St Leo IX to Honorius II









St. Leo IX. (1049-1054)

VICTOR II. (1055-1057),

Stephen (IX.) X. (1057-1058)

Nicholas II. (1059-1061)

Alexander II. (1061-1073)

ST. GREGORY VII. (1073-1085)

B. VICTOR III. (1086-1087)

B. URBAN II. (1088-1099)

PASCHAL I (1099-1118)

GELASIUS II (1118-1119)

CALIXTUS II (1119-11124)

HONORIUS II (1124-1130)





The century of papal history which it is hoped will be illustrated by the following pages was the age dominated by the great name of Hildebrand, and hence is often described as the saeculum Hildebrandicum. It was the age in which that high-minded and pure-souled monk strove, either by his own exertions or by those which he inspired, to promote that reform in the Church which had been inaugurated by St. Leo IX. The efforts at reform took the shape of a determined struggle against the triple scourge of simony, clerical incontinence, and the tyrannical interference of the powerful in the domain of the Church, and were at length focussed in the fight against lay investiture. But the attempt to stifle this abuse which was begun under the saintly Pontiff from Lorraine, was not destined to be concluded either in his reign, during which Hildebrand was trained, or in those of his immediate successors who were under the influence of Hildebrand, or in that of Hildebrand himself. It was not to be terminated till the pontificate of Calixtus II; while the general contest between the Papacy and the Empire which took its rise in this attempt at reform was to last till the fifteenth century, and was, in the temporal order, to exhaust both.

The reforming zeal of the Popes of the school of Hildebrand almost everywhere encountered the most stubborn opposition; so deep-rooted were the evils they strove to eradicate, so dear were they to the passions of the clergy, or to the interests of the great. And nowhere did they meet with greater opposition than in Italy. If simony was rife in France, it was worse in Germany, and worst of all in Italy; and if the spectacle of married priests and bishops was not uncommon in other countries of Europe, it was nowhere more obvious than in Italy, and especially in Milan and in Lombardy generally. The reason of this is not far to seek. Though the Church OF Italy, especially in its northern portion, had, owing to the power of its bishops, and to the comparatively rare interfering visits of the German emperors, been free to a very large extent from the royal oppression under which it groaned in other countries, it had become thoroughly demoralized by the terrible anarchy of the tenth century, and its bishops were, for the most part, as loose in their morals as their secular compeers.

Though, then, the fight for independence and reform upon which the Popes had entered was to be long and bitter, and was to bring upon them a very large share of suffering from the Franconian emperors and their con­temptible antipopes, they were not to stand alone in the combat. The words of such fiery champions of reform as St. Peter Damian must never be taken too literally. There were always good priests and even good bishops, and that too even in Italy, who were longing for a reformation in manners, and who were only waiting for an opportunity to help to promote it. Especially were the Popes supported by the religious orders, by the Camaldolese, founded by St. Romuald (1009), by the Premonstratensians (1125), and especially by the Benedictines, revivified by the reforms of Cluny and by those of the Carthusians (1084), and of the Cistercians (1098), and producing from such centres as Bec and Clairvaux men like Lanfranc and SS. Anselm and Bernard. They were sustained also in their conflict against the powers of evil by men deservedly conspicuous for their sanctity, by St. Peter Damian, by St. Bruno of Segni, by St. John Gualbert, with his order of Vallombrosa, and by St. Bruno with his Carthusians, who by their silence and penitential life protested loudly against the disorders of the age.

The era of which we are now about to write in detail was an era not only of ardent work for reform, but of great and glorious deeds, the soul of which was faith, both in the social and political as well as in the ecclesiastical order. It was the age in which the Crescent began steady decline before the Cross; it saw the birth of the Crusades, “the Lord's doing, a wonder unknown to preceding ages and reserved for our days”. It was a time wherein, owing to the spread of the work of the Truce of God, and then to the departure of much of its warlike element to the East, there was, in spite of feudalism, greater peace in Europe. Under its blessed shadow learning at once revived.

Guibert, abbot of Nogent (d.1124), assures us that “wandering clerklings of modern times” are more learned than were the professed grammarians in the time of his boyhood, or immediately before it.

Towards the end of the eleventh century French and Provençal poetry made their appearance, and the parent of modern literature is said to have been the French­man, William of Poitiers, the chaplain of William the Conqueror. It was at the same period that the Moors in Spain began their final retreat before the arms of the Christians. The great legendary hero of Spain, Roderick Diaz de Bivar, the Cid, died in 1099, and it is far from unlikely that the Castilian Muse was, within fifty years of his death, busy with the rich verses of the Poema del Cid, or with the first of the mystery plays, the Misterio de los Reyes Magos.

Side by side with the lighter forms of learning, there sprang into activity the more serious figures of law and medicine, philosophy and theology. As early as 1050 Salerno was known throughout Europe as a great school of medicine, and by his studies on Roman Law, Irnerius (c. 1113) was to render Bologna forever famous as a primary fount of legal learning. And whilst he and his successors in the teaching of Civil Law were to be partisans of the German emperors, and by their study of the Digest and the other jurisprudence of Justinian were to give intellectual support to their absolutism, Deusdedit (who wrote in 1087) and the other canonists of the latter part of the eleventh century, and particularly Gratian, with his immortal Decretum (1142), were to give no little help to the cause of the Popes and to civilisation generally. And if St. John Damascene and John the Scot are remote ancestors of scholasticism, Roscelin (d. 1106), St. Anselm of Canterbury, William of Champeaux (d. 1121), and Abelard (d. 1142) are its immediate parents. The ages wherein men “had been content to gather up and reproduce the traditionary wisdom of the Fathers” had passed away, and the powers of reason were to be used to inquire into and to systematise the masses of theological truths grouped together by the patient labour of Bedes and Alcuins.

The appearance of scholastic theology shows us that this age possessed an increased scientific knowledge of God and of the truths of God; the revival of art (manifesting itself in connection with church building and decoration) which took place during it is evidence enough of an increase of devout feeling for the things of God. In every country we find architectural masterpieces arising which have excited the admiration of every succeeding age that has itself been blessed with any degree of enlightenment. What Raoul Glaber tells us of the remarkable increase in church building during this epoch is abundantly borne out by what is known of the history of the great European ecclesiastical structures. France saw arising the great cathedrals of Autun (1060), Cahors (1096), Chartres (1108), Evreux (1112), and Laon (1114), etc. In the country of her modern ally, the erection of churches at Novgorod (1056), Kieff (1075), and Pskof (1138) is recorded. In England most of our cathedrals date back to this age, as in Scotland do Glasgow Cathedral (1123) and the abbey churches of Kelso and Waverley (1128), and as in Ireland do St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin (1090), and King Cormack's Chapel in Cashel (1127). Many a cathedral too in Germany, Spires (1061), Treves (1077), Worms (1105), Bamberg (1110), and Hildesheim (1131), etc.;–Italy (Lucca and Parma (1060), Venice (1063), Pisa (1064), Anagni (1074), Modena (1099), Cremona (1107), etc; and Spain–(León (1063), Coimbra (1064), Santiago (1078), Avilla (1091)Salamanca (1120), etc.)– can proudly trace back its origin to this remote period, as can even Lund (1072) and Westaras (1100) in Sweden, and Roeskilda (1084) in Denmark. So great was the zeal for the erection of magnificent churches that in many instances existing buildings were pulled down in order that they might be rebuilt in what was regarded as a more perfect style. It was to this impulse in this great period of Romanesque architecture that we owe many of the existing Romanesque cathedrals. And just as many a basilica had in this age to give place to a Romanesque cathedral, so in the next many a Romanesque building, e.g., the Romanesque cathedral of Chartres, was levelled to the ground that the present Gothic structure might, on the same site, raise its noble front to the glory of God on High. But beautiful churches were not the only buildings which graced the Gregorian revival. It was distinguished by the erection of edifices of all kinds for the benefit of the energetic, or the consolation of the suffering. And we find his biographer noting with regard to St. John Gualbert (d. 1073) that he was a great bridge builder, and founder of hospitals throughout the whole of Tuscany. The winter of the early Middle Ages, with its darkness and its violent storms, had gone, and their springtime had come, instinct with bursting growth and gladdened with fresh life, even if troubled with violent winds and sweeping showers.

Turning our eyes from the West in general to Italy, the more immediate field of papal labour, we are at once struck with the fact that the three empires which, in the last epoch, were so vigorously contending for the possession of its fair form, are now fading from its shores. The power of the Saracen Empire declined everywhere before the close of the tenth century. At the beginning of the eleventh century it had no permanent centres of aggression on the mainland of south Italy, and was being taught by bitter experience the might of the new maritime powers of Venice and Pisa. Even its predatory incursions became less frequent as the century advanced.

The same age saw the disappearance from the peninsula of the more disciplined troops of Constantinople. Their occupation of southern Italy, begun by the capture of Bari in 876, was brought to a close by their expulsion from it by the Normans in 1071. And if the rights of the German Empire were not yet to be extinguished in northern Italy, the rise of the people and of the communes or free burghs, which was to prove fatal to them, had already begun; so that during this epoch southern Italy became rapidly more and more Norman; northern Italy made steady advances towards becoming the land of free cities; and central Italy, especially through the Donation of the Countess Matilda, fell more than ever under the direct influence of the temporal sovereignty of the Popes.

It is, however, owing to the great dearth of documentary evidence, very difficult to say what was the precise extent of the papal domination at the opening of this epoch. In theory at least the states of the Church were as extensive as ever, and, by the junction to them of Benevento (1051), might even seem to be actually, i.e., de facto, more extensive than ever. But though it is true that Otho I renewed the donations of the Carolingians, the effective control of the Popes over their states was rather diminished than increased by that sovereign and his immediate successors. They protected the Exarchate of Ravenna in the name of the Pope; and in their own name, despite the protests of the Popes, disposed of its territories to men of their own choice. Even in the Duchy of Rome, the power of the Popes, like that of the other sovereigns of the West, was very largely controlled by the feudal rights and customs which had been usurped by the nobility. And what had befallen the sovereign claims of the Popes during Rome’s Dark Age had also, to a very large extent, overtaken their ownership rights. Their privy purse had become as empty as their State treasury. We have, or shall soon have, seen the low ebb at which Stephen (V) VI and St. Leo IX found the papal finances. To restore them we shall find the Popes of this period endeavouring to develop comparatively fresh sources of revenue. During the century in which they lost the patrimonies of the Church, the monasteries of Europe had begun to pay them taxes in return for privileges and the English had set the example to other countries of paying to the Popes the voluntarily imposed tax of Peter’s pence. We shall see Alexander II and Gregory VII urging its regular payment on William the Conqueror, as the former had already done on the King of Denmark. We need not then begin to think of greed of gold or lust of power when the efforts of Gregory and other Popes of this period to obtain money, or to extend their regal authority, are brought to our notice. As little could be done without money in the Middle Ages as now, and both gold and temporal authority were required by the Popes if, especially in an age of violence, they were to be in a position to exercise the charity of the priest, or to preserve in any way the dignity and independence befitting the Head of the Church.

During the saeculum Hildebrandicum, the position of the Popes improved not only from a pecuniary point of view, and with regard to their real authority over their States generally, but also in the matter of their control over the turbulent Romans. Owing to the collapse of the Byzantine power before the arms of the Lombards, civil authority in Rome had fallen into the hands of the Popes by default, and had practically remained there during the seventh, eighth, and ninth centuries. But during the eighth century, owing to the establishment of a local militia, a military aristocracy had begun to be formed, which, of course, increased in importance when the Popes became temporal rulers, and had more wealth and lucrative positions at their disposal. This body, which had made its influence bear so heavily on the papal government that, during the ninth century, the latter had had to appeal to the Carolingian rulers for assistance against its encroachments, obtained its own way completely when the Frankish Empire went to pieces. For a century and a half the Roman nobles, with their fortress-houses in Rome, and their great estates outside it, lorded it over the city, and reduced it and the Papacy to the very lowest depths. But, partly broken by the Othos, who re-established the prefect of the city as their representative, partly kept in subjection by the firm hand of Hildebrand, who took away from them all opportunity of interfering in papal elections, and partly checked by the growing power of the people, who in the last years of this epoch (1143) asserted their independence of both Pontiff and baron, the nobles had to give way to the power of the Popes.

The first to benefit by the increased freedom and wealth of the sovereign Pontiffs was the city of Rome itself. Under Paschal II and Calixtus II not a few churches were repaired and embellished, and under Innocent II we see a revival in mosaic work. Art never perished in Rome, even during the dark days of the tenth century, but, helped by the Popes, it took during this age a new development in the hands of the Roman marmorarii or marble-cutters. For it was about the beginning of the twelfth century that there began to be cultivated in Rome that beautiful geometrical arrangement of pieces of coloured marbles which, from one of its later distinguished artists, came to be known as Cosmatesque work. At once architects, decorators, and sculptors, these Roman marmorarii formed a guild which rose and fell with the prosperity of the Popes in Rome. It originated during the twelfth century, did its best work in the thirteenth, and disappeared in the fourteenth.

In enumerating the cities which led the way in the revival of Italian art, Sir Martin Conway places Rome first, and adds that in Rome during the eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth centuries no inconsiderable amount of inter­esting work was done, and, as just noted, was done under the direction of the Popes. Building and artistic operations were almost forced upon them owing to the necessity of repairing the damage wrought on the city by the terrible fires that devastated it during the eleventh century or thereabouts. It is the custom of historians to ascribe all the destruction inflicted on Rome by fire during the eleventh century to that which took place in 1084, when Robert Guiscard relieved Gregory VII. But we are informed that the city “was almost wholly destroyed” by a fire which occurred about 993 that under Pope Leo IX, on the feast of St. Eustachius, “a great part of the city was burned”, and that in the days of Alexander II that portion of the city was consumed by fire which stretched from the Parrione quarter to St. Felix in Pincis. There was need, then, of works of restoration before 1084, and that date was not awaited to begin them. “The frescos of S. Clemente are certainly the foundation stone of the revival of painting, and they date from Hildebrand’s time; so do those of S. Pudentiana, which he restored, and those in the Cappella del Martirologio at S. Paul’s. In fact, Hildebrand undertook a radical restoration of this basilica and its annexes ... It is even thought that the present monastic buildings and cloister of S. Prassede are the work of Hildebrand”. Of course, after the year 1084, there was more need than ever of building and decorative activity. Hildebert of Lavardin, who visited Rome in 1100, gives us a sad picture of the state of ruin in which he found the city, but suggests that all the resources of his time could not build anything equal even to Rome’s ruins. “Rome was”, he says, and yet:

“Bid wealth, bid marble, and bid fate attend,

And watchful artists o'er the labour bend,

Still shall the matchless ruin art defy

The old to rival, or its loss supply.

No art can equal that which still doth stand,

No skill make good what lieth on the sand”.

It was in the days of Pope Paschal that Hildebert came to Rome, and it was he who, during the few years of peace which he had after the year 1112, “made the first attempts to rebuild the city ... Modern researches are continually enlarging the scope of this brief activity”. The labours of Hildebrand had prepared the way for him, and “there were artists of a kind at his disposal when he began to attack his problem of renovation, to tear down the half-ruined buildings, establish new levels and new lines of streets, and lay the foundations of modern Rome, as it was until its dismemberment by the Renaissance Popes, and its disruption by the Italians, after the annexation in 1870. We know the names of a few of these artists: Paulus, chief among his architects and decorators, Guido and Petrolinus among his painters”.

For many centuries the influence of the Bishops of Rome over the churches of the East had been but small. And we have seen them sever their connection with them (1053) by a stroke which was destined to be final, and to be rapidly followed by the ruin of the Eastern Roman Empire. The last period of its military glory came to an end before the close of the Macedonian Dynasty in 1057, and the final bright epoch of its literary life, inaugurated by Photius, expired with the school of Psellus (d. 1078). Within twenty years after the legates of St. Leo IX pronounced the excommunication of Michael Cerularius, the Byzantine Empire received a blow from which it never recovered. By the battle of Manzikert, when Alp-Arslan with his Seljukian Turks defeated the emperor Romanus Diogenes, the Empire was broken. This was in 1071, and it was in the same year that the loss of Bari deprived Constantinople of its hold on Italy. It was “utterly ruined” by the Crusaders’ raid in 1204, “and from that time till the capture by the Turks it was a feeble wreck”. But over both the schism of the Greeks and their temporal misfortunes the Popes grieved. Their miseries overwhelmed them with sorrow; and, as we shall see, they made one vain effort after another to heal a gaping wound which for well-nigh a thousand years has refused to close.

Before this introductory chapter is brought to a conclusion, a word or two may be said in connection with simony and clerical marriage, of which mention will so frequently be made in the pages that are to follow. In the Acts of the Apostles (c. 8) it is related that a certain Simon Magus attempted to buy from St. Peter the power of bestowing the gifts of the Holy Ghost. From this action of the magician the sin of giving or receiving any temporal emolument in direct exchange for any spiritual profit became known as simony. Gregory VII points out that the sin may be committed when other things besides money or money value are given in exchange for what is spiritual. Hence, for the sake of clearness, he divides what may be thus offered into three classes, which he calls “munera (gifts) a manu, ab obseguio, et a lingua”. By the first he understands the giving of money or its worth; by the second the offering of any kind of service; and by the third the promise of the use of influence on the donor’s behalf. On the other hand, by the phrase “things spiritual” is to be understood not merely what are such in themselves, as the gifts of the Holy Ghost, but those temporal things which are closely connected with them, as, for instance, the sacred vessels or the right of patronage. It was, however, the grossest form of simony against which the mediaeval Pontiffs had to direct all their energies, viz., the simony a manu, the simony of which the powerful were guilty when they sold ecclesiastical offices to the highest bidder. There was comparatively little question of the more refined varieties of the crime. Indeed, it would seem that those rulers were regarded as free from simony who kept their hands from taking money for the bishoprics and abbacies of which they disposed. Had there been no question of the grosser simony (simonia a manu), the Popes would not have convulsed Europe on the subject.

Another abuse against which the Popes of this period offered strenuous and successful opposition was that by which bishops and priests took to themselves wives, and lived as married men. The custom had crept in during the dread days of feudal anarchy, and in many parts of Christendom was tolerated by public opinion. It would appear certain that in the first ages of the Church, down to about the time of the great council of Nice, there were no laws forbidding the clergy to be married; but even during that epoch marriage was very early prohibited to those who had once taken Holy Orders. This canonical discipline on the matter is that still in force in the Greek Church, and in the East generally. But in the West a severer discipline began to be introduced soon after the council of Nice, and, by the time of St. Leo I (440-461), it was well-nigh universally recognised that all those in Holy Orders were bound to lead a celibate life. However, after the break­up of the Carolingian Empire, the laws both of the Church and of the State were largely disregarded. Very many of the clergy married without, it would appear, giving much or any scandal to the laity, and even transmitted their benefices to their offspring. But during all this anarchical epoch neither the Church nor the State ceased altogether to endeavour to enforce its laws, and, as soon as the troublous times began to pass away, the Church at once commenced to re-establish its canons regarding the celibacy of the clergy. An indulgence, however, which in many parts of Christendom at least, had been sanctioned by long custom, was not likely to be surrendered without a struggle. It required to suppress it not merely the exhortations of the most virtuous among the clergy themselves, but the authority of the greatest of the Popes, manifested in drastic legislation. This went so far that, during the course of the twelfth century, the marriage of bishops, priests, deacons, and even of sub-deacons was decreed to be not simply unlawful, but invalid. And this discipline, enforced by the great reforming Pontiffs of the Gregorian Renaissance, is that in vogue in the Catholic Church today.

Now that we have reviewed the arena in which the Popes had to fight, have enumerated the foes against whom they had to contend, and have reckoned those on whose help in the combat they could rely, we must recount their deeds in detail. In reading them we must never lose sight of the end for which the Roman Pontiffs were striving. It was for no other than the moral upraising of both clergy and people. In the course of their struggle to accomplish this all-important object, they may not have always used the best means. In a long and fierce fight, supposing every effort is made to conduct it properly, some deeds are sure to be done, even by the party that is fighting for the right, which are not altogether creditable to it. Hence, in the history of the hard contest between the Church and the Empire, we shall encounter some things which would have been better either not done at all, or, at least, done in a different way. But with the best and the most impartial writers who have treated of this war of Titans, it may unhesitatingly be stated that the end the Popes had in view was the highest, and that in the main their mode of conducting the campaign for liberty, justice, and virtue was most fair and most honourable, and was in harmony with the glorious cause for which they were contending.






To the great family which had already given to the world St. Leger, a grandson of Charlemagne, and St. Odilia, and was yet to give to it St. Norbert, the founder of the Premonstratensians, and Rodolf of Hapsburg, belonged Bruno of Egisheim. It was fitting that one who was destined for such noble deeds, who was with honour to close the darkest period of the history of the Papacy, and was to inaugurate the grand yet peaceful Reformation of the eleventh century, should have such a noble origin. His parents, Hugh, who was first cousin of the Emperor Conrad, and Heilewide, were distinguished by their piety and learning, as well as by their illustrious descent. Wibert assures us that the circumstances of Bruno’s birth gave promise of his future holiness and greatness. One night, shortly before he was born, his mother had a vision in which she was told that she would give birth to a male child who should be great before God, and whom she must call by the name of Bruno. And behold! when the child was born (June 21, 1002), its little body was marked all over with tiny crosses. Here we may or may not be face to face with the super­natural; for many most extraordinary cases have been recorded which show that the child in the womb can be affected in the most wonderful way by powerful sensations experienced by the mother? But whether in this instance there is or is not question of the supernatural, there is no doubt that the faith and piety which could so affect the body of the future Pope had no small share in producing the grand character which Bruno afterwards developed

It was at the castle of Egisheim, near Colmar, situated on one of the advance slopes of the Vosges, “on the borders of sweet Alsace”, that Bruno first saw the light.

At five years of age the little Bruno was entrusted to the care of Berthold, bishop of Toul, to be by him trained and educated. This zealous bishop had not only reformed monasteries, improved the trade of his episcopal city, and adorned it as well with numerous public buildings as by gathering learned men within its walls, but had also founded a school for the sons of the nobility. Here, under the able guidance of the bishop, and with the aid of a naturally bright mind, Bruno soon showed himself as superior in intelligence to most of his companions as he already was in birth and wealth. But, though to these advantages Bruno added grace of body, he was dear to his schoolfellows; for he did not allow himself to be puffed up by his good fortune, but was affable and kind, and was at everyone’s service.

In connection with his early training two interesting stories have reached us. One is from the chronicle of Saint Hubert d'Andain, one of the most remarkable historical productions of medieval Belgium, which was composed about the year 1098. The Emperor Lothaire had presented to the abbey of St. Hubert in the Ardennes a splendid Psalter written in letters of gold, and ornamented with a portrait of his father, Louis the Pious, to whom it had belonged. This beautiful book, said to be still in existence, and removed from the monastery in some dishonest manner, came to be offered for sale in Toul. It was at once bought by Heilewide, and given to her little son. But, strange to say, the lovely golden letters, instead of serving to encourage Bruno, seemed to baffle him. “For the Holy Ghost”, says the chronicler, “was unwilling that one who was to be a vessel of election of His should even unconsciously be defiled by contact with sacrilege”. Whilst Heilewide was lost in wonder at the child’s embarrassment, it came to her ears that the book belonged to the monastery of St. Hubert, “for under penalty of anathema search was being everywhere made for it”. At once, with her little son, did the good lady betake herself to the abbey, and, humbly begging pardon for what she had done in ignorance, she restored the volume to its owners. Nay more, in satisfaction, she made the monks a present of a sacramentary (Liber Sanctorum).

Without pausing to draw the attention of the reader to the number of medieval ways and manners which this pretty story brings to our notice, we will pass on to the second. When Bruno had advanced somewhat in age and in art and in science (in the trivium and the quadrivium), “and his neck had become a little freer from the scholastic yoke”, he was allowed, from time to time, to visit his home, to which he was drawn, boy-like, not only by the goodness and affection of those in it, but by the attraction of the soldiers within its walls. During one of these visits, whilst he was lying asleep “in a charming little bedroom” which his loving mother had prepared for him, some animal found its way into the room, fastened itself upon his face, and began to lacerate it. Awaking in terror, the youth uttered a loud shriek, struck the animal from his face, and sprang from his bed. At his cries the servants rushed into the room; but though the animal escaped, it left permanent marks of its baneful presence on Bruno’s person. For two months he lay between life and death. At the end of that period, when he had become so weak that he had even lost his voice, he saw in a vision St. Benedict, “the most blessed father of the monks”, who touched his wounds with a bright cross which he held in his hands. At once the youthful sufferer felt relief, and in a day or two he was himself again. “To this very day, in familiar conversation with his friends, he is wont to recount this evident mark of the Divine favour in his behalf”. Those who continue reading the events of his life, concludes Wibert, and see all that he did for the advantage and for the reformation of the monks, will readily understand why his cure came from the hands of St. Benedict rather than from any other saint.

Arrived now at an age (fifteen) when it became necessary for him to think of choosing his career in life, he resolved to embrace the clerical state. Perhaps he had essayed the joys of the world and had found them wanting; for Wibert will not assert that “in this miserable life, which is one long temptation, he at all times lived without sin; for that cannot be asserted of the babe of a day”. At any rate he left the episcopal school, and seems to have attached himself to the cathedral of St. Stephen, i.e., as it was then expressed, he became a canon, and lived under the rule of St. Chrodegang of Metz, or, to use the words of St. Peter Damian, speaking of another cathedral cloister, he joined “the white band of clerics shining as bright as the angels’ choir. There, as in a school of some heavenly Athens, the young students are instructed in the words of the Sacred Scriptures; there they zealously devote themselves to the study of true philosophy, and there daily exercise themselves under the rule of regular discipline”. On such a sensitive nature as that of Bruno the mere daily sight of the cathedral of Toul, one of the most imposing Christian monuments of France, must have produced a strong and elevating impression. At any rate he made the best use of all the advantages which came in his way, and gave just reason to Desiderius, abbot of Monte Cassino, afterwards Victor III (1087-1088), to speak of him as a man not only “apostolic in every way, and conspicuous for his religious qualities”, but also “endowed with wisdom and thoroughly instructed in every branch of ecclesiastical learning”.

Berthold, the enlightened bishop of Toul, died in August 1019, and was succeeded by Herimann of Cologne, whose virtues and vices were those of an upright German martinet. It says much for the sweet character of Bruno that he was able to moderate the fiery zeal of his new bishop. He kept his influence with Herimann, for he obeyed him just as readily as he had obeyed his amiable predecessor; as though, says Wibert, “he had always before his mental vision that dictum of the Blessed Pope Gregory—Let no one dare to command who has not first learnt to obey, lest he should exact from his subordinates obedience he has never learnt to render to his superiors”. His biographer furnishes us with two examples of his influence with the choleric Herimann. One of the monasteries which the latter had favoured was that of Saint-Évre in his cathedral city. Owing, however, to the calumnies of the jealous, the goodwill of the bishop towards it was changed to dislike, and he became as anxious to injure it as he had once been to bestow benefits upon it. But Bruno, “as he had pity upon those in trouble”, exerted himself in the monks’ behalf. Whenever he could, he opposed himself to the angry blows of the bishop like “a wall of stone”; and, when resistance was unavailing, he mingled his tears with those of the persecuted monks. For some cause or other, Herimann does not seem to have viewed with favour the college of clerics attached to the cathedral, for we are told that it required all the efforts of Bruno to preserve intact the canonical institution and its revenues, which former bishops of the see had been at great pains to establish and preserve. His close intercourse with his bishop was brought to an end by the death of the Emperor Henry II (July 14, 1024), and the election of his cousin (Conrad II of Franconia) as king of the Germans. Between Henry, the saint and great emperor, who had deserved so well of the empire, and the illiterate and warlike Conrad, there was as much difference as between the bishops Berthold and Herimann. But Conrad was their cousin, and so it was decided by Bruno’s relatives to send him “to be trained in the king’s court, and to serve in his chapel”. This decision was quite in keeping with the feudal spirit of the age; for it was customary at this period for the inferior vassals to put their sons under the care of their overlord, that they might be educated with his children, not perhaps so much in literature, as in arms and in the ways of the world. But no doubt, even if Conrad did not, like Charlemagne, maintain a palace school, there would be opportunities for Bruno to continue his studies; for, though the king had a greater love for the sword than for books, he interested himself in the education of the clergy.

The youthful Bruno quickly made a name for himself by his grace and learning. Among his companions, to mark him out from those who bore the same name as he did, he was known as “the good Bruno”, and was soon the confidant of both the king and the queen. As such, he soon discovered that it was their intention to bestow a rich bishopric upon him; and, fearful lest their affection might lead them to favour him in an exceptional manner, he resolved to accept the first poor one that God might cause to be presented to him.

But meanwhile he had other work to do. On the death of the Emperor Henry II, some of the cities of north Italy, anxious, if they had to have a master, to have one as far away and as feeble as possible, had shown a disinclination to accept Conrad, and had offered the Iron Crown to others. But no one was anxious to measure swords with Conrad, who descended upon the plains of Lombardy for the first time in the beginning of the year 1026. With his sovereign went the young deacon Bruno, in charge of the troops which the bishopric of Toul had to furnish for the king’s army. As a feudatory of the empire, Herimann should have marched in person with his troops; but he was old and infirm, and entrusted his contingent to Bruno. During the brief period he was with his soldiers he gave every indication of possessing the qualities which go to make at least a careful commander.

But he was not destined to remain long “fixing camps, posting sentinels, and acting as commissary”. His bishop died in the Lent of this same year (1026), and the unanimous voice of the clergy and the people of Toul besought the king to send them as Herimann’s successor their beloved Bruno. They pointed out to Conrad that, as a border town, their city was fearfully exposed, and that they needed a bishop “whose vigour and energy would keep the enemy from their gates”. And they implored Bruno to take them despite of their poverty. Though the king had destined him for a more elevated appointment, the saint acceded to the people’s wishes precisely because their see was comparatively insignificant.

Running no little risk from the hostile Lombard, he contrived to reach France, and then his episcopal city. He was received at Toul with the greatest joy, and was solemnly enthroned on Ascension Day (May 20). The throne of marble used on this occasion is still shown in the cathedral.

But though enthroned, Bruno was not yet consecrated. It was Conrad’s wish to have him consecrated by the Pope at the same time that he himself received the imperial crown. Naturally enough, when the king’s intention was noised abroad, it excited no little jealousy, and his metropolitan, Poppo of Trier, as eager for power as any of the great lay or church lords of his day, declared that he alone had the right to consecrate the bishops of Toul. Loath to be the cause of strife, Bruno succeeded in obtaining leave from Conrad to be consecrated by Poppo. This act of humility caused Poppo to mistake the character of the man with whom he had to deal, and he declared he would not consecrate Bruno until he had solemnly engaged not to do anything in his diocese without the express permission of his metropolitan. To such an unlawful demand Bruno would not give his assent, and he left Trier unconsecrated. Conrad, however, on his return from receiving the imperial crown, brought about a compromise. Bruno agreed not to act in important matters without consulting his metropolitan, and was then duly consecrated, September 9, 1027.

For twenty-three years, says Wibert in a chapter of his biography only just printed, he governed his diocese with vigour, and during all that period enjoyed only four years of comparative peace. The years of quiet were the two at each extremity of his episcopate. If ever, throughout the years of stress, he slipped from the path of justice, we are assured that he was never content “to stand in the way of sinners”, but returned to God at once by humility and sorrow. He thought nothing of confessing his faults to his inferiors, and of asking the help of their advice and prayers, with the result that those who saw “his innocence and continency were moved to despise their own lives”.

