Pope Saint Leo the Great
Aedh MacBricc B (AC)
(also known as Aod, Aedsind or Aidus McBricc)
Died 589. The Lives of Aedh are full of extraordinary tales of miracles of healing, bilocation, and other marvels. The son of Breece of the Hy Neill, Aedh worked on his father's farm. His conversion occurred when he was dissuaded by Bishop Saint Illathan of Rathlihen from kidnapping a girl from his brother's household in retaliation for the refusal to give him his inheritance on his father's death. Instead he became the bishop's disciple. He founded a monastery at Cill-air and Rathugh in Westmeath and eventually became a bishop. He is reputed to have cured Saint Brigid of a headache, so is often invoked to cure headaches (Benedictines, Delaney).
Blessed Andrew of Baudiment, OSB Cist. Abbot (PC)
Died 1142. A Cistercian monk of Pontigny, Andrew became abbot- founder of Chablis (Caroli-loci) (Benedictines).
Andrew Avellino, Theatine (RM)
Born at Castronuovo (Naples), Italy, 1521; died in Naples, November 10, 1608; beatified in 1624; canonized in 1712 by Clement XI.
This saint was baptized Lorenzo (and called Lancellotto by his mother). In his youth he determined he would be a priest and, therefore, assiduously renounced sin. He studied civil and canon law in Naples, received his doctorate, and was ordained.
His was a good lawyer; in fact, too good. Too late he realized that legal arguments so filled his heart and mind that it weakened his love of meditation and prayer. The gravity of the situation struck home when he actually lied during the course of a pleading. Filled with remorse, he resolved to give himself up entirely to the penitential life.
After this period as a canon lawyer, he was entrusted by his archbishop with the reform of Sant'Arcangelo convent in Baiano and nearly killed by those opposing his reforms, he turned to pastoral work. He left Baiano in 1556 and joined the Theatine clerks regular in Naples, taking the name Andrew. He worked with great success because he was an effective preacher and zealous missioner. He eventually became superior of the Naples house and was known for his efforts to improve the quality of priests.
In 1570, he was sent to Lombardy at the request of Charles Borromeo founded houses at Milan and Piacenza, and was most successful in reforming the area in spite of great resistance. At the same time he became a personal friend and adviser to Borromeo.
Saint Andrew was much in demand as a confessor, keeping up an extensive religious correspondence. Among his disciples was Lorenzo Scupoli, author of The Spiritual Combat.
He returned to Naples in 1582 and spent the rest of his life ministering to the spiritual needs of his people, converting many and combatting Protestantism. He died at Naples, in his 80th year, at the foot of the altar when beginning Mass. His body was placed in the church of his monastery of Saint Paul in Naples.
He is credited with many miracles, and blood taken from his body after his death was reported to bubble like that of Saint Januarius, also in Naples. An investigation of the matter by Msgr. Pamphili (later Pope Innocent X) gave no credence to the report (Attwater, Benedictines, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Husenbeth).
Baudolin, Hermit (AC)
8th century. Baudolin was a hermit near Tanaro. His memory was first cultivated by the Humiliati, then by the Dominicans, and then spread to the whole people (Encyclopedia).
Demetrius, Anianus, Eustosius & Comp. MM (RM)
Dates unknown. This band of 23 martyrs are registered as having suffered at Antioch in Syria. Saint Demetrius is described as a bishop and Saint Anianus as his deacon (Benedictines).
Elaeth of Anglesey, King (AC)
Died 6th century. A Briton from the North driven into Wales by the Picts, Elaeth became a monk under Saint Seiriol in Anglesey. Some poems of his are still extant (Benedictines).
Guerembaldus of Hirschau, OSB (AC)
Died 965. Guerembaldus, a monk of Hirschau, through humility renounced the bishopric of Spire (Speyer, Germany) (Benedictines).
Hadelin of Séez, OSB B (AC)
(also known as Adelheim)
Died c. 910. Hadelin was a monk and abbot of Saint-Calais, and then bishop of Séez from c. 884 till 910 (Benedictines).
John of Ratzeburg BM (AC)
Born in Ireland or Scotland; died in 1066. John travelled from his native Scotland to Germany, where he labored as a missionary with Saint Marianus Scotus. Five years after arriving in Germany, he was appointed bishop of Ratzeburg and, at the request of Prince Gothescale, evangelized the Slavonians in the Baltic coastal region between the Elbe and the Vistula. He was beheaded at Rethre in what was East Germany (Benedictines, D'Arcy, Fitzpatrick, Gougaud, Kenney, Montague, O'Hanlon).
Justus of Canterbury, OSB B (RM)
Died 627. Justus came to England with the second band of Roman priests sent by Saint Gregory the Great in 601 to reinforce the mission to the Anglo-Saxons. In 604 Saint Augustine of Canterbury consecrated him the first bishop of Rochester. He fled to Gaul with Saint Mellitus during the heathen reaction after the death of King Ethelbert of Kent in 616, but soon returned.
