A Brief Reflection on Pope Saint Leo the Great and Low Sunday

Holy Mother Church has placed the Feast of Pope Saint Leo the Great on the date of April 11. It is sometimes the case, however, that the feast is downgraded to a commemoration or suppressed altogether depending upon the dating of Easter. This is the case today, Sunday April 11, which is Low Sunday, about which a few words will be offered at the end of this commentary.

Nonetheless, though, it is useful for purposes of this particular collection of reflections to extract a few brief thoughts about the sainted pontiff who singlehandedly saved Rome from the barbarity of the Huns:

Leo was an Etruscan who ruled the Church at the time when Attila, king of the Huns, whose surname is the Scourge of God, invaded Italy, and after a siege of three years, took, sacked, and burnt Aquileia. Thence he was hurrying to Rome, on fire with anger, and his troops were already preparing to cross the Po, at the place where that river is joined by the Mincio, when he was met by Leo, moved with compassion at the thought of the ruin which hung over Italy. By his God-given eloquence, Attila was persuaded to turn back, and when he was afterwards asked by his servants why, contrary to his custom, he had so meekly yielded to the entreaties of the Bishop of Rome, he answered that he had been alarmed by a figure dressed like a Priest, which had appeared at the side of Leo while he was speaking, holding a drawn sword, and had made as though to kill the king unless he consented. And so he returned into Pannonia.

While Leo went back to Rome, where he was received with rejoicing by all men. A while later, Genseric entered the city, but Leo, by the power of his eloquence and the authority of his holy life, persuaded him to abstain from fire, insult, and slaughter. When Leo beheld how the Church was assailed by many heresies, and in dire trouble through the Nestorians and Eutychians, to purify the same and establish her in the Catholic Faith, he called the Council of Chalcedon, where, in an assembly of six hundred and thirty Bishops Nestorius was again condemned, along with Eutyches and Dioscorus; the decrees of which Council were confirmed by the authority of Leo.

After these matters, this holy Pope set himself to the restoration and building of Churches. By his advice that godly woman Demetria built the Church of St Stephen upon her farm on the Latin Road, at the third milestone from the city. He himself built another Church upon the Appian Way, which Church is called that of St Cornelius. He restored likewise many other Churches, and the holy vessels used therein. He built Clergy -houses at the three Basilicas of Peter, Paul, and Constantine. He built a monastery hard by the Basilica of St Peter. He appointed for the graves of the Apostles certain keepers, whom he called the Chamberlains of the said Apostles. He ordained that in the action of the Mystery should be uttered the words An holy sacrifice, an offering without spot. He ordered that no nun should have the covering of her head blessed 4 until she had made trial of her virginity for forty years. After doing all these and other illustrious works, and after he had written much that is both godly and easy to be understood, he fell asleep in the Lord on the eleventh day of April, in the year 461. He held the Papal See for twenty years, one month, and thirteen days. (From the readings for Matins, The Divine Office, Feast of Pope Saint Leo the Great.)

Pope Saint Leo the Great wrote much during his twenty years on the Throne of Saint Peter, including on the very nature of the papacy and about the fact that the jaws of hell will never prevail against the Catholic Church:

When the Lord, as we read in the Evangelist, asked His disciples Who did men, amid their divers speculations, believe that He, the Son of Man, was; blessed Peter answered and said Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but My Father, Which is in heaven and I say also unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it; and I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Thus therefore standeth the ordinance of the Truth, and blessed Peter, abiding still that firm rock which God hath made him, hath never lost that right to rule in the Church which God hath given unto him.

In the universal Church it is Peter that doth still say every day, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God, and every tongue which confesseth that Jesus is Lord is taught that confession by the teaching of Peter. This is the faith that overcometh the devil and looseth the bands of his prisoners. This is the faith which maketh men free of the world and bringeth them to heaven, and the gates of hell are impotent to prevail against it. With such ramparts of salvation hath God fortified this rock, that the contagion of heresy will never be able to infect it, nor idolatry and unbelief to overcome it. This teaching it is, my dearly beloved brethren, which maketh the keeping of this Feast to-day to be our reasonable service, even the teaching which maketh you to know and honour in myself, lowly though I be, that Peter who is still entrusted with the care of all other shepherds and of all the flocks to them committed, and whose authority I have, albeit unworthy to be his heir.

