Known together as the De Collectis (Concerning the Collections), Sermons 6-11 deal with the annual collection of alms taken up for the sick and the poor of Rome. Leo identifies the practice as "established by the Holy Fathers with most salutary effect" ( Serm. 7.1), insisting that "the things that have been laid down by tradition from the apostles" should be preserved "with lasting dedication" ( Serm. 8.1 and cf. 9.3, 10.1, et al.).
Each sermon mentions a different day of the week on which the offerings were to be made.1. Although the particular time of year is not mentioned, many historians believe that the collections took place after the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul (29 June) to counter the pagan festival Ludi Apollinares held from 6-13 July.2. Leo spoke rather harshly about pagan activities3. that had provided the impetus for beginning this apostolic institution (Cf. Serm. 8.1 et al.).
It is now thought, however, that this public work of mercy was actually directed against the Ludi Plebeii and held annually in November.4. For one thing, most manuscript holdings place the Collection sermons immediately after the Elevation sermons delivered at the end of September. Furthermore, in Serm. 9.4 (443) Leo urges his people to expose any concealed Manichaeans. By the time of Serm. 16 (datable to____________________