In 624, Justus became the fourth archbishop of Canterbury, succeeding Saint Laurence. It was Justus who consecrated Saint Paulinus when Paulinus accompanied Saint Ethelburga of Kent to her marriage with King Saint Edwin of Northumbria. When sending him the pallium, the badge of his new office, Pope Boniface V wrote of Justus's known constancy and vigilance in the cause of Christ's Gospel.
The Saint Justus or Just whose name occurs in two Cornish parishes has not been adequately identified (Attwater, Benedictines, Delaney).
Leo of Melun (RM)
Date unknown. A saint held in veneration from time immemorial at Melun near Paris. He is now identified by scholars with Saint Leo the Great (Benedictines).
Leo the Great, Pope Doctor (RM)
Born in Rome or Tuscany, Italy; died in Rome, November 10, 461; feast day formerly April 11.
"In Jesus humility was taken up into majesty, weakness into strength, mortality into eternity; and to pay the debt that we humans had incurred, an inviolable nature was united with a nature capable of suffering. He assumed the form of a servant without the stain of sin, enhancing what was human, not detracting from what was divine" --Leo the Great.
Born in Tuscany or in Rome of Tuscan parents, Leo was a man of the noblest character and great ability. He became a deacon under Saint Celestine I and later under Saint Sixtus III. Saint Cyril wrote directly to him, and Saint John Cassian dedicated his treatise against Nestorius to him.
In 440, Leo was sent to arbitrate a dispute between Aetius and Albinus, the imperial generals whose quarrels were leaving Gaul open to attacks by the barbarians. While he was still with the two generals, a deputation came to announce the death of Pope Sixtus III and his own succession to the papacy.
Leo took the Chair of Saint Peter on September 29, 440. In this capacity he showed himself a true shepherd and father of souls during a time of crisis both in the Church and in the empire. He immediately set about advancing and consolidating the Roman see, and began his pastoral duties with a series of 96 still extant sermons on faith, encouraging various acts of Christian social charity, elaborating on Christian doctrine, strenuously opposing Manichaeanism, Pelagianism, Priscillianism, and Nestorianism, and defending papal primacy in the jurisdiction of the Church.
Because of his efforts to preserve the integrity of the faith, to defend the unity of the Church, and to repel or mitigate the ef- fects of the barbarian invasions, he well deserves to be called "the Great."
In 448 he received a letter from an abbot (archimandrite) in Constantinople, Eutyches, complaining about the revival of the Nestorian heresy. He replied guardedly and promised to make enquiries. The following year Leo received a protest by Eutyches (supported by the Emperor Theodosius II) against the fact that Saint Flavian, patriarch of Constantinople, had excommunicated him. Duplicates of this letter were sent to the patriarchs of Alexandria and Jerusalem.
Because no official notice of Eutyches excommunication proceedings had reached Rome, Leo wrote to Flavian, who sent a report of the synod at which the abbot had been sentenced. Communication with Saint Flavian revealed that Eutyches denied the two natures of Christ--making him a heretic.
In 449, a council was summoned at Ephesus by Emperor Theodosius, with the superficial intention of investigating the matter. The synod, dubbed "the Robber Synod," was packed with Eutyches's friends and acquitted him while condemning Saint Flavian. Dioscorus, the patriarch of Alexandria, prevented the papal legates from reading aloud a letter Pope Leo had sent through Flavian. Saint Flavian was physically assaulted during the synod and died from the violence done to his person during his deposition.
Following the council Dioscorus was intruded as patriarch of Constantinople in place of Flavian by Emperor Theodosius.
In 451, under Emperor Marcian, 600 bishops and Leo's representatives met during the fourth general council at Chalcedon to consider the teaching of Eutyches (Monophysism). Leo's doctrinal letter (The Dogmatic Letter or Tome of Saint Leo) on the Incarnation was acclaimed as the basis of the council's declaration of orthodox doctrine on Christ's two natures.
This Tome was the letter sent to the earlier synodal council through Patriarch Flavian of Constantinople, suppressed by Dioscorus, which stated that in Jesus Christ "was born true God in the entire and perfect nature of true man. . . . The Son of God, came down from heaven without withdrawing from his Father's glory, and entered this lower world, born after a new order, by a new mode of birth."
Thus, Saint Flavian was vindicated in the Council of Chalcedon and Dioscorus was excommunicated and deposed.
The immediate aim of Saint Leo was to combat the teaching of the monk Eutyches, who had insisted that Jesus had only one nature, since (Eutyches maintained) his human nature was absorbed into his divine nature. But the Tome also greatly enhanced the papacy for the Council of Chalcedon recognized Leo's teaching as "the voice of Saint Peter."
The Council of Chalcedon also issued a canon that Leo refused to recognize: Constantinople was given a dignity second only to Rome above that of Alexandria and Antioch, which threatened to disrupt an ancient traditional order.
