Tuesday 12 June 2018

# Saints

Pope Saint Leo III

Image: Pope Saint Leo III

The 12th of June is the feast day of Pope Saint Leo III (d. 12 June 816). He was a Pope from 26 December 795 till his death in 816. He crowned Charlemagne as Holy Roman Emperor and “Augustus of the Romans.”

Pope Saint Leo III was a cardinal in Rome and was elected as pope on the same day his predecessor was buried. During his life, there was tension between popes and emperors. Pope Saint Leo recognised Charlemagne as the protector of the See of Rome. This gained him enemies within the Roman nobles. Because of this, he was attacked by a mob who cut off his tongue and his eyes hoping he would not be able to serve anymore. He survived and was imprisoned by those that attacked him. His eyes and tongue were miraculously restored and he escaped to Charlemagne for protection. Charlemagne brought him back to Rome and put to trial his enemies. On 800 A.D. during Christmas Mass, Pope Saint Leo III crowned Charlemagne as Holy Roman Emperor. Pope Saint Leo III was known as an effective administrator and for improving the churches. He helped create greater cooperation between the Church and the secular nations of Europe, maintaining their collective identity as Christians.