To the work of reform—the keynote of his active life—the bishop now devoted himself with renewed zeal. He had already begun the work immediately after his election. Convinced that the monasteries, as centres of peace and learning, were the hope of the future both for the Church and for the State, he applied himself to improve their discipline, which, says his biographer, “had for a long time fallen off”. He deposed such abbots “as, neglecting the souls committed to their charge, seemed to think that they had been appointed merely to exercise secular power”. Monastic foundations begun by his predecessor, he brought to successful completion. But he was careful not to use the resources handed down to him, if they had not been properly acquired. Finding that a widow had a sound claim to certain property which had been acquired by the See of Toul, he ordered it to be restored. “I cannot and ought not to resist the laws”, he said. And with such exceptional elegance of manners and grace of person was he blest, that, as we are told, all he did or said gave general satisfaction. He pushed his charities to the verge of indiscretion, and never allowed stress of business to prevent him from personally attending every morning to the wants of the poor. These and the other duties of his state, such as making visitations, attending synods, and the like, he lightened by devoting a little time to musical composition. In him, says the devoted Wibert, “were conspicuous evidences of his possession of the sciences, both human and divine; especially did he excel in the pleasing art of music, so that he was able not merely to equal ancient authors, but in the sweetness of his melodies even to surpass some of them”. To us it is especially interesting to find it recorded that he composed new tunes for the feast of “the venerable Gregory, doctor and apostle of the English”, who was honoured in an abbey of the adjoining diocese of Basel, which was hence known as Munster-in-Gregorienthal. Among the saints in whose honour Bruno exerted his musical talent, besides Gregory, a name best beloved throughout the Middle Ages, there was at least one more connected with the British Isles, viz. the famous Columbanus. According to the historian of the monastery of Moyenmoutier, in the year 1044 a monk, afterwards the renowned Cardinal Humbert, composed certain metrical responsories for the feast of St. Columbanus, and induced his bishop to set them to music.

But Bruno was not destined to pass the long years of his episcopate in peaceful retirement among his fellow-bishops, his priests, the poor, and the Muses. The exigencies of the time and his position forced him to play a conspicuous part in the great events of the day. He had to face not only the terrible famine which afflicted especially France, Italy, and England between the years 1030 and 1033, but the still more awful scourge of war.

Affairs of Lorraine and Burgundy.

From the time of the creation of the impossible Middle Kingdom by Louis the Pious, and of its subdivision by Lothaire into Lorraine, Burgundy, and Italy, it had proved an apple of discord between the Gauls and the Germans, and was to be the prize of the strongest. The struggle for Lorraine we have seen continued till our own day. Under the Othos it was attached to the empire. The new Capetian dynasty had used it to buy German support. But Conrad had now (1027) reason to believe that Robert the Pious was casting longing eyes on the debatable land. To avoid war he sent Bruno to the French Court. Perhaps he had an easy task, for Robert was, after all, of a pacific disposition. At any rate his mission was completely successful. “France is my witness how satisfactorily he accomplished his embassy; for there men still speak of his wisdom and humility, of his success in his under­takings, of his grace of mind and body, and of his tact in executing his mission. He was loved as a father, and venerated as a saint. So firmly did he establish peace between the two kingdoms, that it was not shaken either during the remaining years of Conrad and Robert, or during the reigns of their sons—Henry I of France and Henry III of Germany.”

But another section of the old Middle Kingdom was to give him more trouble. Rodolf III, the Fainéant, king of Burgundy, died September 6, 1032. Being childless, he had bequeathed his crown to Conrad, the husband of his niece Gisela. The German emperor, however, found himself in presence of a rival, Eudes, or Odo II, the powerful count of Blois and Champagne. Though Conrad was crowned king of Burgundy (February 2, 1033), he had not reduced Eudes to submission. Whenever he was in any difficulty, the count was again in arms. On one occasion Eudes made a determined effort to seize Lorraine; and, understanding that Bruno was in difficulties with some rebellious vassals, laid siege to Toul, the key of the province. To no purpose, however. Bruno’s eloquence roused the courage of the inhabitants, and his military skill may have directed their energies. At any rate, Eudes failed to take the city; and, while he died a rebel (November 15, 1037), the kingdom of Burgundy was added “to the Roman Empire by the wisdom and exertions of Bruno”. Granting that Wibert in his love and admiration for his hero may have attributed to him a larger share in these important transactions than he actually took, there is no doubt that the part he did take in them shows that he had in him the soul of a warrior and the tact of a diplomatist, as well as the faith and piety of a priest.

Another series of important events in the episcopate of our saint was the annual pilgrimage to Rome. It was his great devotion to St. Peter that drew him to the Eternal City, there to pray for his people. On one of these pilgrimages, when over five hundred clergy and lay people, attracted by his affability and holiness, were in his company, an epidemic, “arising from the dire corruption of the air of Italy”, attacked the whole party. So fearful was its strength that the immediate death of all those seized with the disease was expected. Full of trust in God, Bruno touched some wine with the relics of the saints he always carried about with him, and gave it to the sufferers; and we are assured that all who had strength enough left to swallow (gustare) the liquid recovered. During the whole journey the bishop said Mass nearly every day, and during it exhorted those present to do penance, and lead a better life. Every night, too, whilst the plague lasted, a number of the pilgrims, and of the people of the country through which they happened to be passing, came with lights to where the saint was lodging, and, when morning dawned, the sick among them found themselves perfectly restored to health through the merits of the saints and the bishop’s prayers. These wonders were soon noised about through all the patrimony of St. Peter, with the result that love and veneration for Bruno were firmly fixed in the hearts of all.

It was whilst he was bishop that he lost his father and his pious mother. No doubt his grief for their loss was tempered as well by long expectation of it as by the reflection that, in accordance with the law of the length of human life, their time had come. But the same cannot be said of his affliction at the premature death of his elder brother, Gerard, “the brave and courteous knight”, and of another brother, Hugh, “our heart’s sweet solace whilst he lived”. Beneath domestic troubles, public calamities, and his unceasing toil for his people, Bruno’s health completely broke down. His life was despaired of, not only by his physicians, but by himself and by his sorrowing people. Acting, however, “on a divine impulse”, he caused himself to be carried before the altar of St. Blaise at the hour of Matins. There, whilst in an ecstasy, he seemed to see the holy martyr come to him from the altar, and tenderly wash the suffering parts of his body. When Bruno returned to himself, he found that he was quite cured, and he walked back by himself to his room singing, “What god is great like unto our God?”

In all his trials his great resource, says his biographer, was prayer. Endowed with “the gift of tears”, he wept continually whilst at his prayers, or whilst celebrating Mass; for he knew that the sacrifice which pleases God is a contrite heart.

The time had now arrived when Bruno, who had sought the lowest place among bishops, was to be exalted to the highest, and when, with the greatest advantage to it, his talents, his virtues, and his accomplishments were to be placed at the disposal of the Universal Church. According to Wibert, the bishop received no uncertain premonition of the position he was to occupy in the Church. Of two visions which, on the authority of some of his intimate friends who had heard Bruno speak of them, are related by his biographer, we will recount the second. One night, when he had fallen asleep whilst meditating on heavenly things, he seemed to see an old woman, or rather hag, so dirty, bedraggled, and dishevelled was she, who wished to engage in conversation with him. Horror-stricken at her loathsome appearance, Bruno endeavoured to escape from her. She, however, followed him quickly and closely. At length, quite wearied out, the saint turned round, and made the sign of the cross on the creature’s face. Instantly she fell to the earth, only to rise again a thing of beauty incomparable. Whilst lost in wonder as to what this could portend, the blessed abbot Odilo appeared to him, and, in response to Bruno’s request for an explanation of what he had seen, joyfully replied : “Blessed art thou, for thou hast saved her soul from death”. The meaning of the vision, concludes Wibert, cannot be doubtful when we reflect that in various parts of the world the beauty of the Church, or of Christianity, had been terribly defiled, and that it was Bruno who, with the help of Christ, restored it to its former state. Whether these visions were sent by God, or not, they show, at any rate, if our dreams are images, however blurred, of our waking thoughts, how constantly the mind of the bishop of Toul was engaged in reflecting on the Church’s needs, and on the best way of satisfying them.

The short reign of Clement II, and the sudden death of Damasus II, terrified the Romans. They feared lest the Black Emperor, Henry III, who had succeeded Conrad, would attribute to them the premature demise of his countrymen. The same causes produced a similar result among the German bishops. Whether they assigned the deaths to the climate, to poison, or to the judgment of God punishing what some of them regarded as the arbitrary deposition of Gregory VI, the bishops of Germany showed a great disinclination to accept the supreme pontificate. “The Romans”, said Bonizo, “frightened by the speedy death (of Damasus), and not being able to remain long without a Pontiff, set out for the North, crossed the Alps, reached Saxony, and there (at Pöldhe) finding the king, asked him for a Pope. But as the bishops were unwilling to go to Rome, the matter was not of easy accomplishment. The king, therefore, decided to go to Rhenish Frankland, trusting to find in the kingdom of Lorraine a bishop whom he might present to the Romans to be made Pope”.

To deliberate on the matter, Henry convoked an assembly of bishops and nobles at Worms. Thither, of course, proceeded Bruno; “for nothing of moment was transacted in the imperial court without his advice”; and thither (i.e., to the city) also went the ever-famous Hildebrand, already on fire with desire for the elevation of the Roman Church. The Roman envoys had apparently been commissioned to ask once more for Halinard, archbishop of Rheims, or for Bruno, both of whom were known and loved by them from their conduct while on pilgrimages to Rome. In some way or other Halinard learnt the wishes of the emperor and the people, and put off his arrival till another had been elected. No word, however, of what was to happen had reached Bruno; and no one was more astonished than he when he found that it was the wish of all, emperor, Germans, and Romans, that he should accept the See of Rome. He at once raised objection after objection, for greatly did he dread responsibility for souls. No one, however, paid the slightest attention to them, but implored him, by his love for SS. Peter and Paul, to come to the succour of the Roman Church, and not to be afraid to face any dangers for the sake of the faith. He pleaded for a delay of three days, which he passed in fasting and prayer; and then, as a last effort to turn aside the wishes of the assembly, he made, “with torrents of tears”, a public confession of the sins of his life. His piety and humility moved to tears the bishops and nobles who heard him. But they loudly declared that God would not allow the child of such tears to perish, and renewed their importunities. At length he yielded so far as to say: “I will go to Rome, and if, of their own accord, its clergy and people choose to elect me for their bishop, I will yield to your desire; but, if not, I shall not regard myself as elected”

This bold and unexpected declaration of the rights of the people of Rome has so astonished many writers that they think it must have been inspired, and could have had no other author than Hildebrand. This idea, however, does not seem to be borne out by the best authorities; for, according to Bruno of Segni, when the newly-elect asked the monk to accompany him to Rome, he refused, “because”, he said, “you wish to take possession of the See of Rome by the power of kings, and not by canonical means”. Assured that such was not the case, Hildebrand agreed to accompany him. Evidently, then, the zealous monk was unacquainted with what the bishop had said before the assembly. Both of them were full of the same thoughts; but drew their ideas, not from one another, but from reflection on the high-handed interference of the German emperors in the affairs of the Church.

With what inner feelings Henry III listened to this declaration of his saintly relative we can only infer from our knowledge of his ideas as to the extent of his rights over the Church. Wazo, the independent bishop of Liège, might impress upon him: “To the king we owe allegiance, to the Pope obedience”; but the emperor, so far from contenting himself with giving practical demonstrations of what he regarded as his just authority in ecclesiastical affairs, declared that his imperial consecration gave him a preeminent right of exacting submission. “Like you”, said he to Wazo, “I have been anointed with the holy oil, and the power of commanding has been bestowed on me beyond all others”. Ignoring the meaning of the title both under the emperors at Constantinople, and as understood by Pippin and Charlemagne, he urged his dignity of Patricius of the Romans as though it gave him the right of disposing of the Papacy at will. However, despite these exalted ideas of his prerogatives, Henry agreed to the condition laid down by Bruno, who, after spending the Christmas of 1048 in his episcopal city, set out for Rome immediately afterwards. In his train went the Tuscan monk Hildebrand, a very host in himself. In taking with him to Rome the man by whose prudence and wisdom the Roman Church was one day to be ruled, Leo, we are told, thereby rendered a great service to the Blessed Apostle Peter, and, it may be added, attached to himself one in whose judgment he soon learnt to have the most complete trust, and who exerted no little influence on his pontificate.

Greatly was Bruno cheered on his journey by the hearty reception accorded to him by the people as he moved through France and Italy, and by a heavenly vision. Once, when near the city of Aosta, “he was in an ecstasy; he heard angels singing to an exquisite melody (these words of Jeremiah): ‘I know the thoughts that I think towards you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of affliction ... You shall pray to me, and I will hear you ... And I will be found by you, saith the Lord; and I will bring back your captivity’. Reanimated by this sweet consolation, and now feeling sure of the help of God, he made haste to accomplish the rest of his journey”.

He traversed north Italy by the Via Aemiliana, then known as the King’s High Road (Via Regia), and reached the neighbourhood of Rome in February. The whole city poured out to meet him. To their astonishment the people found him not surrounded with the pomp of martial men, nor clad in the insignia of a Pope, or even of a bishop, but barefoot, habited as a pilgrim, and escorted by a few clerics. But if his bare feet proclaimed his humility, the garb of a pilgrim could not conceal his noble mien; and as the Romans gazed on his fair and handsome face, on his tall figure, and on his imposing carriage, they felt that both a saint and a hero had come to them. Loud and joyous, and chanted in divers tongues, were the hymns with which they welcomed him to their city.

 On the following day both the clergy and the people of Rome betook themselves to St. Peter’s. There they were addressed by Bruno, who told them simply that he had hearkened to their embassy, and was, moreover, anxious to conform to the will of the emperor. He had come to Rome to pray, and to take measures for the election of a new Pope. Thereupon the bishops and cardinals cried out, as one man, that him and no other would they have for their bishop; and the archdeacon in the customary formula (de more) proclaimed : “Blessed Peter has chosen Bruno bishop”, while the mass of the clergy and the people repeated the same cry. This was in the early days of February. On its twelfth day he was consecrated, i.e., as he was already a bishop, he was solemnly presented with the pallium, and was duly enthroned in the Lateran. And, as Wibert assures us, he lost no time in endeavouring to imitate the virtues of St. Leo the Great, whose name he assumed.

Anxious as he was to give his undivided attention to the work of reform, more mundane considerations were promptly forced upon his attention. Like his immediate predecessors, he experienced the difficulties which arose from the emptiness of the pontifical treasury, and from the want of any means of refilling it. Despite the enthusiastic reception with which all classes of the Romans had received him, no disposition was shown by them to give him sub­stantial help. Those who had accompanied him on his journey were in the direst straits. They thought of selling part of their wardrobes, and of returning home. In vain did Leo try to dissuade them. They were on the very eve of departing when envoys came from Benevento with presents for the Pope. Its people, it may be remembered, had been excommunicated by Clement II, and were being hard pressed by the Normans, whom the Emperor Henry had urged to harry them. Their necessities were soon to throw them into the arms of the Popes altogether, and it is thought highly probable that, even at this time, they begged Leo to take them under his protection. At any rate, the gifts which they offered Leo on this occasion enabled him to relieve the wants of his friends; but in doing so, he did not fail to impress upon them the necessity of never distrusting the providence of God.

To add to his difficulties arising from shortness of money, Leo was distressed by the warlike operations of the ex-Pontiff Benedict IX and his party. Rome and its environs were harried in all directions by the adherents of Theophylactus. On the side of Tusculum mischief was wrought by that wicked man himself, with his two brothers, Gregory and Peter; on the side of Tuscany it was the brothers, Counts Gerard of Galera and Girard de Saxo, who terrorized the people; while on the east the same evil work was being carried on by John and Crescentius, the sons of Oddo or Otho, and the people of Tivoli. In their misery the Romans called upon the Pope to rid them of their enemies. But, telling them that he had not come to kill but to vivify, he bade them await the result of the council he was about to hold.

Theophylactus was accordingly summoned to appear before the synod which met in April. But as neither he nor any of his party took the slightest heed of the summons, they were anathematized by the council, and the “whole Roman army” was called to arms. The result of the ensuing engagements was favourable to the cause of Leo, and the ex-Pontiff seems to have been reduced to a state of belligerent helplessness which lasted during the rest of Leo’s reign.

As day by day the virtues of the new Pope were ever more and more widely noised abroad, not only were crowds drawn to Rome to listen to the words of consolation which fell from his lips, but those who could not come sent him presents in the hope of receiving his blessing. It became necessary, however, for Leo to see to it that all the gifts made to him really reached him; for, while he was in the habit of giving to the poor all those which were, “as in the times of the apostles, actually offered at his feet”, others were apparently in the habit of taking for themselves what was placed on the altar of St. Peter. To put a stop to this, if Leo did not make Hildebrand economus, steward, or rather treasurer of the Roman Church, he ordained him subdeacon, and named him one of the guardians of the altar of St. Peter.

When he had completed at least some preliminary arrangements for the putting of the temporalities of the Roman Church on a sounder basis, and had satisfied his devotion by a visit to the Italian “St. Michael’s Mount”, on Mount Gargano, and to Monte Cassino, he began the work of reform to which his life was to be devoted. For he felt that “we have been placed in this episcopal pre-eminence to pluck up and to destroy, as well as to build and plant in the name of the Lord”. At a synod held in the Lateran during Low Week (April 3-8), to which he had invited the bishops of Gaul and other countries, besides vainly striving to reconcile Theophylactus, he struck at the two crying evils of the time, simony and clerical incontinence. Not content with condemning these vices in the abstract, he proceeded at once to depose certain bishops who were stained with the former crime; and men believed that God was visibly working with him, when they saw the bishop of Sutri, who was endeavouring to defend himself by perjury, fall dead before the assembly. But he was not able to go as far as he wished. A decree had been passed annulling all the ordinations held by simoniacal prelates, which immediately raised a perfect storm in Rome. Leo was assured not only “by a multitude of Roman priests”, but also by several bishops, that, if such a resolution was put in force, there would be no priests to serve the churches, and the faithful would be reduced to despair or indifference. He was, thereupon, forced, as well by necessity as by his natural inclination to mercy, simply to renew the decree of Clement it. Other simoniacal practices were also condemned, and, to prevent poverty from being pleaded as an excuse, it was decreed that all Christians must be reminded of their duty to pay tithes, “of which in Apulia and other distant countries the memory alone survive.

In renewing the decrees relative to the celibacy of the clergy, he decreed that the concubines of the Roman clergy should be at once reduced to the condition of slaves to the Lateran Palace.

Of the need of legislation on the subject of the morality of the clergy there is more than proof enough in the letters and other writings of St. Peter Damian. Not only were the canons which required celibacy in the higher clergy very widely set at naught, but even unnatural vices were prevalent among them. On this subject the zealous monk of Fonte Avellana addressed to the Pope a scathing pamphlet, appropriately named Liber Gomorrhianus. “Since from the mouth of Truth itself”, he begins, “the Apostolic See is known to be the mother of all the Churches, it is only right that, if any difficulty regarding the cure of souls arise anywhere, recourse should be had to it, as to the mistress and source of heavenly wisdom, so that from that one head the light of ecclesiastical discipline may shine forth, and the whole body of the Church be illuminated by the splendour of Truth”. He goes on to say that a criminal and horribly base vice has manifested itself “in our neighbourhood”, which, if not checked, will bring down the anger of God on the people. He is ashamed indeed to mention so foul a sin to such holy ears, but “if the physician shrinks from the plague poison, who will take in hand to apply the remedy?”. This unnatural vice has spread like a cancer, and has even attacked the clergy. In concluding his preface, the saint urges that such of the latter as are stained with these vices should be promptly deposed. Then, without further introduction, he plunges straight into his unsavoury subject, and in twenty-four short chapters explains the kinds, effects, and remedies of crimes against nature. In the twenty-fifth chapter he defends himself for treating of such matters, and would rather with Joseph, who “accused his brethren to his father of a most wicked crime”, by thrown, though innocent, into a pit, than with Heli, who saw the sins of his sons and kept silent, be punished by an angry God. In the next and last chapter he recurs “to thee, most blessed Pope”, begs him to give what he has said the support of his authority, and trusts that during his pontificate the Church may recover its former vigour.

At first the Pope approved of the publication of this outspoken denunciation of filthy vice; and his letter of commendation of his beloved son, the hermit Peter, who “had raised the arm of the spirit against obscene licence”, figures at the head of the Liber Gomorrhianus. He notes that, in connection with those delinquents concerning whom Peter, “moved with holy fury”, had written, it is only fitting that there should be a display of apostolic severity. But—and here spoke the characteristic virtue of the man—mercy must season justice. Hence, so far from approving of the drastic measures proposed by St. Peter, he would not even go so far as strict justice and canon law exacted, but would only decree deposition against those clerks who were guilty of the most criminal offences. That this decision was the outcome of a tender heart full of compassion for human weakness, and not of a feeble character, is clear from the energetic words of the next sentence: “If anyone should dare to criticise or carp at this decree of ours, let him know that he is in danger of his order”. In conclusion, he rejoices that the saint “teaches as well by the holy example of his life as by the words of his mouth”.

Despite the sanction which Leo had given to the Liber Gomorrhianus, no sooner were its contents noised abroad than there arose a storm of indignation against its author. Those whose guilty consciences told them that the work was levelled against them were furious at the way in which they had been denounced. Men with delicate consciences feared that more harm than good would result from such a laying bare of vice. Even moderate men thought that the saint’s onslaught was too fierce, and that it would result in the formation of exaggerated ideas as to the spread of the evil. These views were duly impressed upon the Pope. Fearing, accordingly, that he had an ally whose very zeal made him dangerous, he showed himself less favourable to him. It is easy to imagine how this change of front on the part of the Pope, whom he revered so profoundly, must have cut the sensitive soul of Damian. He wrote to the Pope, telling him that he was not surprised that he should have listened to the words of those who had spoken against him, seeing that even David, who was filled with the prophetic spirit, was led, by placing ill-founded confidence in the words of Siba, to wrong Miphiboseth. But even God Himself is represented as going down to see whether things were as they were said to be or not, to show men that they must have proof before they pass an adverse decision. He prayed Him, if it would be for the good of his soul, to change in his favour the heart of the Pope, which He held in His hand.

What effect this respectful but straightforward letter had upon the Pope is not known, but “it is certain that Peter Damian only played a very secondary part during the reign of Leo IX”.

Knowing that the Roman Church was the only force capable of regenerating the world, and yet realising that owing to the number of unworthy bishops it was well-nigh impossible for its reforming action to reach the people, Leo resolved, in imitation of the Apostles, to carry the truth to them himself. Accordingly, “asking the permission of the Romans”, he set out for the North with Peter, cardinal-deacon, librarian and chancellor of the Apostolic See, and other distinguished Romans. In Pentecost week salutary measures of reform were impressed on the people of north Italy, where they were sadly needed, by a council at Pavia.

Before the month of June was over Leo had joined the emperor in Saxony; and on the feast of the Apostles Peter and Paul was received with him by the clergy and nobility with the greatest pomp in Cologne. Granting to its archbishop and his successors the office of chancellor of the Roman Church, and assigning to them the Church of St. John '”at the Latin gate”, he betook himself with Henry to Aix-la-Chapelle.

Here important work awaited him. Already as bishop of Toul he had been employed to bring peace to Lorraine; he was now again called upon to work for its interests. In 1044 had died Gozelon or Gothelon I, duke of Lorraine, a powerful prince who had at one time (1026) defied the might of the Emperor Conrad. Compelled, however, to give way, he became reconciled with his over-lord; and later on, through his good-will, became master of Upper as well as of Lower Lorraine. Gothelon left three sons : one, a younger son, of the same name as himself, a man of no account, who was therefore allowed by the German emperor to succeed to part (Lower Lorraine) of his father’s duchy; Frederick, who afterwards became Pope Stephen (IX) X; and Godfrey the Bearded, who, feared for his abilities, was arbitrarily deprived by his suzerain of part of his inheritance. War was the consequence. Forming an alliance with various nobles, such as Thierry of Holland, he first attacked the bishops, the bulwark of the empire against feudal anarchy. Already under the ban of the empire, he was excommunicated by the Pope. Leo took this step not only to help to preserve the integrity of the empire, but also on account of the barbarous manner in which the war was being waged by the rebels. This union of Church and State proved too strong for Godfrey. “Fearing the power of the emperor and the excommunication of the Pope, he came to Aix-la-Chapelle to surrender himself. By the intercession of the sovereign Pontiff he suc­ceeded in obtaining the emperor’s favor”. But the fire he had lighted was not to be easily extinguished; and during the minority which followed the death of the Emperor Henry III, Flanders and other parts of the Low Countries became practically independent of the empire.

Granting privileges to monasteries, and consecrating churches as he went along, the Pope now proceeded to Rheims to fulfil an engagement he had made with the abbot of St. Remy. When bishop of Toul, he had promised Herimar, for that was the abbot’s name, to make a pilgrimage, “without the comfort of a horse”, to the shrine of St. Remy, the apostle of France. It might have been thought that his elevation to the See of Rome would prevent his carrying out his undertaking; but Herimar adroitly suggested to him that, if ever the needs of the Church should bring him back to his native place, he could then keep his vow; and, sending him a beautiful drinking-cup, hinted that he had a church which stood in need of consecration. Thoroughly appreciating the abbot’s delicate tact, Leo hastened to assure him that even if he were not summoned by any wants of the Church, he would return to Gaul (ad Gallias) and consecrate his basilica for him. But we know from his own writings that the real end of his journey was the reform of the German and Gallican Churches.

Accordingly, when he arrived in Germany, Herimar lost no time in going to see him in order to arrange with him about the ceremony he had at heart. It was decided that the Pope should come to Rheims in time to say Mass in St. Mary’s on the feast of St. Michael the Archangel, September 29; that the translation of the relics of St. Remy should take place on his feast-day (October 1); that the Pope should consecrate the abbatial basilica on October 2; and that he should hold a great synod on the three following days. Herimar had already secured the promise of the French king (Henry I, 1030-1061) that he would, if possible, come himself to the consecration and would convoke the bishops and princes of his kingdom. Leo, too, when he reached Toul, ordered the bishops and abbots of the neighbourhood to attend the synod which was to be held in the basilica of the apostle of the Franks. And he, wrote the Pope, who had taught them the rudiments of their faith would cause it to revivify. Herimar, moreover, on his return had sent letters throughout “France (Francia) and the neighbouring provinces, inviting the faithful to come and do honour to their patron saint, and to receive the Pope’s blessing”.

But nothing flows on without encountering obstacles. The plans of the good abbot were suddenly checked and seemed likely to come to naught. “The serpent, who from the beginning of the world has ever tried to ruin the human race, resolved to prevent, if possible, the accomplishment of these useful measures”. He employed, continues the good monk, certain powerful laymen whose incestuous marriages and other delinquencies would not bear the light, and certain bishops and abbots who, on account of their simoniacal practices, were most averse to being summoned to a synod. These men succeeded in impressing upon King Henry I that to allow the Pope to assume authority in France would be fatal to his honour; and, ignoring the fact that John VIII had held a synod at Troyes in 878, assured him that never before had a city of France opened its gates to a Pope for such a purpose as the holding of a council. Besides, at the present time, they urged, the country was too disturbed to allow of the gathering of the great ones in Church and State for any other purpose than that of war.

History of the Catholic Church of Scotland

Carried away by these specious statements, and because he was a notorious simoniac himself, Henry sent to inform the Pope that the necessities of war prevented his fulfilling his engagements to the abbot of St. Remy and to beg him to defer his visit to France till he should be ready to receive him. But Leo quietly replied that he could not break his engagements, and that, if he found any lovers of religion in the basilica of St. Remy, he would hold the synod with them. The king, however, was obstinate, and, despite the opposition of many, summoning around him his nobles, bishops, and abbots, including the crestfallen abbot of St. Remy himself, set out on a military expedition.

Nevertheless, the firmness of the Pope met with at partial reward. Herimar was allowed to return; and Anselm, from whose narrative all this is taken, mentions as present at the synod some twenty bishops, not only from Germany and Burgundy, but also from France and England. There were also present fifty abbots. From the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle we learn that two of the abbots were English; and from it too we learn the name of the “bishop from England” spoken of by Anselm, and the object of the presence at the synod of prelates from this island. “King Edward sent thither (to the great synod at Rheims) Bishop Dudoc (of Wells), and Wulfric, abbot of St. Augustine’s, and Abbot Elfwine (of Ramsey), that they might make known to him what should be there resolved on for Christendom” and “to render an account of the condition of the Church in England”. And if petty political jealousy failed, at least to some extent, to prevent a very large gathering of bishops at the synod, it failed absolutely to prevent the assembling at Rheims of a huge concourse of people full of the most ardent enthusiasm for the Pope. In a marvellously quick manner, considering the difficulty of communication in the eleventh century, it had become noised abroad, probably through the monasteries, that the Pope was to spend some time at Rheims. As a consequence—we have it on the word of Leo’s biographer: “it is hard to say what a great number of people came from the ends of the earth to see him, Spaniards, Bretons (Britannorum), Franks, Irish (Scotorum) and English”.

When Leo arrived at the abbey of St. Remy, then outside the city of Rheims, he found an enormous crowd of both clerics and laymen, rich and poor, awaiting him. After a service in the abbey church, concluded by a “vigorous Te Deum”, a monster procession was formed, which escorted the Pontiff to the Church of St. Mary in the city. High Mass was there sung by the Pope, after which, he was entertained by the archbishop of Rheims in his palace close to the cathedral. Next day (September 30), as the number of people was still on the increase, the Pope had to slip away quietly, in order to get near the monastery, which was now so beset with people, who had come to pray to France’s patron saint, “and to see the vicar of St. Peter”, that the monks could not carry on their services in the church. Thrice during the day had Leo to preach to fresh crowds of people. All night long they kept watch and ward by torchlight

On the 1st of October, as arranged, there took place the solemn translation of the relics of St. Remy. For a time the Pope himself, assisted by the archbishops and abbots carried them on his shoulders; and then, when the antiphon, Iste est de sublimibus, burst forth, “how many cheeks were bedewed with tears, how many souls poured forth pious supplications to obtain the patronage of the glorious saint!”. When the Pope yielded the relics to others to be carried to the city, there took place an incident which would now be called regrettable, and would be ascribed to very defective police arrangements, but which the piety of our monastic chronicler presents in quite a different light. No sooner had the sacred relics left the abbey church, than the pious enthusiasm of the people broke all bounds. They clapped their hands; they sang aloud the praises of God; they crowded together to get as near as they could to their patron’s shrine. The reliquary with its bearers was so pushed first to one side and then another, that it seemed like a ship tossed on human billows. “All this was an expression of deep faith which merited a great recompense. In some it manifested itself even in contempt of death; for, animated by a too lively desire to approach the shrine with the least possible delay, they made an attempt forcibly to push their way through the crowd. But in the surging movement they were overthrown and trampled to death”

When at length, the relics were safely laid on the altar of St. Mary’s at Rheims, they were there exposed for public veneration all the rest of that day and during the night. On the following day (October 2), whilst the Pope was performing part of the long ceremony of consecrating the abbey church, they were solemnly carried round the city walls and then back to the monastery. Distressed at the disasters of the previous day, and fearful lest they should occur again, Leo had ordered the gates of the basilica to be kept fast shut, so that the relics had to be passed into it through a window. This gave the people an inspiration, and many of them found their way into the church in the same way. At the close of the ceremony the Pope gave absolution “to the people who, according to the prescribed form, had made public confession of their sins”.

The next day (October 3) there was opened the synod of Rheims, and a very dramatic event it proved to be. In the midst of the assembly, which, with the Pope, consisted of twenty-one bishops, some fifty abbots, and a “very great number” of clergy, were exposed the relics of St. Remy. For, remarked the Pope, if anyone says any­thing that is unbecoming, the man of God, present by his relics, will make him feel the effect of his power.

The real work of the synod was very nearly marred by one of those disputes between great churchmen, so common in the Middle Ages. There sprang up what Anselm calls “the old discussion” as to precedence between the archbishops of Trier and of Rheims. But Leo was determined that such a comparatively unimportant question should not then occupy either his own attention or that of the assembly. He ordered the bishops to be arranged round him in a circle. Then arose the deacon Peter, who, saying that the questions which were to occupy their attention were simony, the encroachments of lay patrons of churches, incestuous and adulterous marriages, sodomy and oppression of the poor, called upon the bishops to declare publicly one after another whether they had received or given Holy Orders for money. Some arose at once and declared their innocence in this matter; some most humbly and touchingly confessed their guilt; some begged for delay before giving an answer; and others, as well bishops as abbots (for the same command was laid upon them), remained silent. The archbishop of Besançon, who made an attempt to defend the bishop of Langres, who had been guilty of atrocious crimes, suddenly found himself for the time being utterly unable to continue speaking. “It was certainly the great St. Remy”, interjects Anselm, from whom we are still quoting, and to whose full narrative we must refer readers who desire more ample details, “who wrought this prodigy, in recompense for the act of faith which had led the Pope to place his relics in front of the assembly”.

