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Blog Post - November 10th

Pope S. Leo the Great| S. Andrew Avellino| SS. Tryphon, Respicius and Nympha| Daily Meditation| Daily Quote by S. Padre Pio| Divine Mercy Reflection

St. Leo the Great

(d. 461)

Ordinary Time

With apparent strong conviction of the importance of the Bishop of Rome in the Church, and of the Church as the ongoing sign of Christ’s presence in the world, Leo the Great displayed endless dedication as pope. Elected in 440, he worked tirelessly as "Peter’s successor," guiding his fellow bishops as "equals in the episcopacy and infirmities."

Leo is known as one of the best administrative popes of the ancient Church. His work branched into four main areas, indicative of his notion of the pope’s total responsibility for the flock of Christ. He worked at length to control the heresies of Pelagianism (overemphasizing human freedom), Manichaeism (seeing everything material as evil) and others, placing demands on their followers so as to secure true Christian beliefs.

A second major area of his concern was doctrinal controversy in the Church in the East, to which he responded with a classic letter setting down the Church’s teaching on the two natures of Christ.

With strong faith, he also led the defense of Rome against barbarian attack, taking the role of peacemaker.

In these three areas, Leo’s work has been highly regarded. His growth to sainthood has its basis in the spiritual depth with which he approached the pastoral care of his people, which was the fourth focus of his work.

He is known for his spiritually profound sermons. An instrument of the call to holiness, well-versed in Scripture and ecclesiastical awareness, Leo had the ability to reach the everyday needs and interests of his people. One of his sermons is used in the Office of Readings on Christmas.

It is said of Leo that his true significance rests in his doctrinal insistence on the mysteries of Christ and the Church and in the supernatural charisms of the spiritual life given to humanity in Christ and in his Body, the Church. Thus Leo held firmly that everything he did and said as pope for the administration of the Church represented Christ, the head of the Mystical Body, and St. Peter, in whose place Leo acted.


At a time when there is widespread criticism of Church structures, we also hear criticism that bishops and priests—indeed, all of us—are too preoccupied with administration of temporal matters. Pope Leo is an example of a great administrator who used his talents in areas where spirit and structure are inseparably combined: doctrine, peace and pastoral care. He avoided an "angelism" that tries to live without the body, as well as the "practicality" that deals only in externals.

Another Story

Pope St. Leo the Great, born in Tuscany, reigned as Pope between 440 and 461. He persuaded Emperor Valentinian to recognize the primacy of the Bishop of Rome in an edict in 445. The doctrine of the Incarnation was formed by him in a letter to the patriarch of Constantinople at the Council of Chalcedon. We face terrorism in our life today but it was a way of life back then. You never knew who would be at the gates of the city ready to destroy your home. In the year 452, Attila the Hun, after invading a town in northern Italy headed to the city of Rome. Pope St. Leo stood by himself to face this barbarian and met him outside the city. No one knows what he said, but the Attila the Hun was persuaded to leave. The story is told that while Saint Leo was talking to Attila, a vision of St. Peter holding a drawn sword appeared over his head. Attila the Hun was overcome and fled Rome in fear. St. Leo, a Doctor of the Church, emphasized persistence, perseverance in prayer, fasting in alms giving. We celebrate Saint Leo the Great’s feast day on November 10th. St. Leo the Great, pray for us!

Today in the Latin Calendar, we celebrate the Feast Day of S. Andrew Avellino, Confessor. A story about this celebration can be found by Clicking Here.

Another Story:

The story and history of Saint Andrew Avellino. After a holy youth, Lancelot Avellino was ordained priest at Naples. At the age of thirty-six he entered the Theatine Order, and took the name of Andrew, to show his love for the cross. For fifty years he was afflicted with a most painful rupture; yet he would never use a carriage. Once when he was carrying the Viaticum, and a storm had extinguished the lamps, a heavenly light encircled him, guided his steps, and sheltered him from the rain. But as a rule, his sufferings were unrelieved by God or man. On the last day of his life, St. Andrew rose to say Mass. He was in his eighty-ninth year, and so weak that he could scarcely reach the altar. He began the "Judica," and fell forward in a fit of apoplexy. Laid on a straw mattress, his whole frame was convulsed in agony, while the fiend in visible form advanced to seize his soul, Then, as his brethren prayed and wept, the voice of Mary was heard, bidding the Saint's guardian angel send the tempter back to hell. A calm and holy smile settled on the features of the dying Saint, as, with a grateful salutation to the image of Mary, he breathed forth his soul to God. His death happened on the 10th of November, 1608.

Feast Day of Saint Andrew Avellino

The Feast Day of Saint Andrew Avellino is November 10. The origin of Feast Days: most saints have specially designated feast days and are associated with a specific day of the year and these are referred to as the saint's feast day. The feast days first arose from the very early Christian custom of the annual commemoration of martyrs on the dates of their deaths at the same time celebrating their birth into heaven.

