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.
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.____________________
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Publication information: Book title: Sermons. Contributors: Jane Patricia Freeland - Translator, Agnes Josephine Conway - Translator, Pope Leo I - Author. Publisher: Catholic University of America Press. Place of publication: Washington, DC. Publication year: 1995. Page number: 352.
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