Pope St. Leo II
Leo was a Sicilian by birth (the son of a man named Paulus). He may have ended up being among the many Sicilian clergy in Rome, at that time, due to the Islamic Caliphate battles against Sicily in the mid-7th century. Though elected pope a few days after the death of Pope St. Agatho (10 January 681), he was not consecrated till after the lapse of a year and seven months (17 August 682). Leo was known as an eloquent preacher who was interested in music, and noted for his charity to the poor.
Elected shortly after the death of Agatho, Leo was not consecrated for over a year and a half. The reason may have been due to negotiations regarding imperial control of papal elections. These negotiations were undertaken by Leo’s predecessor Agatho between the Holy See and Emperor Constantine IV. They concerned the relations of the Byzantine Court to papal elections. Constantine IV had already promised Agatho to abolish or reduce the tax that the popes had been paying to the imperial treasury at the time of their consecration, an imperial policy that had been in force for about a century.
Leo’s short-lived pontificate did not allow him to accomplish much, but there was one achievement of major importance: he confirmed the acts of the Sixth Ecumenical Council (680–1). This council had been held in Constantinople against the Monothelite controversy, and had been presided over by the legates of Pope Agatho. After Leo had notified the Emperor that the decrees of the council had been confirmed, he made them known to the nations of the West. In letters written to the king, the bishops, and the nobles of Spain, he explained what the council had effected, and he called upon the bishops to subscribe to its decrees.
During this council, Pope Honorius I was anathematised for his views in the Monothelite controversy as tolerant of heresy. Leo took great pains to make it clear that in condemning Honorius, he did so not because Honorius taught heresy, but because he was not active enough in opposing it. In accordance with the papal mandate, a synod was held at Toledo (684) in which the Council of Constantinople was accepted.
Regarding the decision of the council, Leo wrote once and again in approbation of the decision of the council and in condemnation of Honorius, whom he regarded as one who profana proditione immaculatem fidem subvertare conatus est (roughly, “one who by betrayal has tried to overthrow the immaculate faith”). In their bearing upon the question of papal infallibility these words have caused considerable attention and controversy, and prominence is given to the circumstance that in the Greek text of the letter to the Emperor which the phrase occurs, the milder expression subverti permisit (“allowed to be overthrown…”) is used for subvertare conatus est. At this time Leo put an end to the attempts of the Ravenna archbishops to get away from the control of the Bishop of Rome. The Pope sweetened the deal for the Ravenna bishops by abolishing the tax it had been customary for them to pay when they received the pallium.
Also, in apparent response to Lombard raids, Leo transferred the relics of a number of martyrs from the catacombs to churches inside the walls of the city. He also dedicated two churches, St. Paul’s and Sts. Sebastian and George.
Seventh Sunday after Pentecost
Commemoration for St. Leo II
Pope and Confessor
Within the Octave of
Holy Apostles St. Peter and St. Paul
Semi-Double Green Vestments
Missa ‘Omnes gentes’
By their fruits you shall know them…
Introitus – Psalm 46:2
Omnes gentes, pláudite mánibus: jubiláte Deo in voce exsultatiónis. Psalm 46:3 Quóniam Dóminus excélsus terribílis: Rex magnus super omnem terram. V. Glória Patri, et Fílio, et Spirítui Sancto. Sicut erat in princípio, et nunc, et semper, et in sæcula sæculórum. Amen.
All ye nations, clap your hands: shout unto God with the voice of joy. Psalm 46:3 For the Lord is most high, He is terrible He is a great King over all the earth. V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, God, for ever and ever. Amen.
All ye nations….
Deus cujus providéntia in sui disposìtióne non fállitur: te súpplìces exorámus, ut noxia cuncta submóveas, et ómnia nobis profutúra concédas. Per eúmdem nostrum Jesum Christum Fílium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitáte Spíritus Sancti, Deus, per ómnia sæcula sæculórum. Amen.
O God, whose providence faileth not in its designs, we humbly entreat Thee, to put away from us all hurtful things, and to give us all things which be profitable for us, through the same Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Second Collect Pope Leo II
O God of the heavenly powers, creator of all good things, implant in our hearts the love of Your Name, and bestow upon us an increase of godliness, fostering what is good, and, by Your loving care, guarding what You have fostered. Through our Lord.
Third Collect for Octave of Ss. Peter and Paul
O God, who hast made holy this day with the martyrdom of Thine apostles Peter and Paul; grant that Thy Church may in all things follow the precepts of those from whom it first received the faith. Through our Lord.