Also today in the Latin Calendar we commemorate SS. Tryphon, Respicius, Martyrs and Nympha, Virgin and Martyr. A story about this commemoration can be found by Clicking Here.

Another Story:

Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 15 (1913)

Martyrs whose feast is observed in the Latin Church on 10 November. Tryphon is said to have been born at Kampsade in Phrygia and as a boy took care of geese. During the Decian persecution he was taken to Nicfa about the year 250 and put to death in a horrible manner after he had converted the heathen prefect Licius. Fabulous stories are interwoven with his legend. He is greatly venerated in the Greek Church which observes his feast on 1 February. In this Church he is also the patron saint of gardeners. Many churches were dedicated to him, and the Eastern Emperor, Leo VI, the Philosopher (d. 912), delivered a eulogy upon Tryphon. About the year 1005 the monk Theodoric of Fleury wrote an account of him based upon earlier written legends; in Theodoric's story Respicius appears as Tryphon's companion. The relics of both were preserved together with those of a holy virgin named Nympha, at the Hospital of the Holy Ghost in Sassia. Nympha was a virgin from Palermo who was put to death for the Faith at the beginning of the fourth century. According to other versions of the legend, when the Goths invaded Sicily she fled from Palermo to the Italian mainland and died in the sixth century at Savona. The feast of her translation is observed at Palermo on 19 August. Some believe that there were two saints of this name. The church of the Hospital of the Holy Ghost at Rome was a cardinal's title which, together with the relics of these saints, was transferred in 1566 by Pope Pius V to the Church of St. Augustine. A Greek text of the life of St. Tryphon was discovered by Father Franchi de Cavallieri, Hagio-graphica (Rome, 1908), in the series Studi e Texti , XIX. The Latin Acts are to be found in Ruinart, Acta Martyrum . Analecta Bollandiana, XXVII, 7-10, 15; XXVIII, 217.

Daily Meditation

Learning to Love:

True self-love is founded in the intrinsic dignity that provides a sense of security and peace which, in turn, allows us to love others wholeheartrdly.

Quote by S. Padre Pio:

We must have great hope.

Divine Mercy Reflection

Reflections on Notebook Five: 263-326

As we begin Notebook Five, Saint Faustina’s understanding of the Mercy of God should be more alive to you. Hopefully you have a deeper understanding of the infinite love of God and His burning desire to embrace you, free you from the burden of sin, and shower you with His grace.

It should also be clear that God is silent at times so as to strengthen you, purify you and deepen your trust in Him. God’s wisdom and His ways are beyond what we could ever imagine. He is perfect in His love and you must have full confidence in the direction He gives to your life.

As we enter into this notebook, try to believe and live all that you have read so far. It’s one thing to believe it intellectually, it’s quite another thing to believe it with your actions. You must believe in the Mercy of God with your actions. You must let all that you have read take hold of you and direct the way you live. One way to do this is to go back to any reflections that have stood out so far. If something has stood out, be it a particular reflection or a general theme, pay attention to that. The Message of Mercy is broad and all encompassing, but it’s also particular to you. Let the Lord speak directly to you revealing the specific truths that you need to embrace the most.

Reflection 314: Mercy as a Strong Defense

When an army is under siege, it seeks a place in which it can defend itself. Seeking higher ground or a place that gives it shelter and protection is immediately sought out. So it must be in your spiritual life. When you experience the darts of the evil one, or when life becomes burdensome to you, especially on account of your sin, seek the higher ground and the greatest place of refuge. This place is the merciful Heart of our Lord. Do not doubt that His Heart is a place of refuge for you. Within His Heart you will find safety from the weary battle and you will discover that you are in a fortified fortress of Mercy. This specific aspect of Mercy, that of being a place of protection, must be understood and welcomed. We cannot endure the hardships of life on our own. We cannot fight the battles of life if we rely upon our own strength and skills. No one is talented enough to fight off the raging enemy. Seek refuge in the Mercy of God and He will protect you from all harm (See Diary #1516).

Reflect upon your need for protection. By yourself, alone in this world, you will never survive. The temptations, attacks and evil that pervade this world will ruin you. But if you have a fortress of protection, nothing will do you harm. That protection is the Mercy of God. Spend time today thinking about God and His Mercy as such a fortress. See Him as your defender in all things and run to this place of safety. The Lord will surround you with His grace and will keep you at peace within the dwelling of His Heart.

Lord, when I feel the weight, attacks and temptations of the world come upon me, give me the wisdom to seek refuge. May I run to You and hide in Your merciful Heart. May I never doubt Your perfect protection and always find shelter in You. Jesus, I trust in You.

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