The Church in Spain

Perhaps the most interesting matter discussed by them was the primacy of the Apostolic See, in relation, apparently, to an assumption of dignity on the part of the archbishop of Compostela. The synod decreed, “under pain of the anathema of the apostolic authority, that if anyone of those present had ever said that any other than the bishop of the Roman See was primate of the Universal Church, he must there and then make public atonement. And when no one acknowledged himself guilty under this head, the decrees of the orthodox Fathers on this subject were read, and it was decreed that the bishop of the Roman See alone was primate of the Universal Church and apostolicus”. This may have been aimed at the patriarch of Constantinople; but when, a little later, we find it stated that the synod “excommunicated the archbishop of St. James of Galicia, because he had illegally assumed the title of apostolicus”, there cannot be much doubt that the decree was directed against the See of Compostela.

In the beginning of the ninth century, during the reign of Alfonso or Alonzo II (791-842), known as the Chaste, king of Asturias, there was discovered in the diocese of Iria Flavia (now Padron) the body which was believed to be that of St. James the Greater. By the king’s orders a church and a residence for the bishop were built where it was found, and thither was transferred the See of Iria.

In the break-up of the Visigothic Church and State which followed the invasion of the Saracens in 711, most of the episcopal sees ceased to exist. A precarious succession of bishops was, however, kept up in Toledo, Seville, and Granada, and there were survivals both in the north­east and north-west corners where Spanish independence succeeded in making headway against the Moslems. It is, therefore, not surprising that the bishop of a see which boasted the possession of the body of one who was at once an apostle of our Lord and the apostle of Spain disdained dependence. The better to express his idea of his exalted position, Cresconio of Iria-Compostela (1048-1066), who is described as a man of illustrious birth, assumed the title of apostolicus—a title which, in the West, was given only to the Popes. However, the excommunication launched against him at Rheims must have stifled his ambition, for we hear nothing more of the title. But the craving for enlarged authority was implanted in the hearts of the bishops of Compostela, and it was not satisfied till Calixtus II made Bishop Didacus (Diego Pelaez) a metropolitan (1120).

Before proceeding to formulate its decrees, the synod excommunicated those bishops who had been summoned to the council and who had neither come to it nor sent their excuses in writing. Certain nobles, too, were excommunicated for various serious breaches of the marriage laws; and the abbot of Poutières, in the diocese of Langres, was deposed for living so luxuriously that he was unable and unwilling to pay the annual tax due to Rome. Possibly in the interests of peace, but certainly because they were related, the Pope prohibited Baldwin V, count of Flanders, from giving his daughter (Matilda) in marriage to William of Normandy (the Conqueror) and the latter from accepting her. Baldwin had already shown himself a rebel against the emperor, and would, of course, be a more formidable foe if allied with William. Leo’s prohibition, however, proved vain. Had it not, the course of English history would have been very different, for William Rufus and Henry I would not have sat upon the throne of England.

The formal decrees of the synod, of which Anselm has preserved a summary, condemned simony in all its branches, the incontinency of the clergy, as also usury and the carrying of arms by the clergy. Some of the sins “which cry to heaven for vengeance”, viz. sodomy and oppression of the poor, were also denounced, as were, moreover, the “new heretics who had arisen in various parts of Gaul”.

The letters of Gregory Magistros, who was commissioned to expel them, show that there were Paulicians in Armenia in this century. With their expulsion from that country some connect the appearance of heretics with Manichaean beliefs in the south of France. But by the discovery of the Paulician liturgy, entitled the Key of Truth, it seems to have been made clear that its votaries were rather Adoptionists than Manichees. Whereas the “new heretics” were no doubt the upholders of the doctrines, apparently Manichaean, which had been already condemned at the council of Charroux in Poitou (1027), and which are obviously akin to those of the Bogomils of Bulgaria. These latter, holding as they did that there were two equal principles, one good and the other bad (God and Satan), may certainly be set down as Manichees; and so it is to them that others trace the sectaries to whom Ademar gives that name.

But if it be the fact that Basil, the founder of the Bogomils, was put to death under Alexis Comnenus (d. 1118), his doctrines can scarcely have spread to Aquitaine in 1027. If the “new heretics” were Manichaeans, they must be taken as indicating a revival of an old smouldering heresy. A year or two later (1052), we find the emperor hanging “Manichaean heretics” at Goslar.

At the conclusion of the synod, after carrying on his own shoulders the relics of St. Remy to the place prepared for them, Leo set out for Mainz to hold another council. The last echo of the synod of Rheims was a papal bull, in which, after recounting what he had done there, the Pope exhorts the people of the whole kingdom of the Franks to pay great devotion to their patron saint.

From his bulls it is easy to trace the route of the Pope to Mainz. They show him weeping over the ravages of war at Verdun, and consecrating churches at Metz. A contemporary painting at the beginning of a Vita Leonis, now preserved at Berne, represents the abbot Warin of Metz (domnus abbas Warinus) offering a church (basilica Sancti Arnulfi) to the Pope (dominus papa Leo nonus), and by means of two verses sets forth the fact of its consecration by him:—

“Hoc ut struxit opus Warinus nomine dictus

Contigit ut nonus leo benediceret almus”.

On the 19th of October, in presence of the Emperor Henry II, the synod of Mainz was brought to a close. Some forty bishops assisted at it. Besides local matters, they occupied themselves with devising remedies for the same great disorders as had been discussed at Rheims.

Although indeed neither simony, which was the vice principally at first attacked by Leo, for clerical incontinence was at once crushed by these synods it is not easy to overestimate the moral effect they produced. The multitude returned to their homes, and told how the conduct of the greatest bishops had been examined in public by the Pope, how the emperor was acting with him, and how even the hand of God Himself seemed to be visibly supporting the Pontiff in his efforts to root out simony. The germs of a strong public opinion against that most corroding vice had been widely sown; the reformation of the eleventh century had received a powerful impetus.

The synod over, the Pope began his return journey to Rome, making of it a sort of splendid spiritual progress, as he had done when he left it only a few months before. As might have been expected, he passed through his beloved diocese of Toul. Here, as elsewhere, we find him consecrating churches, and exempting monasteries from episcopal jurisdiction, usually exacting in return some suitable acknowledgment. Thus the abbess of Andlau had to send to Rome every year, for the use of the Popes, three pieces of fine linen; the abbess of Holy Cross at Donauwerd, a chasuble, a gold-embroidered stole, a maniple, and a girdle; and the abbess of Woffenheim, the foundation and last resting-place of Leo’s parents, “a golden rose of two Roman ounces in weight”, “as a memorial of the liberty” he had granted the convent. It had to be sent to Rome eight days before the fourth Sunday in Lent (Laetare Sunday), on which day the Popes, says Leo, are wont to carry it.

A short digression on so sweet a subject as the rose may perhaps be here allowed. The symmetry of its form, the richness of its colour, and the delicacy of its perfume may well entitle it to be regarded as the queen of the flowers. To it all that is loveliest in mankind is wont to be compared. It should not then come as a surprise to anyone either that the rose was largely used by the pagans in the worship of what they believed to be gods, or that the use of so charming an object for the same purpose was retained by the Church in its services devoted to the honour of the Almighty. Hence we find that in the twelfth century, at least, on the Sunday before that of Pentecost, roses used to be cast from the roofs of the churches on to the congregation below. Perhaps later this custom was transferred to the day of Pentecost itself, which explains the origin of the Italian name of Pasqua rosa for this festival. And to this day in Dominican churches roses are blessed and distributed to the people on Rosary Sunday, i.e., the first Sunday in October. That the Roman Church might have an abundant supply of roses for pious purposes, Constantine gave to Pope Mark a “fundus rosaries” (rose farm). At some date previous to the pontificate of St. Leo IX, there had been instituted for Mid-Lent Sunday some ceremony in connection with the rose, in which it was carried in procession by the Pope. In the twelfth century, as we learn from the Ordo of Canon Benedict, the Pope sang High Mass on Laetare Sunday in the Church of S. Croce in Gerusalemme, “holding in his hand a golden rose, (scented) with musk. After the Gospel he preached about the flower, and showed it to the people, before his regular discourse on the Gospel itself. After Mass he rode on horseback, with his crown upon his head and the rose in his hand, back to the Lateran, and there gave the golden flower to the prefect of the city”. Nowadays an artificial rose is blessed in the Sistine chapel, and, after being incensed, sprinkled with musk and holy water, and anointed with balm, is sent to some distinguished person, who is requested to “accept this mystic rose bedewed with balm and musk, typifying the sweet odours that should exhale from the good deeds of us all, especially of those in high places”. The giving of the “golden rose” to those in high places, in token of the good-will of the Pope, and in recognition of “signal services towards this Apostolic See”, can be traced to Urban II, who in 1096, at Tours, bestowed it upon Fulk IV (Rechin) of Anjou. The last king to receive it in this country was Henry VIII, to whom it was granted by Pope Clement VII, who noted: “I see too that on account of its charming properties the rose is the glorious symbol of England”.

The rose sent to Henry is thus quaintly described by Stow: “This tree was forged of fine gold, and wrought with branch leaves, and flowers, resembling roses, set in a pot of gold, which pot had three feet of an antique fashion of measure half a pint. In the uppermost rose was a fair sapphire, loup pierced, the bigness of an acorn. The tree was of height half an English yard, and in breadth a foot”.

Not unnaturally the shape of the “golden rose” was not always the same. I have seen the one which was given by Clement V at the beginning of the fourteenth century to the prince-bishop of Basle. It is in that most interesting museum in Paris known as the Musée de Cluny, and is really a little golden bush, with a full-blown rose on the highest stem, and with five others on different stems in divers stages of development

These grants of privilege, of which mention has just been made, and very many others which Leo issued, but which want of space compels us to leave unnoticed, show that throughout all his pontificate he was, though not a monk himself, a great patron of monks and nuns. Justly did he regard them as the guardians of virtue and of learning, and as the helpers and protectors of the poor. He looked to the example of their quiet but ceaseless toil, of their sweet and tender piety, of the purity of their lives, of their boundless hospitality, and of their essentially peaceful careers to serve as a powerful auxiliary in his attempts to reform an idle, selfish, impure, and bellicose world

But though he was ever endeavouring to increase their numbers, their prosperity, and their influence, he was careful not to be a partner to any of their shortcomings. And so, when it was reported to him that some of them went about with the object of inducing men to bestow all their charities on religious houses to the detriment of their parish churches, he ordained that such, at least, as contemplated becoming monks should give half of what they intended to give to the Church to which they belonged, and that they might then enter any monastery they pleased. He approved of what the monks did “out of love”, but not what they were trying to do “out of greed”. 

History of the church and state in Norway from the tenth to the sixteenth century

Before he left the North, the subject of Christianity in the Scandinavian countries came up for discussion between him and Adalbert of Bremen. In the course of the tenth century Christianity was established in Norway. This had been effected by missionaries from Sweden and Denmark, countries which had profited by the labours of St. Ansgar, from the archiepiscopal See of Bremen, under the spiritual jurisdiction of which the Popes had long ago placed all the Scandinavian countries, and particularly from this country, where some of its rulers had been educated and baptised. The swords of the two Olafs were the final factors in the work. During the interval which elapsed between the time when Harold Fairhair (863-934) made Norway one kingdom under one ruler, and when Olaf II, the saint (1015-1030), organised the Church in Norway, there were frequent struggles between the three Scandinavian kingdoms; and Norway was occasionally for a brief space subject to the crown of Denmark. But under Magnus the Good, the son of Olaf II, the situation was reversed, and Denmark was, for a few years (1044­-1047), united to the more northern kingdom. On the death of Magnus (1047), however, the two countries were again divided; and a fierce struggle for supremacy was commenced between Harold Hardrada (1047-1066), king of Norway, a name with which our own history renders us familiar, and Sweyn (or Svend) II, known as Ulfsson from his father, or as Estrithson from his mother (1048-­1075). To render his independence still more secure, Sweyn desired to have the bishops of his kingdom subject to a Danish metropolitan, and not to the German archbishop of Bremen. He, accordingly, made known his wishes to the Pope. It was this very intelligible attempt on the part of Sweyn that roused Adalbert to try to get himself made a patriarch. He realised at once that the other Scandinavian kings would follow the example of Sweyn, and he saw that the Dane’s request was entertained by the Pope, and that, too, although the king was not very favourably known to him, as he had had to bring pressure to bear upon him, to make him put away a near relative he had taken to wife. The only way to save the honour­able position of his see was to have it endowed with patriarchal rights over the various metropolitan sees which he foresaw would soon come into existence, and which he knew would otherwise become wholly independent of Bremen. As he no doubt feared that the good-will which the Pope entertained towards him might not carry him to the desired lengths, he unwillingly agreed to the establishment of an archiepiscopal see in Denmark, on condition that “Rome would grant him patriarchal honours”. The deaths of Pope Leo and the Emperor Henry in the midst of the protracted negotiations on the subject, and the struggle between the Church and the empire which followed on them, caused the matter to drop for a time. But in the end Denmark gained the day; and Paschal II, in 1104, constituted Lund in Skaane (south Sweden), then belonging to that kingdom, the metropolitan see of the North.

Wild and weird must have seemed to the Pope the stories which Adalbert had to tell him of the countries which his genius proposed to weld into a northern patriarchate, and of the men who peopled them. He must have told him of Iceland, a land where there was a midnight sun, a land of snow and fire; of Greenland, a most inhospitable shore, but blessed with an attractive name. For its wily discoverer, Eric the Red, argued, when he “went to settle that land which he had found and which he called Greenland, that many men would desire to visit it if he gave it a good name”. And, strangest of all, he must have told him of a land far away to the West, which is called Vinland, because vines grow there wild, producing excellent wine, and (where) fruit abounds which has not been planted. He must have told him of all these lands, for there had long been Christians in all of them, and he himself, at the request of distant Iceland and Greenland, had sent preachers there. He must also have told him of the men who inhabited them—men whose home was on the sea, “who never slept beneath the sooty roof timbers”, whoever lusted for battle, and whose one dread was lest they “might come to die of old age, within doors, upon a bed of straw”.

One such sea-king at least stood before Leo IX. Among the Orkneys is an island, now from its superior size known as the Mainland, but to the Norsemen of old as Hrossey or Horse Island. Close to it is an islet (Birsay) which at low tide is joined to it. On this small spot of ground are pointed out the ruins of the castle of Earl (jarl) Thorfinn, of whom “it is soothly said, that he has been the most powerful of all the Orkney earls”. To show the extent of his sway, his biographer quotes Arnon earlskald :—

“All the way from Tuskar-skerry,

Down to Dublin, hosts obeyed him,

Royal Thorfinn, raven-feeder;

True I tell how liegemen loved him”.

This formidable chieftain became sole ruler of the Orkneys in 1046; and, after visiting Harold Hardrada of Norway, Svveyn of Denmark, and the Kaiser Henry, “fared to Rome and saw the Pope there, and there he took absolution from him for all his misdeeds”. Though Leo had been a soldier himself, he must have been shocked at what the sea-king had to tell him of his burnings and his slaughterings. However, with all the earnestness of his saintly soul he exhorted the earl to a better life. His words were not lost on the brave heart of Thorfinn. “The earl turned thence to his journey home, and he came back safe and sound into his realm; and that journey was most famous. Then the earl sat down quietly and kept peace over all his realm. Then he left off warfare; then he turned his mind to ruling the people and the land, and to lawgiving. He sate almost always in Birsay, and let them build there Christchurch, a splendid minster. There, first, was set up a bishop’s seat in the Orkneys”. And although, says Adam of Bremen, “they had before been ruled by English or Irish bishops, our primate (Adalbert), by command of the Pope, consecrated Thorulf, bishop of Blascona (Bersay?), to take charge of all of them”.


The most interesting country of which Adalbert, must have spoken to Leo was Iceland, the home of Scandinavian history, a country of the early origin of which there are extant authentic records second to none in dramatic interest. The first men to take up their abode in Iceland were certain Irish monks or hermits. “Before Iceland was peopled from Norway”, writes Ari (d. 1148), the Bede of Iceland, “there were in it men whom the Northmen call Papar (fathers); they were Christian men, and it is held that they must have come over sea from the West, for there were found left by them Irish books, bells, etc.” But, discovered accidentally in the second half of the ninth century by the Norsemen (c. 861), it was colonised soon after by many of their best families. Only the most uncompromising love of personal independence could have induced the jarls of Norway to go and live in such a desolate region as Iceland. But at the time of which we are speaking there was a king (Harold Fairhair, 863-934) in the land who was resolved to be king in fact as well as in name. The sort of man he was is well set forth in the contemporary Ravensong about him by Hornclofe:—

“Out at sea he will drink Yule if he may have his will,

That eager prince, and play Frey’s game.

From his youth up he loathed the fire-cauldron, and sitting by the hearth,

The warm corner, and the cushion full of down”.

A typical example of his doings will show his method of effecting his purpose and its results. “He sent Thororm, his kinsman, to claim taxes from Asgrim, but he yielded none; so the king sent Thororm a second time for his head, and then he slew Asgrim. At that time Thorstein, the son of Asgrim, was out on Viking journeys ... Some time afterwards he came back from the wars and laid his ship against Thruma (where Thororm lived) and burnt Thororm in his house, together with his household; the stock he cut down and sold the chattels. Whereupon he went to Iceland”. Some of the earliest settlers and their slaves were Christians, for the most part probably of the type of Helgi, who “was very shifty in his faith; he believed in Christ, but made vows to Thor for seafaring and hardy deeds ... Some of these”, continues Ari, “held faithfully to their belief unto the day of their death; but in few cases did this pass on from parents to children, for the sons of some of these reared temples and did sacrifices, and wholly heathen the land remained for well-nigh a hundred and twenty winters (861-981)”. At the end of that period a sea-rover, Thorvald, brought a Saxon bishop, Frederick, to preach Christianity in Iceland. The good that the bishop effected (981-986) was undone by the violence of Thorvald, and he returned to Saxony in despair.

As well-meaning as Thorvald, but as violent, was the next notable preacher of Christianity in Iceland. “When Olaf Trigvesson had been two years king of Norway”, writes Snorri, “there was a Saxon priest in his house called Thangbrand, a passionate, ungovernable man, and a great man-slayer; but he was a good scholar and a clever man. The king would not have him in his house on account of his misdeeds, but gave him the errand to go to Iceland and bring that land to the Christian faith”. He had as companion the Icelander Gudlief, who is also set down as “a great man-slayer”. Whatever else was wanting to these two preachers of the Gospel, they had energy and the courage of their convictions. By the strength of their right arms, and of their arguments, and by biting satire and invective, they soon had the whole island in a blaze of excitement. Blows were given and taken, lampoons were freely exchanged, and if many were embittered against Christianity, many embraced it. A civil war was averted only by the whole question’s being referred to the Althing or Parliament.

Of what took place at the famous Althing of the year 1000 we have the most graphic details. The Christians marched in a body to the Law-mount with crosses and incense, and earnestly explained their faith. Unable to gainsay them, the pagans proposed that two men from each quarter should be sacrificed to stop the spread of Christianity. Not to be outdone, two of the Christians, Gisur and Hjalti, made this startling proposal: “Let us select, on our side, some of our most worthy men, whom we may truly call victims to our Lord Jesus Christ, that so we may live more blamelessly. Gisur and I offer ourselves as victims for our province”. Others at once offered themselves from the other quarters. Then it was suggested that pagans and Christians should live apart, each party under its own laws, and such an uproar arose “on the Hill of Laws that no man could hear another’s voice”. In the midst of this confusion, a messenger came running to tell the assembly that the subterranean fires had broken out, and were pouring forth their fiery cinders. “No wonder”, quoth the pagans, “that the gods are angry at language such as we have had to hear”. “But what”, quickly retorted a pontiff-chief, “made the gods angry when the ashes on which we stand were all aglow?” That, all well knew, must have been when the soil of Iceland was as yet untrodden by the foot of man. The pagans were silenced, but not convinced, and all hope of peace seemed lost, when the Law-man, Thorgeir, proposed a compromise. All were to be baptised, but might be allowed to expose children, and eat horse-flesh. Sacrifice might be offered to the gods in private, but if witnesses convicted anyone of so doing, he was to be exiled. The compromise was accepted, and “it is certain that these and other evil pagan customs were abolished after a few winters”, concludes Ari the Learned.

As then Christianity had been established by law in Iceland some fifty years before Leo came to the throne of Peter, there cannot be a doubt that Adalbert, who was destined to consecrate (c. 1055) the first native Icelander, Isleif by name, for a definite see (Skalholt) in Iceland, spoke to him on the ecclesiastical affairs both of that country and of Greenland. For he had already sent missionaries to both those places. “So affable was he”, wrote Adam of Bremen “so bountiful, so hospitable, so anxious to stand well in the eyes both of God and man, that men, especially of the North, eagerly drew to his side. Among them came envoys from the remotest coasts, Icelanders, Greenlanders, and men from the Orkneys, to beg that he would send them preachers of the faith. This he did”.

At any rate, whether Adalbert did or did not speak to the Pope about Iceland, it is certain that an Icelander did. When the Icelandic priest Isleif (or Islaf) had reached his fiftieth year, we are told that “he was bidden to go abroad, and was chosen bishop by the whole commonweal in Iceland. Then he went abroad and southward to Saxland, and went to see the Emperor Henry Conradson, and gave him a white bear that had come from Greenland, and this beast was the greatest treasure, and the emperor gave Isleif his writ with his seal to go over all his dominions. Then he went to see Pope Leo. And the Pope sent his writ to Adalbert, archbishop of Bremen, that he should give Isleif the consecration of a bishop on Whit Sunday; and the Pope said that he was in hope that by God’s grace this bishopric should be a long-enduring office, if the first bishop were consecrated to Iceland on the day in which God blessed the whole world with the gift of the Holy Ghost. And Isleif was consecrated bishop on that day according to the Pope’s command (at bothe páva, at the Pope's bidding) by Adalbert, archbishop in Bremen, fourteen nights before Columba’s Mass-day (May 26, 1056?). And the archbishop gave him all the insignia that he needed to have with the office of a bishop, according as the Pope and the emperor sent him word”.

It may, then, be taken for granted that the Icelanders were acquainted with the position and authority of the Pope in the Church. Their annals, it may be noted, had already begun to enter their names, and they tell how their second native bishop of Skalholt, Gizur, was consecrated (c. 1080) by Hardvig, archbishop of Magdeburg, “at the command of Gregory VII”.

Though, as we have seen, Leo did not raise the See of Bremen to the dignity of a patriarchate, as the large-minded ambition of its prelate desired, he issued a bull confirming its privileges in the style of his predecessors from the time of the establishment of the See of Hamburg by Gregory IV, and of its transfer to Bremen under Nicholas I. Although objections are urged against the Hamburg-Bremen series of papal bulls, from that of Gregory IV to the one in question, there can be no doubt that, if some of them have been interpolated in the matter of details as to the exact countries subject to the united see, they are substantially authentic. The bulls of Gregory and Nicholas, subordinating to it the Danes, Swedes, Slavs, and adjoining peoples, were preserved in its archives in the days of Adam, its canonical historian. Hence, after what we have seen of the relations between Adalbert and such distant people as the Greenlanders, we may safely accept the verdict of the majority of historians that Leo’s bull regarding the See of Bremen is authentic, and that he subjected to him not only the Swedes, the Danes, the Norwegians, and the Slavs from the river Penis in Sclavania, which formed one of the boundaries of the March of the Billungs, to the Egdore (Eider in Schleswig-Holstein), but also Islant (Iceland), Gronlant (Greenland), and Scridevinum (Scritefingi). On the same conditions of obedience to the Apostolic See as had been laid down by it for “the most blessed Boniface”, he was to take the place of the Pope in those regions, and was to ordain bishops for them according as they were brought “into the fold of Christ”. And as a matter of fact, as we learn from his younger contemporary, the canon of Bremen, Adalbert did consecrate bishops both for Norway and Iceland, and sent letters both to the Icelanders and the Greenlanders, promising to come to them soon, so that they might rejoice together.

History of the Northmen up to the conquest of England by William the Conqueror

The Romans, ever unhappy when the Pope was not in their midst, and ever turbulent when he was, gave Leo a royal welcome when he came back. On his first journey to Rome he had brought with him Hildebrand of Cluny; and this time, in furtherance of his plan to surround himself with the cream of the monastic order, he brought with him Humbert from the famous Lorraine abbey of Moyenmoutier in the diocese of Toul. Both by word and deed he was to prove himself one of the greatest of the great men whom Leo gathered around him.

Hardly had he returned to Rome when the cries of the people of south Italy called him away. Their condition had long been heartrending, for they had long been the prey of Greeks, Saracens, and their own princes. Now they were feeling the sting of another serpent, which, however, was fortunately destined to eat up the others. From about the year 1030 the Normans had been steadily increasing their hold on southern Italy. Fresh recruits joined them from Normandy, among others the famous Robert Guiscard, and his numerous brothers, sons of a poor knight, Tancred of Hauteville, near Coutances. After they had seized (1041) Melfi, “the head and gate of all Apulia”, as Leo of Ostia calls it, they naturally made more rapid headway. With all the ideas of “gathering property” held by their pagan Viking ancestors, they waged war as cruelly as the Saracens. What they could not keep they destroyed, and what they could not seize by force they obtained by treachery. Nor did they care whether they laid “iron arms” on the lands of priests or people, prince or Pope.

By letter and by envoy Leo begged the Normans to be more considerate in their treating of the people; but he soon found that he got nothing from them but smooth words. Accordingly, as well for the sake of reinvigorating the Church in Apulia, which in the midst of the horrors of war “seemed to have well-nigh perished”, as to take the Normans to task for their conduct, he determined to go thither in person. Outwardly displaying the greatest respect for him, “the whole race of the Normans” went to meet him. To the Pope’s exhortations and threats they promised on oath that they would do as he wished, and declared, should he order it, that they would at once return across the seas. “When the Pope heard this, thinking that others were as single-minded as he was himself, he gave them his blessing and leave to depart”. While he was in the South, the crafty Normans held their hands; but their conduct soon showed that they had but sworn with the lips, and that they had resolved to do all that their hearts desired.

Passing through Capua, Salerno, and Melfi, Leo reached Benevento; and when its rulers, Pandulf III and Landulf VI, refused to tender to him the obedience which he maintained was due to him from the donations of the city which the emperors had made to the Popes, the people promptly “expelled them and their men of law”. Evidently there was then in Benevento a party which had more faith in the Pope’s protection than in that of their own princes. The city was soon to pass definitely into the hands of the Popes. The father of its last Lombard ruler was the latter of those just expelled

From Benevento Leo went on to Mount Gargano; and when he had refreshed his soul with prayer at the shrine of St. Michael, he proceeded to hold a synod in the ancient town of Siponto hard by. This council, held on Greek territory, at which it is supposed the bishops of Calabria and Apulia assisted, deposed two archbishops who had obtained their positions by bribery and corruption, and were endeavouring to override one another. “And then”, continues Aimé, “he turned him back to Rome, and once more betook himself to the road to correct other cities”.

However, before he again started on another journey he held his usual Paschal synod at Rome. What makes this one of special account is the fact that it formally condemned the doctrines of Berengarius of Tours on the Blessed Eucharist. Over fifty bishops from Italy and from the different kingdoms of Gaul, and over thirty abbots assisted at its deliberations. Compared with the numbers present at his first Paschal synod, those at his second may serve to show the rapid advance of Leo’s influence. After disposing of a question of precedence, and excommunicating the bishops of Brittany for their simony and their refusal to submit to the archiepiscopal jurisdiction of Tours, the council proceeded to adopt a new mode of attacking the marriages of priests. It forbade all, as well clergy as laity, to have any intercourse with priests and deacons who failed to keep their vows of chastity. The successors of Leo, especially St. Gregory VII, persisted in this plan, which was ultimately crowned with success.

But the most important question dealt with by the synod was the heresy of Berengarius of Tours. Born towards the beginning of the eleventh century, Berengarius was educated at the famous school of Chartres by the no less famous bishop of the same city, Fulbert, the heir of the teaching of Gerbert of Rheims. Of this he was reminded by an old schoolfellow, Adelmann, in a most touching letter which he wrote to him when the report had reached him “that he had torn himself from the unity of Holy Mother Church, and that he seemed to be holding views which differed from Catholic faith regarding the Body and Blood of the Lord which throughout the whole world is daily immolated on the altar”. “The words of the report”, the letter continued, “set forth that you hold that we have not the true Body and Blood of Christ, but a mere figure and image”. The elder man called to the mind of the younger their “most sweet companionship” under their “venerable Socrates” (Fulbert) at Chartres, and the private little colloquies which he used to hold with them of an evening in the garden, when he was wont, with tearful fervor, to exhort them to follow in the footsteps of the Fathers, so that they might never tread a new and deceitful path. Did the good old bishop augur ill from what he saw of the character of the youthful Berengarius, or was he simply one of his favourite disciples? Whether Fulbert regarded him with apprehension or with trustful love, it is certain that, while he made friends among his companions, who admired him for his attainments, which seem, however, to have been more external than intellectual, more attractive than profound, he engendered in a larger number distrust of his mental abilities and of the sincerity of his actions. Guitmund, “the most eloquent man of our times”, who later on wrote a treatise against the teach­ing of Berengarius, says, on the testimony of those who then knew him, that “whilst a youth at school, puffed up by an ability that was wanting in ballast, he had but little respect for the judgment of his master, and none for that of his fellow-students. He even despised the works on the liberal arts. Unable to rise to the higher flights of philosophy, for his mind was not keen enough, and the liberal arts throughout the Gauls were then in a state oi decay, he strove, by giving new meanings to old words (a habit he has kept up even to the present day) to win for himself in one way or another a reputation for special learning. Moreover, by pompous gait, by using a higher chair than those employed by the others, by striving to assume the dignity of his master rather than to acquire his learning, by withdrawing his head far back into his cowl, as though in deep thought, by speaking in a very slow and plaintive voice, so as to deceive the unwary—by all these means did he endeavour to insinuate that he was a master in the arts”. Here, of course, we have the views of those of his fellow-students who had no special love for Berengarius. But they certainly show that, consciously or unconsciously, he was an eccentric and affected young man. After the death of Fulbert (1029) he went to Tours, and became scholasticus or master of its cathedral school, and even after he had been made archdeacon of Angers (c. 1040), continued to give lessons there. As a teacher he attached to himself many devoted disciples, who admired not only what he said and the way in which he set forth what he had to say, but also his abstemious life. But, among scholars at least, eloquence will never prevail over learning, at any rate with the greater number, nor sophistry over real philosophy. The solidity of the teaching of Lanfranc, who is said to have been the fellow-student of Berengarius, was drawing the more earnest students from Tours to Bec. It was about the time when the latter was named archdeacon that the cultured Italian, who was destined to do so much for France and England, left his native Pavia and came to Normandy. For the sake of leading a retired life, and of serving God in obscurity, he withdrew to the little abbey of Bec, which had just been founded by one who, when in the world, had been a distinguished soldier (Herluin). But when, after a year or two, Herluin named him prior (1045), he had to teach, and before long he caused “the school of Bec to become the most important intellectual centre of Normandy and of France”, and attracted even some of the pupils of the scholasticus of Tours.

According to some authors, it was chagrin at the loss of his students that caused Berengarius to put forth his heretical views on the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. “Anxious to draw to himself the attention of all, he preferred to be a heretic and the cynosure of all eyes rather than live as a Catholic known only to the eyes of God”.

