Spiritual Bouquet: Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you shall receive it, and it shall come to you. St. Mark 11:24
SAINT LEO II
The pontificate of this great Pope was very brief but very fruitful, since in the ten months of his reign he accomplished good works which have caused his name to be blessed by all succeeding generations. Born in the seventh century in Sicily, he had been a Canon Regular, that is, an ecclesiastical dignitary who resided in his bishop’s palace, was charged with recitation of the Office in the cathedral, and was relied upon to serve as the auxiliary of the Ordinary. Saint Leo was a devout student of Holy Scripture, and was well versed in the Greek as well as the Latin language.
In his day grave difficulties frequently arose between the Holy See and the emperors of Constantinople, whose representatives at Ravenna tried to control the bishops of that see; the latter had been striving to become autonomous. Saint Leo published a decree ordering that in the future no bishop of Ravenna could enter into function before being consecrated for that office at Rome, by the Roman Pontiff.
He built three churches in Rome, to honor Saint Paul the Apostle, Saint Sebastian, and Saint George. Saint Leo was highly gifted in the domain of music, and he renovated the Gregorian literature or library, then in a state of confusion; he also composed new hymns, still conserved by the Church. He took special care of widows and orphans and the poor in general, relieving their sufferings with a truly apostolic charity.
Saint Leo confirmed the Acts of the Sixth Ecumenical Council which his predecessor had convoked at Constantinople against the Monothelite heresy, and translated its acts into Latin for the benefit of the Occidentals. When he died in July of 683, his death was deeply regretted by all the faithful. He was interred according to established custom in the church of Saint Peter. He is ordinarily pictured embracing a beggar or holding a book of music.
Source: Les Petits Bollandistes: Vies des Saints, by Msgr. Paul Guérin (Bloud et Barral: Paris, 1882), Vol. 7.
Bishop of Altino
Saint Heliodorus was born at Dalmatia, a Roman Province northeast of the Adriatic Sea, which was also the native land of Saint Jerome. He soon sought out that great Doctor, not only to follow his advice in matters relating to Christian perfection, but also to profit by his deep learning. The life of a recluse held great attractions for him, but to enter a monastery it would have been necessary to leave his spiritual master and director, a sacrifice he was not prepared to make. He therefore remained in the world, though not part of it, and following the example of the holy anchorites, passed his time in prayer and devout reading. He accompanied Saint Jerome on his voyage to the Holy Land, visiting the various churches of the Orient, and remained with him for a time, but a desire to revisit his native land and to see his parents once more drew him back to Dalmatia. Saint Jerome tried to persuade him to remain with him, and Heliodorus was intending to return, as soon as he had fulfilled the duties he owed his parents.
Finding his absence had grown prolonged, and fearing that love for his family and attachment to worldly things might lure him from his vocation, Saint Jerome wrote him an earnest letter. He exhorted his good disciple to break entirely with the world and to consecrate himself to the service of God. But the Lord, who disposes all things, had a mission of activity reserved for His servant. After the death of his mother, Heliodorus went to Italy and soon was remarked for his eminent piety. He was made Bishop of Altino, and became one of the most distinguished prelates of an age fruitful in great men. He sustained the Catholic faith against the Arian heresy, assisting at the Council of Aquilea in northeastern Italy, called for that purpose in 381. Saint Jerome never forgot his former student, and in one of his letters testifies that he was a bishop who lived in his episcopal dignity with as much fervor and regularity as in a monastery. Saint Heliodorus died about the year 390.
Source: Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler’s Lives of the Saints, and other sources by John Gilmary Shea (Benziger Brothers: New York, 1894).