Saturday, November 10, 2012

Feast of Pope Saint Leo the Great

"The envoys had been well chosen to satisfy that punctilious pride which insisted that only men of the highest dignity among the Romans should be sent to treat with the Lord of Scythia and Germany (Attila). Avienus, who had, two years before, worn the robes of consul, was on of the ambassadors. Trigetius, who had wielded the power of prefect and who, seventeen years before, had been dispatched upon a similar mission to Gaiseric the Vandal, was another. But it was not upon these men, but upon their greater colleague that the eyes of all the barbarian warriors and statesmen were fixed. Leo, Bishop of Rome, had come on behalf of his flock, to sue for peace from the idolater....We cannot withhold a tribute of admiration from the high temper of this Roman Bishop, who in the ever-deepening degradation of his country still despaired not, but had the courage and endurance to work for a far-distant future...The barbarian king had all material power in his hand....The Pontiff had no power but in the world of intellect...Leo's success as an ambassador was complete." [Hodgkin: Italy and Her Invaders, Vol. II, 1880]

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