For many centuries no attempt was made to set forth the belief of the Church regarding the sacrament of the altar fully and in scientific terms. It was, however, inevitable that the attempt should be made. Monothelism in the seventh century, and Adoptionism in the eighth, had resulted in a very definite presentment of Catholic doctrine with regard to the union of the human and divine natures in the Person of God the Son. The ninth century witnessed the first effort to unfold the belief of the Church on the Eucharist, and to clothe it in scientific language. The difficult task was essayed by a monk of Corbie, Paschasius Radbert (d. 865). He had not to deal with the Real Presence; he had not to prove that the Eucharistic bread was something more than ordinary bread. Unless we are to regard the Discipline of the Secret as childish, the mysterious words of the Fathers on the subject of the Eucharist as inept, their sublime language regarding it as gross exaggeration, all the Eucharistic ceremonies as misleading, and Christian symbolism as an utterly baseless and groundless figment of puerile imaginations, we must conclude that it had always been the firm belief of Christian men that there was very much more beneath the form of the sacramental bread than the mere product of wheat. Radbert, then, did not set himself to explain that that was Christ’s body, but to develop the import of that proposition. This he did in terms, some of which not unnaturally, as obviously tentative, were not altogether unexceptional. In insisting, for instance, that the Eucharist was the true Body of Christ, and in developing its identity with that born of the Virgin Mary, he used expressions which were easily capable of being understood in too carnal a sense. His treatise caused some stir. Among the works which it called forth, those which at one time or another attracted most attention were the productions of Ratram (d. 865), also a monk of Corbie, and of John Scotus Erigena. The work of the former is most obscure, as it seems at one time to teach the doctrine of Transubstantiation with Paschasius, and at another to call in question even the Real Presence. The book of John the Scot, however, though now lost, appears to have denied the doctrine even of the Real Presence with no uncertain voice. Such teaching was only to be expected from that pantheistic and rationalistic writer. But even the voice of theology cannot make itself heard amid the din of arms. The first contro­versy on the Eucharist was stifled in the dire political troubles which distressed the West as the power of the Carolingians declined; and, when Berengarius started the second, the simple Catholic faith was that the Eucharistic bread was really and truly the Body of Christ. But if the first controversy concerned the mode of Christ’s presence in the Eucharist, the second, for a brief space at least, concerned the fact of His presence. But as the controversy progressed, Berengarius began to hold that the Body of Christ was present in or with the Eucharistic bread (i.e., the doctrine of impanation or companation), and this second controversy on the mode of Christ’s presence in the Eucharist ended in the definite enunciation of Transubstantiation as the doctrine of the Catholic Church.

Following in the footsteps of John the Scot, as he himself allowed, and feeling secure in the friendship of the bishop of Angers and in that of Geoffrey Martel, count of Anjou, Berengarius proclaimed (1047) that the Eucharistic bread was not really the Body of Christ, but merely a figure of it, and that after consecration the bread was exactly what it had been before. His old friend Adelmann wrote to implore him “for God’s sake and by the sweet memory of Fulbert to love Catholic peace, and not to disturb the republic of Christ, so well founded by our ancestors”. Lanfranc lectured against him, and then set out to assist at the Roman council whence, we have digressed.

As soon as he was informed that Lanfranc had condemned his teaching as heretical, Berengarius wrote to him deprecating what he called his precipitation, but stating his approval of the opinions of John the Scot. What this letter brought upon its author shall be stated in the words of Lanfranc: “Your heresy was brought to the notice of the Apostolic See in the days of Pope Leo. Whilst he was presiding at a synod, surrounded by a great multitude of bishops, abbots, and pious persons of divers ranks and countries, the letters you had sent to me on the Body and Blood of the Lord were ordered to be read in public. The messenger you had commissioned to deliver them to me, finding I had left Normandy, gave them to some clerks. They apprised themselves of their contents; and, when they discovered that they were not in harmony with the general belief of the Church, were moved by zeal for the cause of God to have them read to others, and to make known their contents to many ... A clerk of Rheims brought them to Rome. After they had been read, and it was clear that you adhered to John the Scot, condemned Paschasius, and held doctrines concerning the Eucharist which were opposed to the common faith, you, who would deprive the Church of Holy Communion, were yourself cut off from communion with the Church”. However, to give him an opportunity to clear himself, Berengarius was summoned to appear before a council to be held by the Pope at Vercelli in September.

The fact that, in the first instance, he had been condemned, as it were, unheard, enabled him meanwhile to pose as a victim to malice. He spoke of the Pope in contemptuous language, calling him sacrilegious; disseminated his doctrines “by means of poor scholars, whom he allured by daily hire”; and denounced those who did not see “eye to eye” with him as blind, or as for the most part incapable of comprehending the matter in hand. Still, he made up his mind to present himself at the council of Vercelli, and went to the king of France, who was also abbot of Tours, to obtain his permission to leave the kingdom. But Henry was alarmed at the growing excitement caused by the spread of the new doctrines; and he was, moreover, as we have seen, under the influence of men who were anxious to limit the power of the Pope in France. He accordingly threw the scholasticus of Tours into prison, and made arrangements to have the affair examined in France.

Meanwhile, as the heresy of Berengarius was still spreading, the book of John Scotus was read and condemned at the council of Vercelli, as was also the doctrine of its latest advocate.

Released from confinement—in all probability not long after the closing of the synod just mentioned—we next find him making a vain attempt to win over to his doctrines the young duke of Normandy (the Conqueror). Vanquished soon after (1051) in a public disputation at Brionne, he was condemned at a council which King Henry caused to assemble at Paris (October 16, 1051). Deoduinus of Liège had written to warn Henry that no good could come of his council unless it were held with the authorization of the Holy See, as it would probably be necessary to condemn Eusebius Bruno, bishop of Angers, also; and “you know”, he wrote, “that a bishop can only be condemned by apostolical authority”. Hence he begged the king not to cite them before him “until the See of Rome has granted you the power of condemning them”. Besides, he concluded, their doctrine is already condemned enough. It is their punishment that should be thought about. Although the council decreed that if Berengarius did not repent, he and his should be seized, and made to retract, or put to death, their resolutions remained a dead letter. Berengarius was safe under the protection of Bishop Bruno and the powerful Geoffrey (II) Martel, count of Anjou, the son of the dreaded Fulk the Black. It was convenient to that noble to defend those in opposition to the Holy See, as he was under sentence of excommunication himself for keeping in prison the bishop of Le Mans.

But the power of Geoffrey was on the wane. He had brought upon himself the enmity of the “stark” William. And so, not to have too many foes, he released bishop Gervase at the end of 1053 or at the beginning of 1054. This he at once made known to the Pope by a letter in which he strove to show that the whole blame of what had occurred between them rested with the bishop, since he personally had done all that lay in his power “not to show himself a rebel to the authority of the Holy See and not to fail in respect to the ecclesiastical dignity”. The letter concluded by a request that the Pope would provide for the interests of the See of Le Mans, inasmuch as Gervase had fled to Normandy as soon as released, and had refused to return to have his case tried even under a safe-conduct. To take further cognisance of this matter, and at the same time to take additional steps with regard to the affair of Berengarius, Leo sent into France his trusted Hildebrand. At a council which he summoned at Tours, Berengarius, whether in fear because abandoned by Geoffrey, or because he was won over by the kind and patient hearing accorded him by the legate, swore, per­chance, it is to be feared, rather with the lips than with the heart, that he professed the general faith of the Church; or, to use his own words, that “after the consecration the bread and wine of the altar are the Body and Blood of Christ”. He was, he also tells us, to have gone to Rome with Hildebrand to justify himself before Leo, when word was brought that that great Pontiff had died. The after history of Berengarius will prove at least that he again changed his mind on the subject of the Holy Eucharist; and this he could the more readily do, as he held the convenient doctrine that, if he had not been properly treated, or if threats had been used against him, he could take an oath and then break it.

During the interval (May to September) between the two councils, Leo was occupied in visiting and seeing to the good order and prosperity of monasteries both in north and in south Italy; in strengthening his temporal authority by bringing to subjection the neighbouring barons (perhaps the adherents of the house of Tusculum); and in receiving princes of certain “foreign nations” who came to him, “as to an apostolic man”, to do him homage. This last item is a very disappointing piece of information, as it would be very interesting to know for certain whence came these strange rulers, whether they were Christian or pagan, Slav, Saracen, or Hungarian. But, unfortunately, no other historical passage can be found which sheds any further sure light on the matter. While, however, it is possible that these embassies may have been in connection with the second expulsion of the Saracens from Sardinia, which took place in this year, and which was the result of the joint action of the Pisans and the Holy See, it seems far more probable that they were from the Hungarians.

Among those with whom Leo had to contend for the temporalities of his see was Hunfrid of Ravenna. Raised to that see by the emperor, and trusting in the support of some of his courtiers, he began to act, as others in his position had sometimes done before him, as though he were the independent temporal as well as the spiritual ruler of his archdiocese. In vain called to account by the Pope, he was at length excommunicated by him at the synod of Vercelli. This resulted in his falling under the displeasure of the emperor, who summoned him to Augsburg to meet the Pope. There he was compelled to restore what he had usurped, and to beg for absolution (February 1051). But, as Leo observed that he had asked for it with scarcely disguised mockery, we are assured by Wibert that he predicted the speedy death which overtook him after he had but just returned to his see. Immediately after the synod of Vercelli, Leo for the second time crossed the Alps, once again to visit Toul for the purpose of solemnly translating the relics of Gerard, bishop of that city, whom he had just canonised at the Roman synod, and to interview the emperor. Crossing the great St. Bernard, and resting on the way at St. Maurice’s at Agaune, at Romainmoutier, at Besançon, and at Langres, he reached Toul soon after the middle of October. As he moved along, he did all that he could, by word and deed and by grant of privileges, to revive the faith of the people, or to improve the status of the monasteries at which he rested. And, as usual, wherever he had passed, order and justice revived.

Arrived at his beloved Toul, he found awaiting him the same enormous crowds of people as at Rheims, and with them various bishops, “as so many columns of the Church”. Among the latter were Ulf, bishop of Dorchester, and George, bishop of the Hungarian See of Colocza, who had come on a special deputation to the Pope. Mindful of what had occurred on a similar occasion at Rheims, Leo decided that the translation should take place at night, and in presence of the monks and clergy only. Between October 20 and 21, they assembled in church, and “in alternate choirs” sang Matins far into the night. Then amid the light of candles and the smoke of incense the Lord Pope, surrounded by bishops, came to see the stone removed which covered the sacred tomb. When the venerable body, more precious than priceless treasure, was exposed to view, it was seen that no corruption had altered the beauty of the face. The closed eyes seemed those of a man who was slumbering in peace; the beard had grown, and full locks of hair hung down on each side of the head. The pontifical vestments were in an equally good state of preservation. The attitude of the body did not so much suggest death, as of one risen from the dead. He appeared to be lying in reposeful expectation of the voice of the angel which was to bid him come forth from his tomb. The limbs, which exhaled an aroma more fragrant than that of nectar, were found to be almost intact. The nerves and muscles still held the joints together; but the flesh seemed to present but little more than lines of dust. The precious remains were wrapped with all the care imaginable in linen cloths, and exposed to the veneration of the faithful, who came flocking in from every side. On the following day (October 22) the solemn feast of the saint was celebrated; and the Pope consecrated an altar ... where the memory of St. Gerard was honoured”

Soon after the beginning of the new year, Leo left Lorraine to go to meet the emperor. The birth of a son and heir (afterwards to be the famous Henry IV, who was to cause so much trouble in the world) had brought joy to the heart of Henry the Black, and he showed himself very gracious to the Pope. He restored, at his request, to its rightful owners, land alienated by the crown, and, as we have seen, made Hunfrid of Ravenna submit to him. The relations between the Pope and the emperor at this time seem to have been cordial in the extreme. But one cannot help wondering whether Leo was satisfied with the imperial policy with regard to the Hungarians, or if he expressed his disapproval of Henry’s personal immoralities? No means, however, exist of gratifying this laudable curiosity. Still, it is far from unlikely that he was displeased that the efforts which the emperor was making to subdue the Hungarians left him unable to undertake anything against the Normans, whose cruelties and successes in south Italy were filling him with sorrow and apprehension.

After celebrating at Augsburg the feast of the Purification with the emperor and a large number of bishops and princes, Leo and Henry parted with every demonstration of friendship. The Pope seems to have returned direct to Rome. When he arrived there, his first act was to appoint a successor to himself in the See of Toul. Whether the papal finances had now so improved that he could afford to do without the revenues of Toul, or whether his stay there had shown him the need of a bishop on the spot, he at any rate appointed his chancellor, Udo, to succeed him in his first see.

His next important act in Rome was to hold the annual Paschal synod. At this assembly judgment was passed on certain episcopal offenders; a dispute between the bishop of Sabina and the monastery of Farfa was settled in favour of the latter; it was decreed that monks were to be anathematized who would not return to their monasteries, and the question of reordinations was discussed. The matter had already been brought up twice for discussion, and this time the Pope begged the bishops to pray that God would reveal what should be decreed on the subject. Leo’s request resulted in the appearance of two pamphlets: one by Cardinal Humbert against the validity of ordinations conferred by simoniacal bishops, and the other by St. Peter Damian, in which he showed that bishops are always bishops, and that, as long as they used the correct form, their ordinations were valid. The doctrine enunciated by the saint is that of the Catholic Church today.

Scarcely had Leo returned to Rome, when envoys came to him from Benevento, begging him to come to their city, probably because they were harassed either by the princes (Pandulf III and Landulf VI) whom they had expelled (1050), or by the Normans, or by both. With a view to making himself thoroughly acquainted with the state of affairs, and to ascertaining how far his presence was really desired by the people, he sent thither as legates Dominic, patriarch of Aquileia, and Cardinal Humbert. They found that the people were really anxious to place themselves under papal rule. They proved their sincerity by taking an oath of fealty to the Pope, by formally making over their city to him by deed, and by sending to Rome twenty of the most distinguished of their number as hostages. Satisfied, accordingly, of their good faith, Leo, passing through Capua and his well-loved Monte Cassino, entered Benevento in July to receive in person the homage of its citizens Splendid was the reception accorded him both by the native inhabitants of the city, and by the strangers, Jews and Greeks, within their gates. All came forth from the city to greet him, singing the customary “laudes” in their respective languages.

Full of the stories of Norman violence and cruelty which the Beneventans poured into his ears, Leo left them and went on to Salerno to interview in their behalf its prince, Guaimar. All his efforts, however, for the amelioration of the condition of south Italy were spoilt by the people themselves. Urged on, not, as some without any grounds have imagined, by Argyrus, the son of the patriot Melus, who had now taken service with the Greeks, and had been named Catapan by their emperor, but by a fierce longing for revenge, the Lombards of Apulia planned a general massacre of the Normans on a given day. Their vile design was accomplished, but only in part. Unfortunately, however, among the slain was Drogo, one of the best of the Norman chiefs, who had been recognized as their leader by Henry the Black, and who had promised the Pope to defend Benevento. If the Normans had been cruel oppressors of the native population before the murder of Drogo and their other companions who fell by the daggers of the infuriated Lombards, they were, not unnaturally, much more cruel after it. Feeling powerless to effect any good, Leo, with a heavy heart, returned towards Rome.

Never losing an opportunity of effecting a reform by a personal inspection, he went round by Subiaco, as he had heard of some scandals of which its abbot had been guilty. But before word reached the monks that the Pontiff was ascending the wild gorge in which is situated “the cradle of the Order of St. Benedict, patriarch of the monks of the West”, the guilty man had taken to flight. Replacing him by the Frank Humbert, who, until he alienated himself from the curia of the Roman See, did so much to increase the glory of the monastery, Leo then turned his attention to the temporalities of the monastery. Finding that the inhabitants of the little town of Subiaco (the Sublacenses) were endeavouring to push their claims against the monastery by a number of forged documents, he caused “the greater part of them to be burnt in his presence”. Then once again confirming the monastery in its possessions, he proclaimed: “By the power of God Almighty this spot is almost miraculous, and this monastery is the head of all the monasteries of Italy”.

Between the months of October 1051 and May 1052, we find Leo now in Rome and now in one of the adjoining cities. During that period he was engaged not only in the normal work of elevating everywhere the state of religion, but in receiving appeals for help against the Normans, and in endeavouring to induce some of the powerful ones of the earth to grant him assistance against them. The Normans were the great cross of Leo’s pontificate, just as the Lombards had been the heavy trial of the life of Gregory the Great. On behalf of the Greeks, Argyrus sent messenger after messenger to implore his cooperation against them. The people of Apulia sent secret envoys to him, entreating him to bring an army to help them. “The Normans”, they said, “had become worse than ever… Fortified cities can scarcely hold out against them ... A miserable death is impending over each and all of us”. Their mutilated bodies furnished terrible evidence to the truth of their words. They were suffering at the hands of the cruel Normans what the English were soon to have to endure from the same hard conquerors. “Many were the men who came to the Pope from Apulia, whose sightless eyes and amputated limbs told the sad story of Norman barbarity”. It is not difficult to imagine how deeply the tender heart of Leo was affected by the contemplation of so much misery. He wrote to the emperor, to the king of France, to first one ruler and then another, to beg them to come and free the land “from the malice of the Normans. But, as some feared the power of the Normans, and as others were y well disposed towards them, no one paid heed to the Pope’s prayers”.

Failing to obtain the aid of another's sword, Leo resolved to try once more the effect of his own words. This time he took with him, as his “envoy of peace”, his friend the saintly Halinard, archbishop of Lyons; for he expected much help from his great linguistic attainments. But though he visited one great city after another (May to July), Capua, Naples, Benevento, Salerno, it was all to no purpose. The princes would not combine against the enemy who was soon to destroy them all, and the Normans, who had resolved to be masters of south Italy, would not stop their aggrandizements. As a last resource, Leo determined to raise an army and attack the intruders himself. In a letter sent some time afterwards (January 1054) to the Greek emperor, Constantine Monomachus, he explained at some length the motives which urged him to come to this strong decision:

“When, looking round with that anxious solicitude with which I have to watch over all the churches, I saw a lawless and alien people raging with incredible and unheard-of fury, and with more than heathen impiety, against the churches of God, butchering Christians, and sometimes putting them to death with new and horrible tortures, sparing neither children, old men, nor even weak women, and, making no distinction between sacred and profane, plundering, burning, and levelling with the ground the basilicas of the saints, I very frequently remonstrated with them. I besought them to amend; I preached to them; I pressed them in season and out of season; I threatened them with the vengeance of both God and men. But, as the wise man saith, ‘No man can correct whom God hath despised’; nor is the foolish man corrected ... Hence, ready not only to spend worldly goods to succour the sheep of Christ, but to be spent myself, I thought it best, as a protest against their wickedness, or, if needs be, for the purpose of repressing their contumacy, to gather together forces from every quarter. For I was mindful of the saying of the Apostle, ‘that princes bear not the sword in vain, but are avengers to execute wrath upon him that doth evil, and are not a terror to the good work but to the evil’; and that kings and dukes are sent by ‘God for the punishment of evil-doers’.”  

Hungary. 1052.

At this juncture the cry of another distressed people, rose up to the Pope. Envoys reached him from Andrew, king of Hungary. Reminding him that their country was subject to him, they implored him to come and procure for them from the emperor the blessings of peace. Leo looked on the summons as a heaven-sent opportunity. He would go and persuade Henry not to molest the Hungarians, who only wished to be left to themselves, but to turn his arms against men bent, at any cost to others, on forcing forward their own interests. Leaving Halinard behind him in Rome to await his return, he set out for Germany (July 1052), and found the emperor encamped before Brezisburg, on the Maraha (Pressburg on the March), one of the border towns of Hungary.

To regain the throne from which undue favouring of the foreigner had caused him to be expelled, Peter, the successor of St. Stephen, had placed Hungary under the suzerainty of the emperor. This led to his second expulsion by an indignant people, and to the frequent invasion of their country by Henry in order to wring from their new ruler, King Andrew (1046-1061), the submission promised by Peter. To induce the emperor to leave him in undisturbed possession of his throne, Andrew endeavoured to secure the intercession of the Pope on his behalf, and, as we have seen, sent George of Colocza to meet him when he crossed the Alps in 1050. Leo was in a delicate position. True to the noble papal idea of the empire, he was anxious to increase its influence; and yet, on the other hand, the relations between Hungary and the Papacy naturally filled him with a warm sympathy for this, the youngest among the kingdoms of Christendom. However, he came to the conclusion that the tribute promised to Henry by the Hungarians ought to be paid, and, to induce them to pay it, he sent them various legates. Though one of these envoys was no other than the young but already famous Hugh, abbot of Cluny, and though his biographer assures us that he succeeded in his mission, it would seem that no more than a mere momentary improvement in the relations between the two disputants had hitherto resulted from the strenuous efforts of the Pope. The Hungarians, indeed, had agreed to pay tribute, if the emperor would accept the situation and leave them with the king in whom they trusted. But, “disdainfully refusing to accept the conditions offered by King Andrew”, Henry had made an unsuccessful invasion of the country in 1051. His failure only made him more than ever determined to be master of the country. He prepared for another and greater expedition. In despair Andrew begged (1052) the Pope to come and save him from the impending blow. Leo, as we have seen, at once accepted the invitation. But again were his efforts in the cause of peace unavailing. The party at the court which was opposed to him persuaded the emperor not to listen to his moderate counsels; and another success in the field gained by the Hungarians rendered Andrew no longer disposed to offer any terms at all. Nor could even a threat of excommunication on the part of the Pope induce him to promise again the concessions he had formerly tendered. “And so”, concludes Wibert’s narrative of these events, “the Roman republic lost its rule over the kingdom of Hungary, and to this day sees with sorrow its borders harried with fire and sword”.

In company with the Pope, Henry withdrew from the Hungarian frontier to Ratisbon (October 1052), having acquired from his expedition “neither honour nor material advantage”; and, if we read in Herman that in the following year peace was concluded at the diet of Tribur between Henry and the Hungarians, we must take care not to believe that hostilities between them ceased for any appreciable time.

During the four months that Leo remained in Germany after the failure of his efforts to bring to a conclusion the differences between the empire and Hungary, he spent much of his time in going about from place to place—for his goodly and saintly presence was everywhere desired—consecrating churches or altars, translating or verifying relics, granting privileges, and settling disputes, as well secular as ecclesiastical.

But, of course, he did not forget that the Norman question was one of the chief motives that had brought him into Germany. He had many discussions with the emperor on the subject; and at length the matter was brought up for settlement before a great assembly of the bishops and nobles of the empire at Worms (Christmas 1052). As the outcome of the deliberations which ensued, two important decisions were arrived at. In view, no doubt, of the ancient imperial donations, and of the recent acts of submission on the part of the Beneventans themselves, Benevento was declared to belong to the Pope, and it was agreed to furnish him with the troops necessary to render that donation effective. On his side Leo consented to surrender his feudal rights in connection with Fulda and Bamberg.

Thinking that the poor Apulians were already delivered from their oppressors, Leo took a grateful farewell of the emperor, and, feeling strong in the army which accompanied him, advanced towards Rome. But his joy was short-lived. Deep in the counsels of the emperor was Gebhard, bishop of Eichstadt, who, as Victor II, was destined to succeed Leo in the supreme pontificate, and who is described as “a man of the greatest prudence, and a master of state-craft”. Whether his knowledge of history had taught him that the fever of Italy, if not its armed forces, had ever proved fatal to the German expeditions in that country, or whether, wholly disapproving of the Pope’s policy, he thought it desirable that the Normans should be allowed to exhaust themselves with their wars against the Greeks and the other powers, in south Italy before their subjection by the empire was attempted, at any rate, as the result of his advice, the vassals of the empire were forbidden to leave Germany.

Consequently, when he entered Italy, Leo was only accompanied by a small troop, consisting of his relations and friends, with their dependants and of a mixed company of adventurers, many of whom were attracted to the expedition not by the goodness of the cause, but, as always happens in such cases, by the hope of gain or of escaping from the hands of justice at home. Where Leo had had many thousands he had now but a few hundreds. No wonder that, when he reflected that he had failed to accomplish nearly everything which had brought him into Germany, he felt down-hearted. No wonder, too, that his lowness of spirits caused him to dream uncanny dreams in which his biographer sees a divine premonition of the misfortunes which were to cloud the closing years of his pontificate. He seemed to see himself sheltering within the ample folds of his cope his friends who were flying to him for protection, and then finding them wounded, and that his garments were all stained with their blood.

Leo’s dream was destined to be realised almost to its details first at Mantua, and then at the battle of Civitella. Never for a moment losing sight of the one supreme object of his life, the reform of the Church, he summoned the bishops of certain parts of north Italy to meet him in council at Mantua (February 21, 1053). If there was one country where, at this period, ecclesiastical discipline was more relaxed than any other, that country was Lombardy. Accordingly, on the present occasion some of its bishops, “fearing Leo’s just severity”, took steps for rendering any reforming action on his part impossible. Whilst they were sitting solemnly in synod inside the church, their armed retainers fell upon the followers of the Pope, who were standing in fancied security in front of the building. The appearance of the Pope himself on the steps of the church, whither he had promptly betaken himself when the noise of the tumult reached him, did but add to the turmoil. Many of his unarmed attendants were slain, and others were driven away from the church, so that they might not take refuge therein. Stones and darts flew in all directions. Some even fell round the person of the saintly Pontiff himself, actually wounding some of those who crowded round him. Though the riot was with no little difficulty at length quelled, the object of those who had brought it about was gained. The council ended in nothing; and on the following day the authors of the disturbance were pardoned by the over-indulgent Pope, “lest he might seem to be punishing them from a desire of vengeance”.

Sick at heart, no doubt, but with spirit yet unbroken, Leo returned to Rome by Ravenna and Rimini. About Easter-time (April 1053) he held his usual Paschal synod. Except that he therein confirmed the privileges of the See of Grado, we know not what business was transacted during its session. Whether the Norman question came up before it for discussion or not, it is certain that it must have been occupying the Pope’s attention ever since he returned from Germany. The situation had been daily growing worse. Guaimar IV of Salerno, who had had, perhaps, some influence with the Normans, had, like many other Italian princes of this period, been assassinated (June 1052), and while the tyranny of the strangers grew daily more oppressive, the resentment of the people, not only of Apulia, but of the territories of the Roman Church, became hourly fiercer. A delegate of the Pope was ill-treated and robbed not far from Rome itself, though he explained his character and “invoked the protection of the Apostolic See”. Complaining to Leo of the barbarity displayed towards him, he wrote: “The hatred of the Italians to the Normans has become so intense and deep-rooted that it is almost impossible for one of them to journey in Italy, even if he is on a pilgrimage, without exposing himself to the danger of being assaulted, robbed, stripped naked, cast into a dungeon, and of there dying miserably after a long confinement”. Leo felt that the only remedy for all these evils was the sword. He had exhausted every other means, and had got nothing from the wily Normans but words. He accordingly entered into negotiations with various princes; received promises of considerable support, and in the May of 1053 left Rome for the South. He was destined to return to it in a year only to die.

Passing as usual by Monte Cassino, Leo moved forward to Benevento, gathering recruits as he went along. He was joined by Adenulfus, duke of Gaeta; Lando, count of Aquino; Landulf, count of Teano, and “many others both of low and high degree”. But the object of the Pope was, if possible, rather to overawe the Normans into complete submission by a display of great military force than really to subdue them by its actual use. For “I desired not the destruction of the Normans nor of any other men; but I desired that those for whom the thought of the judgments of God had no terrors might be brought to repentance by the fear of man”. Hence, instead of advancing south against Melfi, the centre of the Norman power, he turned north with the object of meeting Argyrus, the Greek Catapan, then residing at Siponto, and of securing his active cooperation. By the 10th of June he had reached a place called Sale (perhaps Salcito), on the river Biferno. Then, turning south, he crossed, a few days later, the river Fortore, which then, as now, through much of its course, served as the western boundary of Apulia. He crossed it just above its junction with the little stream known as the Staina, and identified with the Astagnum of the annals of Benevento. When the papal army encamped on the rivulet, it was not far from the little town of Civitas, now a heap of ruins, and was on the direct road to Siponto.

It was, however, no part of the idea of the Normans to allow the Pope to effect a junction with the Catapan. They succeeded in crushing Argyrus before he joined the Pope. Then they marched north, and at length stood between the papal forces and the town of Siponto, separated only by a small hill from the Pope’s army. Up to this point all is clear enough; but from the strongly partisan character of the sources upon which we have to draw, the truth with regard to the subsequent events is not so easily discovered. There is doubt with regard even to the relative strength of the two armies, and as to the character of the negotiations between them which preceded the battle. Numerically the papal forces were perhaps the stronger, but they were much inferior both in unity, discipline, and equipment. The Pope’s German contingent, while well armed and brave, despised their allies and the Normans alike. However numerous were the rest of his troops, they were short of weapons; and, in their want of discipline, lacked even that courage which it imparts. The Normans, on the other hand, were fellow-countrymen, were inured to war, were well equipped, and were, to a large extent, mounted. If the English military leaders of the year 1053 had studied the battle of Civitella, they would have seen the advantages of cavalry, and might have avoided the disaster of Senlac (Hastings, 1066).

Neither side was anxious to begin hostilities. The Pope was really wishful to avoid bloodshed, and was sufficiently skilled as a commander to mistrust the fighting quality of most of his forces. The Normans were Christian enough not to desire to fight with their spiritual father, and were, moreover, apparently misinformed as to the numbers of their opponents. They therefore sent to treat for peace on condition that they might retain, under the suzerainty of Leo, what they had already won by the sword, and that the Pope would not furnish any help “to their enemies (no doubt the Greeks) who were still in Apulia”. In this sham offer of peace we may recognise the wiliness of the Norman chiefs, Humfrey, and Richard, count of Aversa, but especially of Robert, surnamed Guiscard, another of the Hauteville family, whose renown was destined to eclipse that of his brothers, and who received his nickname of Wisehead “because in craft neither Cicero nor the wily Ulysses was a match for him”.

Delusive as the terms were, the Pope was disposed to accept them; but his tall and powerful countrymen, either because they were clever enough to see that no real peace was intended by the Normans, or, what is more likely, because they despised their slighter frames, would listen to no conditions. “If they will not leave the shores of Italy, let them taste of German steel”, they said. It was to no purpose that Leo endeavoured to moderate their haughty self-reliance. And so, “with more zeal than knowledge”, as Bruno of Segni thought likely, he gave his word for war. But realizing only too well that his Italian troops had not the courage of his countrymen, he endeavoured to fire them with a little of his own. “Is it not better to live a life full of honour and glory for one day, and then, if need be, to die, than to lead a lengthy but wretched existence beneath the feet of a foe? Rouse ye, then! Defend your fields, your vineyards, and your homes, your wives, your children, nay, your very selves! Am I asking you to fight that you may win what is another’s? No! It is for your country that I bid you fight. If any man should fall this day, it will be well for him. He will be received into Abraham’s bosom”. With these words ringing in their ears, after they had confessed their sins, and received Holy Communion, the papal army prepared for battle, while the Pope, unwillingly indeed, retired to the town of Civitas or Civitella.

The battle of Civitella. June 18,1053

The conflict opened by the Normans unexpectedly, seizing the hill which separated the two armies. Down this they rushed. Checked at first, they succeeded by a ruse in isolating the Germans. Then, like sheep, the Italians fled incontinently, and the Normans surrounded the devoted little company of Teutons. Though hemmed in on every side by horsemen, they refused to yield, and the fight began in earnest. Sweeping their long sharp swords around them, as did the men of Kent at Hastings their battle-axes, the heroic Germans long repelled the fierce onslaught of the Norman knights with their lances. “Sweat and blood flowed in streams”. But for every Norman that fell there were a dozen to take his place, while the doomed circle of their foes waned at every moment. At length, when nearly all of them had fallen where they stood, the Norman horsemen, sweeping the remnant before them, rode hot for Civitella. “Having slain the sheep, they longed for the blood of the shepherd”. Improvising engines of war, they poured into the place showers of stones and darts; and, firing buildings in the neighbourhood of the town, threatened it with complete destruction.