When, therefore, we address our exhortations to your godly ears, believe ye that ye are hearing him speak whose office we are discharging. Yea, it is with his love for you that we warn you, and we preach unto you no other thing than that which he taught, entreating you that ye would gird up the loins of your mind and lead pure and sober lives in the fear of God. My disciples dearly beloved, ye are to me, as the disciples of the Apostle Paul were to him, (Phil. iv. 1,) a crown and a joy, if your faith, which, in the first times of the Gospel, was spoken of throughout the whole world, Rom. i. 8, abide still lovely and holy. For, albeit it behoveth the whole Church which is spread throughout all the world, to be strong in righteousness, you it chiefly becometh above all other peoples to excel in worth and godliness, whose house is built upon the very crown of the Rock of the Apostle, and whom not only hath our Lord Jesus Christ, as He hath redeemed all men, but whom also His blessed Apostle Peter hath made the foremost object of his teaching. (Pope Saint Leo the Great, as found in Matins, The Divine Office, Feast of Pope Saint Leo the Great.)

Well, it is all there, isn’t it?

One must engage in all kinds of intellectual gymnastics to believe that the contagion of heresy is not rife within the counterfeit church of conciliarism, which is why all those who are not yet convinced of the truth of our ecclesiastical situation in this time of apostasy and betrayal should re-read these words:

This is the faith which maketh men free of the world and bringeth them to heaven, and the gates of hell are impotent to prevail against it. With such ramparts of salvation hath God fortified this rock, that the contagion of heresy will never be able to infect it, nor idolatry and unbelief to overcome it. (Pope Saint Leo the Great, as found in Matins, The Divine Office, Feast of Pope Saint Leo the Great.)

Jorge Mario Bergoglio has esteemed the symbols of idolaters. So have Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI and “Saint John Paul II” before his own election as the head of the false conciliar sect on March 13, 2013, and Bergoglio has shown repeatedly that he has no belief in the integrity of the Catholic Faith. So have his predecessors in the past sixty-two and one-half years.

Dom Prosper Gueranger praised Pope Saint Leo the Great as follows in The Liturgical Year:

One of the grandest Saints in the Church’s Calendar is brought before us today. Leo, the Pontiff and Doctor, rises on the Paschal horizon, and calls for our admiration and love. As his name implies, he is the Lion of holy Church; thus representing, in his own person, one of the most glorious of our Lord’s titles. There have been twelve Popes who have had this name, and five of the number are enrolled in the catalogue of Saints; but not one of them has so honored the name as he whose feast we keep today: hence, he is called “Leo the Great.”

He deserved the appellation by what he did for maintaining the faith regarding the sublime mystery of the Incarnation. The Church had triumphed over the heresies that had attacked the dogma of the Trinity, when the gates of hell sought to prevail against the dogma of God having been made Man. Nestorius, a Bishop of Constantinople, impiously taught that there were two distinct Persons in Christ—the Person of the Divine Word, and the Person of Man. The Council of Ephesus condemned this doctrine, which, by denying the unity of Person in Christ, destroyed the true notion of the Redemption. A new heresy, the very opposite of that of Nestorianism, but equally subversive of Christianity, soon followed. The monk Eutyches maintained that, in the Incarnation, the Human Nature was absorbed by the Divine. The error was propagated with frightful rapidity. There was needed a clear and authoritative exposition of the great dogma, which is the foundation of all our hopes. Leo arose, and, from the Apostolic Chair, on which the Holy Ghost had placed him, proclaimed with matchless eloquence and precision the formula of the ancient faith—ancient, indeed, and ever the same, yet ever acquiring greater and fresher brightness. A cry of admiration was raised at the General Council of Chalcedon, which had been convened for the purpose of condemning the errors of Eutyches. “Peter,” exclaimed the Fathers, “Peter has spoken by the mouth of Leo!” As we shall see further on, the Eastern Church has kept up the enthusiasm thus excited by the magnificent teachings given by Leo to the whole world.