The following year, after Attila the Hun had plundered Milan and destroyed Pavia, Leo in person went to Peschiera to confront the invading Huns at the river Mincio, and induced Attila--in consideration of an annual tribute from Rome--to withdraw beyond the Danube. Unfortunately, he could not stop the Vandals. In 455 the Vandal Genseric attacked and sacked Rome, but Leo persuaded him against killing the inhabitants and burning the city.
After the Vandals departed, Leo ministered to the people, replacing the treasures of the churches, and he sent missionary priests with money to Africa to minister to the captives, whom the Vandals took with them, and to purchase their freedom.
In his lifetime Leo gained the respect of people of all ranks, from emperors to barbarians, and his sagacity and effectiveness were to influence the concept of the papacy for centuries. Saint Leo continually attempted to meet the demands of his day firmly and authoritatively. He saw the need to strengthen and extend the influence of the Roman Church; he exerted his authority as pope in Spain, in Gaul, in Illyricum, and in North Africa. His actions provided the energetic central authority needed for stability during this chaotic time.
Leo the Great left 432 (Walsh says 143) surviving letters as well as the 96 sermons noted previously. His writings are remarkable for their precision and clear expression, revealing him to be a decisive and firm man, who speaks with the voice of Peter.
He secured the support of Emperor Valentinian III, although he did not manage to persuade the whole eastern church to accept his jurisdiction.
Saint Leo was typical of the best Roman character: energetic, magnanimous, consistent and unswerving in duty, his religion firmly anchored in the central Christian mystery of the Incarnation of the Word. He always trusted in God, was never discouraged, and maintained an unruffled equanimity even in the most difficult circumstances. The learned Pope Benedict XIV in 1754 added Saint Leo's name to those of the doctors of the Church. His relics are preserved in the Vatican basilica (Attwater, Bentley, Delaney, Jalland, Walsh, White).
Leo is depicted as a pope with a dragon near him as in the 15th- century Breviary of Martin of Aragon. Sometimes he is shown (1) with SS Peter and Paul confronting Attila; (2) Saint Peter giving him the Pallium; (3) angels surrounding him; (4) meeting Attila the Hun at the gates of Rome; (5) on horseback, with Attila and his soldiers kneeling before him; or (6) praying at the tomb of Saint Peter (Roeder, White).
His relics are preserved in the Vatican Basilica. He is the patron saint of choristers and musicians (Roeder).
Monitor of Orlèans B (RM)
Died c. 490. Twelfth bishop of Orlèans (Benedictines).
Natalene M (RM)
(also known as Lene)
Date unknown. Martyr of Pamiers.
Probus of Ravenna B (RM)
Died c. 175. The relics of Probus, a Roman who became the sixth bishop of Ravenna, are still venerated in the cathedral there (Benedictines).
(also known as Space)
Date unknown. Saint Spes was martyred during the persecutions at Les Andelys (Eure) (Benedictines).
Theoctista of Lesbos V (RM)
(also known as Theoctiste)
Died 10th c. A nun of Lesbos, Theoctista became a hermitess on the Isle of Paros. The story of her last Holy Communion seems to be an adaptation from the life of Saint Mary of Egypt (Benedictines).
Tiberius (of Agde), Modestus, and Florence MM (RM)
Died 303. These martyrs met their death under Diocletian at Agde, diocese of Montpellier (Benedictines). Tiberius is shown as a hermit with two lions at his feet, one of which holds a spiked club. He holds the martyrs palm in his hands. Invoked against madness and possession (Roeder).
Tryphenna and Tryphosa (RM)
1st century. Two converts of Saint Paul from Iconium in Lycaonia, Tryphenna and Tryphosa are mentioned by the apostle in his letter to the Romans (16:12). Tradition represents them as protectresses of Saint Thecla (Benedictines).
Tryphon, Respicius and Nympha MM (RM)
Died c. 251. Tryphon was a gooseherd at Campsada near Apamea in Syria and was martyred at Nicaea under Decius. The names of Respicius and Nympha have been joined to that of Tryphon only since the 11th century; we know nothing about either of them and, in fact, there is doubt about their authenticity (Benedictines, Encyclopedia). In art, Tryphon is represented as a boy quelling a basilisk. Sometimes (1) an angel brings a crown of flowers to his martyrdom; (2) his feet are nailed to the ground; or (3) he is shown hung up and burned with torches. Venerated at Catarro. Patron of gardeners (Roeder).
About Saints of the Day
These summaries were prepared in 1998 by St. Patrick's parishioner Katherine I. Rabenstein and are reproduced on www.saintpatrickdc.org with the permission of the author. Note that the content has not been updated since that time and represents the research of the author. An alphabetical index of all saints on our site is available. Source references are also available. HTML formatting © 2007-2008 by St. Patrick's Catholic Church, Washington, D.C.