Fearing lest the town should be burnt to the ground, Leo resolved to give himself up to the foe, and with the cross before him approached the gate of the city, already half burnt through. When lo! “as though caught by the wind”, the furious flames veered round, and rushed towards the Normans. The people, who a moment before had, in their terror, thought of surrendering the Pope to his enemies, now implored him not to trust himself to them; and the Normans, threatening to level the town to the earth on the morrow, had to draw off for the night.

At dawn Leo sent to offer to yield himself into the hands of his victorious foes; for, said he, “My own life is not dearer to me than are those of my friends whom ye have slain”. The blood-fury of the Normans had passed away, and they replied by making their usual promises of submission to him. When he actually came among them, they lavished upon him every demonstration of respect. The common soldiers prostrated themselves on the ground before him; and the chiefs, with their silken surcoats stained with the dust of battle, saluted him on bended knee. In tears they promised him that they would themselves be his soldiers in place of the slain.

We are next told how the broken-hearted Pontiff went to the field of battle, and how, while praying for the dead, he kept calling out by name those who had been specially dear to him, “as though to lessen the grief in his heart”. For two days he superintended the burial of the slain in a ruined church that stood hard by. Later on the Normans afterwards renovated it in splendid style, and attached to it a community of monks. They were anticipating the founding of Battle Abbey.

Escorted by the Normans, and “with a mortal wound in his heart”, Leo returned to Benevento. The news had preceded him that “the soldiers of Christ and the army of the saints had been overcome”. In mournful procession the whole people came out to meet him, and with loud cries of grief escorted him within their walls. He remained with them for some eight months, and only left them to die.

In his own time there were many who condemned Leo for his appeal to the sword, and their views have been endorsed by many since. Herman of Reichenau was of opinion that his countrymen were vanquished “by a secret judgment of God, either because so great a Pontiff ought to have contended for spiritual treasures, and not to have fought for the goods which perish; or because, to war against the wicked, he led with him men just as wicked—men eager for plunder or anxious to escape justice”. To the same effect wrote St. Peter Damian, and, after him, naturally enough, the Norman, Romuald of Salerno. But if men are agreed that to commit a cause to the decision of the God of Battles is sometimes justifiable, it would seem that there can be but little doubt, after what has been said of the causes which drove him to draw the sword, that Leo was pre-eminently justified in so doing in the present instance.

One conclusion, at any rate, regarding this battle is certain. The Popes ultimately reaped more profit from Leo’s defeat than they would have done had the battle resulted in a victory for him. Among the unexpected results of the fight at Civitella was that the Papacy secured in the Normans very formidable allies. We have seen how, after the battle, they professed themselves the Pope’s soldiers, that is, they acknowledged him as their feudal superior. Under the circumstances, Leo had no alternative but for the time tacitly to accept the situation. Malaterra, indeed, even states that he not only pardoned the Normans their offences, and gave them his blessing, but “granted to be held in fief of St. Peter, of himself, and of his successors, all the territory which they had already acquired or might hereafter acquire in the direction of Calabria and Sicily”. Though the unsupported testimony of this Norman monk is not regarded as evidence enough to make his assertion credible, the action of the Normans after Civitella certainly laid the foundation of the relation of “lord and man” which afterwards existed between them and the Popes. But as to Leo himself, so far was he from ratifying their conquests, that he did not cease making efforts to oust them from them.

As another result of the battle, Wibert wishes us to believe what he gives as a fact, viz. that the Normans henceforth treated the native population more humanely, and ever after showed themselves faithful servants of the venerable Pope. In this remark there is truth, for, after Civitella, opposition to them largely ceased, at least throughout most of Apulia. And in 1060 it is recorded  that “all Calabria, in the presence of Guiscard, the duke, and Roger, his brother (yet another of the Hautevilles who had come to Italy in the meanwhile), settled down in peace and quiet”.

Arguing from Leo’s prolonged sojourn at Benevento, and from a passage of a German chronicle, it has been thought that the Normans compelled him to stay there. There does not seem, however, any reason to come to this conclusion. After the Normans had escorted him to the city, they seem to have marched away; and there is nothing to show that he could not have left it at any time. Having experienced the respect the Normans had for his person, he may have remained to prevent them from attacking the city, which they did immediately on his death. And, later on, it may easily have been the unsatisfactory state of his health which detained him. The disaster of Civitella had inflicted a wound on his tender heart which was fatally to undermine his health.

However all this may have been, feeling no doubt that he had not long to live, he redoubled his austerities. Clad in a hair-shirt, he took his rest on a carpet spread on the ground, and used a stone for his pillow. Most of the night he passed in prayer, and during the day he devoted to the Psalter, and to even excessive alms-deeds, the time he could economise from the cares of his position. And these were greater than ever. For while he was at Benevento, sick in mind, if not at first in body, he was engaged in transactions with Constantinople which were to end in the final religious separation of the East and the West; and, through the increased political isolation of the Eastern Roman Empire thereby effected, in the fall of that city, and in the profound modification of the history not only of Europe, but of the world to the present day.

The Extinction of the Churches in North Africa

But before we touch on these momentous events, we have something to say in connection with the decaying Church in Africa—a church of which we have heard no word since the days of Sylvester II. Feeble as were at this period, beneath the dead hand of Mahometanism, the wretched remnants of the once glorious Church of Africa, they were rendering themselves still more helpless by internal dissensions. Of the five bishops who were now sufficient for the needs of the once populous African Church, one of them, the bishop of Gummi, or Gummasa, in the old province of Byzacena, usurped the metropolitan rights which belonged to Thomas, the archbishop of Carthage, then a collection of “fine, wealthy, and populous villages” located in different parts of the vast ruins of the ancient city. The archimandrite, Nil Doxopater, who lived at the court of King Roger of Sicily in the twelfth century, alludes to this usurpation when he tells us that “the Roman patriarch obtained the province of Byzacena, in which Carthage now is, and Mauritania”. In letters now lost, Thomas himself and two of his suffragans, Peter and John, appealed to the Pope. In his reply to Thomas (December 17,1053), after bewailing the terrible shrinking of the Church in Africa, Leo expresses his pleasure that in its difficulties it turns, as it ought to turn, to the Roman Church. He then lays down that, “after the Roman Pontiff the first archbishop and first metropolitan of all Africa is the bishop of Carthage” (who alone in Africa is wont to receive the pallium from the Apostolic See), and that the bishop of Gummi has no right to consecrate bishops or summon councils without the consent of his metropolitan. But he also lays down at the same time that a general council cannot be celebrated without the consent of the bishop of Rome; nor, without it, can final sentence be pronounced in the case of the deposition of any bishop.

From Leo’s letter to Peter and John it appears that his zeal for reform had spread even to Africa, and that at his orders the sad remnant of the African Church had met together in council. He exhorts them to do the like every year; reminds them that the bishop of Carthage is the metropolitan of Africa, and that “he cannot lose a privilege which he has once received from the Holy Roman and Apostolic See, but must keep it to the end of the world ... whether Carthage remain in ruins or ever again rise gloriously from them”. In both letters he affirms that it is the teaching of the canons “that all the greater and more complex cases arising in any of the churches must be referred for settlement to the holy and chief See of Peter and his successors”.

The latter letter is remarkable, as it contains the first direct appeal by a Pope to the False Decretals. And it may be noted how natural it was that Leo should have been the first to quote them. They were the decrees with which, as bishop of Toul, he was familiar, and their binding force was everywhere acknowledged. With the Roman canonical tradition he was unacquainted, and, even had there been any need of his making himself familiar with it, he had been too much occupied to make good his short­comings in this direction. Hence, when questioned by the African bishops as to the rights of metropolitans, it was only to be expected that he would answer in the words of the decrees “of our venerable predecessors, Clement, Anacletus, Anicetus, and the others”, with which he was familiar, and which, with the rest of the Western world, he regarded as genuine.

This faint light from the feeble African Church was promptly obscured, and some time had to elapse before another flickering ray from it pierced the surrounding gloom, and showed that it had not been quite extinguished.


The final rupture of the East and West

By way of introduction to the important events concerning the definite suspension of spiritual communion between the East and the West which we have now to chronicle, a few words on the causes which led to so disastrous an issue will be to the point. Passing over such powerfully predisposing circumstances as differences of race and language, we may fix as the beginning of the Greek schism the transference by Constantine the Great of the seat of empire from Rome to Constantinople. If that event enabled the Popes to exercise their spiritual headship of the Church with greater freedom, and facilitated their acquisition of temporal power which is necessary to secure them that freedom, it also ensured the ultimate breaking away of the Eastern Church from the Western.

During the first three centuries of the Christian era, every shred of ecclesiastical history singles out Rome as the chief authoritative centre in the Church. It is impossible to point to any see that then stood out as a rival to its universal authority. But after the establishment of the “New Rome” by the Bosphorus, a rival is easily detected. Constantine, as is well known, gave all bishops large civic powers. Hence self-interest or business naturally brought many of them into immediate contact with the emperor. He formed a number of them into a sort of permanent synod ever at his beck; and some of them, of course, obtained considerable power over him. The influence exerted over Constantine the Great in the matter of the Arian heresy by Eusebius of Caesarea in particular has caused him to be marked out as the father of the Greek schism.

Obviously the bishop who came most into contact with the emperor was the bishop of Constantinople. His influence at court soon fired his ambition. And the emperor, both for the sake of being attended by the greatest dignitaries, and because he correctly judged that the more the power possessed by one whom he could make his creature, the more he would have himself, favoured his advance. After the time of Constantine, too, we find mention of the rule in the Church, first of the three great patriarchs (Rome, Antioch, and Alexandria), and then of the five (the same, with the addition of Jerusalem and Constantinople); as though the kingdom, Christ came to found on earth was to be an oligarchy. At any rate, under one pretext or other, the patriarch of Constantinople never lost an opportunity of pushing himself in front of his Oriental brethren, whose power was also woefully reduced by the conquest of the Saracens. Before the ninth century his spiritual position in the East had become paramount Meanwhile, in the West, the influence of the Roman Pontiffs had greatly increased by the conversion of the Teutonic nations in the seventh and eighth centuries. Often, indeed, before had Pope of Rome and patriarch of Constantinople had serious differences; often before had the bishop of Old Rome been compelled to excommunicate the bishop of New Rome for heresy; but it was in the days of Photius that the East and the West, as such, fairly confronted each other. The astute patriarch of Constantinople, in his attack on Pope Nicholas, made use of the lever of racial feeling—a lever of the most contemptible material, but always the handiest and most effective, if applied judiciously. To win the sympathy of the learned, Photius strove to show that the Latin Fathers were at variance with the Greek on the abstruse question of the Descent of the Holy Ghost; and, to catch the ignorant and unreflecting, he had no difficulty in establishing that the Latins differed from the Greeks in many points of liturgical practice, and in some secondary deductions of dogmatic teaching. It was the Latins who were endeavouring to corrupt the Church; it was for the Greeks to save it. This evil seed was sown on soil ready to receive it; and, though Photius and his schism died, it remained in the ground ready to burst forth into renewed life under conditions in any way favourable.

Despite some trifling disagreements, however, harmony reigned between Rome and Constantinople after Photius ceased to be its patriarch; and once more was the supremacy of the former see acknowledged by the latter. The Popes’ names appeared on the diptychs of the Eastern Churches; and though it was generally known during this period that diverse liturgical practices and customs obtained in the East and West, the greatest teachers in the latter Church correctly declared that they were of absolutely no moment. Certainly when Michael Cerularius succeeded to the patriarchal throne of Constantinople (March 25, 1042), there was every sign of peace and communion between the two Churches. The Latins had churches at Constantinople, and there were monasteries of Latin monks in the Greek Empire, and even in Constantinople itself, and they were in full communion with its ecclesiastical authorities. Writing to the Latin abbot and monks of the monastery of St. Mary at Constantinople, St. Peter Damian reminds them that, though in a foreign country, they are in “the bosom of Holy Church ... and that where there is the one rule of the true faith and a good life, slight differences (of forms and customs) and a diversity of tongues are of no account”. Parts of the service, too, in Greek churches were said in Latin.

In the West, on the other hand, there were monasteries of Greeks under the protection of Latin bishops. Those in Rome were under the patronage of the Pope. The princes of the West sent monetary assistance to Greek monasteries in the East. Pilgrims from the West, who in the beginning of this century crowded in great numbers through Constantinople to Palestine, were invariably treated by the Greeks as in full ecclesiastical communion with themselves. Every fact, indeed, that bears on the subject goes to show that up to 1042 there was no tendency to schism in the Church among the people. It was brought about by ambition and politics, in which, as usual, the interests of the people were neglected. Not only, too, was there religious peace between the two races during the period in question, but between their spiritual chiefs there was at least official communion. The Popes continued to approve of the professions of faith duly sent them by the Eastern patriarchs, whilst they on their side regarded it as needful to send notice of their enthronization to the See of Peter, and to shelter their own prestige under this high authority.

But on the advent to power of Michael Cerularius, “all the fountains of the great deep were broken up”, and the deluge of passions he let loose has not yet subsided. Although it is certain that he was one of those ecclesiastics whom the patriarch Veccos afterwards stigmatised as men who disturbed the peace of the Church by their worldly intrigues, it is not altogether easy to form a correct judgment on his character. In any effort to do so, we are largely dependent on Psellus, and upon two of his writings, both of which, from their very nature, are liable to supply highly coloured portraits; and which, in the. present instance, equally naturally, furnish pictures showing quite different features. The documents are first the public indictment of Cerularius, drawn up by Psellus after the former’s fall (1059), then a funeral oration pronounced (c. 1062) by the very same man a few years after the patriarch’s death (December 17, 1059). Still, in much that he advances regarding the patriarch, Psellus has the support of other authorities. In what follows that only will be set down which seems indubitable.

The powerful mainspring which kept in full action the consuming energies of the aspiring spirit of Michael Cerularius was his fixed resolve not to be second. “I will not serve” was his motto. Born of a senatorial family, he was blessed with a good father and mother; and we read of the assiduity with which his father used to impress upon him to be circumspect, not to make friends of casual acquaintances, and to love religion. Perhaps his subsequent haughty, “touch-me-not” attitude and his over­weening pride may be traced to his having pushed too far the former portion of his father’s advice. The means of the very best education were placed at his disposal, and he soon manifested a taste for serious studies, for logic, philosophy, natural science, and theology. His love of natural science, however, seems to have been rather a love of the marvellous, and led him to consort with astrologers, seekers after the, philosopher’s stone, and hypnotisers.

In his early years he does not seem to have felt any inclination to devote himself to the service of the Church, but began life by attaching himself to the court. Love of power at once took hold of him. He would himself be emperor. It was not long before he found an opportunity of trying to gratify his evil ambition.

The last descendants of the family of Basil the Macedonian were three sisters. Of these the youngest, Zoe, after reigning with one husband, Romanus (d. 1034), was now on the throne with her second, Michael IV, the Paphlagonian (1034-1041). His tyranny made him many enemies. With his brother and many other notables, Cerularius entered into a conspiracy against him. The plot was discovered, and the brothers were exiled. The suicide of his brother, who was unable to endure the hardships to which he was subjected, had precisely the same effect upon Michael as the death by lightning of a companion had upon Martin Luther. Both became monks, but when they put on the lowly garb of the cloister, neither of them clothed himself with the lowly, retiring spirit which becomes a monk. On the death of the Paphlagonian, his nephew, Michael V (1041-1042), possessed himself of the empire, and granted an amnesty by which Cerularius profited. But the people were true to the Macedonian dynasty, and rose in revolt. Michael V was deprived of his eyes, and Zoe, called again to the throne, took to herself a third husband in the person of Constantine. For this pur­pose she recalled him from the exile into which Michael IV had sent him for treason. To emphasise his views on the Paphlagonian, Constantine signalised his advent to power by receiving into favour men whom his enemy had condemned. Among others who benefited by this course of action was Michael Cerularius, who soon found himself once again in a fair way to satisfy his unholy thirst for power; for Constantine, to attach so strong a man to his person, at once began to push forward his interests. Over his sovereign, feeble in body, weak in mind, easy-going, extravagant, and lustful, Cerularius gained complete control; and, as we shall see further on, he had no scruple in rousing the people against his benefactor, when he did not find him sufficiently subservient to his will. The third time he raised his hand against his sovereign (Michael VI, Stratioticus), he succeeded (1056) in driving him from his throne into a monastery. But at last his vaulting ambition had over-leaped itself. In Michael's successor (Isaac Comnenus) he found he had fashioned not a tool, but a master. Before he could strike him down, he found himself in exile and in prison (1059), and was only saved by a speedy death (December 17, 1059) from public degradation, or worse.

Such was the man who, on March 25, 1042, became patriarch of Constantinople, and, if we are to believe the indictment, proceeded to lead a life that befitted neither a monk nor a bishop of the Holy City. Psellus gives a graphic picture of a morning at the patriarch’s palace: “Its halls are never for a moment quiet. First one comes in and then another. At one moment it is a dyer, at another a skilled artificer; then come a vendor of spices, a water-carrier, a knife-grinder, and a confectioner; presently appear a goldsmith and a lapidary. One brings one thing to show him another and another. One offers him a costly cup of translucent crystal, a second a vase of Thericles, both enhanced by new epithets and a wealth of phraseology. Afterwards it is the turn of the fish­mongers. Anon he is asked to listen to silver blackbirds and golden blackcap-warblers pouring forth their peculiar notes by means of some pneumatic contrivance. Then are presented to his view scent-bottles embossed in gold, diamonds, lychnites, carbuncles, and pearls, either natural ones, perfectly round and translucent, or such as had been fashioned by fire. All these things the patriarch used to admire, some for their beauty, or for their form, and others for their mechanism. In their turn, too, come astrologers, and those who in the eyes of the ignorant are accounted prophets, not indeed because they know anything of prophecy, but because it is their nationality that is trusted and not their skill, because one is an Illyrian and another a Persian." In all this there is no necessity to see more than the magnificent prelate of the type of our own Cardinal Wolsey. But if in the brighter side of his character he resembled that great English church­man, if he was like him in his dignified bearing, in the grandeur of his ideas, in his commanding influence over men and things, and even in some of his ambitions, another phase of his disposition presents him in quite a different light. His love of power made him utterly unscrupulous as to the means he used to gain his ends. He could be revengeful and cruel, and, like Photius, could even stoop to forgery; and, to win for himself the headship of the state, he did not hesitate to sunder Christ's seamless garment. For his ultimate object in throwing off all subjection to Rome, and in making himself the untrammelled ruler of the Greek Church, was the attainment of absolute power. It was with that object in view that he deliberately began a quarrel with the Pope.

Soon after his accession to the patriarchal throne, Cerularius seems to have initiated a misunderstanding with Rome by striking the name of the Pope off the diptychs. Then in private conversation he began to attack the Latin custom of using unfermented bread (azyms) for the sacrifice of the Mass. But till the very close of Leo’s pontificate there was no public knowledge either in the East or the West of any want of cordiality in the relations between Rome and Constantinople. Peter III, who became patriarch of Antioch about 1052, sent as usual his synodical letter to Rome. To this document, now lost, Leo sent a reply in the early part of the year 1053. He spoke of the blessing of unity in the Church, and expressed his pleasure that Peter had, in accordance with ancient custom, sent notice “to the apostolic and first see” of his election and of his faith. After setting forth the supremacy of the See of Peter, he declared that that of Antioch ranked as the third of the greater sees, and exhorted him not to be deterred “by the pomp or arrogance of anyone whatsoever” from defending the honour of his see. He confirmed Peter’s election on the understanding that he had passed through the regular ecclesiastical grades, and that it had not been obtained by simony. The profession of faith of the new patriarch is declared “to be thoroughly sound, catholic, and orthodox”; and then, in conclusion, Leo’s own profession of faith is given.

The time, however, came at length when Cerularius thought he might attack Rome with advantage. Word reached him that the Pope was in difficulties with the Normans. Accordingly, a letter was at once dispatched by him, bearing the name of Leo, “archbishop of Bulgaria,” i.e., of the See of Achrida, to John, bishop of Trani, in Apulia; but, as the letter itself stated, really “to all the bishops of the Franks, and to the most revered Pope”. The Latin Church, through its use of azyms, and its custom of fasting on Saturday, is denounced as Jewish, and, through its allowance of the eating of blood, as barbaric. At the same time, the patriarch distributed all through the Greek Church a violent pamphlet against the Latins, written for him in Latin by a monk of the Studium named Nicetas Stethatos (Pectoratus), and then proceeded to close the Latin churches in Constantinople. This was accomplished by the Greeks with a brutality which was in accord with the violence of their language. They went to the outrageous length of trampling on the hosts which had been consecrated by the Latins.

When the letter of the archbishop of Bulgaria was brought to the notice of the Pope, understanding at once whence it proceeded, he addressed to Michael Cerularius and his associate a letter both long and strong. Of its length its author was fully aware, but excused it thus: “As you do not blush at your loquacity, nor fear to indulge it, it behoves us not so much to blush at taciturnity as to fear to be guilty of it; for many souls depend upon us, which through the calumnies of false brethren would perish, if we were silent”. With a complete grasp of the situation, the Pope devoted neither time nor space to replying to the various charges, most of them, in comparison with unity at least, absurdly trifling, but developed the position in the Church of the bishop of Rome, and the absolute need of submission to him, as to the head, on the part of its various members.

The letter opened with a eulogy on the blessings of peace and unity, and a denunciation of those who sow tares, and hence of Cerularius and Leo, “most dear to us, and still to be accounted our brethren in Christ”. For “with a presumption altogether new, and with incredible audacity”, they had openly condemned, as report had it, “the Apostolic and Latin Church” for its use of azyms. “As though our Father who is in heaven had hidden from Peter, the Prince of the Apostles, the rite of the visible sacrifice ... to whom He had deigned to reveal the ineffable mystery of the invisible divinity of His Son”. The respective attitudes of the See of Rome and of that of Constantinople towards heresy are then contrasted. “Have not”, he asked, “all the false doctrines of heretics been combated and condemned by the See of Rome; and have not the hearts of the brethren been confirmed in the faith of Peter, which has never failed and never will fail?” On the contrary, has not the Christian world been scandalised by the heresies and ambition of many of the patriarchs of Constantinople? It must have been, for it has seen Eusebius and others supporting the doctrines of Arius, Macedonius blasphem­ing the Holy Ghost, Nestorius denying that Mary was the mother of God, Anthimus teaching Eutychianism, and more than four hundred years of usurpation by the patriarchs of Constantinople of the title of Ecumenical. He would not, he said, speak of the heresy of Sergius, Pyrrhus, and Paul, but added that, “unmindful of what you are doing”, you are arraigning that see which the emperors themselves have often declared to be the Head of all the Churches of God. Then to show how far the Eastern emperors had gone in honouring the Roman Church, he proceeded to cite at length the document now known as the “False Donation of Constantine”, but then universally believed to be genuine. “But”, continued Leo, “we have on this matter a testimony greater than that of Constantine, ‘who is of the earth, and of the earth he speaketh’ (St. John III. 31). Scarcely do we accept man’s testimony, we who are filled with the witness of Him who came down from heaven, and is above all, and who said, ‘Thou art Peter’, etc.”

They must then cease to speak of the Latins, whose faith is that of the world, as azymites; and the See of Constantinople must submit to that of Rome as to its mother. For, as “no divine or human sanction made it (originally) more honourable or more illustrious than any of the other churches”, it owed its position among them to the recognition of the Roman Church. Let it not then envy us. “For lo! we regard your glory as ours. Why then do you strive to destroy what has been given to us both by God and man? Does not the hand or the foot count as its own the honour or dishonour which falls on the head? ... If you felt not in you what we have said about the harmony of the body ... you live not in the body; and if you live not in the body which is Christ, you are none of His. Whose then are you ? You have been cut off and will mortify, and, like the branch pruned from the vine, you will burn in the fire—an end which may God's goodness keep far from you”

Whether this vigorous letter produced any effect on Cerularius or not, it is certain that the news he received from Italy caused the greatest alarm to the emperor. John, bishop of Trani, had been sent by Argyrus to tell him that he had himself been worsted by the Normans, and was lying wounded at Viesti, and that his defeat had been followed by that of the Pope at Civitella. Fearing lest the Pope should cease to oppose the Normans, and that they would soon be masters of the whole of south Italy, Constantine not only wrote to the Pope encouraging him to continue to resist the Normans and promising help, but induced Cerularius to do likewise.

In reply to these two letters, now lost, Leo sent other two by the hands of Cardinals Humbert and Frederick (chancellor of the Roman Church), and of Peter, archbishop of Amalfi. The emperor was thanked for his endeavours to make peace, and at the same time was assured that the Pope would never cease to oppose the Normans, and that he expected help against them from both Germany and Constantinople. He was, moreover, asked to restore the rights and patrimonies of the Roman Church in the imperial portion of south Italy, and was told of the aggressive conduct of Cerularius. In his letter to the last-named, while thanking him for his peaceful overtures, and impressing on him that it was his desire to have peace with all men, and especially with him, “who he perceived could be a most valuable servant of God if he would not strive to transgress the limits laid down by the Fathers”, he blamed him for encroaching on the rights of others, and said : “You have written to us that if, through us, your name is venerated in one Roman Church, you will make ours held in honour throughout the whole world. What is this monstrous idea, dearest brother? Has not the Roman Church, the head and mother of the churches, (devoted) members? Hence anybody that is not in agreement with her is no church, but a collection of heretics, a conventicle of schismatics, and a synagogue of Satan”.

Anguish for the disaster at Civitella had evidently not completely broken the spirit of Leo IX. He would yield neither to the swords of the Normans nor to the over­bearing insolence of an Eastern patriarch. To be more completely in touch with the course of events, he found heart enough to devote himself to the study of Greek.

His legates, whom as usual he had accredited to the emperor and not to the patriarch, reached Constantinople before his death (April 19, 1054), and made it plain to the haughty patriarch that they had come in the name of a superior to receive the submission of a subordinate. They entered the imperial palace with cross and crosiers, offered no obeisance to Cerularius, and would not suffer him to treat them as his inferiors. This was gall and wormwood to the proud patriarch, and he was utterly unable to conceal his soreness. Of course, he wrote, if they were insolent towards the emperor, it was no cause for wonder that they would not bend their heads “to our mediocrity”

Received with the greatest honour by the emperor, the legates were lodged, not, according to custom, in the “Placidia” Palace, but in the Fountain or Pigi Palace, an imperial pleasure-resort outside the walls of the city, near the health-giving sacred spring now in the little village of Balukli, some half-mile from the Selivri Kapoussi Gate, formerly known as the Gate of the Spring. As early as Justinian's time there was a church there (S. Mary at the Fountain), as Procopius says, “in the place which is called the Fountain, where there is a rich grove of cypress-trees, a meadow whose rich earth blooms with flowers, a garden abounding with fruit, a fountain which noiselessly pours forth a quiet and sweet stream of water—in short, where all the surroundings befit a sacred place”. The irony of fate, that that which was destined to be the most bitter and enduring quarrel ever waged between the East and the West should be so closely con­nected with such a peaceful spot!

One of the first acts of the papal legates was to take cognisance of the pamphlet of the monk Nicetas, in which, while saluting the Romans “as the glorious eye of  the Church of God and of the whole world”, he exhorted them, in a very superior tone, to abandon their use of azyms—for it was not bread at all, but a dead substance lacking the life that comes from fermentation—their Jewish habit of fasting on Saturdays, and the practice of clerical celibacy. It will be observed that not a single article of Christian belief held by the Latins, not even the doctrine of the Procession of the Holy Ghost, is challenged. But the points urged, however, were carefully chosen. They were calculated to unite the mass of the Creeks against Rome. The Greek clergy as a body, not unnaturally dreading the stricter discipline of the West, would be turned against it by the question of celibacy; while the populace, unable to comprehend the difference between what was of revealed truth, what was part of the inviolable deposit of faith, and what was of mere temporary practice or discipline, were taught to look with horror on those who, through their use of what was not bread, would deprive them of the Body of their Lord.

Both of the cardinals issued tracts against that of Nicetas. Two from the pen of Cardinal Humbert have come down to us. The first, in the form of a dialogue between a Greek and a Latin, is moderate enough in tone, and replies in detail and in general terms to the propositions of Nicetas. But the second is a violent invective, and is directed in a very personal manner against the monk himself. He blamed him for breaking the decrees of the council of Chalcedon by not attending to his monastic duties, and by mixing in public affairs. “Led on by your own will and inclinations, you have snarled snappishly at the Holy Roman and Apostolic Church, and the councils of all the Holy Fathers, and, more stupid than the ass, have endeavoured to break the lion’s skull, and a wall of adamant”. He showed himself especially indignant that the Greeks, whom he accused of shocking carelessness in their treatment of the sacred species, should have the effrontery to wish to teach the Latins how to celebrate the Eucharistic sacrifice.

This castigation had a good effect upon Nicetas. At a public disputation in the monastery of the Studium, in the presence of the emperor and his court (June 24, 1054), he at first upheld his doctrines against the Roman Church. That the whole assembly might follow the discussion, all the documents had been translated into Greek. However, at the close of the debate the monk anathematised his own writings, and “all those who denied that the Holy Roman Church was the first of all the churches, and who presumed to question in anything its ever-orthodox faith”

Meanwhile, the Pope, who died on April 19, 1054, had already played his last part in this important drama. In an effort to attach to himself the patriarch, Peter of Antioch, he seems to have caused his friend Dominic, patriarch of Grado, to write to him towards the beginning of the year 1054 a very flattering letter, in which he unfolded the attack that had been made upon the Latins. Displaying a broad-mindedness which was conspicuous among the Greeks by its total absence, he pleaded that the East and the West should be allowed to follow in peace their respective customs in the matter of the use of leavened or unleavened bread. “For while the mixture of wheat and leaven which is used by the churches of the East, typifies the nature of the Incarnate Word, the simple unleavened bread used by the Roman Church clearly represents the purity of our human flesh assumed by the Divinity”. The letter closed with an exhortation to Peter to work for unity, touchingly reminding him that by the words of our Lord we have not life in us if we do not eat of His body, and that, “if the oblation of unfermented bread is not the body of Christ, then have we no life in us”.

To this brief, admirable, and conciliatory letter Peter returned a very lengthy and unsatisfactory answer. Though acknowledging his own unworthiness, he cannot understand Dominic’s claim to the title of patriarch. There are only “in the whole world, by the dispensation of divine grace, five patriarchs, viz. those of Rome, Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem”. Now the body of man has five senses, and that of the Church five patriarchs. Where, then, is there room for a sixth? Then follows a long diatribe against the use of unleavened bread, and an assertion that those who use it are in danger of falling into the heresy of Apollinaris. In fine, he says, he would be glad if Dominic would forward his letter to the Pope, in order that he might accept the ideas therein set forth, and that all might offer the same oblation in the same manner. The intervening hand of death in all probability prevented Leo from ever seeing this letter of Peter, patriarch of Antioch.

What has yet to be related of the doings of Leo’s legates took place, for the most part, after his death, and during the subsequent vacancy of the Holy See. Their efforts to induce Cerularius to withdraw his attacks on the Roman Church concerning, not the deposit of the faith, but mere matters of local observance, were unavailing. They saw him with the emperor; they interviewed him at his own palace. But at length, accusing them of overweening pride, he absolutely refused to have any further communication with them. If in these meetings there was indeed a display of haughtiness of word and mien, the greater manifestation of these unamiable qualities will assuredly have been made by the patriarch himself. For he equalled in pride, we are told, even a particularly proud emperor. And we know that, later on, maintaining that from any point of view there was very little difference between the priesthood and royalty, while from the point of view of higher things the former was of more account than the latter, he suited the action to the word, and assumed the distinctive mark of the imperial dignity, the purple buskins.

After the legates had waited at Constantinople for the greater part of a month (June 25 to July 15), finding that they were no nearer coming to any understanding with the patriarch, they resolved publicly to excommunicate him. Betaking themselves to the great Church of S. Sophia “at the third hour”, just as Mass was about to begin, they denounced to the assembled people the obstinacy of their patriarch. Then they placed on the altar a deed of excommunication against him, which Cerularius would have us believe was immediately snatched from it by some of the attendant subdeacons, and thrown on the ground. As the legates refused to take it back, “it fell into the hands of many persons. Whereupon our mediocrity took possession of it, that the blasphemies in it might not be (further) promulgated”.