The Barbarian hordes were invading the West; the Empire was little more than a ruin: and Attila, “the Scourge of God, was marching on towards Rome. Leo’s majestic bearing repelled the invasion, as his word had checked the ravages of heresy. The haughty king of the Huns, before whose armies the strongest citadels had fallen, granted an audience to the Pontiff on the banks of the Mincio, and promised to spare Rome. The calm and dignity of Leo—who thus unarmed confronted the most formidable enemy of the Empire and exposed his life for his flock—awed the barbarian, who afterwards told his people that, during the interview, he saw a venerable person standing, in an attitude of defense, by the side of Rome’s intercessor: it was the Apostle St. Peter. Attila not only admired, he feared the Pontiff. It was truly a sublime spectacle, and one that was full of meaning;—a Priest, with no arms save those of his character and virtues, forcing a king such as Attila was, to do homage to a devotedness which he could ill understand, and recognize, by submission, the influence of a power which had heaven on its side. Leo, single-handed and at once, did what it took the whole of Europe several ages to accomplish later on.

That the aureola of Leo’s glory might be complete, the Holy Ghost gifted him with an eloquence which, on account of its majesty and richness, might deservedly be called Papal. The Latin language had, at that time, lost its ancient vigor; but we frequently come across passages in the writings of our Saint which remind us of the golden age.

In exposing the dogmas of our holy Faith, he uses a style so dignified and so impregnated with the savor of sacred antiquity, that it seems made for the subject. He has several admirable Sermons on the Resurrection; and speaking of the present Season of the Liturgical Year, he says: “The days that intervened between our Lord’s Resurrection and Ascension, were not days on which nothing was done: on the contrary, great were the Sacraments then confirmed, and great were the mysteries that were revealed.” (Dom Prosper Gueranger, O.S.B., The Liturgical Year, April 11, Feast of Pope Saint Leo the Great.)

“Peter has spoken by the mouth of Leo.”

Yes, it is always Saint Peter who speaks through the mouth of a true and legitimate Successor of Saint Peter.

Have the conciliar “popes” spoken truth or have they, quite instead, propagated falsehoods with ready abandon and made it appear as though their invocation of a “living tradition” and/or a “hermeneutic of continuity” can disguise their belief in the philosophically absurd and dogmatically condemned Modernist precept of dogmatic evolutionism. Indeed, the conciliar revolution has degenerated to the point where some of Jorge Mario Bergoglio’s “theologians” speak openly in support of dogmatic evolutionism without making any advertence whatsoever to the euphemisms used by Giovanni Battista Enrico Antonio Maria Montini/Paul VI, Karol Josef Wojtyla/John Paul II, or Joseph Alois Ratzinger/Benedict XVI.

The devil, not Saint Peter, has spoken and continue to speak through the mouths of the current line of antipopes.

Dom Prosper Gueranger’s prayer to Pope Saint Leo the Great reminds us of what the constituent elements of a true pope, including integrity of doctrine, a hatred of error, and a pastoral zeal for the good of souls without flinching when approached by the mighty of this world such as Attila the Hun:

Glory be to thee, O Jesus, Lion of the Tribe of Juda! that hast raised up in thy Church a Lion to defend her in those dark times when holy Faith was most exposed to danger. Thou chargedst peter to confirm his Brethren; and we have seen Leo, in whom Peter lived, fulfill this office with sovereign authority. We have heard the acclamation of the holy Council which, in admiration at the heavenly teachings of Leo, proclaimed the signal favor thou conferredst on thy Flock, when thou badest Peter feed both Sheep and Lambs.

O holy Pontiff Leo! thou worthily didst represent Peter in his Chair, whence thy apostolic teaching ceased not to flow, ever beautiful in its truth and majesty. The Church of thine own day honoured thee as the great Teacher of Faith; and the Church of every succeeding age has recognised thee as one of the most learned Doctors and preachers of the divine Word. From thy throne in heaven, where now thou reignest, pour forth upon us the understanding of the great Mystery which thou wast called on to defend. Under thy inspired pen, this mystery grows clear; we see how sublimely it harmonizes with all other mysteries; and faith delights at gaining so close a view of the divine object of its belief. Oh! strengthen this faith within us. The Incarnate Word is blasphemed in these our own times; avenge his glory, by sending us men of thy zeal and learning.

