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Saint Of The Day For April 19: Saint Leo IX, Pope

Saint Leo IX Story: Brunone’s was a family of great vassals, who entrusted him to the care and instruction of the bishop of Toul

So at 18 he became a canon and at 22 he was already a deacon. In 1025, as was the custom at the time, he leads the Germanic knights into battle to obey his bishop and his king: thus he obtains the merit of earning himself a bishopric.

In fact in 1027 he became bishop of Toul; he will rule this diocese for 25 years, before going to Rome to succeed Damasus II.

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St. Leo IX, a traveling Pope

At first Brunone did not want to accept the Pontificate: the emperor’s decision seemed to him an imposition; so he sets the condition that his election be approved by the clergy and the Roman people.

Once in Rome he chose the name of Leo IX.

He was 47 years old and for 5 he was a revolutionary guide for the Church, engaged in the fight against simony, that is the buying and selling of ecclesiastical offices widespread in the Middle Ages and condemned since the Council of Chalcedon in 451; in the question of concubinage and celibacy.

Furthermore, he was the first Pope to travel, both in Italy and across Europe, especially in Germany, France and Switzerland.

St. Leo IX and the Eastern Schism

In 1053 Leo IX seeks an alliance with the Byzantines against the Normans who were invading Italy, but although he manages to put together an army of volunteers, he suffers a serious defeat in the battle of Civitate.

Meanwhile, Michael Cerularius had been elected as Patriarch of Constantinople, who had badly digested the reforms made unilaterally by Rome, especially as regards the change of the Trinitarian dogma.

In the Ecumenical Council of Constantinople of 381, in fact, it was established that the Holy Spirit proceeded “from the Father through the Son”; dogma then modified during the Council of Toledo of 589 in the still current formula according to which the Holy Spirit proceeds “from the Father and from the Son”.

In this change in Constantinople a sort of denial of monotheism was recognized.

Relations between Cerularius and Leo IX exacerbated to the point of reaching mutual excommunication which would later determine the schism between the Church of Rome, which would later define itself as Catholic, i.e. universal, and that of Constantinople, orthodox, i.e. faithful to the dogma of Nicaea.

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