The bull of excommunication proclaimed that the legates found “the columns of the empire and its honourable citizens” most Christian and orthodox, but Michael, “falsely (abusive) styled patriarch”, and his supporters, disseminators of heresy. They were accused of practising simony, of promoting eunuchs even to the episcopacy, of rebaptising the Latins, of failing to observe clerical celibacy, of denying the Procession of the Holy Ghost from the Son, and of many other things of less moment. Consequently, because furthermore they despised the letters of Pope Leo, refused to meet his legates, and would not allow them a church in which to say Mass, the legates declared excommunicated, Michael, Leo of Achrida and all their adherents.

After shaking off the dust from their feet as a testimony against them, sending copies of the excommunication in all directions, and reopening the Latin churches in the city by the aid of the emperor, the legates hurriedly set out for Rome loaded with presents (July 18). Scarcely had they departed when Cerularius feigned a great anxiety to have a conference with them, and brought such pressure to bear on the emperor that he found himself compelled to recall them (July 20). On their return, the patriarch invited them to attend a synod he had summoned in the Church of S. Sophia. But the emperor had discovered that it was his intent to incite the people against the legates, and to cause them to be killed. He accordingly insisted on being present himself, and, as Cerularius would not agree to this, he bade the legates once more depart.

Baulked of his prey, the patriarch raised a sedition against the emperor, who succeeded in saving himself only by sacrificing to his anger the unfortunate men who had served as interpreters to the legates. Then, in concert with his permanent synod, i.e., “with the bishops who daily sit with us”, and a few metropolitans who chanced to be in the city, Cerularius, in turn, anathematised the authors of the bull of excommunication against himself. This done, he set deliberately to work to turn the of the other Eastern patriarchs against Rome. To accomplish his purpose he did not hesitate to lie in the most barefaced manner, and this he was the better able to do successfully because some of his correspondents were wholly ignorant of Latin; and because, utterly unable to find anyone in their entourage who could supply the deficiency, they were compelled to send their Latin letters to him to have them translated. Soon after Leo’s death, Cerularius had written to Peter of Antioch an epistle in which he pretended that letters he had written to the holy and learned Pope (Leo) “on certain scandals concerning the orthodox faith which had arisen among them (the Latins)” had fallen into the hands of Argyrus, “magister and duke of Italy”, and had been read by him. He had then, continued the inventive patriarch, forged others in the Pope’s name, which he had sent to Constantinople by three disreputable persons. These forgeries, translated into Greek, are being forwarded to Antioch. He concluded by impressing on Peter that they must turn away from the Latins, not only on account of the question of the azyms, but because they shave their beards, eat what has been strangled, have added the Filioque to the Creed, forbid their priests to marry, do not venerate relics, etc. etc. Men who do such things are not to be accounted orthodox.

After his excommunication, Michael wrote Peter a second letter, telling him that heterodox impostors had dared to excommunicate him, and that he had written to him in order that he might know how to treat with Rome, should occasion arise. He begged him, in conclusion, to forward to their proper destination the letters he had enclosed. They were of precisely the same import as the one addressed to him, and were inscribed to the patriarchs of Alexandria and Jerusalem.

The reply which Michael received to these letters was certainly not of the nature he expected. Whatever else it was, it was the manifest expression of one who was inspired by a horror of schism, and of breaking away from “the great and first apostolic throne” (Rome). If it had been thought out before it was committed to writing, it would have to be regarded as the production of one who, while most anxious to preserve peace and unity, was, at the same time, a finished diplomatist. But in all probability it is a faithful record of the evolution of Peter’s feelings. He is astounded at the presumption of Argyrus. Of the Latin customs some are bad, some curable, and others negligible. If, for example, the Latin bishops wear rings “to show, as you write, that they are wedded to the Holy Church of God, we wear the garara (tonsure) on our head in honour of the supreme chief of the apostles, Peter, on whom is built the great Church of God”. The introduction of the Filioque into the Creed is certainly “an evil and the worst of evils. Still, where there is no danger to the faith, we must ever incline towards peace and brotherly love, the more so because the Latins are rude and ignorant. Moreover, while it has always been a received maxim that old customs have to be followed, no doubt, just as often happens among ourselves, many things which are improper are done without the knowledge of the Pope and the bishops. After all, the only matters of importance are the questions of the Filioque and of the celibacy of the clergy. Michael must explain matters to the new Pope. Therefore I beg, pray, and beseech you, and, in spirit embracing your sacred feet, exhort you to be accommodating. For there is a danger lest, whilst one tries to close a rent, it may be made worse ... From this long separation and dissension, and from the rending of this great first apostolic throne (Rome) from our Holy Church, is there not manifest danger that every evil on the earth will grow worse, that the whole world will grow sick, every kingdom in it become disorganised, that everywhere there will be lamentation and unnumbered woes, everywhere famines and pestilences, and that success will never again attend our armies”.

With his mind now swept clear by the flood of his own eloquence, Peter finally declared that “if the Latins would set right the addition to the Creed”, he would seek for no further concession from them. He begged Michael to take the same view, lest “in seeking all they might lose all”, and, as a very last word, entreated him “to approach the subject with greater moderation and condescension”. This was also the attitude of another Eastern prelate, contemporary with Peter, the learned Theophylactus, archbishop of Achrida. In a pamphlet addressed to one of his friends regarding the accusations brought against the Latins, he begins by denying that their errors are numerous, and asserts that what are urged against them do not, as many aver, tend to divide the Church, because not one of them concerns “the head of the faith”. He says that their chief error is the insertion of the Filioque into the Creed, which ought not to be adulterated, and that for his part he will not allow that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father and the Son, even if there are adduced to him the words of " that sublime throne (Rome) whom the sublime thrones place above the others”.

But the flood-gates of racial hatred had been opened; and neither the wisdom of the learned nor the wishes of the moderate could stem the torrent. Cerularius was to triumph. Though his excommunication was never confirmed at Rome, he flourished it before the people as a clear proof of its oppressive treatment of the Greek Church, and managed to fix deep in the minds of the Easterns a suspicion of the Papacy which subsequent events, such as the sack of Constantinople by the Crusaders (1204), were to turn to bitter hatred. At the time, indeed, neither Greeks nor Latins regarded the events of 1054 as inaugurating a final schism between East and West. They may be said to have been ignored by Greek writers, and were looked upon by Latin writers merely as another of the temporary schisms which had so often before divided Rome from Constantinople, but which the excommunication of the patriarch had successfully closed. But every subsequent attempt at reunion served to prove to sad demonstration that the die had been irrevocably cast, and that it was the hand of Michael Cerularius which had finally thrown it.

Ignorance or jealousy of Rome, the power of the patriarch of Constantinople, community of civil and religious customs or of language, were the principal causes which induced most of the great ecclesiastical rulers of the East one after another so far to range themselves with Constantinople as to throw off all allegiance to Rome. Antioch, Alexandria, Jerusalem, and Achrida followed first the lead of the City by the Golden Horn, and then its example, it was not to be expected that, having refused to bend the knee to the successor of St. Peter, whom they had ever acknowledged as the head of the Church, they would long pay court to one who, like themselves, was but an inferior member of the Church Catholic, and was, indeed, originally a much less important member than most of them. Severed from their head, they soon severed themselves from Constantinople, and from one another.

But what was the attitude of the archbishop of Kiev Russia and of the Russians in this unhappy affair? In the dearth of documentary evidence regarding the early Russian Church, it is very difficult to say. Some writers hold that the Russians remained in communion with the See of Rome till the fifteenth or sixteenth century, with the exception of a few brief intervals of intervening schism. They point out that though Russia was converted by Greeks, their conversion took place whilst the Greeks and the Latins were united; that their liturgy (Slavonic) was the work of SS. Cyril and Methodius, who were devoted sons of Rome, and that the numerous marriages which took place in the tenth, eleventh, and twelfth centuries between Russian and Western princes and princesses is a practical proof that Kiev (called by Adam of Bremen “the rival of Constantinople and the great glory of Greece”) and Rome were still in ecclesiastical communion. During the reign of Demetrius or Isiaslaf, the son of Iaroslaf the Great(d. 1054), his son (Sviatopolk) made his appearance in the Eternal City. Isiaslaf had experienced in his own person the difficulty of succeeding to the throne merely because he happened to be the eldest son; and so, to facilitate the accession of his own eldest son, he sent him to Rome to receive his kingdom at the hands of Gregory VII. It is impossible to suppose he would have followed such a course as this if his people had not viewed Rome with friendly eyes. “One of the most convincing proofs of this union between Russia and the Holy See is the establishment by Ephrem, the metropolitan of Kiev (d. 1102), of the feast of the translation of the relics of St Nicholas of Bari. This feast was established in Russia in conformity with a bull of Urban II. As this feast is not observed in the Greek Church of Constantinople, its papal origin in Russia is obvious. The real founder of the Russian schism seems to have been the second successor of Ephrem, viz. Nicephorus I., who addressed to Prince Vladimir II, Monomachus, a work on the “Separation of the Two Churches”, in which he aimed at showing the faults of the Latins, and at exalting the Church of Constantinople

However, despite the evil work of Nicephorus, the final separation of the Church of the Russians from that of Rome was not immediately effected. As late as 1227 we find the Grand Dukes of Russia declaring that they had fallen away from Rome merely “from a want of preachers”, and in the course of that century it is certain that various Russian princes embraced the Latin rite. The bishopric of Caffa (formerly Theodosia, now Feodosia), established by John XXII in the Crimea, proved a great centre of Latin influence, and during both the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries many of the metropolitans of Kiev were in union with the See of Rome. But in the beginning of the following century they definitely separated themselves from it, and left Russia in the state of schism we find it in today.

However, there are not wanting writers who maintain that in the eleventh century the Russian Church was simply a submissive province of the patriarchate of Constantinople ; and who, without perhaps attaching due weight to the facts above rehearsed and to other similar ones, hold that, after the defection of Cerularius, a state of schism was the rule with the Russian Church, union the exception.

Though Cerularius failed to draw the Armenians, at any rate, into his schism, he accomplished enough to bring about the ruin of the Greek Empire and the Greek Church. The former, deprived through the schism of the help of the West, nay, even in one instance seriously injured in consequence by it, disappeared for ever in the middle of the fifteenth century; and the latter, enslaved first by the Greek emperors, arid then by the Turkish Sultans, has survived indeed to the present day. But its once living waters have ceased to flow, and have become corrupt, and now it doth “cream and mantle like a standing pond”—a thing of loathing to those who gaze upon it.

Before telling of the last moments of Pope Leo, something must be said of his relations with England. Whilst at this period the whole Church was being ruled and edified by a saint, our own country had the good fortune to be similarly blessed. Its sceptre was held by one under whose wholesome laws it was the one ardent wish of many a generation who came after him to live. When Edward was brought from his exile in Normandy to the throne of England, it may be said without any exaggeration that all power in the country was in the hands of a few earls, notably in those of Earl Godwin of Wessex and of his two sons, Harold and Sweyn. During his long residence in Normandy, the new king had of course made many friends there; and it was only natural that he should bring some of them with him, and should advance their interests. No doubt, too, in placing not a few of them in important posts, he would have in view the formation of a party round him which he could oppose to the too powerful influence of the earls. Besides, where there was question of church preferment, it seems to be generally admitted that “the ecclesiastics of Normandy were, as a class, superior to those of England in Edward’s time”. Unfortunately, however, for he was a man of greater simplicity than discernment, all his nominations of Normans to positions of trust were not good.

Among these was his appointment to the great diocese of Dorchester, which stretched from the Thames to the Humber, of one of his Norman chaplains, named Ulf. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle adds that he “ill-bestowed it”, and that the new bishop “was afterwards driven away because he performed nothing bishoplike therein, so that it shames us now to tell-more”. This expulsion took place in 1050, and Ulf at once set out for Italy to lay his case before the Pope. Other English bishops, Hereman of Sherborne and Aldred (or Ealdred) of Worcester, had preceded him thither, and had presented themselves at the council of Rome in 1050 “on the king’s errand”.

From later authors, the substantial accuracy of whose statements in this particular there is no reason to doubt, it appears that the errand on which they were sent was to obtain from the Pope for their sovereign a dispensation from a vow he had made when young to go on a pilgrimage to Rome. When Edward proclaimed his vow to the Witan, and, reminding them of the words of the Psalmist, “Vow ye, and pay to the Lord your God”, expressed his intention of fulfilling it, the assembly with one voice declared that the time was not ripe for such an undertaking, and bade him send to Rome, and obtain from the Pope a commutation of his vow. This his envoys were successful in obtaining from Leo. The bull which the Pope forwarded to the king, and which contained the conditions of the dispensation, had received the approval of his council:—

“The witness to it was sure and full:

Then a guarantee was put to the writing,

Where the bulla hangs by the silk.

And then, by the advice of the legists,

There was a counter-writing in the great register”

The bull set forth that, as it was clear that there was danger to the country from the departure of the king, he was absolved from his vow “by the authority of God, of the holy apostles, and of the holy synod”. The money he had set apart for the journey was to be given to the poor, and to the erection or reconstruction and endowment of a monastery in honour of St. Peter, which was to be subject to no other layman but the king. In consequence of this decision Edward remained in England, repaired and endowed a monastery in honour of St. Peter, which had been built long before outside the walls of London on the west, and obtained for it extensive privileges from Pope Nicholas II.

Bishop Ulf's case did not come off until September, at the synod which the Pope held at Vercelli. Examination only revealed how utterly unfit he was for his position, but, because he knew that the Romans coveted, “as a leech does blood, the red gold and the white silver”, he saved himself from degradation by gold. “For well-nigh would they have broken his staff if he had not given very great gifts”. As it was, he returned to England again to rule Dorchester for a brief time longer

The intercourse between Pope Leo and King Edward on ecclesiastical matters was very considerable, and was no doubt facilitated by the esteem which each of them felt for the other. English bishops were sent to assist at Leo’s councils to keep the Catholics in England in closer touch with those abroad, and a papal legate was sent to our country to make the mind of the Pope more clearly known to the king.

As the Anglo-Saxons drove the Britons further West, they caused the ancient British ecclesiastical organisation to be replaced by a new one. And so in 909 Archbishop Plegmund founded a see embracing Devonshire and part of Cornwall, and established its seat at Crediton. This he did with the special intent of enforcing the usages of Rome among the Britons. Some fifty years later (viz. in 1046), St. Edward appointed his chaplain, Leofric, to the See of Crediton. Finding that his diocese was much harried by pirates, Leofric determined to try to effect the removal of his episcopal see from the unimportant Crediton in the north of Devon to the larger and hence safer city of Exeter in the south. “And because”, to quote a more or less contemporary entry in a missal he presented to his cathedral of Exeter, “he was a man of sound understanding, he knew that this could not be done without the authority of the Roman Church”. Accordingly, he sent to request Pope Leo to ask King Edward that he might be allowed to make the proposed change. As it was in accordance with the general law of the Church that episcopal sees should be established in the larger towns, the Pope at once agreed to Leofric’s petition, and addressed (1049-1050) a letter to the king in which he praised him for the good account he had received of his piety, and exhorted him to persevere in the course he had entered upon. Then, after telling him that he had been informed that Leofric’s see was not in a city, he begged him “for the sake of God and for his love” to transfer it to Exeter.

“With great devotion Edward gave his consent in accordance with the terms of this letter”, and the charter is still extant in which he authorised the translation of the see, and “made known what he had done in the first instance to the Lord Pope Leo, and confirmed it by his authority”.

If King Edward’s appointment of Ulf to Dorchester brought him discredit, two of his other nominations brought him trouble. Towards the close of this same year (October 29, 1050) died Eadsige (or Eadsy), archbishop of Canterbury. Setting aside the candidate of the monks, though they had secured in his interest the support of Earl Godwin (1051), the king nominated to the vacant see Robert of Jumièges, then bishop of London. Edward had known him in Normandy, and had brought him over to England as one of his chaplains. The new archbishop’s first act was to signify his subjection to the Pope by going to Rome for his pallium. During his absence the king nominated Spearhafoc (Sparrow-hawk), abbot of Abingdon, to the vacant bishopric of London. It would appear that there was something irregular about his promotion. To judge from his subsequent conduct in running away (perhaps in the beginning of 1053) with the gold and jewels which the king had given him to make a crown—“for he was a most skilled worker in gold”—and with moneys belonging to the diocese of London, he was, no doubt, generally unfit to possess a bishopric. At any rate, when, on his return from Rome, he presented himself, “with the king’s writ and seal”, to the archbishop for consecration, the latter “refused and said that the Pope had forbidden it”. Spearhafoc persisted in repeating his request, and the archbishop his refusal, all during the summer and the autumn. Then at length the abbot gave way, and William, a Norman, one of the king’s chaplains, was appointed to the vacant see.

In the party struggle between Godwin and the archbishop, who is credited by the panegyrist of the former’s family with endeavouring of set purpose “to annoy the duke”, Godwin was at last victorious. Ulf, Robert, and others of the king’s Norman friends fled across the seas. The archbishop at once betook himself to Rome; and, after laying his case before Leo, obtained from him a decree for his restoration to his see. But “as he was returning through Jumièges, he died there, and was buried in the Church of St. Mary, which for the most part he himself had built at vast expense”. His enemy Godwin had died before him, and our old chronicler evidently had grave doubts of his salvation, for “he did all too little penance for the property of God which he held belonging to many holy places”.

It is more than likely that, even had Robert not died as early as he did (1053?), he would not have been allowed to return to his see under any circumstances, as long as the party of Earl Godwin and his sons was in power. For, soon after his flight, at a great council near London, he had been “without reserve declared an outlaw, and all the Frenchmen, because they had chiefly made the discord between Earl Godwin and the king. And Bishop Stigand succeeded to the archbishopric of Canterbury”. Physical force can cause a man to be called an archbishop or anything else, and it can put him in possession of property; but it cannot give him that power which the Church alone has a right to bestow upon its own officers. Stigand, a man utterly unfit for such a position, both from his illiteracy and from his ignoble character, was proclaimed archbishop of Canterbury, and endowed with its revenues by the political party to which he belonged, and of which he was a very prominent member. But not a bishop in England would recognise him, or get consecrated by him, or profess canonical obedience to him, and he was promptly excommunicated by Pope Leo. His subsequent history and his final downfall must be reserved for another place. It has been suggested that Stigand’s schism was probably the determining cause of the help that Rome gave” to William in his invasion of England; and certain it is that the Conqueror put forth the expulsion of Archbishop Robert as one of the reasons which led him to take up arms against this country.

Macbeth in Rome, 1050.

Contemporary with Leo and Edward was Macbeth, a character more famous on the stage of the theatre than on the larger one of the world. He succeeded to the crown of Scotland after having, at least, been a party to the murder of his predecessor Duncan (1040), and ruled the country well (1040-1058). With a view, no doubt, to make atonement for his sins, we have it on the authority of a monk (Muiredach mac Robertaigh, generally known as Marianus Scotus), who was alive at the time, was a Celt himself, and took special note of the doings of the Scotch and Irish, that this king made the Roman pilgrimage, or at any rate gave money to the poor in Rome. In this Macbeth only did what we have already seen done by many other princes, and what is done to this day by every Catholic pilgrim who visits the Eternal City; and it is a mere idle flight of an unbridled imagination to convert, as some have done, his pilgrimage into a diplomatic mission, and his alms into bribes.

St. Peter Damian tells us a curious story which may have its foundation in the visit of Macbeth to Rome, or, possibly, may be the history of some Irish prince otherwise unknown. The saint says he was told the story by an old man, Bonizo, the rector of the monastery near St. Severus. This is no doubt the church and monastery of St. Severinus on the Via Merulana, not far from the Church of St. Matthew. As the Via Merulana cuts the line of the old wall of Servius Tullius, St. Peter Damian describes the monastery on the said via as “near the old city”.

A young Scotch prince (or Irish?—Scotigenarum rex) on succeeding to his father’s throne, and reflecting on the vanity of this world, left his crown and wife. On the pretext of a pilgrimage, he went to Rome, and when there contrived to evade his followers, hid himself in a monastery, and became a monk. Soon after he was taken ill and died, constantly begging of God on his death-bed to “fulfil what He had promised”. He was asking, concludes the saint, for his reward for his work in the vineyard.

Death of Leo IX

After the battle of Civitella, Leo returned, as we have seen, to Benevento. Thence he directed the controversy with Michael Cerularius, and there was he seized with his last illness. Grief for the slaughter of Civitella never left him; he redoubled the fervour with which he said Mass for the repose of the slain. This it was that preyed upon his mind far more than the indifference of Henry to his troubles, or than the quarrel with the Greeks—the gravity of which no man then realised. As the year 1053 drew to its close, the powers of his body so far gave way that all desire for food left him, and a little water was all he could take. On the anniversary of his enthronization (February 12, 1054) he managed to muster sufficient strength to say Mass. Never again was he to have that privilege. Feeling that his end was nigh, he had himself conveyed to Rome in a litter (March 12). As far as Capua, where he remained twelve days, he was escorted not only by his own followers, but by a company of Normans who came at his call.

April had just begun when he entered the Lateran Palace. There, however, he stayed not long, as he had learnt from God that he should die by St. Peter’s. Accordingly he caused himself to be carried first to the oratory of the saint, and then to the Vatican Palace hard by. There, in the presence of a number of bishops, abbots, and faithful people who had crowded to see him, did he receive Extreme Unction. When the Holy Viaticum had been given him, he prayed “in his native German” that, if it was not God’s will that he should recover, he might be released with all speed from the dwelling-house of his body.

Whilst lying on his bed of death, he is said by Bonizo to have entrusted the care of the Roman Church after his death to Hildebrand. But at this time Hildebrand was in Gaul, and it is, perhaps, scarcely credible that in the then critical condition of affairs in Rome, the Pope would have entrusted the government of the Church to an absentee. The statement, however, may be enough to show that Leo did not overlook the practical side of his duty even till his last hour. But he spent most of the days of his last agony in prayer. At times he would be carried into the church, and there, lying beside his marble coffin, he would point out to those around him how his own case ought to show them the vanity of tlit world, and induce them not to tamper with the goods of the Church, nor break the laws of God. He prayed for the Church and those who had shed their blood at Civitella; for heretics and Jews, and for every province he had visited. Then, rising from his couch, and throwing himself on his sarcophagus, he signed it with the sign of the cross, and prayed that on the day of retribution it might present him before the throne of resurrection, “For I believe that my Redeemer liveth”.

At length, on Wednesday, April 19, lying on his couch before the altar of St. Peter, soon after he had received “the Body and Blood of Christ” from a bishop who was saying Mass, he gave back his sweet soul to its Creator at the very hour he had himself predicted.

“At the very hour that he commended his soul to Christ”, the bell of St. Peter’s began to toll of itself; and a citizen of Todi, named Albert, with five others, declared that they saw, as it were, the road all bedecked with resplendent coverings and gleaming with gems, by which he was led by angels up to heaven. Moreover, so great was the calm at the moment of his death, that not a leaf moved ever so little”.

Many are the miracles cited by our authorities which he wrought both in life and in death, but for which, “for the sake of (here) sparing the busy or the incredulous”, reference must be made to the said authorities.

In the marble sarcophagus which he had himself prepared for them were laid to rest the mortal remains of Leo IX. Then, with the concurrence of all the Roman people, it was placed within the basilica of St. Peter, close to the gate of Ravenna. Later on, an altar in honour of the saint was erected over the sarcophagus. When, in 1005, that portion of the old basilica was unfortunately destroyed in the building of the new one, the relics of the saint were placed in a fresh coffin of cypress wood. This, with an inscription recording the act of translation, was put in a sarcophagus of white marble, and the whole placed beneath the altar now dedicated to the Stigmata of St. Francis of Assisi.

In the case of Leo IX his memory was not interred with his body. It has been kept green in the Catholic Church. Honoured as a saint in his life-time, he has been revered as such ever since. Churches were dedicated in his honour even by his contemporaries, and his name is enshrined in the Roman Martyrology.

“Leo is dead! Victorious Rome doth mourn.

Long will it be before his like she sees”.

Among other losses brought about during Rome’s Dark Age, we have to deplore that of almost all the papal money coined during three-quarters of the century preceding the accession of Leo IX. Of the money struck by him, only a single denarius seems to have escaped the great destroyer. On the obverse it shows, running round near its edge, a cross, and the letters Henricus Imp, and in its centre, in three lines, Romanoru; and on the reverse a cross and Scs Petrus round a square in which are enclosed in two lines the letters Leo P. Another fifty years will have to roll by before we shall meet with the corns of another Pope (viz. Paschal II.).

“Leo the Great” are the words with which the author of Rome’s annals begins his account of the successor of Damasus II. And though among the Leos of Rome the title of Great is officially, as it were, reserved to St. Leo I, the anonymous writer we have just cited was guilty of no exaggeration when he called the ninth Pontiff who bore that name, Leo the Great. For he was great in the amount of work to which he put his hands, and still more in its importance as well to the Church as to the world at large. The moral reform which he carried so far forward was, of course, accompanied by an intellectual advance which could not be confined to the ecclesiastical body. Great was he also in his self-abnegation. That he might serve God more utterly, he put to one side the splendid career which was held out to him by the world, nor would he accept the most glorious position there is to be found on this earth, till he was imperatively called to it by those who had the right so to do. And throughout his whole life never do we see him hesitating between self and his duty, or between self and the benefit of others. At Monte Cassino we behold him on his knees washing the feet of the monks, and at Mainz bearing most meekly with a rude and ill-timed display of independence on the part of its archbishop. He was great, too, in piety, useful for all things, towards God, and in his tender love of God’s Blessed Mother. Hence it was that men believed that God was with him, and that he was one of those who were destined by the Almighty to display signs and wonders. “In my name they (viz. those that believe) shall cast out devils: they shall speak with new tongues . . . they shall lay their hands upon the sick, and they shall recover.” And so we find that all who wrote of Pope Leo connect him with the working of miracles.

Nor has this been a mere posthumous greatness; he was great in the eyes of all who knew him, even to those who had complaints to make to him, ay, or of him. The clergy and the people of Nantes, in addressing to Leo a letter of remonstrance on account of a bishop he had sent them, do so as to one “who in their time had so gloriously occupied the Apostolic See”. The abbot of Fécamp opens a letter to Leo as follows : “May the whole Roman world rejoice, seeing that it is adorned with so great a Pope, who, resplendent with a piety as deep as it is new, has risen glorious like the morning star to drive away the clouds of error from the face of the Church. Since those golden ages when the Roman Church possessed a Leo and a Gregory, sources of spiritual doctrine brighter than crystal, what Pope has arisen so earnest and watchful as you, most holy of prelates, you who feed the sheep of the Lord on the giving pastures of the hills? To substantiate what I have advanced, who is not filled with joy and admiration at the vigilance of a Pontiff who, with a zeal unheard of in our times, would see everything for himself, and, not content with consulting at Rome in his own see the interests of one people, ... has moreover visited the churches beyond the Alps, and has by the holding of synods and by ecclesiastical censure corrected and amended what was wrong and abnormal? Hail! Pontiff of pontiffs, hail!”

In fine, as “he that instructeth his son shall be praised in him”, so Leo IX must be called great in his spiritual children whom he trained up, and whose glory must be reflected back on their spiritual father. One after another of those whom he had summoned around him from the cloister or the court succeeded him in the Chair of Peter, and carried on triumphantly the work of the reform of the Church and the people he had so well initiated. Chief of these was the immortal Hildebrand, who is not only distinctly stated by those who knew both of them well to have been “trained” (educatus) by him, but himself proclaimed “our Lord Leo of blessed memory” to have been “our father”. By all, then, who have more at heart the spiritual than the material progress of mankind; by all who can admire the victory of moral over physical force, the heroic efforts made by Gregory VII to lift up the world’s standard of virtue will be regarded as the brightest gem in the glorious halo which surrounds the name of the great Alsatian Pontiff, Bruno of Egisheim.





A.D. 1055-1057.



Emperors of the East.

              Theodora, 1055-1056. Michael VI. (Stratioticus), 1056-1057.

Emperors of the West.

             Henry III (The Black), 1039-1056. Henry IV (only King of Germany), 1056-1106.

King of England.

            St. Edward the Confessor, 1042-1066.

King of France.

            Henry I, 1031-­1061.


At the time of the death of St. Leo IX. (April 1054), the cardinal-subdeacon Hildebrand was in France inquiring into the doctrines of Berengarius of Tours, and, in the words of that innovator, “treating in the name of the apostolic authority on various ecclesiastical affairs”. Nothing could, of course, be done in Rome without the Pope-maker, to whose care the dying Leo is said to have entrusted the Church. But those in Rome to whose charge the government of the Church had been committed in the meanwhile were able to repel a final attempt of the ex-Pope, Benedict IX, to seize the papal throne by force. This would appear to have been the unhappy man’s last great crime; for it is probable that he presently retired to the monastery of Grottaferrata to bewail his sins to the hour of his death. No sooner was Hildebrand returned than, according to Bonizo at least, both clergy and people made it plain to him that it was their wish to make him Pope. Not only, however, had he not wish to sit on the chair of Peter, but he did not think that the time had yet come when the Church could prudently attempt to vindicate her right to elect her head freely. The Black Emperor was at once too good a friend and too powerful a master to be put lightly aside. Though with very great difficulty he at length succeeded in convincing the people of this, and in arranging for a deputation to accompany him to Henry. His idea was at one and the same time to please the emperor and to safeguard the election rights of the Romans by endeavouring to obtain the nomination of the candidate on whom they had previously fixed their choice.

Accordingly, accompanied by a number of the most distinguished Roman clergy and laity, Hildebrand crossed the Alps and found the emperor at Mainz (November 1054); and, if we are to believe Bonizo, induced him to abandon what he called his right, as Patricius of the Romans, of appointing the supreme Pontiffs. Certain it is, at any rate, that he was specially honoured by the emperor, and that the Romans demanded Gebhardt, bishop of Eichstadt, and chancellor (economus) of the empire, as the successor of St. Leo IX.

For information concerning the chancellor’s career up to this point, we must turn to the anonymous biographer of the bishops of his see, who has some pretty things to tell us regarding him. He was the son of Beliza and Hartwig, count of Calvi, situated between Baden and Stuttgart, and on the borders of what was at this period the Duchy of Swabia. To this day the ruins of the castle of the counts of Calvi look down upon the town of the same name, upon the river Nagold on which it stands, and over many of the fir-clad heights of the Black Forest.

The future Pope was a distant relative of the emperor; but, when Henry reminded him of the fact, he used to say that his parents were illustrious enough, but were not quite so aristocratic as that. In 1042 he became, while still very young, bishop of Eichstadt under the following curious circumstances. The emperor’s uncle, Gebhardt, bishop of Ratisbon, had asked his nephew to bestow the See of Eichstadt on a relative of his. Henry was disposed to consent till he discovered that the candidate was the son of a priest, whereupon he firmly refused. Very much annoyed, the bishop declared that the real reason of the emperor’s action was his contempt for him. To show that this suspicion was false, Henry assured him that if he would present to him any other of his relations who was a fit and proper person, he would grant him the bishopric. Gebhardt at once brought forward his name­sake. Prejudiced against him on account of his extreme youth, the emperor asked the advice of one bishop after another, and at length turned to St. Bardo, archbishop of Mainz, who, as was his wont, was sitting quiet and recollected with his cowl drawn over his head. Looking at him earnestly, the archbishop replied : “My lord, you may well bestow on him this power, for one day you will grant him a greater”. At a loss to understand the holy man’s meaning, but satisfied with his permission, the emperor “gave the ring and pastoral staff” to the young Gebhardt. When his father heard the news he was overjoyed, and at once asked who was the patron saint of his son’s diocese. When he was told St. Willibald, he exclaimed : “Bah! my dream has deceived me”, for he had once dreamt that his son was to be a bishop under St. Peter. “But”, adds his biographer, “his time had not yet come”.

