Pope Leo IX

Pope Leo IX (21 June 1002 – 19 April 1054), born Bruno of Egisheim-Dagsburg, was pope from 12 February 1049 to his death in 1054.[1] He was a German aristocrat and a powerful ruler of central Italy while holding the papacy. He is regarded as a saint by the Catholic Church, his feast day celebrated on 19 April.[2]

Leo IX is widely considered the most historically significant German pope of the Middle Ages; he was instrumental in the precipitation of the Great Schism of 1054, considered the turning point in which the Catholic and Orthodox Churches formally separated.

Pope Saint

Leo IX
Pope Leo IX
Papacy began12 February 1049
Papacy ended19 April 1054
PredecessorDamasus II
SuccessorVictor II
Personal details
Birth nameBruno von Eguisheim-Dagsburg
Born21 June 1002
Egisheim, Alsace, Duchy of Swabia, Holy Roman Empire
Died19 April 1054 (aged 51)
Rome, Papal States
Previous postBishop of Toul (1026–49)
Feast day19 April
Venerated inCatholic Church
by Pope Gregory VII
Other popes named Leo
Papal styles of
Pope Leo IX
Emblem of the Papacy SE
Reference styleHis Holiness
Spoken styleYour Holiness
Religious styleHoly Father
Posthumous styleSaint

Early life

Leon IX
Leo IX portrayed in a contemporary manuscript

He was born to Count Hugh and Heilwig and was a native of Egisheim, Upper Alsace (present day Alsace, France). His family was of noble rank, and his father was a first cousin of Emperor Conrad II (1024–1039).[3]

At the age of five, Bruno was committed to the care of Berthold, Bishop of Toul, who had a school for the sons of the nobility. In 1017 Bruno became a canon at St. Stephen's in Toul. When, in 1024, his cousin Conrad succeeded Henry II as Holy Roman Emperor, Bruno's relatives sent him to the new king's court "to serve in his chapel". [4]

Bruno was a deacon in 1026 when Conrad set out for Italy to make his authority respected in that portion of his dominions, and as Herimann, Bishop of Toul, was too old to lead his contingent into the peninsula, he entrusted the command of it to Bruno. While he was thus in the midst of arms, Bishop Herimann died and Bruno was at once elected to succeed him. Conrad, who destined him for higher things, was loath to allow him to accept that insignificant see. But Bruno induced the emperor to permit him to take the see. Consecrated in 1027, Bruno administered the Diocese of Toul for over twenty years, during a time of stress and trouble.[5] He had to contend not merely with famine, but also with war, to which as a frontier town Toul was much exposed. Bruno rendered important political services to Conrad II, and afterwards to Emperor Henry III. He knew how to make peace, and, if necessary, to wield the sword in self-defence. Sent by Conrad to Robert the Pious, he established so firm a peace between France and the empire that it was not again broken even during the reigns of the sons of both Conrad and Robert. On the other hand, he held his episcopal city against Eudes, Count of Blois, a rebel against Conrad, and "by his wisdom and exertions" added Burgundy to the empire.

He became widely known as an earnest and reforming ecclesiastic by the zeal he showed in spreading the rule of the order of Cluny.It was whilst he was bishop that he was saddened by the death not merely of his father and mother, but also of two of his brothers. Amid his trials Bruno found some consolation in music, in which he proved himself very efficient.[4]


Commemorative shield on the wall of the Castle of Eguisheim, Alsace, birthplace of Pope Leo IX

On the death of Pope Damasus II in 1048, Bruno was selected as his successor by an assembly at Worms in December. Both the Emperor and the Roman delegates concurred. However, Bruno apparently favored a canonical election and stipulated as a condition of his acceptance that he should first proceed to Rome and be freely elected by the voice of the clergy and people of Rome. Setting out shortly after Christmas, he met with abbot Hugh of Cluny at Besançon, where he was joined by the young monk Hildebrand, who afterwards became Pope Gregory VII; arriving in pilgrim garb at Rome in the following February, he was received with much cordiality, and at his consecration assumed the name Leo IX.[6]

Leo IX favored traditional morality in his reformation of the Catholic Church. One of his first public acts was to hold the well-known Easter synod of 1049, at which celibacy of the clergy (down to the rank of subdeacon) was required anew. Also, the Easter synod was where the Pope at least succeeded in making clear his own convictions against every kind of simony. The greater part of the year that followed was occupied in one of those progresses through Italy, Germany and France which form a marked feature in Leo IX's pontificate. After presiding over a synod at Pavia, he joined Henry III in Saxony and accompanied him to Cologne and Aachen. He also summoned a meeting of the higher clergy in Reims in which several important reforming decrees were passed. At Mainz he held a council at which the Italian and French as well as the German clergy were represented, and ambassadors of the Greek emperor were present. Here too, simony and the marriage of the clergy were the principal matters dealt with.

