Our holy father Leo, Pope of Rome who was born in Etruria [Tuscany], first stood out as a diligent deacon of Rome. He was then elevated to the chair of Peter, where rightly and by his merit he deserved to be called “the Great.” He nourished his flock by his excellent and prudent discourse. He exerted all his influence to put an end to the unrest by the heretics in the Church, and by his letters to the holy emperors Theodosius II (408-450) and Marcia (450-457), he actively promoted the convening of the Fourth Ecumenical council in 451, to condemn the heresy of the Monophysites. At the Council, at which 630 bishops were present, a letter of St. Leo wrote to the deceased Saint Flavian, Patriarch of Constantinople was read. Saint Flavian had suffered for orthodoxy under the “Robber Council” of Ephesus In the year 49. And the letter of Saint Theo the orthodox teaching about the two natures in the Lord Jesus Christ was that fourth. All bishops present at the council were in agreement with this teaching and saw the Heretics Eutyche, Discorus were excommunicated from the church. He rested in the Lord at Rome, where he was buried on this day (471).
O guide of the true faith, mirror of piety and commendable behavior, bright star of the universe, and adornments of pontiffs, you enlightened us all by your teachings. O wise Leo, inspired by God and lyre of the Holy Spirit, intercede with Christ our God that He may save our souls.
O glorious Leo, when you rose to the episcopal see, you stopped the mouths of lions by exposing your flock with the knowledge of God. Therefore, you were glorified, O contemplator of things divine.
Romans 14: 19-23, 16: 25-27
Brothers and sisters: Let us, then, make it our aim to work for peace and to strengthen one another. Take care not to destroy God’s work for the sake of something to eat. True, all foods are clean, but it is wrong for a man to eat when the food offends his conscience. You would be acting nobly if you abstained from eating meat, or drinking wine, or anything else that offers your brother an occasion for stumbling or scandal, or that weakens him in any way. Use the faith you have as your rule of life in the sight of God. Happy the man whose conscience does not condemn what he has chosen to do! But if a man eats when his conscience has misgivings about eating, he is already condemned, because he is not acting in accordance with what he believes. Whatever does not accord with one’s beliefs is sinful.
Now to him who is able to strengthen you in the gospel which I proclaim when I preach Jesus Christ, the gospel which reveals the mystery hidden for many ages but now manifested through the writings of the prophets, and, at the command of the eternal God, made known to all the Gentiles that they may believe and obey – to him, the God who alone is wise, may glory be given through Jesus Christ unto endless ages. Amen.
Matthew 6: 1-13
The Lord saint, “Be on guard against performing religious acts for people to see. Otherwise expect no recompense from your heavenly Father. When you give alms, for example, do not blow a horn before you in synagogues and streets like hypocrites looking for applause. You can be sure of this much, they are already repaid. In giving alms you are noy to let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Keep your deeds of mercy secret and your Father who sees in secret will repay you.
“When you are praying, do not behave like the hypocrites who love to stand and pray in the synagogues or on the street corners in order to be noticed. I give you my word, they are already repaid. Whenever you pray, go to your room, close your door, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees what no man sees, will repay you. In your prayer do not rattle on like the pagans. They think they will win a hearing by sheer multiplication of words. Do not imitate them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him. This is how you are to pray:’Our Father in heaven hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us the wrong we have done as we forgive those who wrong us. Subject us not to the trial but deliver us from the evil one.’”
Icon courtesy of Jack Figel, Eastern Christian Publications – ecpubs.com
Friday, February 17 –