Despite his youth, Gebhardt showed himself an able Counsellor bishop, so much so indeed that he soon became “better than many bishops in the empire, and inferior to but few”. Especially was he remarkable for his skill and dispatch in deciding cases. His well-deserved fame soon reached the ears of the emperor, who associated him with himself in the administration of the empire. In office he succeeded in overcoming envy by virtue—“a most exceptional accomplishment”. And he gave evidence of his varied ability by showing that he could be as able a general as an administrator. When Duke Conrad was exiled into Hungary (1053), Gebhardt took over the government of his Duchy of Bavaria; and during his term of rule inflicted such chastisement on the freebooting Schirenses that up to our author’s days they had not forgotten it. When he was now at the height of his power, and second to the king, “it seemed both to the emperor himself and to many others that St. Bardo’s prophecy concerning the greater power had been already fulfilled”."

But what the greater power was to be, became plain enough to Henry and to Gebhardt when Hildebrand and the Romans presented their petition. It is hard to say whether it was more distasteful to the emperor or to the bishop. The one was loth to lose his favourite minister; the other to take upon himself a burden which had in so short a time proved fatal to so many of his countrymen. But the Romans would have no other than Gebhardt, and the more he refused the proffered dignity, the more were they determined to have him. It was even said that he secretly sent envoys to Rome with instructions to defame his character; and he certainly employed learned men at home to try to save him from the position he dreaded.

But, as the historian of his See reminds us, “there is no wisdom, there is no counsel against the Lord”, and, in a great diet at Ratisbon, Gebhardt brought the whole affair to a close “by a few but very noteworthy words”. “Behold”, said he to the emperor, “I give myself up body and soul to the service of St. Peter, and, although I know myself to be unworthy of so holy a See, I will obey your commands on condition that you restore to St. Peter what belongs to him”. To this the emperor agreed, and Hildebrand carried off the unwilling bishop in triumph to Rome. No wonder he used to declare half in jest and half in earnest that he did not love monks!

Following the narrative of Leo of Monte Cassino, we may go on to say that it was Hildebrand who procured the assent of the Roman people to his choice of Gebhardt as Pope, who suggested to him to assume the name of Victor, and who did not rest till he was enthroned on Holy Thursday, April 13, 1055. “For three years Victor ruled the Apostolic See most gloriously, and, among his other virtues, displayed such liberality that the Romans glorified him both in life and in death”.

Gebhardt’s arrival in Italy was followed almost immediately by that of the emperor. He was both annoyed and alarmed that Godfrey, duke of Lorraine, who had long been a rebel to his authority, had married his cousin Beatrice, the widow of Boniface, marquis of Tuscany, and had thus become the most powerful noble in Italy (1054). He feared lest, through the influence of the new marquis, the Italians, “ever ready for revolution”, should turn against the empire; and his apprehensions were deepened by the arrival of an embassy from the Romans, which came to beg him to enter Italy to check the power of Godfrey. His prompt action disconcerted the marquis, who hastily quitted Italy, and left his wife to try to pacify him. Taking her daughter Matilda along with her, she went boldly before the emperor, and, while assuring him that in marrying Godfrey she had no thought of doing anything against the interests of the empire, plainly told him that she had only done what the “law of nations” gave her every right to do. Utterly failing not merely in magnanimity but in justice, the emperor simply replied that she ought not to have married without his knowledge, kept both her and her daughter in honourable captivity as hostages, and brought them back with him to Germany. He also took action at the same time against Godfrey’s brother, Cardinal Frederick, who had just returned to Rome from Constantinople with a large sum of money and valuable presents, of most of which, however,—a fact perhaps unknown to the emperor—he had been robbed by Trasmund, count of Teate. Fearful lest this treasure should come into the hands of Godfrey, Henry wrote to the Pope, and bade him seize the cardinal, and send him to him at once. But hearing through his friends of the emperor’s ill-will against him, Frederick left Rome, and became a monk at Monte Cassino.

Meanwhile the emperor had advanced as far south as Tuscany, and was in the month of May joined by Victor at Florence. On Whit Sunday (June 4), in presence of the emperor and the Pope, a synod was held at which one hundred and twenty bishops assisted. Through the active agency of Hildebrand, further steps were taken to carry on the work of reform inaugurated by Leo. Not only were the decrees against simony and the incontinence of clerics reaffirmed, but several bishops, convicted of breaches of them, were deposed. It was no doubt, too, on this occasion that, reminding the emperor of his promise, Victor obtained through him, sometimes even against his inclinations, the restoration of no small amount of papal property. In 872 Louis II had granted the Holy See Nursia and other towns, which involved the grant of a large portion of the Duchy of Spoleto, which seems to have then included the March of Fermo, Camerino, or Ancona, as it is variously called. And it would appear that Henry the Black made over the whole Duchy with its dependent March to the Roman Church. At any rate, various documents have been preserved which show that Victor II at least was its duke and marquis. In all these negotiations with Henry there was naturally much that disappointed the Pope, and, calling to mind how he had himself been the cause of baulking the policy of Leo IX, he would sigh and exclaim, “I am well served, inasmuch as I myself opposed my lord”.

It would appear that for some months after the council of Florence, the Pope and Hildebrand remained with the emperor in central Italy, probably engaged in establishing on a firmer basis the imperial and the papal authority in the northern half of Italy. But with the Normans and southern Italy, Henry was prevented from interfering by having to return to Germany (November), in order to cope with the difficulties which Godfrey was causing in Lorraine, and to subdue a conspiracy formed against him by many of the powerful nobles of his kingdom.

In the beginning of the new year, the Pope dispatched Hildebrand to France in order to continue the work of reform from which the death of St. Leo had recalled him. Especially had he to combat simony, encouraged unfortunately by the French king (Henry I), who paid no heed to the admonitions on the subject addressed him both by Leo IX and Victor. The intrepid monk resumed his task with his accustomed energy, and we find it recorded that the “apocrisiarius Aldebran” presided at various councils at which the suppression of simony was a med at. In one of them, held apparently at Embrun, its archbishop, Hugo, accused of simony, continued against all evidence to deny his guilt. To bring matters to a head, Hildebrand, acting on the advice of the other bishops, thus addressed him : “In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, whose gifts you are accused of buying, I adjure you to confess the truth on this subject. May heaven prevent you from pronouncing the name of the Holy Spirit as long as you persist in denying the truth”. A man of ready speech, the archbishop at once proceeded to pronounce the sacred names. But, to the profound amazement of all, he was unable, after repeated efforts, to enunciate the name of the Holy Ghost. Utterly stupefied, the archbishop humbly confessed his fault, and along with six other bishops was deposed.

When Hildebrand had to return to Rome, the work of purifying the Church of France was continued by the Pope’s orders, under the presidency of Rimbaud, archbishop of Arles, and Pontius, archbishop of Aix, whom he had appointed his legates. Nothing will show so well the nature of the cleansing to be effected than “a complaint” which was addressed “to the assembly of the vicars of God (at the council of Toulouse), and to the legates of the supreme Roman Pontiff who holds the place of Blessed Peter, Prince of the Apostles”, by Berenger, viscount, or proconsul, as he called himself, of Narbonne. During the days of his uncle, Archbishop Ermengaud, the church of Narbonne, so the complaint set forth, was “one of the most flourishing between Rome and Spain”. Its possessions of all kinds were great, and its church library was full of books. On the death of Ermengaud, Guifred, count of Cerdagne, a relation of whom Berenger had married, approached the viscount himself and his parents, as well as the count of Rodez, with a view to having his ten-year-old son elected to the archbishopric, and offered to divide the sum of solidi between Berenger’s father and the count. At first the viscount’s parents were unwilling to have anything to do with so base a transaction; but when their son, through love of his wife, threatened to kill them if they did not consent to Guifred’s wishes, they and the count of Rodez took the money, and the boy, Guifred (he had the same name as his father), became archbishop of Narbonne. As might have been expected, he showed himself altogether more like one of the ordinary nobles of the period than a priest. He had no sooner come to man’s estate than he quarrelled with Berenger, who had no doubt counted on making him his creature. He raised troops and made open war on the viscount, in the course of which thousands of men, we are told, were slain. For the purposes of his campaigns, and to raise 100,000 solidi to buy the bishopric of Urgel for his brother, he absolutely ruined his diocese and his cathedral church. Books, relic-cases, chalices, everything found their way into the hands of money-grabbing Jews. No match apparently for the truculent archbishop, Berenger wished to have their differences settled “by the decision of the apostolic legate”. To this Giufred refused to agree; and when his enemy appealed to the Pope, he excommunicated both him and his wife, and laid his territory under a cruel interdict. Were it not for the fear of God, Berenger assured the assembled Fathers that he would have disregarded Guifred’s sentence, the more so that the archbishop had himself been already excommunicated by Pope Victor. And though, in concluding his complaint, the viscount declared his readiness to go to Rome, he bluntly told the Fathers of Toulouse that if they did not give him the justice he sought, he would treat the archbishop’s excommunication with con-tempt, never keep the peace nor continue his appeal to the Apostolic See.

It is no concern of ours here to inquire as to exactly how far the complaint of Berenger was well founded. His own words about himself, combined with Victor’s and other Popes’ condemnation of Guifred, are enough to show that the picture it presents is accurate enough, at least in its dark outlines, and lets us see what need there was, in the interests of the weak and of law and order, that the results of the reforming zeal of the Domnus Apostolicus should be felt everywhere. Evidently it was only for the Pope of Rome that the turbulent clerical and lay nobles of the age had any respect at all.

Passing on to Spain, whither found its way most of the church plate of the cathedral of Narbonne, we shall find that two facts at once call for notice. The first is that the demand for a reformation of manners was being heard, even amid the clash of arms, in that peninsula, and that the Spanish bishops were endeavouring to meet it. The other is the steady progress of the Christian kingdoms at the expense of the Moors. This was chiefly due to the valour of one of the greatest of the sovereigns who have ruled in Spain, viz., Ferdinand I, king of Castile and Leon. Elated by his successes, and by the fact that he ruled over more than one kingdom, he was induced to assume the title of emperor. This assumption was not unnaturally resented by the Emperor Henry, who sent ambassadors in order to denounce it first to the assembled Fathers at the council of Tours (1055), which was being held by Hildebrand, and then to Pope Victor and the council of Florence. Both Pope and council decided that the German emperor’s contentions were just; and envoys were dispatched by them to remonstrate with the Spanish monarch in their name, and to threaten excommunication and interdict if their decrees were unheeded by him. Ferdinand at once assembled the bishops and nobles of his kingdoms; and while, through the influence of the famous Roderic Diaz, the Cid, the assembly declared its complete independence of the empire, it resolved, in deference to the Roman Pontiff, that it was desirable that their sovereign should lay aside the imperial title. These recommendations were accepted by Ferdinand, who dismissed the ambassadors with the assurance that he would obey the behests of the Pope.

The activities of Victor were not confined to the continent of Europe. He was equally interested in those “who inhabited the isles of the sea, to wit, the Irish (Scoti) and English”. Sending “health and apostolical benediction to his most beloved son King Edward and to all the nobility of the English”, he confirmed, in response to a request of the king, the ancient privileges which the Roman Church had already conferred on the monastery of Ely. To Archbishop Kynsie (Cynesige), who had come all the way from York for the purpose, he presented his pallium, and he had to take action in the affair of Archbishop Strand. If the reader will turn to a preceding page of this work, he will see how, by the influence of the party of Earl Godwin, the unworthy bishop of Winchester, Stigand, was put in possession of the See of Canterbury (1052), though its legitimate occupant, Robert of Jumièges, was still alive, and had not been canonically deposed. The usurper had been excommunicated by St. Leo IX, whose example was followed by four of his successors. And if “bishops-elect sought consecration abroad”, the reason was that Victor II had forbidden the bishops of the province of Canterbury to seek it at the hands of the intruder Stigand. This illiterate pluralist who had obtained the archbishopric by force was destined to lose it by the same means at the hands of William the Conqueror.

The East

Before retracing our steps to follow the movements of the Pope himself, attention may here be called to one more of his letters, viz. to the one which by mistake was formerly attributed to Victor III, and which was addressed to the aged Empress Theodora, who was placed on the throne of the Byzantine Caesars in the same year as Victor II took possession of the chair of Peter. The document would seem to be another illustration of the fact that contemporaries did not realize that an impassable gulf had been formed between Rome and Constantinople by the acts of the papal legates and of the patriarch Michael Cerularius in 1053. At first Theodora allowed herself to be ruled by the ambitious patriarch, who is thought to have favoured her promotion for the furtherance of his own ends. But her short reign of eighteen months was not far advanced when she spurned the yoke which he was placing upon her. It may well be that knowledge of this fact was not without its influence on the letter which the Pope wrote to her. Reminding her that it was his duty to admonish both great and small, especially indeed the great, as they can do so much more good or harm “to the poor of Christ”, he begged her to abolish the insupportable tax which was placed upon pilgrims to the Holy Sepulchre by the imperial officials. Not only was a heavy tax of three aim levied on each of their horses, but the horses themselves were liable to be seized for the public service, and a sum of like amount was exacted from every two persons on foot. He reminded her that the delinquencies of subordinates were visited on their superiors, wished her every blessing for this life and the next, and exhorted her ever to be mindful of and to venerate the Roman Church “as her first and proper mother”, just as she had ever honoured her and her family before her. Death (August 1056) prevented Theodora from carrying into effect her designs against the all-powerful Cerularius, and the tax remained to swell the feelings of bitterness against the Greeks which showed themselves in the conduct of the Latins towards them in the Crusades.

Very little is known of the doings of the Pope from the time that Hildebrand went to France till the summer of 1056, when he betook himself to Germany. During this interval, however, he had a difference with the monks of Monte Cassino. The abbacy of this great monastery had become vacant in December 1055; and, as the Pope complained in various letters to the monks, they (a majority of them) had acted very wrongly in electing the monk Peter as their new abbot without either consulting him or obtaining the emperor’s permission. The fact perhaps was that Peter, though a very holy man, was regarded both by a number of his brethren, and especially by the Pope, as wholly unsuited to rule the abbey and its great domains at a time when a strong will and a clear intellect were needed to cope with the aggressive Normans. To explain their conduct, the brethren at once dispatched some of their number both to the Pope and to the emperor. It seemed to them that it was Victor’s intention to get the monastery into his power. However, they boldly declared that even by papal privilege it belonged to the monks to elect their abbots, and to the Popes only to consecrate them. Settlement of the affair, delayed by the Pontiff’s journey to Germany, was brought about by the resignation of Peter, and the subsequent election of Frederick, the cardinal of Lorraine, a candidate as satisfactory to Victor as to the monks (May 1057).

In July 1056 the Pope was in his March of Firmana at Aprutium (Teramo), no doubt on his way to Germany. We there find him restoring property to its bishop, and decreeing, “in the name of King Henry and his own”, that any breach of his decision would be punished by a fine of fifty pounds to the royal exchequer, and of a like amount both to his treasury and to the bishop.

We have no means of saying whether or not he had previously visited the southern portion of Italy. But in any case the story of the sufferings which the people were there enduring from the ravages of the Normans was poured into his ears. It was more than he could bear. This cry of distress, and perhaps, too, indications of unrest on the part of the Romans, caused him to lend a favourable ear to the repeated requests of the emperor that he would come to him in Germany.

Accordingly, about the month of August he moved northwards from Aprutium and found the emperor at Goslar, (1056, September 8). He would have been greeted with a splendour altogether unprecedented, had not God, who wished, we are told, to show how empty was all such display, sent a furious storm of rain at the very moment of the Pope’s arrival. On account of the feast, the Nativity of Our Lady, and to welcome the sovereign Pontiff, the wealth and power of the empire had assembled at Goslar. But the deluge of rain converted what was to have been a most glorious and solemn procession of magnates into a disorderly flight.

Despite the weather, however, attention was given both to business and to pleasure. The Pope succeeded in reconciling Hanno, the new archbishop of Cologne, with the emperor, and then the court migrated to Bodfeld in the Hartz Mountains for hunting purposes. But unfortunately the emperor’s days were numbered. A fever attacked him, and, feeling that the hand of Death was upon him, he prepared to meet his end like a man and a Christian. He asked pardon of all whom he could, restored certain ill-gotten goods, forgave those who had injured him, confessed his sins to the Pope and to the other bishops and priests who surrounded his bedside, and received absolution (indulgentiam) from them, as well as the holy viaticum of the Body and Blood of the Lord. To provide as far as possible for the maintenance of order in his kingdom after his demise, he entrusted it and his successor, Henry IV, a child six years old, to the care of the Pope; and, after an illness of about a week, gave up his soul into the hands of its Maker (October 5, 1056). His body was transported to Spires, where, according to the arrangements made by the Pope and the widowed Empress Agnes it was buried on the anniversary of the day on which he had been born (October 28), in order that, on the very day on which he had come forth from the womb of his mother, he might be laid in the bosom of the earth, the common mother of every mortal.

Through the general uprightness of his character, and especially through his uncompromising hostility to simony, Henry had in many ways deserved well of the Church, even though he occasionally acted as its master. And so Hildebrand, whose life was devoted to freeing it from the thraldom to which he and his predecessors had reduced it, always spoke well of him. But his early death, though disastrous for the empire, was advantageous for the Church. Her path to freedom was greatly smoothed thereby. Meanwhile, now supreme in both Church and State, Victor exerted himself with striking success to preserve the empire from the calamities to be naturally expected on the accession of a child. The occasion called forth all the skill of the former minister. In the East the Slavs had just defeated an imperial army with great slaughter, and, in the West, Godfrey of Lorraine and his allies were still in arms. The first care of the Pope was to cause the boy-king to be solemnly enthroned at Aix-la-Chapelle and the nobles to swear fealty to him, and his next to reconcile Godfrey and Baldwin of Flanders with Henry at a council which he held in December at Cologne. Still in company with the Pope, Henry met the princes of the empire on Christmas Day at Ratisbon. His position was secured, and the Tope, with the empire deeply in his debt, returned to Rome in the beginning of the Lent of 1057.

On his arrival in Rome, Victor occupied himself not only with holding councils, settling various matters in connection with bishoprics, and granting privileges, but also with the Norman question. Unable to bring the pressure of arms to bear upon the Agareni (for so, regarding them as equally vicious as the Saracens, the people called the Normans), he seems to have tried diplomacy, and, according to the Annals of Augsburg, succeeded in inducing them to have a greater regard for peace. His energy indeed at this period was such that we can have no reason to call in question the soundness of the conclusion of his anonymous admirer to the effect that if he had lived longer, “he would have made both the ears of many people tingle”. But his pontificate had not much longer to run. He left Rome for Tuscany, never to return, towards the end of May.

One of the objects of this, his last journey from Rome, was in no doubt to examine for himself on the spot the causes of the perennial dispute between the bishops of Arezzo and Sienna, which was brought before him also. Another reason would be to take further steps towards drawing still closer the bonds of union between the Papacy and the House of Tuscany. Even if he had not been joined by Hildebrand in Germany, it is certain that he was accompanied by him on this occasion.

We have already seen how, emboldened by the death of the emperor, the monks of Monte Cassino had, to the entire satisfaction of the Pope, elected Frederick of Lorraine as the abbot. In the month of June the newly elected abbot followed Victor into Tuscany, and was in the first place ordained by him cardinal-priest of St. Chrysogonus (June 14), that fourth-century basilica of which the late Pope Leo XIII, of glorious memory, was titular when he was elected supreme Pontiff. Ten days later he consecrated him abbot. Assured of the goodwill at least of Beatrice, Duke Godfrey’s wife, who had been restored to him, and of her stepdaughter Matilda, Victor was evidently bent on attaching to the Papacy by the strong bonds of friendship the now most powerful House of Lorraine-Tuscany. In Italy there was no family comparable in influence to that of Godfrey, who received or assumed about this time the titles of “standard-bearer of the Romans, patricius of Rome, marquis of Italy, prefect of Ancona, and marquis of Pisa”. The fruit of Victor’s attention to this influential family was to be garnered by the Papacy at no distant date. The great Countess Matilda was to prove the strongest barrier to the tyrannical designs of Henry IV.

Before the new abbot returned to Rome, he assisted, along with Hildebrand, the provisor of the monastery of St. Paul, outside-the-walls, and with several bishops of different Tuscan cities, at a council which the Pope summoned to settle the dispute between the bishops of Arezzo and Sienna regarding jurisdiction over various parishes (July 23). The assembly met in the palace of St. Donatus, near the city of Arezzo, and would appear to have deeded in favour of the claims of Arezzo.

Five days after the closing of the council, its chief was lying dead in the city near which it had been held. Anxious to have the body of their illustrious countryman buried in their midst, a number of Germans set out with it for “the toparch of Eichstadt”. In the neighbourhood of Ravenna, however, they fell into an ambush prepared for them by a number of its inhabitants, and were robbed of all they had. They were forced, therefore, to bury the remains they so jealously guarded outside Ravenna, “in the basilica of St. Mary, which is of the shape of the Roman Pantheon, and with sorrowful hearts to make their way back, as best they could, to their country”. The basilica in question was the well-known round mausoleum of Theodoric, which had been converted into a monastic church. These distressing circumstances connected with the Pope’s burial serve well to illustrate the lawless condition of the age, and may be looked upon as a complement to the disregard shown by the emperors to the canon law in their elections of Popes. In the sudden and premature death of Victor we have to mourn the loss of another of those German Popes whose lives were an honour to themselves, an advantage to the Church, and a credit to those who nominated them.

Neither epitaph nor coin of Victor seems to be extant. There is a story that on one occasion, when he was saying Mass, the subdeacon put poison into the chalice along with the wine. Wishful after the consecration to raise the chalice, the Pope found to his astonishment that he was unable to do so. When, with the people, he prayed to God to know the cause of this strange circumstance, the poisoner was possessed by the devil. At once divining the cause, the Pope ordered the chalice with the blood of the Lord to be enclosed in an altar and preserved for ever as relics. Then he continued praying until the unfortunate subdeacon was delivered from his possession.







A.D. 1057-1058.


Emperor of the East.

           Isaac Comnenus, 1057-1059.


One of the distinguished group of men whom Leo IX gathered round him, and inspired with his own ardent zeal for the reform of the Church and of the world, was Cardinal Junian Frederick. Born probably towards the beginning of the eleventh century, he was the son of Gothelon or Gozelon, duke of Lotharingia or Lower Lorraine, and of Junca, the daughter of Berengarius II, the last king of Italy. The rebellious attitude of his brother, Godfrey the Bearded, towards the empire soon caused him to become an object of suspicion to the Emperor Henry III, and the marriage of the same brother with Beatrice of Tuscany brought him into relationship with the most powerful house in Italy.

The learning for which he was distinguished from his youth upwards, he acquired at the school of St. Lambert of Liège, which at that time was in a most flourishing condition. In due course he became a canon and then archdeacon of St. Lambert’s. It was in all likelihood while he was holding that office that Leo IX, on the occasion of his second visit to Germany, took him into the service of the Roman Church. He made him chancellor and librarian of the Apostolic See; and in March 1051 we find his signature appended to papal bulls as deacon, librarian and chancellor of the Apostolic See, holding the place of Herimann, arch chancellor and archbishop of Cologne.

As chancellor he accompanied Pope Leo in his apostolic journeys, thus gaining a personal knowledge of many parts of the Church he was destined to rule. We find him on the plains of Hungary; reading aloud before emperor and people at Bamberg the privileges of its Church; and witnessing the discomfiture of Leo’s troops by the Normans.

The most important work in which he took a share before occupying the chair of Peter was the famous embassy dispatched by Leo to Constantinople, which terminated the disastrous schism of the East and the West.

We have already seen how Frederick was robbed of his treasures when he returned from the Greek capital, and how, robbed, to avoid falling into the power of the emperor, he cast off the previous robes he was accustomed to wear and became a monk at Monte Cassino. To put a greater distance between himself and his enemy, it was not long before he betook himself to the monastery which had been recently founded on the smallest of the Tremiti Islands. Taking umbrage at certain abuses he found there, he incurred the dislike of the abbot. This caused him to return to the mainland, and to seek an asylum in the monastery of St. John de Venere in the county of Lanciano. He did not, however, remain long there. Hearing that the abbot of Monte Cassino (Richer), returning from Ancona, where he had been to see the Pope, was at the monastery of St. Liberator, he went to him, begged pardon of him for his restlessness, and obtained his permission to return to Monte Cassino. It must have been about the end of the year 1055 that he once again climbed the steep hill which that venerable abbey still crowns.

The death of the emperor Henry III, not many months after this (October 1056), left Frederick a freer hand, and when Pope Victor returned to Rome from Germany (April 1057), he went to him to obtain justice from Trasmund, count of Teate (Chieti), who, as we have seen, had robbed and imprisoned him on his return from Constantinople. The brigand-noble, after having been excommunicated by the Pope, confessed his crime, and restored not only the property of the legates, but also other ill-gotten goods as well. According to the so-called chronicle of Penna, however, it was only when Frederick, as Pope, led an armed force against him that the count yielded up his ill-gotten gains. It is quite possible, if the entry is correct, that Stephen X undertook this expedition either because Trasmund did not fulfil all the promises he had made to Victor, or because he had resumed his old plundering habits.

Soon after the death of the emperor, Richerius, abbot of Monte Cassino, and Frederick’s friend, died also (December 11, 1055). Thereupon most of the monks elected as his successor Peter, the dean of the monastery, an old man indeed, but one in every way worthy of the position, a man whom the emperor Henry III had pronounced to be the most perfect monk he had ever seen. For some reason Pope Victor did not approve of this election. Perhaps he thought that Peter was too old to occupy so responsible a position in such difficult times, or perhaps he had set his mind on having another abbot. At any rate, at first with honied words, and then with sharp ones, he gave the monks to understand that they had no right to proceed to an election without consulting him, and without inquiring into what might be the will of the emperor. Then, taking advantage of the fact that the monks who had not voted for Peter assured him that the election had been uncanonical, he dispatched Cardinal Humbert to Monte Cassino to inquire into the election on the spot. But the monks boldly proclaimed that, by their rule and by papal sanction, the right of election belonged to them alone, and that in the present case all the forms required by canon law had been properly complied with.

The investigation would have terminated favourably for Peter, had not some of his partisans, unknown to him, and acting with more zeal than discretion, roused the dependants of the abbey, and attempted to settle the trial by the sword. Peter felt that his cause was lost; and no sooner had he succeeded in dispersing his armed supporters than he placed his resignation in the cardinal’s hands. A unanimous vote of the monks caused Cardinal Frederick to be acknowledged as his successor (May 23, 1057).

Joining the Pope in Tuscany, the newly elected abbot was first made cardinal-priest of St. Chrysogonus, and then consecrated abbot by him. He also received from Victor the privilege of wearing the sandals, gloves, and dalmatic—the usual insignia of a bishop—and of taking rank above all other abbots.

When he returned to Rome he was escorted both to his titular church and to his residence in the monastery of St. Stephen in Pallara, among the ruins of the Palatine, with the customary honours by a vast crowd (July 27).

He went to his titular church in great state, clad in a cope and wearing a mitre, riding on horseback, attended by a body of horsemen, and accompanied by the primicerius, the schola cantorum, the regionary sub-deacons, the ostiar; and such of the magnates (majores) as he had invited. Boys walked in front of him, bearing palms and flowers, and, as he rode along, an acolyte among them kept continually intoning his name, to which the choir responded, “St. Peter has chosen you”. When he arrived at his church, and before he dismounted, the primicerius and the choristers formed around him, and the paraphonista (the arch-chorister) in a loud voice intoned his name. Thrice the choir responded, “May God preserve you! Holy Mary! help you. Holy Michael! help you”. When the laudes were finished, Frederick dismounted, and gave his hand to the paraphonista, who led him into the church. During the Mass that followed he was assisted by the primicerius.

After the sacrifice was over, he adjourned with his company to the Palatine, and there entertained them and dismissed them with largess (presbiterium).

After spending a few days in procuring the ornaments required by his new dignities, he was preparing to leave the city when Boniface, bishop of Albano, brought the news of the death of Pope Victor. Thrown into consternation at this unexpected catastrophe, Frederick at once gave up all thoughts of leaving Rome for the time. He was immediately beset both by clerics and laymen anxious to know his opinion as to what was best to be done, and as to whom he considered most fit to be Victor’s successor. He suggested to them the names of five persons, among which were those of John of Velletri, afterwards the antipope Benedict X, and of Hildebrand, subdeacon of the Roman Church. But the Roman people would have none of them. Some indeed were of opinion that they should await Hildebrand’s return from Tuscany, where he had been staying with the late Pope. The majority, however, thought that there was no time for delay, and that there was no candidate so likely to be able to maintain himself in his position when freely elected than Cardinal Frederick himself, the brother of the powerful Duke Godfrey. To secure a free election, it was necessary to anticipate the action of the imperialists or of any powerful family at home. Consequently Frederick was taken by force from the monastery on the Palatine to the basilica of St. Peter ad vincula, and there he was duly elected, and called Stephen, as his election had taken place on the feast of St. Stephen I, Pope and martyr (August 2, 1057). From St. Peter’s he was taken in triumphal procession to be enthroned in the Lateran palace, and on the following day was consecrated “supreme and universal Pontiff”, as Leo expresses it, in presence of “all the cardinals, the clergy, and the Roman people”.

Though the new Pope realized that the carrying out of the measures of reform to which the Papacy had committed itself would meet with much fierce opposition, he followed resolutely in the steps of his immediate predecessors. During the first four months of his reign he remained in Rome, and held several synods with a view to promoting the celibacy of the clergy and to checking marriages between near relations. And when the Greek custom with regard to clerical celibacy was urged against his action, he answered that the customs of the Greek and Latin churches were different, and that the custom of the latter church was that all clerics, from the subdeacon to the bishop, should refrain from marriage. St. Peter Damian tells us that he expelled from Rome, in order that they might do penance, even those clerics who had left their wives; for many of them only ceased to transgress the discipline of the Church in order to break many of the commandments of God. And, to serve as a warning to evil-doers, he recounts the sudden death of a priest who would not separate from his wife, and the advice which he himself gave on that occasion, viz., that no solemn rites should be offered for the repose of  his soul.

To help him in his arduous task, the Pope had summoned the teller of this story from his quiet Umbrian retreat at Fonte-Avellana to Rome in order to make him cardinal-bishop of Ostia. So stoutly, however, did he refuse the preferred dignity that the Pope, putting him under holy obedience, seized him by the arm and “affianced him to the Church of Ostia by forcing the ring on his finger, and the crozier into his hand”. In announcing to his episcopal brethren his accession to their number, the new cardinal took occasion very bluntly to remind them of their duty. After bewailing the general decay of morals, he points out that in the midst of the flood of iniquity, “the holy Roman Church is the only harbour, and that it is the net of the poor fisherman which alone is able to gather together those who are boldly struggling against the angry waves, and to them safely to shore ... And since from all parts of the world crowds flock to the Lateran palace, there ought to be conspicuous there, more than in any other part, irreproachable morals, exemplary lives, and strict discipline ... What makes a bishop is a good life, and an unceasing effort to acquire the virtues of his state, and not turret-like headgear made of foreign ski is, nor gaudy marten furs worn beneath the chin, nor jingling golden bangles, nor companies of soldiers, nor high-spirited and prancing chargers”.

Another uncompromising monk whom Stephen advanced was Humbert, cardinal-bishop of Silva-Candida, and his colleague in the famous embassy to Constantinople regarding Michael Cerularius. He was made “librarian of the Roman Church and of the Apostolic See”. His strong, and in parts unmeasured, treatise against simony was published about this time, and may be taken as another indication of the reforming zeal which animated the breast of his patron. After going to the length of declaring null all ordinations effected by simoniacal means, Humbert asserted that, especially in Italy, ecclesiastical property had been absolutely ruined by simony; and that, as he had seen with his own eyes, it had led even to the ploughing up for gain of the sacred enclosures of churches, to the consequent unearthing of the bones of those who had died in the Lord, and to the very basilicas themselves being used as cattle stalls. As the principal cause of this detestable sin of Simon Magus, he denounced the investing by laymen with the ring and crozier of those whom, against the canons, they had chosen, or caused to be chosen, bishops or abbots. Here he laid his finger on the root of the evil, and pointed out to the Popes the main stronghold which they would have to attack. “Three books against simony” were the opening of the fierce war of investiture which was the predominant note of the Gregorian epoch.

