Wednesday, November 29, 2017

St. Leo and Attila the Hun

From Word on Fire:
St. Leo the Great was an ardent theologian, a defender of the Faith, and a pastoral, simple man of holiness. Leo, one of only three pontiffs who’ve been given the title ‘Great’ (the others being St. Gregory and St. John Paul II), was the Supreme Pontiff from 440 to 461. When he took the reins of leadership Rome was in a dire fall, yet St. Leo was more than capable to steer through the raging waters of cultural and political strife. One of Leo’s great contentions was the necessity of unity for the Christian Church. Heretical factions were popping throughout the faithful. The Manichees, who held that evil was co-eternal with the good. The Nestorians who attacked Mary’s title of Theotokos. The Monophysites, who contended that Christ could not have been human and divine. And the Pelagians, who taught that man could achieve his own goodness by his own unaided will, no need for the grace of God.

Leo was a staunch defender of the primacy of Peter, not because he held the office but because of Christ’s call to have an authoritative head of His Church, through which the will of Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit finds an embodiment. He practiced this office most profoundly at the Council of Chalcedon. However, his role as the pastor and shepherd of the Christian people took a much deeper tone in the wave of the coming Hun army, distinctly setting its ravenous sights on the great city of Rome. (Read more.)

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