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Leo the Great
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18:57, October 22, 2012
[[image:St_Leo_the_great.jpg|right|thumb|St Leo the [[Pope]] of Rome.]]Our father among the saints, '''Pope Leo I''', or Saint '''Leo the Great''', was an aristocrat who was [[Pope]] of [[Church of Rome|Rome]] from 440 to 461. He is the first widely known pope, and even sometimes assigned the title "first pope." He stopped the invasion of Italy by Attila the Hun in 452 by his moral persuasion, and was a [[theologian]]. His [[feast day]] is commemorated on [[February 18]].
Leo was born in AD 400 in Tuscany, Italy. He was well-educated, but yearned for the spiritual life. He became a [[deacon]] and occupied a important position with St. [[Cyril of Alexandria]]. He became an [[archdeacon]] under Pope [[Sixtus III of Rome|Sixtus III]], after whose death Leo was unanimously elected [[Bishop]] of Rome.
==Defender of Orthodoxy==
These were difficult times for the Church, when [[Heresy|heretic]]s assaulted Orthodoxy with their false teachings. Leo combined pastoral attentiveness with uncompromising firmness in the confession of the Faith. He was in particular one of the basic defenders of Orthodoxy against the heresies of [[Eutyches]] and [[Dioscorus of Alexandria]], who taught that there was only one nature in the Lord [[Jesus Christ]]. He was also a defender against the heresy of [[Nestorius]].
He actively promoted the convening of the [[Fourth Ecumenical Council]], at Chalcedon in 451, to condemn the heresy of the [[Monophysitism|Monophysites]].
At the Council of [[Chalcedon]], at which 630 bishops were present, a letter of Leo to the deceased St. [[Flavian the Confessor|Flavian]], [[Patriarch of Constantinople]] (447-449), was read. Flavian had suffered for Orthodoxy under the [[Robber Council of Ephesus]] in the year 449. In the letter of Leo, the Orthodox teaching about the two natures of Christ, divine and human, was set forth. All the bishops present at the Council were in agreement with this teaching, and so the heretics Eutyches and [[Dioscorus of Alexandria|Dioscorus]] were [[Excommunication|excommunicate]]d from the Church.
==Defender of his country==
In 452, by the persuasive power of his words, he stopped Attila the Hun from pillaging Italy. Again in the year 455, when the Henzerich, the leader of the Germanic tribe of Vandals, turned towards Rome, Leo persuaded him not to pillage the city, burn buildings, nor spill blood.
==Theological legacy ==
Leo died in the year 461. His literary and theological legacy is comprised of 96 [[homily|sermons]] and 143 letters, of which the best known is his ''Epistle to St. Flavian''.
[[Troparion]] (Tone 8)
:O Champion of Orthodoxy, and teacher of holiness,
:The enlightenment of the universe and the inspired glory of true believers.
:O most wise Father Leo, your teachings are as music of the Holy Spirit for us!
:Pray that Christ our God may save our souls!
[[Kontakion]] (Tone 3)
:O glorious Leo, when you rose to the Bishop's throne,
:You shut the lions' mouths with the true doctrine of the Holy Trinity:
:You enlightened your flock with the knowledge of God.
:Therefore you are glorified, O seer of things divine!
*[[w:Pope Leo I the Great|Pope Leo I]] on Wikipedia
*[http://ocafs.oca.org/FeastSaintsLife.asp?FSID=100553 St Leo the Great the Pope of Rome] ([[OCA]])
*[http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf212.ii.iii.i.html The Letters and Sermons of Leo the Great, Bishop of Rome] at the Christian Classics Ethereal Library
*[http://ocafs.oca.org/FeastSaintsViewer.asp?FSID=100553 St Leo the Great the Pope of Rome] ([[OCA]])
*[http://www.goarch.org/en/chapel/saints.asp?contentid=433 Leo the Great, Pope of Rome] ([[GOARCH]])
*[http://www.comeandseeicons.com/l/inp92.htm Icon of St. Leo]
before=St. Sixtus III|
title=[[List of the Popes of the Church of Rome|Pope of Rome]]|
[[Category:Popes of Rome]]
[[Category:Pre-Schism Western Saints]]
[[ro:Leon cel Mare]]
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