The Lesson is taken from the Epistle of Saint Paul the Apostle, to the Romans
EPISTOLA – Romans 6:3-11
Fratres, Humánum dico propter infirmitátem carnis vestræ: sicut enim exhibuístís membra vestra servíre immundítiæ et iníquitáti ad iniquitátem ita nunc exhibéte membra vestra servíre justítiæ in sanctificatiónem. Cum enim servi essétis peccáti, líberi fuístis justítiæ. Quem ergo fructum habuístis tunc in illis, in quibus nunc erubéscitis? Nam finis illórum mors est. Nunc vero liberáti a peccáto, servi autem facti Deo, habétis fructum vestrum in sanctificatiónem, finem vero vitam ætérnam. Stipéndia enim peccáti, mors. Grátia autem Dei, vita ætérna: in Christo Jesu Dómino nostro.
EPISTLE – Romans 6:3-11
Brethren, I speak a human thing, because of the infirmity of your flesh for as you have yielded your members to serve uncleanness and iniquity for iniquity, so now yield your members to serve justice unto sanctification. For when you were the servants of sin, you were free from justice. What fruit therefore had you then in those things, of which you are now ashamed? For the end of them is death. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, you have your fruit unto sanctification, and the end life everlasting. For the wages of sin is death. But the grace of God, is life everlasting in Christ Jesus our Lord.
GRADUALE – Psalm 33:12, 6
Venite, Fílii, audíte me: timórem Dómini docébo vos. V. Accédite ad eum, et iliuminámini: et fácies vestræ non confundéntur. Allelúja, allelúja. V. ( Psalm 46:2 ) Omnes gentes, pláudite manibus: jubiláte Deo in voce exsultatiónis. Allelúja.
Come, children, hearken to me I will teach you the fear of the Lord. V. Come ye to Him and be enlightened and your faces shall not be confounded. Alleluia, alleluia V. ( Psalm 46:2 ) O clap your hands, all ye nations: shout unto God with the voice of joy. Alleluia.
Sequentia sancti Evangelii secundum Matthaeum
In illo témpore: Dixit Jesus discípulis suis: “Atténdite a falsis prophétis, qui véniunt ad vas in vestiméntis óvium, intrínsecus autem sunt lupi rapáces: a frúctibus eorum cognoscétis eos. Numquid cólligunt de spinas uvas, aut de tribulis ficus? Sic omnis arbor bona fructus bonus fact mala autem arbor malos fructus fácere: neque arbor mala bonos fructus fácere. Omnis arbor, quæ non facit fructum bonum, excidétur, et in ignem mittétur. Igitur ex frúctibus eorum cognoscétis eos. Non omnis, qui dicit mihi: Dómine, Dómine, intrábit regnum Cælórum: sed qui facit voluntátem Patris Mei, Qui in Cælis est, ipse intrábit in regnum Cælorum.
The continuation of the Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew
At that time, Jesus said to His disciples: “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in the clothing of sheep, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. By their fruits you shall know them. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit, and the evil tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can an evil tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth; good fruit, shall be cut down, and shall be cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits you shall know them. Not every one that saith of Me: Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of Heaven but he that doeth the will of My Father Who is in Heaven, he shall enter into the kingdom of Heaven.
Homily by St Hilary, Bishop of Poitiers – Commentary on Matthew Chapter 6.
The Lord here warneth us that we must rate the worth of soft words and seeming meekness, by the fruits which they that manifest such things bring forth in their works, and that we should look, in order to see what a man is, not at his professions, but at his deeds. For there are many in whom sheep’s clothing is but a mask to hide wolfish ravening. But “Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so, every good tree bringeth forth good fruit, but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.” Thus, the Lord teacheth us, is it with men also evil men bring not forth good fruits, and hereby are we to know them. Lip-service alone winneth not the kingdom of heaven, nor is every one that saith unto Christ, “Lord, Lord,” an heir thereof. What use is there in calling the Lord, Lord? Would He not be Lord all the same, whether or not we called Him so What holiness is there in this ascription of a name, when the true way to enter into the kingdom of heaven is to do the will of our Father, Who is in heaven? “Many will say to Me in that day Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy Name?” Already here doth the Lord rebuke the deceit of the false prophets, and the feigning of the hypocrites, who take glory to themselves because of the power of their words, their prophesying in teaching, their casting out of devils, and such-like mighty works. Because of all these things they promised unto themselves that they shall enter into the kingdom of heaven as though in their words and works any good thing were their own, and not all the mighty working of that God upon Whom they call, since reading bringeth knowledge of doctrine, and the Name of Christ driveth out devils. That which is needed on our part to win that blessed eternity, that of our own which we must give, is to will to do right, to turn away from all evil, to obey with our whole heart the commandments laid on us from heaven, and so to become the friends of God. It should be ours rather to do God’s will, than to boast of God’s power. And we must put off from us and thrust away such as are by their wicked works already estranged from His friendship.
