Icons of Holy Pope of Old
Rome, Leo III
Feast: June 12
Pope of Old Rome from 795 to
816, St. Leo III was of humble origins, and for this he suffered many
things at the hands of the nobles. He was accused of adultery and of
perjury. In 799 he was attacked by a gang, then formally deposed and
exiled to a monastery. Escaping, he met Charlemagne at Paderborn.
Charlemagne had the maligned patriarch escorted to Rome. Arriving there
himself, the emperor called a council which acquitted the Saint. Two
days later, on Nativity, St. Leo crowned Charlemagne without prior
notice to Constantinople, which gave offence to the court at
Constantinople. St. Leo was much involved in disputes arising in the
Anglo-Saxon Church. He is however most famous for forbidding the
addition of "Filioque" to the Nicene Creed (a 6th century custom, this
addition was made at Aachen in 809). In fact, he ordered the original
(Orthodox) Nicene Creed to be engraved on silver tablets he caused to
be affixed at the tombs of Sts. Peter and Paul at Rome, writing "Haec
Leo posui amore et cautela Orthodoxae Fidei" (I, Leo, placed these here
out of love and guardianship of the Orthodox faith). His feast was kept
in the Old English Church particularly. Holy Father Leo, pray to God
Top Icon: mosaic icon at Rome.
Final Icon: mosaic icon at
Rome. St. Leo is upon the left hand.