The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church

Biographical Dictionary
Sergius II (844-847)
844 (I)


(2) 1. LEONE, O.S.B. (?-855)

Birth. (No date found), Rome. Probably of a family originally from Lombardy. Son of Radualdo (or Ridolfo).

Education. Educated at the Benedictine monastery of S. Martino, contiguous to the Vatican basilica. Entered the Order of Saint Benedict (Benedictines) (1).

Early life. Monk in the monastery of S. Martino, Rome. Pope Gregory IV called him to the papal curia and ordained him subdeacon.

Cardinalate. Presbyter cardinalis of the title of Ss. Quattro Coronati in 844.

Papacy. Elected pope unanimously on January 27, 847, the same of the death of Pope Sergius II. Took the name Leo IV. The election was made in haste, and though Emperor Lothair II was informed, the Romans did not wait for his confirmation to proceed to the new pope's consecration because they feared other Saracen invasion and wanted to have a new pope as soon as possible. The consecration took place on April 10, 847 and the emperor did not express any resentment, perhaps conscious that he was indebted to those citizens, who were ultimately abandoned to themselves during the sack of the city by the Saracens. Besides, early in that year Rome was hit by an earthquake and, later, by a fire, which devastated the neighborhood of the Anglo-Saxons, already damaged in Easter; the basilica of St. Peter was in danger of being destroyed because the flames had even invaded the porch. Repeating the miracle performed by Pope Paschal I, according to popular belief, Pope Leo IV was able to stop the flames with a simple sign of the cross (2). The danger from the Saracens was always imminent . They were besieging Gaeta while a general restoration of the walls of Rome was being done between 848 and 849, supervised by the pope himself; all doors were fortified, reinforced with bars, fifteen towers were rebuilt, two in particular at the door Portuense, were spread from one another so that a chain could be stretched in between. In 849 the pope appealed to the maritime cities of Naples, Amalfi and Gaeta and asked them to join their fleets in a league not only in defense of Rome, but of their own trade affected by the raids of the Arab pirates. The pact was concluded and it was a memorable event in medieval history, the command was given to Cesare, son of the duke of Naples, who arranged for the fleets to meet at the entrance of the port of Ostia. Pope Leo IV imparted a solemn blessing and confident, returned to Rome.The Christian fleet was victorious helped by a terrible and sudden storm that destroyed much of the Saracen fleet, of which many of the crews were taken prisoners. Pope Leo IV communicated to the emperor that this was necessary to raise a new wall in Rome to protect the area from the right bank of the Tiber, namely the Vatican, thus completely enclosing the neighborhood. The result was the building of Città Leonina, a great work for which was employed all the public patrimony of Church, not only of Rome but of all the monasteries as well; Emperor Lothair, in his role as "defensor of St. Peter", made large contributions. The Città was completed in 852 and inaugurated with a great celebration and procession along the entire wall on June 27 of that year. The fortification was also extended to the outskirts of the city and thus were restored all the areas affected by the Saracen raids such as Ostia, Porto, Centocelle, Tuscia, Orte and Ameria. Also, new luster was given to the basilicas of St. Peter and St. Paul, supplying the two basilicas of other precious furnishings; in particular, the high altar of S. Peter was again covered in gold leaf, each weighing 206 pounds, studded with precious stones. In 850 Emperor Lothair II asked the pope to crown his son Louis as co-emperor; the ceremony took place on Easter Sunday; the imperial coronation was a sign of the prestige of the papacy. As the "Constitutio Constantini" up to that time, the "Decretali pseudoisidoriane ", which were developed in those years, gave the Church more privileges and completely freed it from the empire, forming a clerical state based on the concept of the Mater Ecclesia. Pope Leo IV celebrated a Roman Council in 850; and another one in 853, during which was excommunicated and deposed Anastasio, cardinal priest of the title of S. Marcello, for having abandoned his titular church and established himself in the diocese of Aquileia; shortly after, Anastasio became antipope to Benedict III; and later, he was rehabilitated and became librarian of the Holy Roman Church under Popes Nicholas I and John VIII; in that synod, the pope also insisted on the renewal and strengthening of the reforming canons of Pope Eugene II. In 853 arrived in Rome King Ethelwulf of England and his son Alfred, future king, to receive the anointing from Pope Leo IV; this ceremony had become characteristic as a recognition of the monarch sovereignty by divine will and was one more element in the hands the pope show the priority of the ecclesiastical authority. The English king brought many gifts and made substantial contributions for the reconstruction of the Anglo-Saxon neighborhood destroyed by fire of 848. In 855, Daniel, magister militum in Rome, wanting to increase his power within the city, presented and accusation to Emperor Louis II indicating that the papal army captain and adviser, Graziano, was plotting the return to papal states to the Byzantine orbit.The emperor went to Rome immediately and Pope Leo IV received him with the usual splendid honors, assuring the monarch that Graziano was not planning any such action; the emperor wished to confront the two; the result was that Daniel could not prove his accusations, finishing by acknowledging that he invented everything. It was a poor scheme for the imperial party and Emperor Louis returned to Pavia, abandoning the magister militum into the hands of Graziano, who punished him with a death sentence, but the pope interceded for him and Daniel was spared. Pope Leo IV denounced Archbishops Hincmar of Reims and Giovanni of Ravenna for abusing their episcopal powers. He intervened on behalf of the Breton bishops against Duke Nomenoe of Brittany. The pontiff also refused to grant Emperor Lothair's requests that he appoint Hincmar apostolic vicar and grant the pallium to the bishop of Autun. He annulled the synod of Soissons celebrated in April 853), which had declared void the ordinations carried out by Ebbo, deposed as bishop of Reims but temporarily (840/841) reinstated, and demanded another council presided over by papal legates. The pope rebuked Patriarch Ignatius of Constantinople for not consulting Rome before he deposed the bishop of Syracuse, in Sicily; the pope, instead of confirming the sentence as requested by the patriarch, summoned both parties to Rome. Pope Leo IV defended papal rights and was active in restoring church discipline and, when necessary, introducing reforms. He wrote an exhaustive reply in 849 to a wide-ranging questionnaire submitted by the bishops of Britain; he also sent a sharp reminder to Bishop Galerius of Tripoli in 853 stating that the old-fashioned penitential discipline must be maintained. He instituted the observance of the octave of the Assumption and promoted the development of sacred music. The names of thirty one new cardinals appear in his pontificate.

