Leo the Great

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18-02-2016 All day

Leo the Great, the Pope of Rome

Leo_the_Great_Pope_of_Rome-finalAccording to some, St Leo was born in Rome, but according to others in Tyrrenia (Tuscany), and was consecrated to the Archiepiscopal throne of Rome in 440 AD. In 448 AD, when St Flavian, Archbishop of Constantinople, summoned Eutyches, an Archimandrite in Constantinople, to give account for his teaching that there was only one nature in Christ after the Incarnation, Eutyches appealed to St Leo in Rome. After St Leo had carefully examined Eutyches’ teachings, he wrote an Epistle to St Flavian, setting forth the Orthodox teaching of the person of Christ, and His two natures, and also counselling Flavian that, should Eutyches sincerely repent of his error, he should be received back with all good will. At the council held in Ephesus in 449 AD, which was presided over by Dioscorus, Patriarch of Alexandria. St Leo, in a letter to the holy Empress Pulcheria in 451 AD, was the first to call the council “The Robber Council”. Dioscorus, having military might behind him, did not allow St Leo’s Epistle to Flavian to be read, although repeatedly asked to do so; even before the Robber Council was held, Dioscorus had uncanonically received the unrepentant Eutyches back into communion. Because St Leo had many cares in Rome owing to the wars of Attila the Hun and other barbarians, in 451 AD he sent four delegates to the Fourth Ecumenical Council, where 630 Fathers gathered in Chalcedon during the reign of Marcian, to condemn the teachings of Eutyches and those who supported him. St Leo’s Epistle to Flavian was read at the Fourth Council, and was confirmed by the Holy Fathers as the Orthodox teaching on the Incarnate person of our Lord; it is also called the “Tome of Leo”. The Saint wrote many works in Latin; he reposed in 461 AD.

Dismissal Hymn (Fourth Tone)

The truth of things have revealed you to your flock as a rule of faith, an icon of meekness, and a teacher of temperance; for this cause, you have achieved the heights by humility, riches by poverty. O Father and Hierarch Leo, intercede with Christ God that our souls be saved.

Kontakion (Third Tone)

On this day the Virgin

Seated on the priestly throne, O great and glorious Leo, with the Holy Trinity’s inspired and God-given doctrines you stopped the gaping mouths of spiritual lions and shined upon your flock the light of God-knowledge, and are glorified now as a divine initiate of the sublime grace of God.


We Also Celebrate Today:

  • Agapetus the Confessor, Bishop of Sinai
  • Flavian the Confessor, Patriarch of Constantinople