Saint Leo the Great

November 10 – St. Leo the Great –

An extraordinary shepherd of the Church, he is one of only three Popes in two thousand years to be called “the Great.” As a deacon, before being elevated to the office of Pope in AD 440, Leo opposed the heresy of Pelagianism which taught that grace was not necessary for salvation, but was rather a bonus that God granted to those who earned it by their good works. As Pope, Leo was forceful and unambiguous in his Christological teaching which affirmed the full divinity and humanity of Christ. In fact his most famous writing, commonly known as the Tome of St. Leo (449), was the basis of the Council of Chalcedon’s (451) dogmatic definition of Christ as one Divine Person possessing two complete natures, human and divine. He died on November 10, 461.