After his return to Rome he held another Easter synod on 29 April 1050. It was occupied largely with the controversy about the teachings of Berengar of Tours. In the same year he presided over provincial synods at Salerno, Siponto and Vercelli, and in September revisited his native Germany, returning to Rome in time for a third Easter synod, at which the question of the reordination of those who had been ordained by simonists was considered.

In 1052 he joined the Emperor at Pressburg and vainly sought to secure the submission of the Hungarians. At Regensburg, Bamberg and Worms, the papal presence was celebrated with various ecclesiastical solemnities. In early 1053, Leo arbitrated a dispute between the archbishop of Carthage and the bishop of Gummi-Mahdia over ecclesiastical precedence.[7]

In constant fear of attack from the Normans in the south of Italy, the Byzantines turned in desperation to the Normans' own spiritual chief, Pope Leo IX, and, according to William of Apulia, begged him "to liberate Italy that now lacks its freedom and to force that wicked people, who are pressing Apulia under their yoke, to leave." After a fourth Easter synod in 1053, Leo IX set out against the Normans in the south with an army of Italians and Swabian mercenaries. "As fervent Christians the Normans were reluctant to fight their spiritual leader and tried to sue for peace but the Swabians mocked them – battle was inevitable."[8]

Dingsheim StKilian Leo IX
Leo IX

Leo IX led the army himself, but his forces suffered total defeat at the Battle of Civitate on 15 June 1053.[9] Nonetheless, on going out from the city to meet the victorious enemy he was received with every token of submission, pleas for forgiveness and oaths of fidelity and homage. From June 1053 to March 1054 the Pope was nevertheless held hostage at Benevento, in honourable captivity, until he acknowledged the Normans conquests in Calabria and Apulia. He did not long survive his return to Rome, where he died on 19 April 1054.

Michael Cærularius, through the metropolitan of Bulgaria wrote to the pope denouncing the use of unleavened bread and fasting days in the Latin church. and afterwards closed down the Latin rite churches of Constantinople and stopped remembrance for the Pope in the diptychs and wrote letters to the other patriarchs against the pope. to which he earned denouncement from the Patriarch of Antioch, Peter III for trying to incite schism within the church.

Leo IX sent a letter to Michael Cærularius, Patriarch of Constantinople, in 1054, that cited a large portion of the Donation of Constantine, believing it genuine.[10] The official status of this letter is acknowledged in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 5, entry on Donation of Constantine, page 120:

"The first pope who used it in an official act and relied upon it, was Leo IX; in a letter of 1054 to Michael Cærularius, Patriarch of Constantinople, he cites the "Donatio" to show that the Holy See possessed both an earthly and a heavenly imperium, the royal priesthood."

Leo IX assured the Patriarch that the donation was completely genuine, not a fable, so only the apostolic successor to Peter possessed that primacy and was the rightful head of all the Church. Before his death, Leo IX had sent a legatine mission under Cardinal Humbert of Silva Candida to Constantinople to negotiate with Patriarch Michael Cærularius in response to his actions concerning the church in Constantinople.[11] Humbert quickly disposed of negotiations by delivering a bull excommunicating the Patriarch.[5]

Nevertheless the primacy of the papacy had been acknowledged since the ancient church by the eastern church notably by Justinian and by numerous church figures.[12] Justinian wrote to Pope John in 533 saying "We have exerted Ourselves to unite all the priests of the East and subject them to the See of Your Holiness, and hence the questions which have at present arisen, although they are manifest and free from doubt, and, according to the doctrine of your Apostolic See, are constantly firmly observed and preached by all priests, We have still considered it necessary that they should be brought to the attention of Your Holiness. For we do not suffer anything which has reference to the state of the Church, even though what causes the difficulty may be clear and free from doubt, to be discussed without being brought to the notice of Your Holiness, because you are the head of all the Holy Churches, for We shall exert Ourselves in every way (as has already been stated), to increase the honor and authority of your See".

