Mosaic at Triclinium Leoninum
|Papacy began||27 December 795|
|Papacy ended||12 June 816|
|Created cardinal||by Adrian I|
|Born||Rome, Exarchate of Ravenna, Eastern Roman Empire|
|Died||12 June 816 (aged 66)|
Rome, Papal States
|Previous post||Cardinal-Priest of Santa Susanna|
|Feast day||12 June|
|Venerated in|| Catholic Church |
Greek Orthodox Church
by Clement X
|Other popes named Leo|
Pope Leo III (Latin : Leo; fl. 12 June 816) was the bishop of Rome and ruler of the Papal States from 26 December 795 to his death. Protected by Charlemagne from the supporters of his predecessor, Adrian I, Leo subsequently strengthened Charlemagne's position by crowning him emperor. The coronation not approved in Constantinople, although the Byzantines, occupied with their own defenses, were in no position to offer much opposition.
Leo was of a modest family in southern Italy, the son of Atyuppius and Elizabeth. He was made cardinal-priest of Santa Susanna by Pope Adrian I, and seemingly also vestiarius, or chief of the pontifical treasury, or wardrobe.
He was elected on 26 December 795, the day Adrian I was buried, and consecrated on the following day. It is quite possible that this haste may have been due to a desire on the part of the Romans to prevent any interference by the Franks. With the letter informing the Frankish ruler Charlemagne that he had been unanimously elected pope, Leo sent him the keys of the confession of St. Peter, and the standard of the city, and requested an envoy. This he did to show that he regarded the Frankish king as the protector of the Holy See.In return, Charlemagne sent letters of congratulation and a great part of the treasure which the king had captured from the Avars.
Charlemagne's gift enabled Leo to be a great benefactor to the churches and charitable institutions of Rome. While Charlemagne's letter is respectful and even affectionate, it also exhibits his concept of the coordination of the spiritual and temporal powers, and he does not hesitate to remind the pope of his grave spiritual obligations.Charlemagne's reply stated that it was his role to defend the Church, and the role of the pope to pray for the realm and for the victory of his army.
Prompted by jealousy or ambition, or the thought that only someone of the nobility should hold the office of pope, a number of relatives of Adrian I formed a plot to render Leo unfit to hold his office. On the occasion of the procession of the Greater Litanies, 25 April 799, when the pope was making his way towards the Flaminian Gate, he was suddenly attacked by armed men. He was dashed to the ground, and an effort was made to root out his tongue and tear out his eyes which left him injured and unconscious. He was rescued by two of Charlemagne's missi dominici , who came with a considerable force.Duke Winiges of Spoleto sheltered the fugitive pope, who went later to Paderborn, where Charlemagne's camp then was. He was received by the Frankish king with the greatest honour at Paderborn. This meeting forms the basis of the epic poem Karolus Magnus et Leo Papa .
Leo was accused by his enemies of adultery and perjury. Charlemagne ordered them to Paderborn, but no decision could be made. He then had Leo escorted back to Rome. In November 800, Charlemagne himself went to Rome, and on 1 December held a council there with representatives of both sides. Leo, on 23 December, took an oath of purgation concerning the charges brought against him, and his opponents were exiled.
Charlemagne's father, Pepin the Short, defended the papacy against the Lombards and issued the Donation of Pepin, which granted the land around Rome to the pope as a fief. In 754 Pope Stephen II had conferred on Charles's father the dignity of Patricius Romanus, which implied primarily the protection of the Roman Church in all its rights and privileges; above all in its temporal authority which it had gradually acquired (notably in the former Byzantine Duchy of Rome and the Exarchate of Ravenna) by just titles in the course of the two preceding centuries.
