Leo the Great (d. 461) pastor
Pope Leo I, called "the Great" by later generations because of the breadth of his pastoral activity and theological pronouncements, died in Rome in the year 461.
A native of Rome, or perhaps Etruria, Leo lived in an era of intense conflict and political instability in both the Christian East and West. Elected deacon of the Church of Rome, he was called upon to resolve disputes and heal divisions of every kind. Because of his peacemaking work, he was elected Pope in 440 by part of the clergy and the city's population.
An astute preacher who made serious demands upon his listeners, Leo intervened in theological controversies by seeking pathways of reconciliation and by leading the opposed factions back to the Gospel. He was involved in the lively christological debates that broke out after Nestorius' teachings were condemned, and his pronouncements, expressed in a letter to the patriarch of Constantinople Flavianus, became the basis of the faith proclaimed by the fathers of the Council of Chalcedon in 451. In his theological affirmations, Leo spoke of Jesus' humility with the simple and direct language of the Gospels, saying that Jesus was true God and had become true man out of compassion for his creatures.
In Leo the Great's writings there is a constant, joyful announcement of Christian salvation, reached by participating in Christ's paschal mystery. No one, according to Leo, should feel excluded from the vocation to become part of the new eschatological humanity of which Christ is the firstfruits.
In the last years of his pontificate, Leo defended Rome against the Huns, negotiating personally with King Attila, and when the Vandals arrived, he persuaded them not to set fire to the Eternal City and to spare the lives of its residents.
Mic 2:5-7; 1 Pet 5:1-11 (or 2 Cor 5:14-20); Mt 16:13-19
THE CHURCHES REMEMBER...
Leo the Great, bishop of Rome, teacher of the faith
Leo the Great, pope and doctor of the church (Roman and Ambrosian calendars)
Litanies of the eve of St Martin (Spanish-Mozarabic calendar)
COPTS AND ETHIOPIANS (1 hatur/hedar):
Ciriacus of Jerusalem (d. ca. 361), bishop and martyr (Coptic Orthodox Church)
Cleopas (1st cent.), one of the 70 disciples (Coptic Catholic Church)
Na'akweto La'ab (d. 1250), king (Ethiopian Church)
Leo the Great, bishop in Rome
Karl Friedrich Stellbrink (d. 1943), witness to the point of bloodshed at Lübeck
ORTHODOX CHRISTIANS AND GREEK CATHOLICS:
Olympas, Rodion, Sosipater, Tertius, Erastus and Quartus (1st cent.), apostles
Orestes of Tyana (d. 304), martyr
Arsenius (d. 1266), archbishop of the Serbians (Serbian Church)
]or of Pocajil (d. 1651), monk
Theophilus of Kyir (d. 1853), fool-in-Christ
Constantine of Kyiv (d. 1937), bishop (Ukrainian Church)