This act, although legally invalid due to the Pope's death at the time, was answered by the Patriarch's own bull of excommunication against Humbert and his associates and is popularly considered the official split between the Eastern and Western Churches. The Patriarch rejected the claims of papal primacy, and subsequently the One Church was split in two in the Great East–West Schism of 1054.

See also


  1. ^ Coulombe, Charles A., Vicars of Christ: A History of the Popes, (Citadel Press, 2003), 204.
  2. ^ Butler, Alban, Butler's Lives of the Saints, (Liturgical Press, 2003), 176.
  3. ^ Ian Robinson, The papal reform of the eleventh century: Lives of Pope Leo IX and Pope Gregory VII, (Manchester University Press, 2004), 99.
  4. ^ a b Mann, Horace. "Pope St. Leo IX." The Catholic Encyclopedia Vol. 9. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910. 12 May 2019 This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  5. ^ a b James R. Ginther, Humbert of Silva Candida, The Westminster Handbook to Medieval Theology, (Westminster John Knox Press, 2009), 89–91.
  6. ^ "Leo IX", Saints Resource, RCL Benziger
  7. ^ Lower 2014, p. 614.
  8. ^ Robert Bartlett, The Normans of the South BBC TV
  9. ^ Theotokis 2014, p. 133.
  10. ^ Migne's Patrologia Latina, Vol. 143 (cxliii), Col. 744–769. Also Mansi, Sacrorum Conciliorum Nova Amplissima Collectio, Vol. 19 (xix) Col. 635–656.
  11. ^ Brett Edward Whalen, Dominion of God: Christendom and Apocalypse in the Middle Ages (Harvard University Press, 2009), p. 24.
  12. ^ http://www.moellerhaus.com/studies/JUS533.HTM
  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Leo (popes)/Leo IX" . Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
  • Wikisource-logo.svg "Pope St. Leo IX" . Catholic Encyclopedia. 1913.


  • Lower, Michael (2014). "The Papacy and Christian Mercenaries of Thirteenth-Century North Africa". Speculum. The University of Chicago Press. Vol. 89, No. 3 JULY.
  • Theotokis, Georgios (2014). Norman Campaigns in the Balkans, 1081-1108. The Boydell Press.

Further reading

  • Migne's Patrologia Latina, Vol. 143 (cxliii), Leo IX Epistolae Et Decreta .pdf – 1.9 Mb. See Col. 744B-769D (pp. 76–89) for Leo IX's letter.
  • Mansi's, Sacrorum Conciliorum Nova Amplissima Collectio, Vol. 19 (xix) .pdf – 66 Mb. See Col. 635–656.
  • Acta et scripta quae de controversiis ecclesiae Graecae et Latinae, by Dr. Cornelius Will, 1861. This book has the text of the letters relevant to the Great Schism of 1054. The Greek and Latin texts of the Schism was studied by Michele Giuseppe D'Agostino, Il Primato della Sede di Roma in Leone IX (1049–1054). Studio dei testi nella controversia greco-romana nel periodo gregoriano, Cinisello Balsamo 2008.

External links

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Damasus II
Succeeded by
Victor II

Year 1049 (MXLIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar.

Abbey of Saint-Remi

The Abbey of Saint-Remi is an abbey in Reims, France, founded in the sixth century. Since 1099 it has conserved the relics of Saint Remi (died 553), the Bishop of Reims who converted Clovis, King of the Franks, to Christianity at Christmas in AD 496, after he defeated the Alamanni in the Battle of Tolbiac.

The present basilica was the abbey church; it was consecrated by Pope Leo IX in 1049. The eleventh-century nave and transepts, in the Romanesque style, are the oldest; the façade of the south transept is the most recent.


According to a historical catalogue inserted in the Drogo Sacramentary (folio 126), Adelphe (also known as Adelfus, Adelphus, Adelfius) is the 10th bishop of Metz. Most agree he lived in the fifth century. Louis the Pious has moved his remains in the Abbey of Neuwiller-lès-Saverne, in 826. He was canonized on 3 December 1049 by Pope Leo IX. He is commemorated in the Roman Martyrology on Aug. 29.