Thou triumphedst over barbarian invaders: Attila acknowledged the influence of thy sanctity and eloquence by withdrawing his troops from the Christian land they infested. In these our days, there have risen up new barbarians—civilized barbarians, who would persuade us that religion should be eliminated from Education, and that the State, in its laws and institutions, should simply ignore our Lord Jesus Christ, the King to whom all power has been given, not only in heaven but on earth also. Oh! help us by thy powerful intercession, for our danger is extreme. Many are seduced, and are apostates while flattering themselves that they are still Christians. Pray that the light that is left within us may not be extinguished, and that the public scandals which now exist may be brought to an end. Attila was but a pagan; our modern statesmen and Governments are, or at least call themselves, Christians: have pity on them, and gain for them light to see the precipice to which they are hurrying society.

These days of Paschal Time must remind thee, holy Pontiff! of the Easters thou didst once spend, here on earth, when, surrounded by the Neophytes, thou gavest them the nourishment of thy magnificent Discourses: pray for the Faithful, who have this Easter, risen to a new life with Christ. What they most stand in need of is, a fuller and better knowledge of this their Saviour, in order that they may cling more closely to him, and persevere in his holy service. Thy prayers must get them this knowledge; by thy prayers, thou must teach them what he is both in his Divine and Human Nature: that, as God, he is their Last End, and their Judge after death; as Man, their Brother, their Redeemer, their Model. Bless, O Leo! and help the Pontiff who is now thy successor on the Chair of Peter. Show now thy love for that Rome, whose sacred and eternal destinies were so frequently the subject of thy glowing and heavenly eloquence. (Dom Prosper Gueranger, O.S.B., The Liturgical Year, April 11.)

We can see very well—indeed, it is the subject for the next original article on this website—that Jorge Mario Bergoglio, far from opposing our modern Attila the Huns, is in full, not partial, “communion” with every socialist, globalist, environmentalist, statist, Communism, anti-life, pro-sodomite public official in the world, including Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr., and the man to whom he has sold out the long suffering Catholics of the underground church in Red China, Xi Jinping. Bergoglio does this while opposing those in public life who are ostensibly “pro-life” and stand for a defense of their countries’ national sovereignty as “enemies” of “social justice.” Bergoglio is far cry from Pope Saint Leo the Great, which is why we must continue to pray fervently, especially through Our Lady’s Most Holy Rosary, for the restoration of a true pope on the Throne of Saint Peter and end to the counterfeit church of conciliarism and its support one abject evil after another.

We need to pray to Pope Saint Leo the Great drive out the Huns who occupy Rome and the institutions of the Catholic Church during this time of conciliarism.

We need to beg Our Lady, especially through her Most Holy Rosary, and her Most Chaste Spouse, the Patron of the Universal Church and the Protector of the Faithful, to help us to preserve to our dying breaths in the truths of the true Faith no matter what it may cost us in earthly terms.

We are here to please God, not to curry the favor of men by hiding what we know to be true because we fear being ostracized or ridiculed as being “extreme” and “disloyal.”


May the example of Pope Saint Leo the Great inspire us to see wolves disguised as “shepherds,” and to flee from these false shepherds once and for all.

On Low Sunday, 2021

As noted at the beginning of this very brief reflection, today is  Low Sunday, wherein we read the Gospel account of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ’s institution of the Sacrament of Penance and of Saint Thomas the Apostle’s unbelief after he, who was absent in the Upper Room when Our Lord appeared to the Eleven, had learned of the appearance:

Now when it was late that same day, the first of the week, and the doors were shut, where the disciples were gathered together, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them: Peace be to you. (John 20: 19.) 

Saint Thomas was not present, protesting that he would not believe the account of his brother bishops until he had placed his fingers in the nail prints in Our Lord's hands and feet and had placed his hand in Our Lord's wounded side:

Now Thomas, one of the twelve, who is called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said to him: We have seen the Lord. But he said to them: Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe. (John 20: 24-25.) 

Our Lord did appear to Saint Thomas and the other ten Apostles one week later, on Low Sunday. Saint Thomas saw and believed:

And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them. Jesus cometh, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said: Peace be to you. Then he saith to Thomas: Put in thy finger hither, and see my hands; and bring hither thy hand, and put it into my side; and be not faithless, but believing. Thomas answered, and said to him: My Lord, and my God. Jesus saith to him: Because thou hast seen me, Thomas, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and have believed. (John 20: 26-29.) 