Death. July 17, 855, Rome. Buried in the Vatican basilica under the altar of Our Savior della Colonna, with his predecessors Leo I (whose remains were removed in the 17th century and placed under his own altar), Leo II, and Leo III (1). Because of all his works in the Eternal City, he was called the Restauratore di Roma.

Sainthood. Inscribed in the Roman Martyrology, his feast was celebrated on July 17 and is now suppressed.

Bibliography. Cardella, Lorenzo. Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa. Rome : Stamperia Pagliarini, 1792, I, pt. 1, 52 and 53-59; Chacón, Alfonso. Vitæ, et res gestæ Pontificum Romanorum : et S.R.E. Cardinalium ab initio nascentis Ecclesiae usque ad Clementem IX P. O. M. Alphonsi Ciaconii Ord. Praed. & aliorum opera descriptæ : cum uberrimis notis. Ab Augustino Oldoino, Soc. Jesu recognitae, et ad quatuor tomos ingenti ubique rerum accessione productae. Additis Pontificum recentiorum imaginibus, & Cardinalium insignibus, plurimisque aeneis figuris, cum indicibus locupletissimis. Romæ : P. et A. De Rubeis, 1677, I, col. 612, no. 2, and col. 626613-; Cristofori, Francesco. Cronotasi dei cardinali di Santa Romana Chiesa. Rome : Tipografia de Propaganda Fide, 1888, p. 152; "Essai de liste générale des cardinaux. Les cardinaux des 10 premiers siècles". Annuaire Pontifical Catholique 1926. Paris : Maison de la Bonne Presse, 1927, p. 151, no. 1; Kelly, John Norman Davidson. The Oxford Dictionary of Popes. Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1986, p. 104-105; Le Liber pontificalis. Paris : E. de Boccard, 1981, 1955. 3 v. : facsims. (Bibliothèque des Écoles françaises d'Athènes et de Rome). Notes: Reprint of the 1955 edition./ Includes indexes./ Vol. 3: "Additions et corrections de L. Duchesne publiées par Cyrille Vogel ... avec L'Histoire du Liber pontificalis dupuis l'édition de L. Duchesne une bibliographie et des tables générales, II, LXVI, LXXV, 106-139; Marazzi, Federico. "Leone IV, santo." Enciclopedia dei papi. 3 vols. Roma : Istituto della Enciclopedia italiana, 2000, I, 723-730; Montini, Renzo Uberto. Le tombe dei papi. Roma : Angelo Belardetti, 1957. Note: At head of title: Instituto di studi romani, p. 138, no. 3; Reardon, Wendy J. The deaths of the popes : comprehensive accounts, including funerals, burial places and epitaphs. Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland & Co., Publishers, 2004, p. 62-64; Regesta pontificum Romanorum ab conditio Ecclesia. Ad annum post Christum natum MCXCVIII. Graz : Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt, 1956. 2 v. Reprint. Originally published : Lipsiae : Veit et comp., 1885-1888. Original t.p. included : Regesta pontificum Romanorum ab condita ecclesia : ad annum post Christum natum MCXCVIII. Editionem secundam correctam et auctam edidit Philippus Jaffè ; auspiciis Gulielmi Wattenbach; curaverunt S. Loewenfeld, F. Kaltenbrunner, P. Ewald, I, 329-339; Scano, Gaetana. "Leone IV, papa, santo." Mondo vaticano. Passato e presente. Città del Vaticano : Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1995, p. 644-645.

