November 10 - Saint Leo the Great

Quick Facts
  • Italian nobility.
  • Strong student, especially in scripture and theology.
  • Priest.
  • Eloquent writer and homilist.
  • Pope from 440 to 461 during the time of the invasion of Attila the Hun.
  • When Attila marched on Rome, Leo went out to meet him and pleaded for leave.
  • As Leo spoke, Attila saw the vision of a man in priestly robes, carrying a bare sword, and threatening to kill the invader if he did not obey Pope Leo.
  • As Leo had a great devotion to Saint Peter, it is generally believed the first pope was the visionary opponent to the Huns.
  • When Genseric invaded Rome, Leo's sanctity and eloquence saved the city again.
  • Called the Council of Chalcedon to condemn heresies of the day.
  • Fought Nestorianism, Monophysitism, Manichaeism, and Pelagianism.
  • Built churches.
  • Wrote letters and sermons encouraging and teaching his flock, many of which survive today; it is for these writings that Leo was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church in 1574.