Saint Thomas believed because he saw Our Lord after His Bodily Resurrection from the dead.

We believe although we have not seen Our Lord Bodily risen from the dead with our own eyes. We believe because of the testimony given to us by the first Pope, Saint Peter, and the other Apostles, including the "doubting" Saint Thomas, each of whom was blessed with the personal charism of infallibility, a charism transmitted only to the true, legitimate Successors of Saint Peter thereafter, as they proclaimed with boldness and with a true love for the eternal welfare of souls the Gospel of their Divine Redeemer, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. They preached the Gospel to Jew and Gentile, Saint Thomas himself going to India to do so. Fear of offending no man restrained them from being faithful to the mission that had been given to them by the Divine Redeemer by He Ascended to the Father's right hand in glory on Ascension Thursday. Fear of offending no man restrained the true popes of the Catholic Church, such as Saint Pius X with Theodore Herzl, from fulfilling that mission in their own days.

We must fear to offend no man as we lift high the Cross of the Divine Redeemer, making sure to do so in a spirit of gratitude for the gift of the true Faith and to bear with those whom God's Providence has placed in our paths with kindliness and patience, praying to God the Holy Ghost to give us the prudence to know what to say and how and when to say it as we seek the eternal good of others. Our proclamation of the true Faith might be as simple as handing out a Green Scapular to someone we meet (as my wife does every day, receiving warm expressions of gratitude from those to whom she has given the Green Scapular when and if we see that person again), praying "Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour our death" for each person to whom we give it.

We might have the opportunity on other occasions to give a fallen away Catholic a blessed Rosary and an instruction booklet as to how to pray it in the event that they had never learned (or have forgotten over the years) to do so. There are any number of ways that we can bear witness to the Faith, including by means of our performing the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy, undergirding each of our efforts as the consecrated slaves of Jesus through Mary by a life of fervent prayer, especially before the Blessed Sacrament, and to the Mother of God, especially by means of her Most Holy Rosary, and by our regular and sincere use of the Sacrament of Penance. And each of our homes should be enthroned to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and to the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, thereby helping us to establish and to maintain a Christendom in miniature as our families attempt to avoid the allure of the world and to read more about the lives of the saints so that we can attempt to imitate their virtues more readily and more perfectly on a daily basis.

Saint Thomas disbelieved the news of the Resurrection on Easter Sunday. He believed after he had seen Our Lord on Low Sunday a week later. The gifts and fruits of God the Holy Ghost empowered him to become a fervent defender of the Faith to the point of shedding his blood in India even after he had placed a post or a stick in the ground at the entrance to a church he built in Madras (now Chennai), India, and promised the faithful that the nearby waters would never rise above that stick. The floodwaters from the tsunami of over seven years ago now stopped right at that stick. We ask Saint Thomas the Apostle, therefore, to make sure that our own Faith is never swept away by the floodwaters of conciliarism, that it always remains strong with the help of Our Lady's loving prayers and of his own Apostolic intercession from Heaven.

Faith is indeed a gift. It can be lost. We must nurture the Faith every day of our lives, holding fast to the perennial teaching of the Catholic Church as we cling to true bishops and true priests in the catacombs who make no concessions at all to conciliarism or to the nonexistent legitimacy of its false shepherds. The counterfeit religion of conciliarism dispenses with the necessity of seeking with urgency the conversion of all men to the true Church. The true religion has never done so it can never do so.

Asking Our Lady to keep our Faith strong in the midst of apostasy and betrayal, may we pray as many Rosaries each day as our state-in-life permits, thereby helping to plant the seeds for the conversion of more and more people, including Jews, to the true Faith, and making it more possible, please God and by the intercession of His Most Blessed Mother, where there will be a world in which everyone will exclaim with joy:

Vivat Christus RexViva Cristo Rey!

Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us.

Saint Joseph, pray for us.

Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.

Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.

Saint John the Evangelist, pray for us.

Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.

Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.

Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.

Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.

Saints Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar, pray for us.

Pope Saint Leo the Great, pray for us.