Links. Biography, in English, The Catholic Encyclopedia; biography, in English (Britannica); biography, in English; biography, in English, Papal Library; his image and biography, in English; images and biography, in English, New World Encyclopedia; biography, in Italian, Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani; biography by Federico Marazzi, in Italian, Enciclopedia dei papi, Trecanni; images and biography, in Italian, Santi Beati; biography, in Norwegian; his engraving, Bildarchiv Austria. Die Bildplattform der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek; his engraving, Bildarchiv Austria. Die Bildplattform der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek; his engraving, Bildarchiv Austria. Die Bildplattform der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek; his engraving, Bildarchiv Austria. Die Bildplattform der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek; another engraving from the same source; another engraving from the same source; and another engraving also from the same source; his image, church of S. Clemente, Rome; drawing of his face; his image, 2007 Greek postal stamp, fresco in the church of S. Clemente, Rome, representing Christ in the Last Judgement; Pope Leo IV is represented with a square halo, which indicates that he was still living when the fresco was painted; his engraving, Fondazione Marco Besso, Rome; two engravings, Biblioteca comunale dell'Archiginnasio, Bologna; his engraving, iStockphoto; his engraving by Cavallieri, 16th century; one of his coins, Numismatic collection of Olomouc archiepiscopate, Czech Republic; and stained glass representing Pope Leo IV blessing King Alfred on England.

(1) Some sources say that he joined the Canons Regular of the Lateran.
(2) The memory of the fire in the Borgo was later immortalized in a fresco by Raphael in one of the rooms of the Vatican called "Hall of the Fire." The victory of the Christian fleet over the Saracens in 849 was also memorialized in that hall.
(3) This is the text of the inscription in the altar, taken from Reardon, The deaths of the popes : comprehensive accounts, including funerals, burial places and epitaphs, p. 62:

HIC. IACVERVNT. CORPORA. SANCTO
RVM. PONTIFICVM. LEONVM. I. II.
Ill. ET. IIII. VSQVE. AD. AN. MDCVII.
AD. ALTARE. DEIPARAE. VIRG. IN.
COLVMNA. HVIVS. BASILICAE. PAV
LL V. IVSSV. SOLEMNITER. TRANS
LATA.

    Reardon, p. 62-64, adds: "Archeologist Rinaldo Lanciani claims that the altar was actually destroyed on May 26, 1607."

"Church canon and historian Giacomo Grimaldi describes the location and appearance of the altar where the remains of Leo I-IV were placed:
The oratory or chapel of Pope St. Leo I was situated next to the oratory of the lord Pope Hadrian I and in the area of the altar of St. Mauritius, in the right part of the basilica toward the middle, on the side of the apse with the greater altar of the prince of the apostles, in the lattermost division of the apse. [Antipope] Anastasius Bibliothecarius quotes in the Vita of Sergius that Sergius had a vision telling him where to put the tomb, after which he adorned it himself. Anastasius also quotes in the Vita of Leo III that the tomb was decorated with 119 pounds of silver. And in the Vita of Leo IV, Anastasius quotes that there was silver crown hanging above the tomb. Paschal II had bodies of all four Leos put together there."