Two days after his oath, on Christmas Day 800, Leo crowned Charlemagne as emperor. According to Charlemagne's biographer, Einhard, Charles had no suspicion of what was about to happen, and if informed would not have accepted the imperial crown.There is, however, no reason to doubt that for some time previous the elevation of Charlemagne had been discussed, both at home and at Rome, especially since the imperial throne in Constantinople was controversially occupied by a woman, Irene of Athens, and since the Carolingian dynasty had firmly established its power and prestige. The coronation offended Constantinople, which had seen itself still as the rightful defender of Rome, but Empress Irene, like many of her predecessors since Justinian I, was too weak to offer protection to the city or its much reduced citizenry.
In 808, Leo committed Corsica to Charlemagne for safe-keeping because of Muslim raids, originating from Al-Andalus,on the island. Nonetheless, Corsica, along with Sardinia, would still go on to be occupied by Muslim forces in 809 and 810.
Leo helped restore King Eardwulf of Northumbria and settled various matters of dispute between the archbishops of York and Canterbury.He also reversed Adrian I's decision in regards to the granting of the pallium to Bishop Hygeberht of Lichfield. He believed that the English episcopate had been misrepresented before Adrian and that therefore his act was invalid. In 803, Lichfield was a regular diocese again.
When asked to confirm the decision of the 809 Council of Aachen, Leo, though affirming the orthodoxy of the term Filioque and approving of its use in catechesis and personal professions of the faith, explicitly disapproved the addition of the filioque to the Creed of 381. [ citation needed ]Around this time, he ordered two heavy silver shields, containing the original text of the Creed in both Greek and Latin, to be made and placed in St. Peter's Basilica, adding: "Haec Leo posui amore et cautela orthodoxae fidei" ("I, Leo, put these here for love and protection of orthodox faith").
Leo III died in 816 after a reign of more than 20 years. He was originally buried in his own monument. However, some years after his death, his remains were put into a tomb that contained the first four popes named Leo. In the 18th century, the relics of Leo the Great were separated from his namesakes, and he was given his own chapel.
Leo III was canonized by Clement X, who, in 1673, had Leo's name entered in the Roman Martyrology.
Angilbert, sometimes known as Saint Angilbert or Angilberk or Engelbert, was a noble Frankish poet who was educated under Alcuin and served Charlemagne as a secretary, diplomat, and son-in-law. He was venerated as a pre-Congregation saint and is still honored on the day of his death, 18 February.
Charlemagne or Charles the Great, numbered Charles I, was King of the Franks from 768, King of the Lombards from 774, and Emperor of the Romans from 800. During the Early Middle Ages, he united the majority of western and central Europe. He was the first recognised emperor to rule from western Europe since the fall of the Western Roman Empire three centuries earlier. The expanded Frankish state that Charlemagne founded is called the Carolingian Empire. He was later canonised by Antipope Paschal III.
Pope Adrian I was the bishop of Rome and ruler of the Papal States from 1 February 772 to his death. He was the son of Theodore, a Roman nobleman.
Pope Stephen II was the bishop of Rome from 26 March 752 to his death. Stephen II marks the historical delineation between the Byzantine Papacy and the Frankish Papacy. During Stephen's pontificate, Rome was facing invasion by the Lombards when Stephen II to Paris to seek assistance from Pepin the Short. Pepin defeated the Lombards and made a gift of land to the pope, eventually leading to the establishment of the Papal States.
Pope Adrian II was the bishop of Rome and ruler of the Papal States from 867 to his death. He continued the policy of his predecessor, Nicholas I. Despite seeking good relations with Louis II of Italy, he was placed under surveillance, and his wife and daughters were killed by Louis' supporters.
Pope Stephen IV was the bishop of Rome and ruler of the Papal States from June 816 to his death. Stephen belonged to a noble Roman family. In October 816, he crowned Louis the Pious as emperor at Rheims, and persuaded him to release some Roman political prisoners he held in custody. He returned to Rome, by way of Ravenna, sometime in November and died the following January.
Year 800 (DCCC) was a leap year starting on Wednesday of the Julian calendar. It was around this time that the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years, so from this time on, the years began to known as 800 and onwards.
The 790s decade ran from January 1, 790, to December 31, 799.
Year 741 (DCCXLI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Julian calendar. The denomination 741 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.
