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Saint Leo the Great

St. Leo the Great Meets Attila the Hun!

The Feast of St. Leo the Great is November 10

“Little is known about the early life of this man who proved to be such an extraordinary shepherd of the Catholic Church that he came to be known not only as Pope Saint Leo I, but also is one of the only two Popes in two thousand years to be called “the Great.” What we do know is that as a deacon of the Roman Church, before being elevated to the office of Pope in 440 AD, St. Leo the Great had opposed the heresy of Pelagianism which taught that grace was not necessary for salvation, but was rather a bonus that God granted to those who earned it by their good works. As Pope, St. Leo the Great was forceful and unambiguous in his Christological teaching which affirmed the full divinity and humanity of Christ. In fact his most famous writing, commonly known as the Tome of St. Leo (449), was the basis of the Council of Chalcedon's (451) dogmatic definition of Christ as one Divine Person possessing two complete natures, human and divine.

During his pontificate the Council of Chalcedon was convened. It condemned many popular heresies of the day, and declared that the two natures of Jesus were indivisible. Pope Leo had already defended this doctrine in the epistle called the Tome. When the Council Fathers read it they declared, “This we all believe. Peter has spoken through Leo.”

St. Leo the Great was Pope during the middle of the fifth century, a troubled time when barbarian armies were ravaging the once mighty Roman Empire. For all intents and purposes, the Western Empire was in total political and military collapse and there was a vacuum of political leadership. Pope St. Leo filled the void and became the advocate for the temporal as well as spiritual needs of his flock. He is perhaps most famous for persuading Attila the Hun to abandon his plans to sack the city of Rome and to withdraw his forces beyond the Danube river (452). St. Leo once again was the spokesperson for the Roman citizenry in 455 when the Vandal barbarians swept into Central Italy, securing concessions from them.

Through both his powerful teaching and his leadership, Pope St. Leo the Great very much strengthened the office of the Papacy and made a strong biblical case for the Divine institution of this ministry by examining the biblical evidence for Peter's unique role among the apostles.”

– courtesy of Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrossio

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Pope Saint Leo the Great Meets Attila the Hun by Raphael

Pope St. Leo the Great meeting Attila the Hun, by Raphael, circa 1514

A thought from Pope St. Leo the Great:

“Our Redeemer's visible presence has passed into the sacraments”

A simple prayer for St. Leo's intercession:

“Oh God, You established Your Church on the solid rock of Saint Peter and You will never allow the powers of Hell to dominate her, grant that she may persevere in Your truth and enjoy continual peace through the intercession of Pope St Leo the Great.”


  1. I should consider the source when reading a catholic blog, but I must make commentary when it comes to breast cancer. We are far from knowing the answers to breast cancer, but from personal experience only I can honestly say high hormones during pregnancy plays a role. If I had not had my baby, and got an abortion, would my cancer have appeared? Just food for thought.
    If you don’t believe that premenopausal women are discovering cancer while pregnant do some reseach rather than just standing on a soap box. It is not about the money it is about saving the life of the mother who already has children. Or would you prefer she dies to save the baby so the father must raise them alone, assuming there is a father. Conclusion continue to donate to child bearing women need research and help.

  2. Are you saying that having abortions is reducing the number of women getting breast cancer because they have fewer children that way? I’m not sure I get your point.

  3. I would recommend that people interested in contributing to finding a cure for breast cancer consider giving their time and resources to the American Cancer Society. Their website is http://www.cancer.org. The American Cancer Society funds research programs and does not contribute to unrelated or ancillary organizations like the Susan B. Komen Foundation does by giving money to Planned Parenthood. Overwhelmingly ACS funds go to research with the remaining funds going to educational efforts. In my own family, we have had three successive generations of women – my great-grandmother, my grandmother and my mother, suffer from breast cancer. My family is concerned that efforts to “find a cure” are targeted and money is used directly, without any political agenda. ACS does not have the political agenda that the Susan B. Komen Foundation has – they want to help save lives, prevent the development of cancer, and they stick to their core purpose. ACS has contributed over $3 billion directly to cancer research – SBK pales in comparison.

  4. The Mayo Clinic found a link between contraceptives and breast cancer. Why do we not hear anything about that?


  5. Maybe Mike says it better; IT IS ABOUT SAVING THE LIFE OF THE MOTHER!

  6. Oh, definitely keep giving to cancer research foundations, just not to ones that turn around and give that money to abortionists.

  7. I recently seen a commercial for breast cancer. awareness On the back of their shirts it said, everyone deserves a lifetime. That’s pretty ironic they chose this slogan since they support murdering our babies. Maybe they should of put, we save breast and murder our babies!

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