"Church historian Peter Mallius writes:
that the altar contained the bodies of the first three Leos, and more recently that of Leo IV, who himself restored and ornamented the oratory, as Anastasius says in the Vita of Leo IV. Before the altar of the martyr St. Mauritius ... is the oratory of St. Pope Leo IV. In which, as we accept from our predecessors (Cenzius and Peter Christianus), Pope Paschal II of blessed memory re-interred the bodies of blessed Popes Leo I, II, III, and IV. The tomb of Leo the Great was situated in the depths of the sarcophagus. Within it was an ancient coffin of pine, with another one of lead enclosed within it, with a cross carved on top with the inscription "The Body of St. Pope Leo I" at the foot. Afterwards, four transverse bars of iron were placed in the middle of the sarcophagus, upon which was placed a cypress coffin containing the holy bodies of Leo II, III, and IV."

"The following inscription was engraved on a lead plate on the cypress coffin:
The bodies of Sts. Leo I, II, III, and IV, high pontiffs, moved from the right side of the basilica to the side of the greater altar of the prince of the apostles, beneath the altar of the old oratory which was protected by the construction of the pavement. This was carried out at the order of Paul V, pontifex maximus, and with the agreement of Evangelista Pallottus, cardinal priest in the title of St. Lawrence in Lucina, archpriest of this basilica, who bore them to the new church with a solemn procession and placed them here beneath the altar in the same southern part. 27. May, the Sunday within the octave of the feast of the Ascension, 1607, in the third year of that same pontificate."

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(3) 1. AMALARIO FORTUNATO (770/780-850/853)

Birth. 770/780, Trier. He is also listed as Sant' Amalario Fortunato di Treviri, Amalarii Fortunati, Amalarius Fortunatus Trevirensis. Amalaire de Metz, Amalaric, Amalarico, Amalarius and Amalharius. Fortunato is probably a literary pseudonym that he added to his name. He has been confused with Amalario de Metz (1).

Education. (No information found). He was a disciple of Alcuin of York in Aachen or Tours.

Early life. It is not known with certainty if he became a monk. In 800 he was named abbot commendatario of the monastery of Hornbach.

Episcopate. Appointed archbishop of Trier by Charlemagne in 809; resigned the see in 814 at the death of Charlemagne. Consecrated (no information found). He also had jurisdiction outside Trier and in 811, he consecrated the first church of Hamburg. In 1813, he was sent as chief ambassador of Charlemagne before Emperor Michael I Rhangabes in Constantinople. On his return, he retired to Nonantola. Later, he participated in the Councils of Aachen in 816; and Paris in 825. He traveled to Rome during the pontificates of Pope Leo III and Gregory IV. He led the archdiocese of Lyon in 835-838, in the absence of Archbishop Agobard, and tried to introduce his liturgical reform, which was bitterly opposed by the deacon Florus and was condemned by the Council of Quierzy (or Kiersy), celebrated in September 838, based on its expression triform est corpus Christi, which was given a tendentious interpretation.

Cardinalate. Presbyter cardinalis of an unknown title in 844. He was a distinguished theologian and founder of the medieval liturgical science. His theological works have been lost. His liturgical exerted an unchallenged influence on the allegorical and symbolic interpretation of the texts and liturgical rites throughout the Middle Ages. Among his known works are the Liber officialis or De officiis ecclesiasticis, in four volumes, dedicated to Emperor Louis the Pious, written and published several times between 820 and 832; De ordine antiphonarii, written after 844, and written to justify the criteria used in a large Antifonario, which has been lost, and was based on the collation of different traditions, the Roman, the Metense, etc.; he clarified the complex and mysterious mystical value of the Mass in various Expositiones; finally, a dozen of his letters have also survived as well as an hexameter poem on his mission in the East, Versus marine.