Carloman I, also Karlmann was king of the Franks from 768 until his death in 771. He was the second surviving son of Pepin the Short and Bertrada of Laon and was a younger brother of Charlemagne. His death allowed Charlemagne to take all of Francia and begin his expansion into other kingdoms.
Nicholas I, called Nicholas the Great, was the pope from 24 April 858 until his death. He is remembered as a consolidator of papal authority, exerting decisive influence on the historical development of the papacy and its position among the Christian nations of Western Europe. Nicholas I asserted that the pope should have suzerainty over all Christians, even royalty, in matters of faith and morals.
The history of the papacy, the office held by the pope as head of the Catholic Church, according to Catholic doctrine, spans from the time of Peter to the present day.
The Patrimony of Saint Peter originally designated the landed possessions and revenues of various kinds that belonged to the apostolic Holy See i.e. the "Church of Saint Peter" in Rome, by virtue of the apostolic see status as founded by Saint Peter, according to Catholic tradition. Until the middle of the 8th century this consisted wholly of private property, but the term was later applied to the States of the Church, and more particularly to the Duchy of Rome.
Saint Paulinus II was a priest, theologian, poet, and one of the most eminent scholars of the Carolingian Renaissance. From 787 to his death, he was the Patriarch of Aquileia. He participated in a number of synods which opposed Spanish Adoptionism and promoted both reforms and the adoption of the Filioque into the Nicene Creed. In addition, Paulinus arranged for the peaceful Christianisation of the Avars and the alpine Slavs in the territory of the Aquileian patriarchate. For this, he is also known as the apostle of the Slovenes.
Pepin, or Pippin the Hunchback was a Frankish prince. He was the eldest son of Charlemagne and noblewoman Himiltrude. He developed a humped back after birth, leading early medieval historians to give him the epithet "hunchback". He lived with his father's court after Charlemagne dismissed his mother and took another wife, Hildegard. Around 781, Pepin's half brother Carloman was rechristened as "Pepin of Italy"—a step that may have signaled Charlemagne's decision to disinherit the elder Pepin, for a variety of possible reasons. In 792, Pepin the Hunchback revolted against his father with a group of leading Frankish nobles, but the plot was discovered and put down before the conspiracy could put it into action. Charlemagne commuted Pepin's death sentence, having him tonsured and exiled to the monastery of Prüm instead. Since his death in 811, Pepin has been the subject of numerous works of historical fiction.
The Frankish emperor Charlemagne took an intense interest in church music, and its propagation and adequate performance throughout his empire. He not only caused liturgical music to flourish in his own time, throughout his empire in Western Europe, but he laid the foundations for the subsequent musical culture of the region. The emperor's agents and representatives were everywhere ordered to watch over the faithful carrying out of his orders regarding music.
Papal appointment was a medieval method of selecting a pope. Popes have always been selected by a council of Church fathers, however, Papal selection before 1059 was often characterized by confirmation or "nomination" by secular European rulers or by their predecessors. The later procedures of the papal conclave are in large part designed to constrain the interference of secular rulers which characterized the first millennium of the Roman Catholic Church, and persisted in practices such as the creation of crown-cardinals and the jus exclusivae. Appointment might have taken several forms, with a variety of roles for the laity and civic leaders, Byzantine and Germanic emperors, and noble Roman families. The role of the election vis-a-vis the general population and the clergy was prone to vary considerably, with a nomination carrying weight that ranged from near total to a mere suggestion or ratification of a prior election.
A number of significant councils of the Roman Catholic Church were held at Aachen in the early Middle Ages.
In 9th-century Christianity, Charlemagne was crowned as Holy Roman Emperor, which continued the Photian schism.
From 756 to 857, the papacy shifted from the orbit of the Byzantine Empire to that of the kings of the Franks. Pepin the Short, Charlemagne, and Louis the Pious had considerable influence in the selection and administration of popes. The "Donation of Pepin" (756) ratified a new period of papal rule in central Italy, which became known as the Papal States.
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