Memorial of Saint Leo the Great, Pope and Doctor of the Church


READINGS


Gospel Luke 17: 7-10

Jesus said to the Apostles: “Who among you would say to your servant who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field, ‘Come here immediately and take your place at table’? Would he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare something for me to eat. Put on your apron and wait on me while I eat and drink. You may eat and drink when I am finished’? Is he grateful to that servant because he did what was commanded? So should it be with you. When you have done all you have been commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.’”


REFLECTION


When you have done all you have been commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.’”


St. Pope Leo the Great was tireless in his dedication to uphold the peace and the teachings of the Holy Catholic Church. Before becoming Pope, Leo was known for his special gift for settling disagreements in both the secular world and Christian world.

As Pope he was known to be a great defender of the faith as well as defender for his people against the invasions from Atilla the Hun and was able to negotiate peace.


He is considered one of the greatest popes and defenders of the faith. Pope Leo 1 wrote a letter settling the controversy of Jesus' divine and human nature, which is inseparable. His letter was was so persuasive that he was able to preserve the foundation of our faith that Jesus is truly human and divine.


Other battles he fought were against the heresies of Pelagianism (which said that we were not affected by Original Sin and mankind could achieve salvation without God's grace or help) and Manichaeism (which taught that everything material, like the body, creation, all matter, was evil). Manichaeism's deeper implications denied the teachings of both the "Hebrew Scriptures, the New Testament, and the heart of the Gospel message." Therefore, we owe St. Pope Leo 1 a great debt for his love and defense of the "fullness of Christian truth and doctrine."

In 1764, he received the title of Doctor of the Church from Pope Benedict XIV. His many sermons, near 100, and 150 letters are preserved and even one is used for the Office Readings on Christmas today. Leo felt it was a privilege to serve as a successor of St. Peter, "as the servant of the servants of God."


If St. Pope Leo 1st were to use scripture to describe his legacy, it would be the following:

"When you have done all you have been commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.’”


Let us pray for our Holy Father, Pope Francis, for all Cardinals, Bishops, and Priests to uphold and defend the deposit of our Catholic faith. https://www.papamio.org/a-prayer-for-priests

Resources:

https://www.franciscanmedia.org/saint-of-the-day/saint-leo-the-great

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