Thursday, November 10, 2016

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

#PopeFrancis "...object of God’s infinite mercy revealed to us by Jesus Christ" #Unity FULL TEXT - Video

Cardinals,
Dear Brother Bishops and Priests,
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I am happy to meet with you on the occasion of your Plenary Session, which is addressing the theme “Christian Unity: What Model of Full Communion?” I thank Cardinal Koch for the words he addressed to me in the name of you all.
In the course of this year, I had the opportunity to live many significant ecumenical meetings, be it in Rome, be it during trips. Each one of these meetings was for me a source of consolation, because I was able to see that the desire for communion is alive and intense. In as much as Bishop of Rome and Successor of Peter, aware of the responsibility entrusted to me by the Lord, I wish to confirm that Christian unity is one of my main concerns, and I pray that it will be increasingly shared by every baptized person.
Christian unity is an essential exigency of our faith, an exigency that flows from the depth of our being believers in Jesus Christ. We invoke unity because we invoke Christ. We want to live unity, because we want to follow Christ, to live His love, to enjoy the mystery of His being one with the Father, which is, then, the essence of divine love. In the Holy Spirit, Jesus Himself associates us to His prayer: “as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us […] I in them and you in me, that they may be brought to perfection as one, that the world may know that you sent me, and that you loved them even as you loved me […] that the love with which you loved me may be in them and I in them”(John17:21.23.26). According to Jesus’ priestly prayer, what we yearn for is unity in the love of the Father, who comes to us offered in Jesus Christ, a love that also informs thought and doctrines. It is not enough to be in agreement in the understanding of the Gospel, but all of us believers must be united to Christ and in Christ. It is our personal and communal conversion, a gradual conformation to Him (cf. Romans 8:28), our living ever more in Him (cf. Galatians 2:20), which enables us to grow in communion among ourselves. This is also the spirit that sustains the study sessions and every other sort of effort to come to closer points of view.
Having this well in mind, it is possible to unmask certain false models of communion that in reality do not lead to unity but contradict it in its essence.
First of all, unity is not the fruit of our human efforts or the product built by ecclesiastical diplomacy, but it is a gift that comes from on high. We men are not able to achieve unity by ourselves, nor can we discern the ways and times. What, then, is our role? What must we do to promote Christian unity? Our task is to receive this gift and make it visible to all. From this point of view, unity, before being a goal, is a path, with its roadmaps and its rhythms, its slowing down and its acceleration, and also its pauses. As a path, unity requires patient expectations, tenacity, effort and commitment; it does not annul conflicts and does not cancel contrasts, rather, at times it can expose to the risk of new misunderstandings. Unity can be accepted only by one who decides to set out on the path to a goal that today might seem rather distant. However, he who follows this way is comforted by the continual experience of a communion joyfully perceived, even if not yet fully attained, every time that presumption is set aside and we all recognize ourselves in need of God’s love. And what bond unites all of us Christians more than the experience of being sinners but at the same time object of God’s infinite mercy revealed to us by Jesus Christ? Likewise, unity of love is already a reality when those whom God has chosen and called to form His people proclaim together the wonders that He has done for them, above all by offering a testimony of life full of charity to all (cf. 1 Peter 2:4-10). Therefore, I love to repeat that unity is done walking, to remind that when we walk together, we collaborate together in the proclamation of the Gospel and in the service to the least we are already united. All the theological and ecclesiological differences that still divide Christians will only be surmounted along this way, without us knowing today how and when, but that it will happen according to what the Holy Spirit will suggest for the good of the Church.
In the second place, unity is not uniformity. The different theological, liturgical, spiritual and canonical differences, which have developed in the Christian world, when they are genuinely rooted in the Apostolic Tradition, are a richness and not a threat to the unity of the Church. To seek to do away with such diversity is to go against the Holy Spirit, who acts by enriching the community of believers with a variety of gifts. In the course of history, there have been attempts of this nature, with consequences that sometimes have caused suffering even today. If instead we allow ourselves to be guided by the Spirit, richness, variety and diversity never become conflict, because He drives us to live the variety in the communion of the Church. It is an ecumenical task to respect legitimate differences and to lead to surmount the irreconcilable differences with the unity that God requests. The continuation of such differences must not paralyze us, but push us to seek together the way to address such obstacles successfully.
Finally, unity is not absorption. Christian unity does not imply an ecumenism “in reverse,” by which some might deny their own history of faith; nor does it tolerate proselytism, which is, rather, a poison for the ecumenical path. Before seeing what separates us, we should perceive also in an essential way, the richness of what unites us, such as Sacred Scripture and the great professions of faith of the first Ecumenical Councils. By doing so, we Christians can recognize ourselves as brothers and sisters who believe in the one Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, committed together to seek the way to obey today the Word of God that wills us united. Ecumenism is true when it is able to move our attention away from ourselves, from our argumentations and formulations, to the Word of God which exacts being listened to, received and witnessed in the world. Therefore, the various Christian communities are called not to “concur,” but to collaborate. My recent visit to Lund reminded me of how timely is the ecumenical principle formulated there by the Ecumenical Council of the Churches already in 1952, which recommends to Christians “to do all things together, except in those cases in which the profound difficulties of convictions imposed to act separately.”
I thank you for your commitment. I assure you of my remembrance in prayer and I trust in yours for me. May the Lord bless you and Our Lady protect you.
[Original Text: Italian] [Translation by ZENIT]

#PopeFrancis "God spoke through Jesus Christ..." #Homily

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Thursday warned Christians against the temptation of a show or entertainment religion that constantly seeks novelty and revelations, comparing it to fireworks that provide us with a fleeting brightness before dying. His comments came during his Mass celebrated on Thursday morning at the Santa Marta residence.


