Saint Leo I, Pope of Rome
1. Saint Leo I, Pope of Rome. Born in Italy to pious parents. He was initially the archdeacon under Pope Sixtus III, and after his death, he was elevated, by his own will, to the throne of the Pope of Rome. When Attila and the Huns approached Rome, preparing to ravage and burn the city, Leo went out before him in his hierarchical vestments, tamed the anger of the Hun leader, and diverted the destruction of Rome. As much as Attila listened to the holy man, he was equally terrified by the vision of the apostles Peter and Paul, who stood beside Leo, wielding flaming swords against Attila. Not only did Leo save Rome, but he also greatly contributed to the salvation of Orthodoxy from the heresies of Eutychius and Dioscorus. This heresy consisted of uniting the divine and human nature of Christ into one and, consequently, denying the two wills in the person of the Lord Savior. Because of this, the Fourth Ecumenical Council was convened in Chalcedon, where Leo's epistle, which he had written and laid on the tomb of St. Peter, was read and corrected by St. Peter. Before his death, he spent forty days in fasting and prayer at the tomb of the apostle Peter, praying for him to reveal whether his sins had been forgiven. The apostle appeared to him and said that all his sins had been forgiven, except for the sins of ordaining unworthy priests (which shows how grave a sin unworthy ordination is). The saint resumed his prayers until he was informed that even these sins had been wiped away. Then he peacefully surrendered his soul to the Lord. Saint Leo reposed in 461.
2. Saint Flavian, Patriarch of Constantinople. Saint Flavian succeeded Saint Proclus as the Patriarch of Constantinople. He was a contemporary of Pope Leo. He fought decisively against Eutychius and Dioscorus but did not live to witness the triumph of Orthodoxy at the Fourth Ecumenical Council, as he was beaten and trampled to death at a heretical council in Ephesus. He was a faithful soldier of Christ, a brave defender, and a confessor of the Orthodox faith. He reposed in 449.
"When pride comes, then comes shame" (Proverbs 11:2)
This is the word of God, the teaching of life.
Who are the heretics? Children of pride,
Children of pride, fathers of folly.
What did they desire? To cause shame,
Therefore, they had to bear shame.
Eutychius relied on the help of a eunuch,
Flavian relied on the help of the Spirit of God.
Pride always leads to ruin:
Eutychius perished, Flavian triumphed.
Dioscorus trusted in a trickster poet,
Therefore, all generations despised him.
Flavian was beaten and trampled–
Now venerated on earth and blessed in heaven.
He defended the truth without fear or hesitation,
Withstood all trials, unperturbed.
Pope Leo gave him the might of a lion,
In defense of the bright image of Christ.
These two hierarchs, and Eulogius the third,
Led the Church to victory and joy.
What would the Church be without such spirits?
A grounded bird with broken wings.
With great suffering and sacrifice, the stubble of the heresy of the wheat of Orthodox truth was threshed. Heretics have always used low means and low individuals to undermine Orthodoxy. The Archimandrite of Constantinople, Eutychius, and the Patriarch of Alexandria, Dioscorus, who spread the heretical teaching that in Christ there were not two natures - divine and human - but one, had a low eunuch named Chrysaphius as their ally at the imperial court. Queen Eudokia was secretly among them. Orthodox forerunner Flavian bravely defended the truth, helped by the Emperor's sister, St. Pulcheria.Throughout history, heretics have relied on low means to cut down the wheat of God. However, the more they cut, the more the wheat of God grew abundantly.
Fools and enemies of Christ, then and now! Your club rebounds from the city of Christ and strikes your own hut, crumbling it to dust and ashes. Throughout the centuries, you have had enough allies: besides the devil, heretics, idolaters, fanatics, diviners, and sorcerers, debauched princes and wealthy men, tyrants, and all hardened sinners have been with you. You have been defeated until now, and undoubtedly all your allies, together with you, will be defeated until the end of time.
Glory and praise to you, Almighty and Irresistible Lord, forever. Amen.
To meditate on the Lord Jesus in the midst of the Pharisees and scribes, and:
1. How He labors to uplift the Pharisees and scribes and save them, and how they strive to overthrow and kill Him,
2. How He desires to correct every thought and word of theirs, and how they desire to distort every thought and word of His,
3. How He is sad that He cannot revive them, and how they are sad that they cannot kill Him.
About the struggle of the helpless against the Almighty
And the chief priests planned to put Lazarus to death (John 12:10)
They first conspired to kill the Benefactor, and then His work. For the resurrected Lazarus was the work of Christ. What worth did it have, they cunningly thought, to kill the Miracle Worker and leave alive a witness to His greatest miracle? Then the people would turn against them as criminals! And yet it happened that they killed Christ and missed Lazarus. So what? Then they—or their like-minded successors—killed one-tenth of His apostles and missed hundreds. Then they killed thousands and missed hundreds of thousands. Then they killed hundreds of thousands and missed millions. Finally, it became evident that those who were killed behind their backs were resurrected to life like mowed grass, while those designated for murder, grown like sown grass. In vain did the wise Gamaliel say: If this work is of God, you cannot overthrow it (Acts 5:39). Throughout the centuries, the God-fighters have sharpened their impotence in vain, seeking to mow down the harvest of God. However, the more they cut, the more abundantly God's harvest grew.
O insane Christ-fighters, then and now! Your club rebounds from the city of Christ, striking your own hut and destroying it to dust and ashes. Throughout the centuries, you have had enough allies: besides Satan, heretics, idolaters, fanatics, diviners, and sorcerers, debauched princes and wealthy men, tyrants, and all hardened sinners. You have been defeated so far, and there is no doubt that all your allies, together with you, will be defeated until the end of time.
To You, Almighty and Irresistible Lord, be glory and thanks forever. Amen.
|Saint Theodore the Tyro, great martyr
|Saint Leo I, Pope of Rome
|Holy Apostles Archip, Philemon, and Apphia
|Saint Lav, Bishop of Catania
|Saint Zacharias, Patriarch of Jerusalem
|Saint Martyr Maurice and the Seventy Soldiers
|Holy Hieromartyr Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna
|The finding of the head of St. John the Baptist
|Holy Tarasius, Patriarch of Constantinople
|Saint Porphyrios, Bishop of Gascia
|Saint Procopius of Decapolis
|Holy Hieromartyr Proterius
|Saint Venerable John Cassian
|Holy venerable-martyr Evdokia
|Saint Martyr Theodotus, Bishop of Kerynia, on the island of Cyprus
|Holy Martyrs Eutropius, Cleonicus, and Basilisk
|Holy Venerable Gerasim
|St. Nicholas (Velimirović) of Žiča
|Holy Forty-Two Martyrs from Amorium
|Saints Seven Holy Martyrs of Cherson
|Holy venerable Theophylakt, Bishop of Nicaea
|Holy Forty Martyrs in Sebaste
|St. Martyr Codratus of Corinth and others with him
|Saint Sophronius, Patriarch of Jerusalem
|Holy venerable Theophan Confessor
|Saint Nikephoros, Patriarch of Constantinople
|Holy venerable Benedict
|Holy Martyr Agapius and the Seven with Him
|Holy Apostle Aristovoulos
|Saint Alexius the Man of God
|Saint Cyril, Archbishop of Jerusalem