Saturday, November 10, 2012

Transformed !


"For the reception of Christ's Body and Blood
does nothing less than transform us
into that which we consume, and henceforth
we bear in soul and body Him in whose fellowship
we died, were buried, and are risen again."
St Leo the Great
Pope, Doctor of the Church
"Doctor of the Church's Unity"
Italy ~ 395-461
FEAST DAY - November 10


    "The devil is always looking for someone to devour.
In the same way, Mary is always looking for someone
she can help in any way."  ~ St Leo the Great

St Leo the Great, ora pro nobis!

More on St Leo the Great...
Including 2 min YouTube

When Pope Leo met Attila the Hun –
by Sister Catherine Goddard Clark, MICM

"Pope Leo the Great mounted the throne of Saint Peter at a time of terrible danger, both for the Church and the Empire. The fierce barbarian tribes, one after the other, had been on the march for the whole of the century, plundering, ravaging and threatening the entire Empire. The dreaded Attila ­ the self-designated "Scourge of God," who left in the wake of his savage army burned churches, murdered priests, devastated countrysides, people ravished and maimed, impoverished and homeless, was on his way into Italy.

In the year 452, Attila the Hun, having with remorseless cruelty sieged, burned, sacked and destroyed Aquileia -­ the city in northeastern Italy at the head of the Adriatic Sea ­- was as close as Mantua, on his march to Rome. He was boasting, as he advanced, that the total conquest of Italy was to be his crowning work of destruction. Rome was the dowry which he planned to present to his bride, Honoria, the granddaughter of the great Theodosius!

All Rome awaited the coming of the Mongol King in hopeless terror. They had no defense left against him. And then, in the darkest hour ­- as would often be the case through the centuries ahead ­- the Eternal City was saved, not by its legions, its tribunes, its senators, or its suffering citizens. Rome was saved by its Bishop, the Holy Roman Pontiff.

Practically alone, Pope Leo went out to meet the wanton murderer who was the terror of the world. He climbed steadily northward, this holy and august Vicar of Christ, and over the mountains, an arduous journey indeed in those days. He found the Mongolian chief below Mantua, at the point where the Mincio River, flowing down from its Alpine source ­- the beautiful Lago Garda ­- emptied itself in the Po. Attila's troops, hardened veterans seasoned in plunder and sack and rape, were ready and waiting to cross the Po when Saint Leo, in his papal robes, entered the disordered camp and stood before the King of the Huns.

The glorious Pope threatened Attila with the power which was his from Peter, the Prince of the Apostles, if he did not turn back and leave Italy unmolested. And it is one of the most dramatic, of all the dramatic facts with which the story of the Church is so enchantingly full, that Attila, the Hun, yielded before Leo, the Pope. The "Scourge of God" agreed to turn back. He gave up Rome. And Leo, absorbed in thanksgiving, returned to his See.

Attila's servants, so the story is told, asked him why he had reversed his custom and capitulated so easily to the Bishop of Rome. The brigand chief answered that all the while the Pope was speaking, he, Attila, the generator of terror in others, was himself consumed in fear, for there had appeared in the air above the Pope's head a figure in the dress of a priest, holding in his hand a drawn sword with which he made as if to kill him unless he consented to do as Leo asked. The figure was that of Peter!"

When one visits the Vatican today one will see this scene depicted in art hanging over the casket of St Leo in St Peters. One will see the terror, fear and dread on Attila's face and the fearless Leo confronting him with total trust in God.

The Meeting between Leo the Great and Attila ~ Raphael

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