Death. A 29 of April between 850 and 853, in Metz. Buried in the Saint-Arnulf, near his protector Emperor Louis the Pious. In 1552, his remains were taken to the new basilica of Saint Pierre aux Nonnains, Metz, and placed next to the main altar.

Sainthood. Because of his fame of holiness and his miracles, he was considered a saint. There was news of the veneration paid in Metz to his relics, but there are no traces of official worship. He appears in the Martyrologium Hieronymianum on April 29 (Obiit Amalarius episcopus); in the calendar of Trier his feast is observed (as Fortunato) on June 10; the Benedictine Martyrology has confusing information (sometimes he appears as monk of Luxeuil and cardinal); his memorial falls on May 10.

Bibliography. Amalarius; Hanssens, Jean Michel. Amalarii episcopi Opera liturgica omnia. 3 vols. Città del Vaticano : Biblioteca apostolica vaticana, 1948-1950.(Studi e testi ; 138-140; Variation: Studi e testi (Biblioteca apostolica vaticana) ; 138-140). Contents: t.1. Introduction. Opera minora -- t.2. Liber officialis -- t.3. Liber de ordine antiphonarii. Eclogae de ordine Romano; Cardella, Lorenzo. Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa. Rome : Stamperia Pagliarini, 1792, I, pt. 1, 50-52; Chacón, Alfonso. Vitæ, et res gestæ Pontificum Romanorum : et S.R.E. Cardinalium ab initio nascentis Ecclesiae usque ad Clementem IX P. O. M. Alphonsi Ciaconii Ord. Praed. & aliorum opera descriptæ : cum uberrimis notis. Ab Augustino Oldoino, Soc. Jesu recognitae, et ad quatuor tomos ingenti ubique rerum accessione productae. Additis Pontificum recentiorum imaginibus, & Cardinalium insignibus, plurimisque aeneis figuris, cum indicibus locupletissimis. Romæ : P. et A. De Rubeis, 1677, I, col. 610-612, no. 1; Cristofori, Francesco. Cronotasi dei cardinali di Santa Romana Chiesa. Rome : Tipografia de Propaganda Fide, 1888, p. 265; Eggs, Georgius Josephus. Purpura docta, seu, Vitae, legationes, res gestae, obitus, aliaque scitu, ac memoratu digna, &c. S.R.E. Cardinalium. Six books in three vols. Farnborough, Hants., England : Gregg International, 1970. Originally published : Francofurti : Prostant & veneunt apud Joannem Georgium König, 1714,, I, col. 6-10; "Essai de liste générale des cardinaux. Les cardinaux des 10 premiers siècles". Annuaire Pontifical Catholique 1926. Paris : Maison de la Bonne Presse, 1927, p. 151, no. 3; Gams, Pius Bonifatius. Series episcoporum Ecclesiae catholicae. 3 v. in 1. Graz : Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt, 1957, p. 318.

Links. Biography, in English, The New Catholic Encyclopedia; his image and biography, in Italian, Santi Beati; biography by Luigi Biginelli, in I benedettini e gli studi eucaristici nel medio evo: ricerche storico (Torino : Tipografia Pietro Celanza, 1895), parte prima, serie seconda, 8-9, in Italian; biography, in Spanish, Enciclopedia Católica, ACI-PRENSA; biography, in English; biography, in English, Chalmers General Biographical Dictionary; biography, in French; biograpy, in German, Biographisch-Bibliographischen Kirchenlexikons; biography, in German, Johann Jacob Hofmann, Lexicon Universale; Universitdt Mannheim; his Epistola Ad Karolum Magnum Imperatorem, in Latin, Documenta Catholica Omnia, Cooperatorum Veritatis Societas; and his engraving, Flikr, Yahoo.

(1) His biography in Italian, Santi Beati, linked above indicates that the long and thorny dispute concerning the existence of two Amalarios, one archbishop of Trier and the other corepiscopo of Metz,and both liturgists has been basically solved. The question was raised by Jacques Sirmond, a French Jesuit and scholar of the 17th century; the identification of two Amalarios was done by Dom Germain Morin Morin, O.S.B., 19th/20th century Belgian Benedictine historical scholar and patrologist; and the remaining objections were finally refuted by the research of Father Jean-Michel Hanssens, a liturgist in the Pontifical Oriental Institute, Rome.

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