“The Feast of St. Leo the Great is November 10”
“Little is known about the early life of this man who proved to be such an extraordinary shepherd of the Catholic Church that he came to be known not only as Pope Saint Leo I, but also is one of the only two Popes in two thousand years to be called “the Great.” What we do know is that as a deacon of the Roman Church, before being elevated to the office of Pope in 440 AD, St. Leo the Great had opposed the heresy of Pelagianism which taught that grace was not necessary for salvation, but was rather a bonus that God granted to those who earned it by their good works. As Pope, St. Leo the Great was forceful and unambiguous in his Christological teaching which affirmed the full divinity and humanity of Christ. In fact his most famous writing, commonly known as the Tome of St. Leo (449), was the basis of the Council of Chalcedon’s (451) dogmatic definition of Christ as one Divine Person possessing two complete natures, human and divine.
During his pontificate the Council of Chalcedon was convened. It condemned many popular heresies of the day, and declared that the two natures of Jesus were indivisible. Pope Leo had already defended this doctrine in the epistle called the Tome. When the Council Fathers read it they declared, “This we all believe. Peter has spoken through Leo.”
St. Leo the Great was Pope during the middle of the fifth century, a troubled time when barbarian armies were ravaging the once mighty Roman Empire. For all intents and purposes, the Western Empire was in total political and military collapse and there was a vacuum of political leadership. Pope St. Leo filled the void and became the advocate for the temporal as well as spiritual needs of his flock. He is perhaps most famous for persuading Attila the Hun to abandon his plans to sack the city of Rome and to withdraw his forces beyond the Danube river (452). St. Leo once again was the spokesperson for the Roman citizenry in 455 when the Vandal barbarians swept into Central Italy, securing concessions from them.
Through both his powerful teaching and his leadership, Pope St. Leo the Great very much strengthened the office of the Papacy and made a strong biblical case for the Divine institution of this ministry by examining the biblical evidence for Peter’s unique role among the apostles.”
– courtesy of Dr. Marcellino D’Ambrossio
Author: Robert Stackpole
Author: Rev. Leo D. Davis, S.J.
Author: Kenneth D. Whitehead
Author: Matthew Bunson, D. Min.
Author: Martha Rasmussen
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Understanding our Catholic jewelry and terminology
A continuing series, from Zach our jewelry specialist:
“What is the difference between gold-plated, gold-filled, and 14kt gold? Which one is best?”
Gold-Plated means that it has a very thin layer of gold applied to a base metal or sterling silver*. This is usually the cheapest way to go when it comes to gold, as it is mostly just ‘dipped’ in gold to give it the gold plating. The layer of gold is so thin that it will wear away and reveal the base layer of metal after a few months to a year.
Gold-Filled means that a layer of gold has been applied to a base metal such as brass, copper, or sterling silver*, then bonded using heat and pressure. The resulting layer of gold will be between 17 and 100,000 times thicker than gold-plating. Gold-filled pieces have been known to last many years, despite heavy use, but they can eventually wear through. These are usually safe for those with allergies.
14kt Gold is gold actually mixed with an alloy to get 14 parts gold and ten parts alloy, or 58.5% gold. This is the jewelry industry standard for fine gold. It will last the longest and is the least sensitive to allergies.
Which one is the best? The individual choice comes down to personal preference and budget. Gold-plate is better for a lower budget, as it is the lowest-priced option. Gold-filled is slightly more expensive than gold-plate, but it will last much longer. 14kt gold is the most expensive option, but will last the longest. It is also the only one that is “pure” gold.
*All of the gold-plated and gold-filled jewelry items that Aquinas and More Catholic Goods carries have sterling silver as the base metal.
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“True God and True Man
The unique and altogether singular even of the Incarnation of the Son of God does not mean that Jesus Christ is part God and part man, nor does it imply that he is the result of a confused mixture of the divine and the human. He became truly man while remaining truly God. Jesus Christ is true God and true man. During the first centuries, the Church had to defend and clarify this truth of faith against the heresies that falsified it.
The Church thus confesses that Jesus is inseparably true God and true man. He is truly the Son of God who, without ceasing to be God and Lord, became a man and our brother:
“What he was, he remained, and what he was not, he assumed’ sings the Roman Liturgy. And the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom proclaims and sings: ‘O only-begotten Son and Word of God, immortal being, you who deigned for our salvation to become incarnate of the holy Mother of God and ever-virgin Mary, you who without change did become man and were crucified, O Christ our God, you who by your death have crushed death, you who are one of the Holy Trinity, gloried with the Father and the Holy Spirit, save us!’
– from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 464, 469
The new 2008 Catholic calendars are here!
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Clearance Sale! – All 2007 guides from Catholic Book Publishing are only 50 cents each!
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Pope St. Leo the Great meeting Attila the Hun, by Raphael, circa 1514
A thought from Pope St. Leo the Great:
“Our Redeemer’s visible presence has passed into the sacraments”
A simple prayer for St. Leo’s intercession:
“Oh God, You established Your Church on the solid rock of Saint Peter and You will never allow the powers of Hell to dominate her, grant that she may persevere in Your truth and enjoy continual peace through the intercession of Pope St Leo the Great.”