Golden Legend – Saint Leo the Pope

Here followeth of Saint Leo the Pope.

Leo the pope, as it is read in the miracles of our blessed Lady, in the church of Saint Mary the More, as he sang there mass, and much people by order were communed and houseled, and a matron, a certain woman, kissed his hand, whereof he was tempted vehemently in his flesh. And this holy man was a great wreaker and avenger on himself, and cut off his hand that same day privily, and threw it from him. Afterward the people murmured among them because the pope sang no mass, and did not divine service solemnly as he was wont to do. Then Leo turned him unto the Blessed Virgin, our Lady, and committed himself wholly to her providence. Then she anon appeared to him and restored to him his hand and reformed it with her holy hands, commanding that he should go forth and offer sacrifice unto her son. Then this holy man Leo preached unto all the people that came thither, and showed evidently how his hand was restored to him again. This Leo the pope held the council at Chalcedon, and ordained virgins to be veiled. It was also made there a statute that the Virgin Mary should be called the mother of God. That same time Attila destroyed Italy. Then Leo waking, prayed in the church of the apostles three days and three nights, and after said to his men: Who that will follow me, let him follow. When then he approached to Attila, anon as he saw Saint Leo he descended from his horse, and fell down plats to his feet, and prayed him that he should ask what he would. And he desired that he should go out of Italy and release the christian people that he had in captivity. And his servants reproved him that the triumphing prince of the world should be overcome of a priest. He answered: I have provided for myself and to you. I saw on his right side a knight standing with a sword drawn and saying to me: But if thou spare this man thou shalt be slain, and all thy men.

Then Saint Leo wrote an epistle to Fabian, bishop of Constantinople, against Eutichius and Nestorius, which he laid upon the sepulchre of Saint Peter, and was in continual fastings and prayers, saying: O holy Peter, what that I have erred in this epistle as man, thou to whom the cure of the Church i8 committed, correct and amend. And after forty days Peter appeared to him praying, and said: I have read it and amended it. Then Leo took the epistle, and found it corrected and amended with the hands of the apostle. Other forty days also he was continually in fastings and prayers at the sepulchre of Saint Peter, beseeching to get him forgiveness of his sins. To whom Peter appeared and said: I have prayed our Lord for thee, and he hath forgiven thee all thy sins, save only of the imposition of thy hand thou shalt be examined. He died about the year of our Lord four hundred and sixty.