Three things to bear in mind as we remember Saint Leo the Great. The first thing is his pastoral care for his priests and bishops. Pope Leo is remembered for being a true father. He listened to his priests, gently guided them and helped those who were battling. He never abandoned them. We do not have to be Leo the Great to care for those under us, to journey with our children, and our colleagues who are struggling. Perhaps, we can learn from him how to put the well-being of others before ours. The second thing is his concern for the flock entrusted to him.
Leo took interest in their socio-economic growth. He did not hide in the comfort of his Papal Palace waiting for his shattered flock to dress up and meet him. He went to them in the streets, cried their cry and fought for their safety. History has it that he reached out to Attila the Hun and persuaded him not to invade Rome. He did that to protect his flock. He loved his brothers and sisters and interceded for them. Let us learn from him. Finally, he was a man of deep faith. He had a strong trust in the goodness of God and when things got really bad, Leo prayed.
He reminds me of what my high school teacher once said – ‘To kneel is to win.’ There is no doubt Leo’s prayer won peace for his people. We too can win peace in our marriages, vocations, personal lives when we pray. We can regain our health when we pray. In the face of the ‘Attila’ of addiction, prayer can heal our brokenness. For prayer changes us to change our life. Leo 1 (c.400-10 November 461), also known as Leo the Great, was the Bishop of Rome from 29 September 440 until his death. Pope Benedict XVI said that Leo’s papacy “was undoubtedly one of the most important in the Church’s history.
” He was a Roman aristocrat, and was the first Pope to have been called “the Great”. Prayer God our Father in you Saint Leo the Great grew to be a father to the flock you entrusted to his care. Help us who celebrate his memory today to learn how to always work for the common good. May we learn the power of prayer and pray always as your Son has asked us to. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen