Sermons

By Jane Patricia Freeland; Agnes Josephine Conway et al. | Go to book overview

FEAST OF STS. PETER AND PAUL

Serms. 82-83, written in 441 and 443 respectively for the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, instruct the flock by emphasizing the fact that all the might and secular glory of Rome cannot compare with the Rome blessed by the presence of Christ in his two apostles ( Serm. 82. 1). Their courage, in entering the city to claim it for Christ, remained undaunted by the cruelty of Nero's persecution, which actually increased the number of faithful Christians ( Serm. 82.6). Serm. 83, taken largely verbatim from Serm. 1, focuses on our Lord's preferential treatment of Peter, particularly noted in the section of the Gospel of Matthew 16. 16-19. Leo offers a meditation on the bond between Christ and Peter, on Christ giving Peter primacy and the power of the keys.


Sermon 82

29 June 441 (Recension A)1

THE WHOLE WORLD has a part in all the holy ceremonies, dearly beloved, and the holiness of our one faith demands that, whatever is recalled to mind as done for the world's salvation, it should be celebrated everywhere with like festivity. Yet today's feast must be revered with a special celebration of its own for our city, beyond the respect it deserves from the rest of the world. Where the death of the leaders of the apostles has been covered with glory, there should be the chief place of joy on the day of their martyrdom.

____________________
1
This sermon comes down to us in two recensions. Recension A had been composed in 441. Recension B appears to represent a revision made by Leo himself at some later date. Material found in both recensions will appear in normal text. Material found only in Recension A will appear in bold. Material found only in Recension B will appear in italics. Some material found in both recensions but in a different order will be reproduced in both bold and italics in their proper order. Some material that does not coincide between the two versions of the Latin text but does not affect the English translation (such as word order or certain syntactical variants) will not be indicated. Some lines may also have been added by a third recension, but these have been ignored for the purposes of this translation.

-352-

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