Leo IX, Pope, St.

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Pontificate: Feb. 2, 1049 to April 19, 1054; b. Bruno of Egisheim, Egisheim, Alsace, June 21, 1002. Leo's reign marks the beginning of true papal reform and of the liberation of the Church from both the Roman nobility and German imperial entanglements. As a young cleric, he saw military service in Lombardy, replacing his aged bishop in the muster of Emperor conrad ii. A blood relative of Conrad, he owed to him his later appointment as bishop. He was consecrated in the See of Toul, Sept. 9,1027. Influenced by the principles of monastic reform of cluny and Lorraine, he reformed the monasteries of St. Aper, moyenmoutier, remiremont, and Saint-Dié, which were under his patronage. As bishop, he also held many visitations and synods. Bruno was elected pope at Worms by his cousin, the Emperor Henry III, and was crowned in St. Peter's. His biographer, humbert of silva candida, states that he accepted only after the acclamation of the Roman clergy and people. Experienced in administration, he introduced fresh policy carried out by young reformers from Lorraine: hugh of remiremont; Frederick of Lorraine, later stephen ix; and especially Humbert, his "secretary of state" and author of his important papers. Hildebrand, later gregory vii, also began his career in Rome during Leo's pontificate.

After his coronation, Leo spent no more than six months in Rome. Traveling through Italy, Germany, France, and as far as Hungary, he projected an image of the papacy in action to those for whom the pope had been only a name, sometimes one of ill repute. He held 12 synods at Rome, Bari, Mainz, Pavia, Reims, and elsewhere, and issued decrees against simony and clerical marriage. He granted papal security to monastic property, honored the relics of saints, and canonized gerard of toul. At Vercelli in 1050, he condemned berengarius of tours for his teachings on the Eucharist.

Working harmoniously with Henry III, Leo could be styled the "Imperial Vicar for Italy." His policy, stimulated by the donation of constantine, of opposing by force the Norman devastation of southern Italy made the German court uncooperative and aroused the antagonism of michael cerularius, Patriarch of Constantinople. With ragged recruits from Germany and Italy, Leo engaged the Normans at Civitate on June 18, 1053, but was defeated and then honorably detained near Bari. In January 1054, he sent a mission under Humbert to the Byzantine Emperor, constantine ix, proposing a triple alliance of the papacy, Byzantium, and the Empire against the Normans. But irresponsible acts by Humbert and Cerularius on this occasion aggravated the chronically strained relations between the churches, which led eventually to the denouement of 1204 (see eastern schism). Leo did not live to direct these events. Broken by defeat and weakened, perhaps by malaria, he was carried to Rome and died in St. Peter's, where he was buried.

Feast: April 19.

Bibliography: Sources. Acta Apostolicae Sedis, April 2:648665. j. mabillon, Acta sanctorum ordinis S. Benedicti, v.9 (Paris 16681701; 2d ed. Venice 173340) Saec 6.2:4781. Bibliotheca hagiographica latina antiquae et mediae aetatis, 2 v. (Brussels 18981901; suppl. 1911) 481829. Analecta Bollandiana (Brussels 1882) 25:258297. Patrologia Latina, ed. j. p. migne, 217 v. (Paris 187890) 143:465798. p. jaffÉ, Regesta pontificum romanorum ab condita ecclesia ad annum post Christum natum 1198, ed. s. lÖwenfeld et al., 2 v. (2d ed. Leipzig 188188; repr. Graz 1956) 1:529549. p. f. kehr, Regesta Pontificum Romanorum. Italia Pontificia, 8 v. (Berlin 190635) 8:810. c. j. c. will, Acta et scripta (Leipzig 1861). Literature. a. michel, Humbert und Kerullarios, 2 v. (Paderborn 192430); "Die folgenschweren Ideen des Kardinals Humbert," Studi gregoriani, 1, ed. g. b. borino (Rome 1947) 6592; "Die Anfänge des Kardinals Humbert," Studi gregoriani, 3, ed. g. b. borino (Rome 1948) 299319. l. sittler and p. stintzi, S. Léon IX, le pape alsacien (Colmar 1950). j. haller, Das Papsttum, 5 v. (2d, rev. ed. Stuttgart 195053) 2:286296. v. grumel, "Les préliminaires du schisme de Michel Cérulaire," Revue des études byzantines, 10 (Paris 1952) 523. h. tritz, "Die Hagiographischen Quellen zur Geschichte Papst Leos IX," Studi gregoriani, 4, ed. g. b. borino (Rome 1952) 191364, r. mayne, "East and West in 1054," Cambridge Historical Journal, 11 (Cambridge, Eng. 195355) 133148. h. g. krause, Das Papstwahldekret von 1059 (Rome 1960). d. m. nicol, "Byzantium and the Papacy in the 11th Century," The Journal of Ecclesiastical History, 13 (London 1962) 120. j. drehmann, Papst Leo IX. Und die Simonie (Hildesheim 1973). e. petrucci Ecclesiologia e politica di Leone IX (Rome 1977). m. l. jacotey, Bruno, pape alsacien ou Saint Léon IX (Remiremont 1984). j. n. d. kelly, Oxford Dictionary of Popes (New York 1986) 147. j. dahlhaus, "Leo IX," Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, third ed. (Freiburg 1996) 6:825825. m. parisse, ed., Vita Leonis noni, French trans by m. goullet (Paris 1997).

[o. j. blum]