Argyrus (catepan of Italy)

Argyrus (or Argyros; c. 1000–1068) was a Lombard nobleman and Byzantine general, son of the Lombard hero Melus. He was born in Bari.

Upon the defeat of Melus, who had rebelled against the Byzantines, at the battle of Cannae in 1018, Argyrus and his mother were captured and taken to Constantinople as prisoners. He was out of confinement by 1038, when he returned to Apulia, then in an uproar over being pressed into service during the Byzantine invasion of Sicily. The Lombard troops returned with their Norman and Varangian comrades in 1039, alienated by General George Maniaches.

In 1040, the Lombards of southern Italy revolted against their Greek overlords, with the support of Norman mercenaries, and slew the catepan Nikephoros Dokeianos. In March, the rebels scored a first victory, against the new catepan, Michael Dokeianos, near the Olivento. On 3 September 1041, they defeated another Byzantine catepan, Basil, the son of Boiannes, and took him captive. Soon they were joined by the Lombards and Normans of Melfi under Arduin. In February 1042, the original nominal leader, Atenulf, brother of the prince of Benevento, defected with the catepan's ransom money to the Greeks and was replaced by Argyrus. After some early successes, Argyrus also defected to the Byzantines. It is assumed that he received a bribe of money from Constantine IX, who certainly wrote him letters offering it, and the title of catepan of Italy.

When the revolt in Apulia was suppressed, the Byzantines, under advice from Argyrus, who travelled to Constantinople and received the title of "Duke of Italy, Calabria, Sicily, and Paphlagonia", formed an alliance with the Papacy to counter the emergence of the Norman menace in the area. One Sico, a protospatharios, was sent to assist him. Argyrus commanded the Byzantine army, which did not join the papal at the Battle of Civitate, in which their forces were routed and Pope Leo IX was captured.

Argyrus was catepan until 1058. Little is known about him after that date: he perhaps died in 1068 at Bari, Vieste or Atella. Before his death he gave the Abbey of Farfa a rich silk garment which still exists.

Basilica of St. Quirinus, Neuss

The Basilica of St. Quirinus (German: Münster-Basilika St. Quirin ) also called Minster-Basilica of St. Quirinus of Neuss Is a Catholic basilica that was erected in the city of Neuss in the western part of the present state of North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany between 1209 and 1230. The basilica is one of the best examples of Romanesque churches in Germany. It has a strong Lombard influence but in principle shows the first signs of Gothic. In its bell tower the first semicircular arches appear. This form of arch becomes centuries later in one of the marks that marked the Gothic style.

It is dedicated to St. Quirinus of Neuss, a prominent Roman martyr of the third century, revered in Neuss as the body of the martyr moved to this city in the year 1050, a gift of Pope Leo IX to Abbess Gepa.

In 2009 the church was recognized by Pope Benedict XVI with the title of minor basilica.

Counts of Tusculum

The counts of Tusculum were the most powerful secular noblemen in Latium, near Rome, in the present-day Italy between the 10th and 12th centuries. Several popes and an antipope during the 11th century came from their ranks. They created and perfected the political formula of noble-papacy, wherein the Pope was arranged to be elected only from the ranks of the Roman nobles. The Pornocracy, the period of influence by powerful female members of the family, also influenced papal history.

The counts of Tusculum remained arbiters of Roman politics and religion for more than a century. In addition to the papal influence, they held lay power through consulships and senatorial membership. Traditionally they were pro-Byzantine and anti-German in their political affiliation.

After 1049, the Tusculan Papacy came to an end with the appointment of Pope Leo IX. In fact, the Tusculan papacy was largely responsible for the reaction known as the Gregorian reform. Subsequent events (from 1062 onwards) confirmed a shift in regional politics as the counts came to side with the Holy Roman Emperors against the Rome of the reformers. In 1059 the papal-decree of Pope Nicholas II established new rules for the Papal election, therefore putting an end to the noble-papacy formula.

Egbert I, Margrave of Meissen

Egbert I (German: Ekbert) (died 11 January 1068) was the Margrave of Meissen from 1067 until his early death the next year. Egbert was the Count of Brunswick from about 1038, when his father, Liudolf, Margrave of Frisia, died. His mother was Gertrude, the sister of Pope Leo IX.

