and other matters were sent to the different bishops of the Western Empire—e.g., to the bishops of the Italian provinces (epp. iv, xix, clxvi, clxviii), and to those of Sicily, who had tolerated deviations from the Roman Liturgy in the administration of Baptism (ep. xvi), and concerning other matters (ep. xvii). A very important disciplinary decree was sent to bishop Rusticus of Narbonne (ep. clxvii). Owing to the dominion of the Vandals in Latin North Africa, the position of the Church there had become extremely gloomy. Leo sent the Roman priest Potentius thither to inform himself about the exact condition, and to forward a report to Rome. On receiving this Leo sent a letter of detailed instructions to the episcopate of the province about the adjustment of numerous ecclesiastical and disciplinary questions (ep. xii). Leo also sent a letter to Dioscurus of Alexandria on 21 July, 445, urging him to the strict observance of the canons and discipline of the Roman Church (ep. ix). The primacy of the Roman Church was thus manifested under this pope in the most various and distinct ways. But it was especially in his interposition in the confusion of the Christological quarrels, which then so profoundly agitated Eastern Christendom, that Leo most brilliantly revealed himself the wise, learned, and energetic shepherd of the Church (see MONOPHYSITISM). From his first letter on this subject, written to Eutyches on 1 June, 448 (ep. xx), to his last letter written to the new orthodox Patriarch of Alexandria, Timotheus Salophaciolus, on 18 August, 460 (ep. clxxi), we cannot but admire the clear, positive, and systematic manner in which Leo, fortified by the primacy of the Holy See, took part in this difficult entanglement.
Eutyches appealed to the pope after he had been excommunicated by Flavian, Patriarch of Constantinople, on account of his Monophysite views. The pope, after investigating the disputed question, sent his sublime dogmatic letter to Flavian (ep. xxviii), concisely setting forth and confirming the doctrine of the Incarnation, and the union of the Divine and human natures in the one Person of Christ . In 449 the council, which was designated by Leo as the "Robber Synod", was held. Flavian and other powerful prelates of the East appealed to the pope. The latter sent urgent letters to Constantinople, particularly to Emperor Theodosius II and Empress Pulcheria, urging them to convene a general council in order to restore peace to the Church. To the same end he used his influence with the Western emperor, Valentinian III, and his mother Galla Placidia, especially during their visit to Rome in 450. This general council was held in Chalcedon in 451 under Marcian, the successor of Theodosius. It solemnly accepted Leo's dogmatical epistle to Flavian as an expression of the Catholic Faith concerning the Person of Christ. The pope confirmed the decrees of the Council after eliminating the canon, which elevated the Patriarchate of Constantinople, while diminishing the rights of the ancient Oriental patriarchs. On 21 March, 453, Leo issued a circular letter confirming his dogmatic definition (ep. cxiv). Through the mediation of Bishop Julian of Cos, who was at that time the papal ambassador in Constantinople, the pope tried to protect further ecclesiastical interest. in the Orient. He persuaded the new Emperor of Constantinople, Leo I, to remove the heretical and irregular patriarch, Timotheus Ailurus, from the See of Alexandria. A new and orthodox patriarch, Timotheus Salophaciolus, was chosen to fill his place, and received the congratulations of the pope in the last letter which Leo ever sent to the Orient.
In his far-reaching pastoral care of the Universal Church, in the West and in the East, the pope never neglected the domestic interests of the Church at Rome. When Northern Italy had been devastated by Attila, Leo by a personal encounter with the King of the Huns prevented him from marching upon Rome. At the emperor's wish, Leo, accompanied by the Consul Avienus and the Prefect Trigetius, went in 452 to Upper Italy, and met Attila at Mincio in the vicinity of Mantua, obtaining from him the promise that he would withdraw from Italy and negotiate peace with the emperor. The pope also succeeded in obtaining another great favour for the inhabitants of Rome. 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. These incidents show the highmoral authority enjoyed by the pope, manifested even in temporal affairs. Leo was always on terms of intimacy with the Western Imperial Court. In 450 Emperor Valentinian III visited Rome, accompanied by his wife Eudoxia and his mother Galla Placidia. On the feast of Cathedra Petri (22 February), the Imperial family with their brilliant retinue took part in the solemn services at St. Peter's, upon which occasion the pope delivered an impressive sermon. Leo was also active in building and restoring churches. He built a basilica over the grave of Pope Cornelius in the Via Appia. The roof of St. Paul's without the Walls having been destroyed by lightning, he had it replaced, and undertook other improvements in the basilica. He persuaded Empress Galla Placidia, as seen from the inscription, to have executed the great mosaic of the Arch of Triumph, which has survived to our day. Leo also restored St. Peter's on the Vatican. During his pontificate a pious Roman lady, named Demetria, erected on her property on the Via Appia a basilica in honour of St. Stephen, the ruins of which have been excavated.
Leo was no less active in the spiritual elevation of the Roman congregations, and his sermons, of which ninety-six genuine examples have been preserved, are remarkable for their profundity, clearness of diction, and elevated style. The first five of these, which were delivered on the anniversaries of his consecration, manifest his lofty conception of the dignity of his office, as well as his thorough conviction of the primacy of the Bishop of Rome, shown forth in so outspoken and decisive a manner by his whole activity as supreme pastor. Of his letters, which are of great importance for church history, 143 have come down to us: we also possess thirty which were sent to him. The so-called "Sacramentarium Leonianum" is a collection of orations and prefaces of the Mass, prepared in the second half of the sixth century. Leo died on 10 November, 461, and was buried in the vestibule of St. Peter's on the Vatican. In 688 Pope Sergius had his remains transferred to the basilica itself, and a special altar erected over them. They rest today in St. Peter's, beneath the altar specially dedicated to St. Leo. In 1754 Benedict XIV exalted him to the dignity of Doctor of the Church (doctor ecclesiæ). In the Latin Church the feast day of the great pope is held on 11 April, and in the Eastern Church on 18 February.
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