OFFERTORIUM – Daniel 3:40
Sicut in holocáustis arietum, et taurórum, et sicut in míllibus agnórum pínguium: sic fiat sacrifícium nostrum in conspéctu tuo hódie, ut pláceat tibi: qula non est confúslo confidéntibus in te, Dómine.
As in holocausts of rams and bullocks, and as in thousands of fat lambs so let our sacrifice be made in Thy sight this day, that it may please Thee: for there is no confusion to them that trust in Thee, O Lord.
Deus, qui legálium differéntiam hostiárum uníus sacrifícii perfectióne sanxisti: áccipe sacrifícium a devótis tibi fámulis, et pari benedictióne, sicut múnera Abel, sanctífica: ut, quod singuli obtulérunt ad Majestàtis tuæ honórem, cunctis profíciat ad salútem. Per eúmdem Dóminum nostrum Jesum Christum Fílium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitáte Spíritus Sancti, Deus, per ómnia sæcula sæculórum. Amen.
O God, who hast justified the variety of sacrifices of the Law by the perfection of this one Sacrifice: accept the Sacrifice of Thy servants who are dedicated to Thee, and sanctify it with a blessing like to that which Thou didst bestow upon the gifts of Abel, that what each one of us has offered to the honor of Thy Majesty, may profit us all unto salvation, through the same Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Secret Prayer for Leo II, Pope and Confessor
Mercifully hear our humble prayers, O Lord, and graciously accept these offerings of Your people, and grant that no prayer may be without effect, no petition in vain, so that what we ask in faith, we may really obtain. Through our Lord.
Third Secret Prayer for Holy Apostles, Ss. Peter and Paul
May the prayer of Thine apostles accompany the oblation which we offer to be consecrated to Thy name; and grant that by it we may be cleansed and defended. Through our Lord.
PREFACE OF THE MOST HOLY TRINITY
Vere dignum et justum est, aequum et salutare, nos tibi semper, et ubique gratias agere: Domine sancta, Pater omnipotens, aeterne Deus. Qui cum unigenito Filio: tuo et Spiritu Sancto, unus es Deus, unus es Dominus: non in uninus singularitate personae, sed in unius Trinitae substantiae. Quo denim de tua Gloria, revelante te, credimus, hoc de Filio tuo, hod de Spiritu Sancto, sine differentia discretionis sentimus. Ut in confessione verare, sempitiernaeque Deitatis, et in personis proprietas, et in essential unitas, et in majestate adoretur aequalitas. Quam laudant Angeli atque Archangeli, Cherubim, quoque ac Seraphim: qui non cessant clamare quotodie, una voce dicentes: Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus, Dóminus Deus Sábaoth. Pleni sunt cæli et terra glória tua. Hosánna in excélsis. Benedíctus qui venit in nómine Dómini. Hosánna in excélsis.
It is truly meet and just, right and for our salvation, that we should at all times and in all places, give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, ever-lasting God: Who, together with Thine only-begotten Son, and the Holy Ghost, are one God, one Lord: not in the oneness of a single Person, but in the Trinity of one substance. For what we believe by Thy revelation of Thy glory, the same do we believe of Thy Son, the same of the Holy Ghost, without difference or separation. So that in confessing the true and everlasting Godhead, distinction in persons, unity in essence, and equality in majesty may be adored. Which the Angels and Archangels, the Cherubim also and Seraphim do praise: who cease not daily to cry out with one voice saying: Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts! Heaven and earth are full of Thy Glory! Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is He Who cometh in the Name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest.
COMMUNIO – Psalm 30:3
Inclína aurem tuam, accélera ut erípias me.
Bow down Thine ear, make haste to deliver me.
Réspice, Dómine, propitious super haec múnera: quae pro beáti Sacerdótis et Mártyris tui Apollináris commemoratióne deferimus, et pro nostris offensiónibus immolámus. Per Dóminum nostrum Jesum Christum Fílium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitáte Spíritus Sancti, Deus, per ómnia sæcula sæculórum. Amen.
May Thy healing work, O Lord, both mercifully free us from our perversities, and lead us to those things which are right, through the same Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Leo II, Pope and Confessor
We have been filled with Your gifts, O Lord; grant, we beseech You, that we may be cleansed and strengthened by their effect. Through our Lord.
Third Postcommunion Prayer Ss. Peter and Paul, Holy Apostles
Thou hast fed us with bread from heaven, O Lord; by the prayers of Thine apostles keep us from all harm. Through our Lord.