Egbert was the scion of the influential Eastphalian family of the Brunonen. He inherited the familial lands in Brunswick and from about 1051 he shared the chief authority in the region with the Bishop of Hildesheim. Egbert also extended his authority and estates into Frisia under the suzerainty of the Archbishop of Hamburg-Bremen.

Although closely related to the Salian dynasty, Egbert participated in the coup d'état of Kaiserswerth in 1062, whereat a group of nobles acting under Anno II, Archbishop of Cologne, tried to seize authority in the kingdom from King Henry IV and his regent mother, the Empress Agnes.

In 1058, Egbert married Immilla, the daughter of Ulric Manfred II of Turin, and widow of Otto of Schweinfurt. His only son, Egbert II, succeeded him in Meissen. His daughter Gertrude later brought Meissen to her husband, Henry von Eilenburg.

Gerard of Toul

Saint Gerard (French: Geraud; c. 935 – 23 April 994) was a German prelate who served as the Bishop of Toul from 963 until his death. His entrance into the priesthood came about due to his mother being struck dead in a lightning strike which he believed was divine judgment for his sins and a call to service. But he had been known for his piousness and he accepted the position to the Toul diocese despite his reluctance. His concern as a bishop was to the restoration of all properties the Church managed and to ensure secular involvement in Church affairs ceased.His reputation for holiness was evident in his life and miracles at his tomb were recorded after his death; Pope Leo IX - a successor in Toul - later canonized him on 21 October 1050 in Rome.

Henry I the Long, Margrave of the Nordmark

Henry I the Long (c.1065 - died 27 June 1087), Margrave of the Nordmark, also Count of Stade (as Henry III), son of Lothair Udo II, Margrave of the Nordmark, and Oda of Werl, daughter of Herman III, Count of Werl, and Richenza of Swabia.

Henry married Eupraxia of Kiev, daughter of Vsevolod I, Grand Prince of Kiev, and his second wife Anna. There were no children as a result of this marriage, and Eupraxia, widowed, married next Henry IV, then King of Saxony, who became Holy Roman Emperor.

Raffensperger suggests that Henry's motivation in marrying Eupraxia was to bring Saxony closer to Kiev. In fact, the marriage may have been arranged by Oda of Stade, daughter of Lothair Udo I, Margrave of the Nordmark, who had married Sviatoslav II, Grand Prince of Kiev. Oda is identified as a relative of Henry’s father Lothair Udo II as well as a niece of Henry III, Holy Roman Emperor, and Pope Leo IX.

Upon his death, Henry was succeeded as margrave and count by his brother Lothair Udo III.

Hieronymus (bishop of Wrocław)

Jerome or Hieronymos was the early medieval Bishop of Wrocław, Poland from 1046-1062.Little is known about his origins, career or his episcopal work. What is known is that following the establishment of the diocese around 1000 AD, it was aborted by a pagan revolt in around 1031.

There were plans to incorporate the area into Czech dioceses but at the Synod of Mainz in 1049 Pope Leo IX agreed to reactivate the diocese in Silesia and he appointed Jerome as Bishop. It is possible that he could only take his bishopric in Wrocław as late as 1050. At this time Silesia was still mission territory, there were few churches and the connection to the wider church was limited.

The site of Wrocław Cathedral at this time had a simple wooden church known as Hieronymusdom built from 1051 to 1069. Jerome's true base of operation at this time was probably Ryczyn rather than Wrocław.In 1057 he participated in the Synod of Pöhlde. and he died in 1062.

Leo de Benedicto Christiano

Leo de Benedicto Christiano, or just Benedictus Christianus, was a Jew of Trastevere in the late eleventh century. He converted to Christianity and was baptised by Pope Leo IX, whence he took his Christian name. He related himself to the ancient patrician families of Rome by marrying of his daughters to powerful suitors. He himself was extremely rich (probably from usury).

In January 1058, as a partisan of the newly elected Pope Nicholas II, Leo had the gates of the Leonine City thrown open for Godfrey, former duke of Lower Lorraine, and his wife, Beatrice, marchioness of Tuscany. Godfrey immediately possessed the Tiber Island and attacked the Lateran, forcing Benedict X to flee on 24 January. Leo allied himself with the reformers, including Hildebrand and Pope Alexander II, but he was unable to dispel, through negotiations, the attack of 14 April 1062 which gave Rome to Antipope Honorius II.

