- Pope Leo IX
English name=Saint Leo IX
birth_name=Bruno von Eguisheim-Dagsburg
February 12, 1048
April 19, 1054
dead=dead|death_date=death date and age|1054|4|19|1002|6|21|mf=y
other=Leo infobox popestyles
papal name=Pope Leo IX
Pope Saint Leo IX (
June 21, 1002– April 19, 1054), born Bruno of Eguisheim-Dagsburg (German Bruno von Egisheim-Dagsburg), was Popefrom February 12, 1049to his death. He is regarded as a saintby the Roman Catholic Church, with the feast dayof April 19. Leo IX is widely considered the most historically significant German Pope of the Middle Ages.
Leo IX was a native of
Eguisheim, Upper Alsace. The family to which he belonged was of noble rank, and his father, Count Hugo, was a relative of Emperor Conrad II (1024–39). He was educated at Toul, where he successively became canon and, in 1026, bishop. In the latter capacity he rendered important political services to his relative Conrad II, and afterwards to Emperor Henry III (1039–56). He became widely known as an earnest and reforming ecclesiastic by the zeal he showed in spreading the rule of the order of Cluny.
On the death of
Pope Damasus II(1048), Bruno was selected as his successor by an assembly at Worms in December 1048. Both the Emperor and the Roman delegates concurred. However, Bruno apparently favored democracy as a means of Papal election, as he stipulated as a condition of his acceptance that he should first proceed to Rome and be freely elected by the voice of clergy and people. Setting out shortly after Christmas, he met with abbot Hugh of Clunyat Besançon, where he was joined by the young monk Hildebrand, who afterwards became Pope Gregory VII(1073–85); arriving in pilgrim garb at Rome in the following February, he was received with much cordiality, and at his consecration assumed the name of Leo IX.
Leo IX favored traditional morality in his reformation of the Catholic Church. One of his first public acts was to hold the well-known
Eastersynod of 1049, at which celibacy of the clergy (down to the rank of subdeacon) was required anew. Also, the Easter synod was where the Pope at least succeeded in making clear his own convictions against every kind of simony. The greater part of the year that followed was occupied in one of those progresses through Italy, Germany and France which form a marked feature in Leo IX's pontificate. After presiding over a synod at Pavia, he joined Henry III in Saxony, and accompanied him to Cologne and Aachen; to Reims he also summoned a meeting of the higher clergy, by which several important reforming decrees were passed. At Mainz also he held a council, at which the Italian and French as well as the German clergy were represented, and ambassadors of the Greek emperor were present; here too simony and the marriage of the clergy were the principal matters dealt with.
After his return to Rome he held (
April 29, 1050) another Eastersynod, which was occupied largely with the controversy about the teachings of Berengar of Tours; in the same year he presided over provincial synods at Salerno, Sipontoand Vercelli, and in September revisited his native Germany, returning to Rome in time for a third Easter synod, at which the question of the reordinationof those who had been ordained by simonists was considered.
In 1052 he joined the Emperor at
Pressburg, and vainly sought to secure the submission of the Hungarians; and at Regensburg, Bambergand Worms the papal presence was marked by various ecclesiastical solemnities.
After a fourth Easter synod in 1053 Leo IX set out against the
Normansin the south with an army of Italians and German volunteers, but his forces suffered total defeat at the Battle of Civitateon June 15, 1053; on going out, however, from the city to meet the victorious enemy he was received with every token of submission, pleas for forgiveness and oaths of fidelity and homage. From June 1053 to March 1054 the Pope was nevertheless detained at Beneventoin honourable captivity; he did not long survive his return to Rome, where he died on April 19, 1054.
Leo IX is most remembered as the Pope who sent the legatine mission, under
Humbert of Mourmoutiers, cardinal-bishop of Silva Candida, which authored the bull excommunicating the Patriarch of Constantinople, Michael I Cerularius(1043–59) in response to his actions concerning the church in Southern Italy. This act, combined with the Patriarch's own bull of excommunication against the Humbert and his associates, marks the official split between the Eastern and Western Churches in what is now called the Schism of 1054, the Great Schism, or the East-West Schism.
* [http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09160c.htm Catholic Encyclopedia: "Pope St. Leo IX"]
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