1. Religion & Spirituality

Your suggestion is on its way!

An email with a link to:


was emailed to:

Thanks for sharing About.com with others!

Most Emailed Articles

The Bible and Suicide

Leo the Great
<Back to Last Page >     <Glossary Index>

 Related Terms
papal primacy


Pope Leo I (the Great)
Preceeded by: St. Sixtus III (432 - 440)
Succeeded by: St. Hilarius (461 - 468)
Roman Catholic Pope #45

Born: ?
Died: 461
Pope: August or September 440 - November 10, 461 (21 years)

Leo the Great (440 - 461), also known as Leo I, played an important role in the development of the doctrine of papal primacy. Leo argued that popes were direct successors of the original apostles into whose care Jesus had entrusted the care and growth of Christianity. Hence, anyone who rejected papal authority was placed him- or herself outside the "body of Christ."

Leo got the name "the Great" because of his political achievements. In 452 he was able to convince Attila the Hun not to take over the city of Rome. Later, in 455, he also negotiated with the Vandal forces which had marched on Rome - although he was not able to get them to stay away this time, they did agree not to burn the city.

Also Known As: none

Alternate Spellings: none

Common Misspellings: none

Related Resources:


Popes and the Papacy: History, Doctrines, News About Popes
The pope may be the most visible and famous symbol of the Catholic Church. It is the office of the papacy and the assumed link back to the original apostles that differentiates Roman Catholicism from other Christian denominations. The office of the papacy is rather complicated and, much to the chagrin of believers, comes with a rather checkered past.

Pope John Paul II: Biography, History, and Policies
John Paul II has been one of the longest-lived and most influential popes in the history of the Catholic Church. For good or for ill, his policies and personality have helped shape not only the current character of Catholicism but also the direction Catholicism will take for generations to come. Because of that, it's important to take the time to carefully consider what his policies have been and how they have affected Catholics around the world.

Electing the Next Pope: Index of Resources on Papal Elections
Every human is mortal, and that includes popes. Some live and reign for extraordinarily long times while others only serve for a few days, but in the end all die and a new pope must be elected. How are papal elections run? A papal election is a process that is shrouded in secrecy; the details of any one election are supposed to be kept hidden, but general information is known.

Book Reviews: Roman Catholic Popes, Papacy, History
Who or what is the pope? The title pope stems from the Greek word papas, which simply means "father." Early in Christian history it was used as a formal title expressing affectionate respect for any bishop and sometimes even priests. Today it continues to be used in Eastern Orthodox churches for the patriarch of Alexandria.

<Back to Last Page >     <Glossary Index>
  1. About.com
  2. Religion & Spirituality
  3. Agnosticism & Atheism

©2017 About.com. All rights reserved.