His son was Pier Leoni and through him he is the father of the great Pierleoni family which dominated Roman politics for much of the Middle Ages. So far as one can tell, he lived in peace with the Roman people and the pontiff, but his grandson, who was elevated to the papacy as Antipope Anacletus II, was lambasted for his Hebrew ancestry; as was another grandson, Jordan, who was elected patrician of the Commune of Rome and became also an enemy of the legitimate popes.

List of French popes

Seventeen popes have had French ancestry, all in the second half of the medieval era. The seven popes of the Avignon Papacy were French and are bolded. Since the end of the Avignon Papacy, no French person has been elected pope.

French is the most common non-Italian papal ancestry.

Pope Silvester II, 999–1003: Gerbert of Aurillac

St. Pope Leo IX, 1049–1054: Bruno, Count of Dagsbourg

Pope Stephen IX, 1057–1058: Frederick of Lorraine

Pope Nicholas II, 1058–1061: Gerard of Burgundy

Bl. Pope Urban II, 1088–1099: Otho of Lagery (or Otto or Odo)

Pope Callistus II, 1119–1124: Guido of Vienne

Pope Urban IV, 1261–1264: Jacques Pantaléon

Pope Clement IV, 1265–1268: Guy Foulques

Bl. Pope Innocent V, 1276: Pierre de Tarentaise

Pope Martin IV, 1281–1285: Simon de Brie

Pope Clement V, 1305–1314: Bertrand de Got

Pope John XXII, 1316–1334: Jacques d'Euse

Pope Benedict XII, 1334–1342: Jacques Fournier

Pope Clement VI, 1342–1352: Pierre Roger

Pope Innocent VI, 1352–1362: Stephen Aubert

Bl. Pope Urban V, 1362–1370: Guillaume de Grimoard

Pope Gregory XI, 1370–1378: Pierre Roger de Beaufort

Matthew I of Nantes

Matthew I (or Matthias I, died 1050 or 1051) was the Count of Nantes from 1038 until his death. He was the eldest son of Count Budic of Nantes.Around 1040, Walter, bishop of Nantes, arranged for his son, Budic, to succeed him as bishop. They then obtained consent to their illegal scheme from the councillors of Count Matthew, who was still a minor, by buying them off with silver. In 1049, the Council of Reims deposed Budic and replaced him with Airard. Matthew was one of the recipients of the letter addressed by Pope Leo IX to the princes of Brittany explaining the council's actions. The deposition of Budic is the last even recorded in the Chronicle of Nantes. The Chronicle goes on to say that afterwards Budic and Matthew were "inseparable until death" (connexa ... usque ad finem vitae). Within two years of the Council of Reims, both ex-bishop and count were dead.Matthew was succeeded by his aunt, Judith, and her husband Alain Canhiart.

Michael I Cerularius

Michael I Cerularius or Keroularios (Greek: Μιχαήλ Α΄ Κηρουλάριος; c. 1000 – 21 January 1059 AD) was the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople from 1043 to 1059 AD. He is most notable for his role in the events that led to the Great Schism in 1054.

Papal travel

Papal travel outside Rome has been historically rare, and voluntary travel was non-existent for the first 500 years. Pope John Paul II (1978–2005) undertook more pastoral trips than all his predecessors combined. Pope Francis (2013-), Pope Paul VI (1963–1978) and Pope Benedict XVI (2005–2013) also travelled globally, the latter to a lesser extent due to his advanced age.

Popes resided outside Rome—primarily in Viterbo, Orvieto, and Perugia—during the 13th century, and then absconded to France during the Avignon Papacy (1309–1378). Pope Vigilius (537-555) in 547, Pope Agatho (678-681) in 680, and Pope Constantine in 710 visited Constantinople, whereas Pope Martin I (649-655) was abducted there for trial in 653. Pope Stephen II (752-757) became the first pope to cross the Alps in 752 to crown Pepin the Short; Pope Pius VII repeated the feat over a millennium later to crown Napoleon.

Pierleoni family

The family of the Pierleoni, meaning "sons of Peter Leo", was a great Roman patrician clan of the Middle Ages, headquartered in a tower house in the Jewish quarter, Trastevere. The heads of the family often bore the title consul Romanorum, or "Consul of the Romans," in the early days.

