Pope Saint Leo IX
Reigned from 12 February 1049 to 19 April 1054.
Born on 21 June 1002 at Egisheim, Alsace as Bruno; died in Rome, Italy.
A cousin of Emperor Conrad, canon of Saint Stephen's (Toul), deacon, he was consecrated Bishop of Toul, 1021.
Mediator between France and the Empire, he was elected to the papacy as the choice of the Romans, and Henry III of Germany.
As pope he sought to centralize the episcopacy and began at his first synod at Rome when he attacked simony and clerical incontinence.
To the same end he held synods at Pavia, Rheims, Mainz and Vercelli where he condemned the heresy of Berengarius.
The Golden Rose is first mentioned in his reign.
He authorized the consecration of the first native bishop of Iceland.
The people of southern Italy and Greece sought his aid against the Normans.
He declared war upon them in 1053.
They defeated his meager forces, and captured him at Civitella, but released him unharmed.
Three months after his death the Patriarch Michael Cærularius, whose unorthodox attitude had displeased him, was excommunicated by two cardinals, and the East was finally separated from the Church.
Feast, Roman Calendar, 19 April.
New Catholic Dictionary