The Pope’s reflections during his homily were inspired by the day’s reading about Jesus’ reply to the Pharisees’ question on when the Kingdom of God would come and he stressed how Christians must guard hope every day whilst waiting for the fullness of the Kingdom. Noting that Jesus told the Pharisees “the Kingdom of God is among you,” Pope Francis compared it to a small seed that is planted and grows on its own over time. He explained that God helps this seed to grow but without drawing attention to it. 
“The Kingdom of God is not a ‘show’ religion: one that is always seeking new things, revelations, messages … God spoke through Jesus Christ: this is the last Word of God. The other one is like fireworks that lit you up for a moment and then what is left behind?  Nothing. There is no growth, there is no light, there’s nothing: just an instant. And we have been tempted many times by this entertainment religion of seeking things that are extraneous to the revelation, to the meekness of the Kingdom of God that is among us and which grows. For this is not about hope, this is about the desire to have something in our hands. Our salvation comes from hope, the hope of a man who sows the seed or the woman who makes the bread, mixing yeast and flour: a hope that grows. Instead, this artificial brightness only lasts an instant and then it dies away, like fireworks: they are not needed for giving light to a house. It’s just a show.”
Asking what we should do whilst awaiting the fullness of the Kingdom of God, Pope Francis explained that we must guard and take care of our hope.
“Guard it with patience. Patience in our work, in our sufferings… Guarding it like the man who has planted a seed and who takes care of the plant, ensuring there are no weeds close to it, so it will grow. Guard our hope. And here is the question that I put to you: if the Kingdom of God is among us today, if all of us have this seed inside us, if we have the Holy Spirit there, how do I guard it? How do I discern this, how can I discern the good plant from the seed of the darnel? The Kingdom of God grows and what must we do? Guard it. Grow through hope and guard that hope. Because we have been saved through hope. And this is the thread: hope is the thread in the history of salvation. Our hope of meeting the Lord for sure.”
In conclusion, the Pope went on to describe how the Kingdom of God becomes strong through hope.
“Let us ask ourselves: Do I have hope? Or do I go ahead as best I can without knowing how to tell the good from the bad, the darnel seed, the light, the meek light of the Holy Spirit from the brightness of this artificial thing? Let us ask ourselves about our hope in this seed that is growing inside us and on how to guard our hope. The Kingdom of God is among us but we must, through rest, work, discernment, guard the hope of this Kingdom of God that grows until the time when the Lord will come and everything will be transformed. In a brief moment: everything! The world, us, everything. And as Paul said to the Christians of Thessalonica, ‘we shall be with the Lord for ever.’”

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Thurs. November 10, 2016


Memorial of Saint Leo the Great, Pope and Doctor of the Church
Lectionary: 494


Reading 1PHLM 7-20

Beloved:
I have experienced much joy and encouragement from your love,
because the hearts of the holy ones
have been refreshed by you, brother.
Therefore, although I have the full right in Christ
to order you to do what is proper,
I rather urge you out of love,
being as I am, Paul, an old man,
and now also a prisoner for Christ Jesus.
I urge you on behalf of my child Onesimus,
whose father I have become in my imprisonment,
who was once useless to you but is now useful to both you and me.
I am sending him, that is, my own heart, back to you.
I should have liked to retain him for myself,
so that he might serve me on your behalf
in my imprisonment for the Gospel,
but I did not want to do anything without your consent,
so that the good you do might not be forced but voluntary.
Perhaps this is why he was away from you for a while,
that you might have him back forever,
no longer as a slave but more than a slave, a brother,
beloved especially to me, but even more so to you,
as a man and in the Lord.
So if you regard me as a partner, welcome him as you would me.
And if he has done you any injustice
or owes you anything, charge it to me.
I, Paul, write this in my own hand: I will pay.
May I not tell you that you owe me your very self.
Yes, brother, may I profit from you in the Lord.
Refresh my heart in Christ.

Responsorial PsalmPS 146:7, 8-9A, 9BC-10

R. (5a) Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob.
or:
R. Alleluia.
The LORD secures justice for the oppressed,
gives food to the hungry.
The LORD sets captives free.
R. Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob.
or:
R. Alleluia.
The LORD gives sight to the blind.
The LORD raises up those who were bowed down;
the LORD loves the just.
The LORD protects strangers.
R. Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob.
or:
R. Alleluia.
The fatherless and the widow he sustains,
but the way of the wicked he thwarts.
The LORD shall reign forever;
your God, O Zion, through all generations. Alleluia.
R. Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob.
or:
R. Alleluia.

AlleluiaJN 15:5

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the vine, you are the branches, says the Lord:
whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 17:20-25

Asked by the Pharisees when the Kingdom of God would come,
Jesus said in reply,
“The coming of the Kingdom of God cannot be observed,
and no one will announce, ‘Look, here it is,’ or, ‘There it is.’
For behold, the Kingdom of God is among you.”

Then he said to his disciples,
“The days will come when you will long to see
one of the days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it.
There will be those who will say to you,
‘Look, there he is,’ or ‘Look, here he is.’
Do not go off, do not run in pursuit.
For just as lightning flashes
and lights up the sky from one side to the other,
so will the Son of Man be in his day.
But first he must suffer greatly and be rejected by this generation.”

Saint November 10 : St.Leo the Great : Rome


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.
SOURCE The Catholic Encyclopedia