The family descended from the eleventh-century Jewish convert Leo de Benedicto, whose baptismal name comes from the fact that he was baptised by Pope Leo IX himself. They also were bankers and financially backed the reform papacy.While the Pierleoni during their greatness spuriously claimed to be descended from the ancient Roman noble family of the Anicii, their enemies in Rome made much of their Jewish extraction and levelled the usual charges of usury. Leo's son was the Peter Leo (Pierleone) of the name and it is his sons that garnered for the family such fame as protectors of the popes: Pope Urban II died in one of the Pierleoni's castelli, July 1099. The family's territory was expanded to include the Isola Tiberina and a further tower house near the Theater of Marcellus.When Emperor Henry V came to Rome (1111), Petrus Leonis headed the papal legation that effected a reconciliation between the pope and the emperor. Pope Paschal II made Pierleone's son, Peter Peirleone, a cardinal, as well as bestowing the Castel St. Angelo on Petrus. Pierleone's attempt to install one of his sons as Prefect of Rome in 1116, though favoured by Paschal II, was resisted by the opposite party with riot and bloodshed. Peter, would later become Antipope Anacletus II (1131), and another, Giordano Pierleoni, with the revival of the Commune of Rome, became the head of the Republic as Patricius in 1144. The family generally supported the papacy and represented the Guelf faction of the city against the Ghibellines, often under the leadership of the Frangipani.

Two branches of the Pierleoni are still in existence. The first is that of Matelica and Pesaro in the Marche and the second is that of Città di Castello in Umbria. Both are still members of the Italian nobility.

Rota (papal signature)

The rota is one of the symbols used by the Pope to authenticate documents such as papal bulls. It is a cross inscribed in two concentric circles. Pope Leo IX was the first pope to use it.

The four inner quadrants contain: "Petrus", "Paulus", the Pope's name, and the Pope's ordinal number. The Pope's autograph or motto is sometimes inscribed between the concentric circles.

A rota was also used by monarchs for the authentication of documents and diplomas.

Rudolf of Benevento

Rudolf (also Rudolph or Rodolf, Italian Rodolfo) was the papal rector of the Duchy of Benevento under Pope Leo IX from 1053 to 1054.

Rudolf was a Swabian captain who led that contingent of forces at the Battle of Civitate. His men were routed by Richard I of Aversa. Rudolf was made rector of Benevento after the pope concluded a treaty with the Normans. Rudolf did not hold his post for very long; the fickle Beneventans recalled their old princes, whom they had once expelled, Pandulf III and Landulf VI.

Saint Benedict Medal

The Saint Benedict Medal is a Christian sacramental medal containing symbols and text related to the life of Saint Benedict of Nursia, used by Roman Catholics, as well as Anglicans, Lutherans, Methodists and the Western Orthodox, in the Benedictine Christian tradition, especially votarists and oblates.The medal is one of the oldest and most honored medals used by Christians and, due to the belief in its power against evil, is also known as the "devil-chasing medal". As early as the 11th century, it may have initially had the form of Saint Benedict's cross, and was used by Pope Leo IX.The reverse side of the medal carries the Vade retro satana ("Begone, Satan!") formula which has been used by Christians to ward off evil since the 15th century. Sometimes carried as part of the rosary, it is also found individually.

In widespread use after its formal approval by Pope Benedict XIV in the 18th century, the medal is used by Roman Catholics to ward off spiritual and physical dangers, especially those related to evil, poison, and temptation.

1st–4th centuries
During the Roman Empire (until 493)
including under Constantine (312–337)
5th–8th centuries
Ostrogothic Papacy (493–537)
Byzantine Papacy (537–752)
Frankish Papacy (756–857)
9th–12th centuries
Papal selection before 1059
Saeculum obscurum (904–964)
Crescentii era (974–1012)
Tusculan Papacy (1012–1044/1048)
Imperial Papacy (1048–1257)
13th–16th centuries
Viterbo (1257–1281)
Orvieto (1262–1297)
Perugia (1228–1304)
Avignon Papacy (1309–1378)
Western Schism (1378–1417)
Renaissance Papacy (1417–1534)
Reformation Papacy (1534–1585)
Baroque Papacy (1585–1689)
17th–20th centuries
Age of Enlightenment (c. 1640-1740)
Revolutionary Papacy (1775–1848)
Roman Question (1870–1929)
Vatican City (1929–present)
21st century
History of the papacy
Virgin Mary
See also

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