POPE SAINT LEO III (died 12 June 816) was
Pope from December 26, 795
to his death in 816. Protected by
Charlemagne from his enemies in
Rome , he subsequently strengthened Charlemagne's position by crowning
Holy Roman Emperor
Holy Roman Emperor and "
Augustus of the Romans".
* 1 Biography
* 1.1 Early life and pontifical selection
* 1.2 Pontificate
* 1.3 Coronation of
* 1.4 Significance
* 1.5 Death and burial
* 1.6 Canonization
* 2 See also
* 3 References
* 4 External links
EARLY LIFE AND PONTIFICAL SELECTION
Leo was a Roman, the son of Atyuppius and Elizabeth. At the time of
his election he was Cardinal-Priest of Santa Susanna, and seemingly
also vestiarius, or chief of the pontifical treasury, or wardrobe.
He was elected on the very day his predecessor, Adrian I , was buried
(26 Dec., 795), 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 anticipate any interference of the
Franks with their
freedom of election. With the letter informing
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 he received from
Charlemagne letters of congratulation and
a great part of the treasure which the king had captured from the
Avars. The acquisition of this wealth 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, nor does he hesitate to remind the pope of his grave spiritual
obligations. Charlemagne's reply stated that it was his function to
defend the Church , and the function of the
Pope to pray for the realm
and for the victory of his army.
Prompted by jealousy or ambition, or by feelings of hatred and
revenge, a number of the relatives of
Pope Adrian I formed a plot to
render Leo unfit to hold his sacred 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
a body of 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 the king's missus
dominicus, who came with a considerable force. The Duke of Spoleto
sheltered the fugitive pope, who went later to
Paderborn , where the
king's camp then was. He was received by the Frankish king with the
greatest honour at
Paderborn . This meeting forms the basis of the
Karolus Magnus et Leo Papa .
His enemies had accused Leo 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
CORONATION OF CHARLEMAGNE
Pepin the Short
Pepin the Short , defended the papacy against
the Lombards and issued the
Donation of Pepin , which granted the land
Rome to the pope as a fief. In 774
Pope Adrian I 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
Two days after Leo's oath, on Christmas Day 800, he crowned
Charlemagne as Roman emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. According to
Charlemagne's biographer, Einhard, (Vita Caroli 28) Charles had no
suspicion of what was about to happen, and if informed would not have
accepted the imperial crown. On the other hand, there seems no reason
to doubt that for some time previous the elevation of Charles had been
discussed, both at home and at Rome, especially in view of two facts:
the scandalous condition of the imperial government at Constantinople,
and the acknowledged grandeur and solidity of the Carolingian house.
The coronation offended
Constantinople , which had seen itself still
as the rightful defender of Rome, but the Eastern Roman Empress Irene
of Athens , like many of her predecessors since Justinian, was too
weak to offer protection to the city or its much reduced citizenry.
In 808, Leo committed
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.
On Christmas Day in 800, Leo crowned
Charlemagne Holy Roman Emperor
at St Peter's Basilica in Rome.
Charlemagne gathered to his court the
cream of available intellect, centered on the scholar
Alcuin , whom he
brought from York in England. Monks and other copyists were set to
transcribing ancient manuscripts, both classical and Christian, for
the preservation and extension of learning. Schools were established
at monasteries and cathedrals, the forerunners of the great
universities. Myriad hymns and poems were composed, along with
commentaries on Holy Scripture, treatises on music, theological works,
and numerous chronicles of history. Advances were made in architecture
(at Aachen and Ingelheim, for instance), technology (such as the iron
horseshoe and the padded harness for plowing with horses), and
agriculture (for example, the system of triple crop rotation).
Under his leadership there arose a cultural enrichment still known as
Carolingian Renaissance . Although the political unity Charlemagne
imposed on the greater part of that continent did not outlive him, the
cultural unity of Europe did.
Leo helped restore King
Eardwulf of Northumbria
Eardwulf of Northumbria and settled various
matters of dispute between the Archbishops of York and Canterbury . He
also reversed the decision of his predecessor
Pope Adrian I in regards
to the granting of the pallium to
Bishop of Lichfield
Bishop 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.
Leo forbade the addition of the filioque to the
Nicene Creed , when
asked to confirm the decision of a
Council of Aachen held in 809.
Although he approved of the doctrine expressed by the filioque, he
also ordered that the Nicene Creed, without filioque, be displayed on
silver tablets placed in Saint Peter's Basilica, adding: "Haec Leo
posui amore et cautela orthodoxae fidei" ("I, Leo, put these here for
love and protection of orthodox faith").
The reasons for the coronation of Charlemagne, the involvement
beforehand of the Frankish court, and the relationship to the Eastern
Roman Empire are all matters of debate among historians. An effective
administrator of the papal territories, Leo contributed to the
beautification of Rome.
DEATH AND BURIAL
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 Leo. In the 18th century, the relics of Leo I were separated
from the other Leos, and he was given his own chapel.
Leo III wasn't officially canonized, but his name was included in the
Martyrology in 1673 under
Pope Clement X which acted as formal
canonization. He is venerated as a Blessed in the Archdiocese of
Paderborn and his memorial is on 12 June.
* Biography portal
* Christianity portal
* History portal
List of Catholic saints
List of popes
List of popes
* ^ "Saint Leo III". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia
Britannica Inc., 2016. Web. 30 Mar. 2016
* ^ A B C D Mann, Horace. "
Pope St. Leo III." The Catholic
Encyclopedia. Vol. 9. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910. 5
* ^ A B C D Shahan, Thomas, and Ewan Macpherson. "Charlemagne." The
Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 3. New York: Robert Appleton Company,
1908. 5 January 2013
* ^ Einhard: The Life of Charlemagne, translated by
Turner, New York, Harper & Brothers,(1880)
* ^ Raymond Davis (1 Jan 1995). The Lives of the Ninth-century
Popes (Liber Pontificalis): The Ancient Biographies of Ten Popes from
A.D. 817-891 (illustrated ed.). Liverpool University Press. p. 93.
ISBN 9780853234791 .
* ^ Thomas F. X. Noble (1 Jan 2011). The Republic of St. Peter: The
Birth of the Papal State, 680-825. University of Pennsylvania Press.
p. 173. ISBN 9780812200911 .
* ^ Henri Pirenne (7 Mar 2013). Mohammed and Charlemagne.
Routledge. p. 160. ISBN 9781135030179 .
* ^ Reardon, Patrick Henry, "Turning Point: The Crowning of
Charlemagne", Christianity Today, January 1, 2006
* ^ "Agreed Statement of the North American Orthodox-Catholic
Theological Consultation, 25 October 2003".
* ^ Reardon, Wendy (McFarland). The deaths of the Popes. Check
date values in: date= (help )
* ^ Diözesankalender für das Erzbistum