Leo was born in Tuscany in Italy. He reigned as Pope from 440 to 461. At this time Attila, called the Scourge of God, with his hordes of Huns invaded Italy. Having conquered the city of Aquileja, Attila marched toward Rome. Moved with pity for the suffering people, Leo went out to meet him. Leo's pleadings persuaded the invader to leave Rome untouched.
Attila said that while Leo was talking to him, he saw a person in priestly robes who stood nearby with bared sword, threatening his life should he disobey Leo's commands. Leo was devoted to St. Peter.
Later, when Genseric entered Rome, Leo's sanctity and eloquence again saved the city. Seeing the heresies which were attacking the church, Leo called the Council of Chalcedon and condemned them. The Council exclaimed, "Peter has spoken by the mouth of Leo."
Pope St. Leo built many churches. He left many letters and writings of great historical value. Pope St. Leo, called the Great, a Doctor of the Church, died on April 11, 461.
O God, You established Your Church on the solid rock of St. Peter. Grant that she may persevere in Your truth and enjoy continual peace through the intercession of Pope St. Leo.
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