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Leo the Great: Letters Introduction

Who: Leo the Great, also known as Pope St. Leo I (the Great), was Pope from 440-461 AD. His place and date of birth are unknown; died 10 November, 461. Leo's pontificate,1 next to that of St. Gregory I, is the most significant and important in Christian antiquity, as he tried to combat the heresies which seriously threatened church unity even in the West, such as Pelagianism.2

What: Leo wrote a series of letters and sermons on various doctrinal topics 

Why: Most are apologetics3 defending the faith to ensure sound teaching is passed on and understood by all to affirm true doctrine.

When: Between 440 and 461 AD


1The office or term of office of a pontiff (Pope).

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2Pelagianism derives its name from Pelagius, who lived in the 5th century A.D.. The doctrine denied original sin as well as Christian grace. See: https://carm.org/pelagianism

3A formal defence or justification of a theory or doctrine.

Keywords: Leo the Great post-nicene fathers introduction