Stephen’s choice of Hildebrand for the delicate mission of announcing his elect on to the German court is a proof that he, equally with his predecessors, placed the fullest confidence in his judgment, and shared his views on the needs of reform, and on the means to be employed to effect it. The cardinal was also commissioned to exhort the empress-mother, Agnes, to impress upon her son to see to it that ecclesiastical benefits were bestowed for virtue and merit, and not for money. By “the eloquence and sacred learning” for which he was distinguished, Hildebrand succeeded in his mission, and spent the Christmas of 1057 with the young Henry at Goslar. Two days after the feast itself he was at Pohlde, assisting at the consecration of the illustrious Gundechar as bishop of Eichstadt.

Hildebrand had left Rome with commissions to execute in Italy and France, as well as in Germany; and on his of Milan, way to the imperial court had done important work at Milan (c. August 1057). Even in Lombardy there was no place where the laws not merely of the Church but of God regarding purity were more openly set at defiance than in that great city. From its illiterate archbishop downwards, the whole body of its clergy were stained with simony. Bonizo doubts if there were five out of a thousand not guilty of it; and, owing to the fact that most of the clergy were married, or, what was worse, lived in concubinage, and that their children followed largely the occupation of their fathers, the number of clerics in Milan was very considerable. And if we are to believe Landulf the elder, the contemporary historian of the city, the respectable married clergy were held in at least as much esteem as those who observed the discipline of the West in the matter of clerical continency. The unremitting efforts of the former to obtain benefices for their offspring was one of the principal causes of the simoniacal practices which were devastating the Church of Milan. As they profited pecuniary by these breaches of law and discipline, the Lombard nobility were ardent supporters of the married clergy. But the very magnitude of the disorders provoked a reaction; and an earnest attempt at reform was initiated. At the head of this movement was a young priest, Anselm by name, who belonged to a good family at Baggio near Milan, and who had been trained in learning and virtue by the famous Lanfranc at Bec. Hoping to crush the new spirit which was manifesting itself in his archiepiscopal see by removing its originator, Guido had contrived to induce the emperor and Pope Stephen to consent to Anselm’s being made bishop of Lucca. But the archbishop was no nearer the accomplishment of the end he had in view. Anselm’s work was taken up by two clerics of noble birth, Ariald and Landulf, who, in language at times more strong than judicious, denounced the clerical vices of the city. The people, especially the poor, inflamed by their addresses, showed themselves vi0lently hostile to the married and simoniacal clergy. Milan was soon in an uproar. From the fact that many of the reformers were dwellers in that quarter of the city —the Pataria— where old rags (patari) were sold, they were dubbed “Patarines” or “Ragbags” by the clergy and their aristocratic supporters. But if they called names, the people used force. They compelled many of the clergy to promise in writing to give up their wives or concubines, and seized their property. Thus driven to extremities, the harassed clerics appealed for protection first to the bishops of their province, and then to the Pope.

Stephen wrote at once exhorting the people to keep the peace, and ordering Guido to summon a synod for the settlement of the affair. A numerous assembly of bishops accordingly met together at Fontaneto in the diocese of Novara; but, as Landulf and Ariald failed to put in an appearance, they were duly excommunicated. None of the Patarines, however, took the slightest notice of the excommunication; Landulf and Ariald became greater heroes than ever, and the nobility were thoroughly overawed by the demonstrations made by the people in their behalf. Still, as their adversaries had turned to Rome, the Patarines determined to do likewise. In company with a number of “honourable men”, Ariald presented himself before the Pope, and begged him to send legates back with him to reform the Church of Milan. Stephen, after a careful examination of all the circumstances, gave him a favourable hearing, and sent him home in company with such ardent champions of reform as Bishop Anselm of Lucca and Cardinal Hildebrand.

Guido did not await the coming of these upright and inflexible judges, but fled to the court of the emperor. How thoroughly they manifested their approval at least of the principles which animated the Patarine party may be gauged from the bitter words of Landulf. The legates, he says, “owed broadcast ruin, discord, and dissension”. Leaving the Patarines, overjoyed at this their first victory, to propagate their ideas throughout Lombardy and to prepare for the severer struggle of 1059, Hildebrand went north to fulfil his other commissions in Germany and in France.

Meanwhile the health of Pope Stephen was declining. Unable to bear the climate of Rome, he went among the hills to the monastery on Monte Cassino (November 1057). There, for he was still its abbot, he applied himself, not only to the correcting of certain abuses which had crept in among the monks, but also to negotiating with the eastern emperor with regard to the schism.

As Christmas drew near his illness increased. Thinking his end was approaching, he bade the monks elect a new abbot, and was pleased that their votes were unanimously given to his friend, the famous Desiderius. However, as he wished to keep for himself the abbatial power, and as he had determined that Desiderius was to be one of his legates to Constantinople, he told the newly elected abbot that if, on his return from the East, he found the Pope still alive, he was merely to be a  titular abbot, but, under the opposite supposition, was to have the power as well as the honour attached to his title. The mission on which Desiderius was dispatched came to nothing, as the Pope had died before the delegates left Italy, and the abbot-elect was recalled to rule his monastery.

At length (February 10), feeling himself somewhat improved in health, and anxious to be back in Rome, to prepare for the great council he had determined to hold after Easter, Stephen returned to the city. One of the first acts which he accomplished on his return showed why he had determined to remain abbot of Monte Cassino, and what large designs he had been maturing. Whilst at the great monastery, his ears had been filled with stories of the dreadful deeds of the Normans, and, as Leo IX had done, he came to the conclusion that they must be expelled from Italy. But the history of his predecessor’s failure had taught him that little help was to be hoped for from Germany, and from even a strong emperor. Still less could be expected from a child. He would then bestow the imperial crown on his powerful brother, Duke Godfrey of Lorraine and Tuscany, and raise money for the war by borrowing the treasures of Monte Cassino. So at least ran a wild story. At any rate, he had not been long back in Rome before he sent word to the provost of the monastery to bring to him with all possible speed and secrecy its gold and silver, promising in a short time to return a far larger sum. Obedient, but sorrowful, the monks laid their treasure at the feet of the Pope. Touched at the sight of their grief, pleased at the sight of their prompt obedience, and, it may be, doubtful of the justice of what he had thought of doing, he bade them return home with their property, only keeping for himself a single statue (icona) out of the presents he had himself brought from Constantinople.

Unfortunately, his residence at Monte Cassino had not effected any material improvement in his health. He felt the hand of death was upon him, and, with statesmanlike instinct, that trouble was in store for the Papacy. But he was wise enough to devise a remedy for the evil he had wit enough to foresee. He called the Roman clergy and people together, and adjured them not to proceed to the election of a new Pope before the return of the subdeacon Hildebrand, should his own death supervene in the meantime. The succession was to be regulated by his advice. “For I know that after my death there will arise among you men, self-seekers, who will endeavour to obtain possession of the Apostolic See, not in accordance with canon law, but by force”.

After he had obtained a promise from all present that in any papal election which might take place, the canons should be faithfully observed, Stephen once again left Rome and set out for Tuscany (March 1058). Whether he went thither for his health’s sake, or to meet his brother, or for some other purpose, is uncertain. Anxious to have his last hours comforted by the presence of a saint, he sent word to John Gualbert to come from his monastery at Vallombrosa and meet him. But John was himself too ill to be able to obey the Pope’s summons.

However, if he could not secure the services of one saint, he was fortunate enough to obtain those of another. His deathbed at Florence was attended by St. Hugh, the great abbot of Cluny, a man whom Stephen had ever esteemed and loved, and of whom he used to say that the devil went out when Hugh came in, and returned when the worthy abbot departed. Solaced by the saint, and surrounded, as he had always been in life, by several of his brethren from Monte Cassino, the Pope had himself laid out in sackcloth and ashes, and, after receiving the last rites of the Church, expired in the abbot’s arms. He breathed his last on March 29, 1058. He was buried in the Church of S. Reparata, which was erected in the seventh century on the site of the Church of S. Salvatore, and was afterwards demolished (in the beginning of the fourteenth century) to make way for the present glorious Duomo, or Cathedral of S. Maria del Fiore. Whilst excavations were being made (August 1357) in the course of the erection of the existing church, we are assured by the Florentine historian Matteo Villani that there was found by the side of the altar of St. Zenobio, the patron saint of Florence, the tomb of Pope Stephen. The inscription on it made identification easy. On the breast of the corpse was found the papal brooch adorned with gems and with a golden clasp; on its head was a mitre, and there was a ring on its finger. “The relics were all entrusted to the Calonaci to await honourable burial”. Whether they ever obtained it, however, does not seem to be known.

The epitaph, which, according to Paccinelli in his history of the Abbey of Florence, used to be in the possession of Christina of Lorraine, grand-duchess of Tuscany, is a comparatively modern and insipid production in the renaissance style. It simply says, in many words, that Duke Godfrey in tears joins his tribute of affection to his brother with that of others, and that the monks of the Abbey of Florence do likewise

In conclusion, we may regret with Lambert of Hersfeld that Stephen’s early death disappointed those who had hoped great things from his pontificate, inasmuch as “for many years back no one had assumed the government of the Roman Church with greater satisfaction to all men, and amid more universal expectation of a glorious reign”. Esteemed by all the people in life, he was regarded by them as a miracle-worker in death.






A.D. 1059-1061.


Emperors of the East.

                 Isaac Comnenus, 1057-1059

                Constantine X, Ducas, 1059-10O7. 

 Kings of France

                Henry I, 1033-1060.

                Philip I, 1060-1108.


No sooner did the news of the death of Stephen X (March, 29) reach Rome, than that lawless party of the Roman barons, whose interference in papal elections had in the past epoch brought such disgrace upon the Papacy, made a last effort to keep their usurped power. Headed by Gregory de Alberico, count of Tusculum, Gerard or Girard, count of Galeria, and the sons of Crescentius of Monticelli, an armed band took possession of the city; and, at night, amidst scenes of the wildest disorder, despite the canons, the promises made to the late Pope, and the protests and anathemas of the cardinals, they elected John, bishop of Velletri, as the successor of St. Peter (April 5). By scattering broadcast the money which they had seized in the treasury of St. Peter’s, the nobles succeeded in getting , their puppet acknowledged by a number of the Romans. They could not, however, get a bishop to enthrone him in the prescribed manner. St. Peter Damian, whose office it was, as bishop of Ostia, to perform that ceremony, had fled with the other bishops; so that they were compelled to have the function carried out by an illiterate priest of the Church of Ostia.

The bishop who had after such a fashion been proclaimed Pope was a Roman of the region of St. Mary Major’s, and the son of one Guido. As he had been named by Cardinal Frederick as a possible candidate for the Papacy, he can scarcely have been the fool depicted by St. Peter Damian in the indignant letter which narrates the circumstances of his elevation. If he had no hand in bringing about his selection by the Tusculan faction, nay, if was against his will that he was promoted by it, he sinned, as St. Peter Damian pointed out, by striving to maintain himself in a position in which he had been illegally placed.

Fortunately the day of the counts of Tusculum was over. They had to reckon not only with Hildebrand outside the city, but with a strong opposition in Rome itself, especially in the Trastevere. There it was headed by a noble of the name of Leo, the son of Benedict known as “the Christian”, who seems to have been a convert from Judaism, and to have been the founder of the house of Pierleoni, which was to become so famous in the beginning of the following century.

But the more formidable opponent of baronial anarchy and insolence was Hildebrand. When he returned to Italy from his triple embassy, he was greeted with the sad news that the armed violence of the counts of Tusculum had gone far to undo the work of reform he had so well inaugurated. But the sword had no terrors for Hildebrand. He halted at Florence, and at once began to take steps to foil the blustering doings of the party of misrule. He put himself in communication with those in Rome who were anxious for the reform of Church and State; and, if we are to believe the Roman Annals, sent money to Leo the son of Benedict. Encouraged by his letters, strong opposition was offered by them to the dongs of the Tusculan counts and their creature, and Hildebrand was assured that what he did would meet with their consent.

Then, securing a promise of armed support from Duke Godfrey, he designated as Pope, Gerard, bishop of Florence. He was selected not only on account of his worth, but also, no doubt, because it was thought he would not be unacceptable to the German Court, as he had been nominated to his bishopric by the emperor Henry III. For Hildebrand had resolved to endeavour to secure the adhesion of the empress-regent to his plans. He could not look to her for troops, seeing that it was as much as she could do to maintain her own authority against disaffected Saxons and ambitious nobles. But he realized that her consent to his wishes would not merely avoid complications in the future, but help to the general acceptance of his candidate. It is far from unlikely that he went on this mission himself. At any rate a number of Romans approached the empress on the matter, and obtained from her a commission to Wibert, the imperial chancellor of Italy, and to Duke Godfrey to co-operate with Hildebrand in securing the appointment of the bishop of Florence. On the return of the embassy, the cardinals who had escaped from Rome met together at Siena, probably in December, and duly elected the Burgundian Gerard.

In the first month of the following year Wibert and Godfrey assembled their forces at Sutri. After holding a council there, in which the usurper Benedict was condemned, Gerard and his supporters advanced on Rome. Their friends in the Trastevere forthwith admitted them into that part of the city. After some fighting Gerard became master of Rome, and Benedict, henceforth contemptuously dubbed Mincius, fled to Passarano, and placed himself under the protection of Regem or Regetellus, the son of Crescentius.

After the prefect Peter had been replaced by John Tiniosus, one of Hildebrand’s Trasteverine followers, a solemn assembly of the people was held at the Lateran, and the circumstances of Benedict’s election thoroughly inquired into. Some of those who were interrogated at once acknowledged that the election of Benedict was a crime, but declared that it had been effected despite them; others, however, maintained that, as Benedict was a wise and good man, they had done well in electing him. However, the greater part both of the clergy and the laity were of the same mind as the archdeacon, and accordingly deposed Benedict, and elected Gerard.

Thus duly “chosen by the Roman clergy and people”, the Burgundian bishop, learned, bright, pure, and charitable, was solemnly enthroned in St. Peter’s as Nicholas II, and received from his subjects the usual oath of fidelity. But some, we are told, took it holding up their left hands; for, they said, they had already sworn to Benedict with their right. The same authority insinuates that all this was not accomplished without bribery and the personal solicitations of the Pope.

The position of Nicholas, however, was anything but safe. Benedict had left Passarano, and had betaken himself to the strong castle of Count Gerard of Galeria. It was necessary to have him dislodged, and Hildebrand could not think of any who were at once able and willing to effect that task but the Normans. They had ever shown themselves wishful to approach the Papacy. The time had come, then, to reverse the policy of Leo IX, and to make the best of the Norman occupation of south Italy, which was now an accomplished fact. After the battle of Civitella, the Norman hold of the southern portion of the Italian peninsula had rapidly tightened. Encouraged by his successes against the town, Richard of Aversa assumed the title of Prince of Capua in 1058, though he did not obtain full and final control over it till the middle of 1062. It was to him that Hildebrand, “by command of Pope Nicholas”, betook himself in the first instance. His mission was crowned with complete success. Richard promised fealty to the Pope and to the Roman Church, and dispatched three hundred men with Hildebrand to seize the castle of Galeria. The place, however, was strong, so that after ravaging the district the Normans returned without effecting its reduction. This was in the spring of 1059. The Norman alliance had made a beginning, and was quickly to be extended.

One of the agents who helped to strengthen the good understanding between the Papacy and the Normans was Desiderius, whom we have seen made honorary abbot of Monte Cassino by Stephen X. Prevented by bad weather from sailing to Constantinople for the purpose of carrying out the commission entrusted to him by that Pope, he had had to throw himself upon the generosity of the Norman Guiscard in order to secure a safe return to his abbey when Stephen died. He was fortunate enough to find favour in the eyes of the fierce Norman, who assisted him to reach Monte Cassino in safety, and ever remained deeply attached to him. Duly installed as its abbot on April 18, 1058, it was not, however, till about a year later that Desiderius was consecrated by Pope Nicholas at Osimo (March 7), after he had been ordained cardinal-priest on the preceding day. And, in a bull in favour of Monte Cassino which he praises as the model of monasteries and as allied to the Holy See, Nicholas bestowed on Desiderius, but for his own lifetime only, jurisdiction over all the monks in Campania, and in the Principality of Benevento, and in Apulia and Calabria. With the aid of the local bishops he was commissioned to restore discipline, which, in some monasteries, was relaxed. Such in south Italy was the position of the man whose high intelligence and gentleness of character was to make him the acceptable intermediary between the Papacy and the redoubtable Robert Guiscard.

Whilst Nicholas was utilizing the good understanding which existed between Desiderius and the Normans to effect reforms in the South, he was, about the same time, employing the zeal of St. Peter Damian in the North to continue the good work commenced by Hildebrand in Milan. It was a deputation of its citizens that had moved him to send his legates there. To the fiery saint he joined the milder Anselm da Baggio, or Badagio, bishop of Lucca, and destined to be Alexander II. But this second papal mission was not to be accomplished as quietly as the first. The simoniacal clergy had not been idle in the meantime. They had organized a party in opposition to that of the Patarines. The legates were received, indeed, with the honour which was due to representatives of the Holy See; but no sooner had they proceed to deal in synod with the matter which had brought them to the city, than there arose among the people a regular tumult, organized by the clergy in opposition. This rapidly increased in intensity when Archbishop Guido was seen to be seated on the left of St. Peter Damian, while Anselm was on his right. Many went about shouting that the Church of St. Ambrose ought not to be subject to the jurisdiction of Rome, and that the Roman See had no right to act as judge within that of Milan. The people crowded towards the episcopal palace, where the synod was assembled; they made the whole city reverberate with the harsh clanging of its bells, and threatened Damian with death. Quite unmoved, however, he arose and calmly addressed the angry mob.

What province, he asked them, was outside of the rule of him who had the keys of the gates of heaven itself. Patriarchs and bishops, emperors and kings, have been made by man, but the Roman Church was founded through Peter by Christ Himself. Milan, he reminded them, had received its first apostles from Rome, and their great patron St. Ambrose had ever acknowledged its pre-eminence. “Search”, said he in conclusion, “your own records, and if you do not find there recorded what I have stated, you may account me a liar. But if you discover that I have spoken what is true, then resist not the truth, assail not your mother, but be ever ready gladly to receive the solid food of heavenly doctrine from the one from whom, you first drew the milk of apostolic faith”.

Overcome by the character and eloquence of Damian, the people were not only quietened, but were moved to promise the saint to do whatever he should require of them. “Then”, moralizes the legate, “I saw plainly how all-important it was in ecclesiastical cases to understand the prerogatives (privilegium) of the Roman Church”.

He insisted in the first instance that the archbishop and the principal clergy should sign a declaration to the effect that in future holy orders, ecclesiastical benefices, etc., should be bestowed freely, and that the Western discipline with regard to clerical continency should be strictly upheld. He obtained a similar oath from the majority of the people. Then he imposed suitable penances in the old canonical style on the various delinquents, which they were allowed to redeem by the payment of a fixed sum of money, or, in other cases, by the recitation of prescribed prayers, or the performance of certain works of charity. With all this, however, it will not surprise any who know the world that evils which had struck deep and wide roots were not eradicated by one effort even of a saint.

Lateran Council, April 13, 1059

Soon after the mission of St. Peter Damian to Milan, there met in Rome a synod of one hundred and thirteen bishops, which was destined to exercise a lasting influence on the history of the Papacy. The chief business which occupied the attention of the assembly was the formulating of legislation calculated to prevent the repetition of such elections as that of Benedict X, and to affirm the lawfulness of that of Nicholas. Unfortunately, the struggle between the Popes and the emperors, which occupied no little portion of this period, caused the wording of the principal decree propagated by the council to be afterwards tampered with. Such a version of it will be given here as seems best supported by other documents of acknowledged authenticity which bear upon it.

Besides issuing decrees against simony and clerical and lay incontinency, the council ordained “that, on the death of the Pontiff of this universal Roman Church, (1) the cardinal-bishops shall together and with the greatest care consider who is to be his successor; (2) that they shall then attach to themselves the cardinals of the other orders (clericos cardinales); (3) and that the rest of the clergy and the laity shall next express their adhesion to the new election. To put down all attempt at venality, let the religious men (religiosi viri), the clergy, i.e., the cardinals, take the lead in the election of the new Pope, and let the others follow them. If the ranks of the (Roman) Church can show a suitable candidate, let him be elected; but, if not, let one be taken from another church—saving the honour and respect due to our most beloved son Henry, now king, and one day, by the blessing of God, it is to be hoped, emperor, according as, by the mediation of his envoy, Wibert or Guibert, chancellor of Lombardy, we have granted to him, and to such of his successors as shall have individually obtained this privilege from the Apostolic See”.

“And if the power of the wicked is such that a proper and gratuitous election cannot be made in Rome, let the cardinal-bishops, along with the pious clergy (cum religiosis cleris), and with the Catholic laity, even if few in number, have the right of electing the Pontiff of the Apostolic See where they shall think best. And when the election has once been made, should war or the malice of the wicked prevent the enthronization of the newly elect, let him, as true Pope, have authority to rule the Roman Church. If, despite these decrees, anyone shall have been elected or enthroned by sedition, or by any other means, let him be regarded not as Pope, but as Satan, and let him be degraded from the position he held before such election; and let his aiders and abettors be punished in the same way. In fine, such as should dare to set at naught these decrees were laid under the most dreadful anathemas”.

Although this new legislation on papal elections did not aim at securing absolute freedom of choice, as it allowed the emperor some undefined right of interference, it was a great stride in that direction. It took initiative in the matter out of the hands of emperor, noble, or populace, and rested it finally in the hands of a special section of the Roman clergy, viz. the cardinals, especially the cardinal- bishops, and required that their choice should be simply ratified by the rest of the Romans, cleric and lay.

But it must be borne in mind that this new decree, aimed primarily against the unruly Roman nobility, only made applicable to the Roman See the procedure in episcopal elections then in force in every other see. The early method of election “by clergy and people” had led to such disorders that, outside Rome, it had long been abolished, and the right of election had been vested in the clergy. In order, then, to do away with the tumultuous elections caused by the Roman nobles, this decree committed all future papal elections mainly to the clergy. It was not, however, till our own day, after the election of our present glorious Pontiff, Pius X, that any interference whatsoever of the secular power in the election of a Pope was finally forbidden.

Notice of the work of this synod, which the bishops of the conciliabulum of Worms (January 1076) assign, no doubt correctly, to the promptings of Hildebrand, was sent by Nicholas to the bishops of Gaul, and of Amalfi, as well as to the clergy of the Catholic world in general.

Berengarius of Tours, 1059

Besides endeavouring to promote the canonical or community life among the secular clergy, the council dealt with the heresy of Berengarius. Since his condemnation at Tours in 1054 he had not ceased to propagate his peculiar views. At length (1059), pressed by Hildebrand, he set out for Rome to lay his teaching before the Pope. Because Hildebrand had been considerate towards him, he affected to believe that the great cardinal was in sympathy with his doctrines. He accordingly induced his patron, Geoffrey Martel, count of Anjou (1040-60), and son of the dreaded Fulk Nerra, to write to Hildebrand and induce him to defend the assertion that the bread remains on the altar after the consecration. When he arrived in Rome, and he was called upon himself to unfold what he had to say on this proposition, he would not speak, either because, according to his own version, he was frightened by the threat of death, or because, as Lanfranc asserted, he had no arguments to adduce.

His teaching was therefore condemned; and he had both to burn his own books and to accept a profession of faith touching the Holy Eucharist drawn up by Cardinal Humbert. The main contention of Berengarius was that substance and its appearances or accidents are absolutely inseparable, and that, consequently, where there are the external resemblances of bread, there bread must be. Hence his teaching (if it be supposed that at this period at any rate he believed in the Real Presence) was now equivalent to the impanation or companation theory of Martin Luther. With a view to compelling Berengarius to show his true colours, and to preventing him from continuing his tergiversations, Humbert undoubtedly used terms which modern Catholic theologians would not employ; but which, due regard being had to the doctrines of Berengarius, were well calculated to bring out clearly the teaching of the Church. “The unworthy deacon of the Church of St. Maurice at Angers”, as he called himself, accordingly anathematized the assertion that “the bread and wine after consecration are only a symbol (or sign, sacramentum), and not the true body and blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and that this body cannot, in fact (or really, sensibly, sensualiter), and apart from the symbol (in solo Sacramento), be handled by the priest or eaten by the faithful”. On the contrary, his profession proclaimed that “the bread and wine of the altar after consecration are not merely a sign (sacramentum), but are the true body and blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and are actually (sensualiter), and not in figure but in truth (non solum sacramento sed in veritate) handled by the priest, etc”.

No sooner, however, was he back home in safety, than, heartily abusing Cardinal Humbert, “the Burgundian”, as he chose falsely to call him, he began anew to propagate his heretical opinions regarding the Blessed Eucharist. Summoned to Rome a second time by Hildebrand, now Pope Gregory VII, he again confessed before a council (February 11, 1079) that he had taught error, and signed a yet more exactly worded profession of Catholic faith than he had done before.

With such patent evidence of want of character in the “unworthy deacon”, it is curious that Archbishop Trench should have to condemn a disposition to overrate Berenger, and this both intellectually and morally, and should have to emphasize the fact that “he was from the beginning restless and vain ... Then, too, there is a passionate feebleness about him. He scolds like an angry woman. A much smaller man than Abelard ... he shares with him in a very unpleasant trait, namely, that he cannot conceive of any opposing or even disagreeing with him, except as impelled to this by ignorance or dishonesty or personal malice”.

If anything said with regard to Hildebrand by Bishop Benzo of Alba, who was present at this synod, can be accepted as true, it was not broken up before “Prandellus” (such is his designation of his enemy), “after corrupting the Romans with money and lies, placed a regal crown upon the head of his puppet (hydolum). On its lower circlet it bore the words : ‘The crown of the kingdom from the hand of God’, and on its upper one, ‘The diadem of empire from the hand of Peter’. ” Whatever may be thought of the details of this narrative, there is no reason to doubt the main fact; for it is certain that the Popes were crowned in this century.

The difficulties against which the Popes had to contend in their efforts for reform may be judged from this. Most of the Lombard bishops, “obstinate bulls”, as they are called by Bonizo, as soon as they returned home, took care not to publish the decrees of the council. They had received too much money from the incriminated clerks. The only one who ventured to make them public, viz., the bishop of Brescia, was almost beaten to death by them. This sacrilegious violence, however, had one good result. It led to a considerable increase of the party of the Patarines, and to the number of those who cut themselves off from such of the clergy as were living in concubinage.

After this important synod had finished its sittings, and whilst, to the great grief of Nicholas, the pontifical authority was being set at naught by the Roman barons (Romanorum capitanei), an embassy arrived from the Normans. Among those who had most distinguished themselves on the field of Civitella was Robert, one of the many sons of Tancred of Hauteville. Because he was the wiliest of the wily Normans, “second in craft neither to Cicero nor Ulysses”, he was known among them as the wiseacre (Guiscard) par excellence. According to the Eastern royal poetess, Anna Comnena, who both feared and hated Robert, he was a man “of ruddy complexion, light hair and broad shoulders, and possessed of a voice like to that of Achilles, of a shout which could put to flight myriads of enemies”. This re­doubtable warrior, the real founder of Norman rule in Italy, became the chief of his countrymen in Apulia after the death of his elder brother Humphrey (1056 or 1057), and soon made his younger brother Roger the associate of his power. What that power became may be gauged from the fact that in the same year his arms, or the terror of his name, put to flight the emperor of the East and the emperor of the West.

Realizing how much more easily he would be able to accomplish his ends if he had the goodwill instead of the enmity of the Pope, he sent to Nicholas the embassy just mentioned. The ambassadors, in Robert’s name, begged him to come to Apulia, and to effect a complete understanding with their countrymen, reconciling them to God’s church. Nicholas and his advisers resolved to accept the invitation; they too came to the conclusion that it would be better to have the goodwill of the Normans instead of their enmity. The time had come to reverse the policy of Leo IX and Stephen (IX) X. The position of the Normans in south Italy was now assured, and they were anxious to be at peace with the Church.

Accordingly, as well to hold a council for the promotion of discipline as to meet the Normans, the Pope, along with Abbot Desiderius, betook himself to Melfi, the headquarters of their power in Apulia. Robert, who was then engaged in the siege of Cariati on the coast, at once abandoned it. Besides the Normans, some hundred bishops gathered round the Pope in synod. Of the latter, several were deposed for simony and other crimes, and decrees were issued, with not altogether satisfactory results, against the prevailing laxity in the matter of the celibacy of the clergy, which in those parts was encouraged by the example of the Greeks.

When the ecclesiastical business of the synod was finished, the Norman question was discussed. To prove his wish for a thorough reconciliation with the Roman Church, Robert restored all its patrimonies which he had seized. In return, he was not only absolved from whatever ecclesiastical censures he had incurred, but, “at the request of many”, was recognized by the Pope as duke of Apulia, Calabria, and Sicily, on condition of his taking an oath of fealty to him, and paying a yearly tribute of twelve denar for every yoke of oxen. At the same time, William de Montreuil, known as the Good Norman, said to have been constituted the armed advocate or standard-bearer of the Roman See.

To seal his compact with the Holy See, Robert took an of oath to Nicholas in the following terms: “I, Robert, by the grace of God and of St. Peter, duke of Apulia and Calabria, and, by like grace, hereafter of Sicily, will from this hour be a true vassal (fidelis) to the Holy Church of Rome, and to thee, Pope Nicholas, my lord. In the counsel or in the act whereby thy life or liberty shall be endangered will I not share; the secret (consilium) which thou shalt have confided to my keeping I will never knowingly reveal to thy hurt; I will steadfastly assist the Roman Church in the protection and extension of the royalties (regalia) and possessions of St. Peter to the best of my power against all men; and I will support thee in the safe and honourable possession of the Roman Papacy, of its territory, and of its privileges (principatum); and I will not aim at harrying or plundering (thy domains), nor will I take possession of any of them without thy express consent or that of thy lawful successors. I will honourably see to it that the Roman Church each year receives the revenues of such of its patrimonies as I now hold or may here­after come into my hands. All churches in my dominions I put, with their possessions, into thy power, and I will consider the defence of them an obligation resulting from my fealty to the Church of Rome. And shouldst thou or any of thy successors depart this life before me, I, under the directions of the better-disposed cardinals, the clergy, and the people of Rome, will do my best to secure the election and ordination of a Pontiff to the honour of St. Peter. All these things do I swear that I will loyally observe in thy sight, in that of the Roman Church, and in that of thy lawful successors who shall continue to me the investiture granted by you”.

In thus acting as the suzerain of south Italy, Nicholas was partly recognizing the status quo, and partly bestowing on another rights which had been given to his predecessors by the Carolingian and Saxon donations, but which they had never themselves exercised. Nevertheless, we may be prepared to find that the Germans will bitterly resent the action of the Pope. They could justly point out not only that his predecessors had often acknowledged the imperial claims over south Italy, but also that even the Normans themselves had in presence of a Pope sworn fealty to the emperor (1047). However, neither Greek nor German had been able to uphold their power in face of the Normans, so that it is hard to blame the Pope for accepting the suzerainty over a country which its actual owners practically put into his hands. It may be true that the connection with south Italy brought more curses than blessings to the Papacy right down to the nineteenth century, but still the legalizing of the de facto owner’s possession of the two Sicilies by one who had claims to a large portion of them was a blessing at least to the people in that kingdom. With the Normans came comparative peace and order where all had been chaos and war.

This papal recognition of their claims was promptly followed by important results. The following year (1060) saw a beginning made by Count Roger of the expulsion of the Saracens from Sicily, and the time immediately following the holding of the council saw the end of the evil sway which the barons had long held over Rome.

When the Pope began to retrace his steps, there accompanied him a strong force of Normans (c. September 1059). The counts of Tusculum, Praeneste, and Sabina were soon subdued, and the Norman army advanced on Galeria, the retreat of the antipope and the chief stronghold of Count Gerard. One of the old domuscultae of Pope Zachary, this fortress, some fifteen miles from Rome, was situated on the Arrone, and was a little south of the Via Clodia. After considerable loss on the part of the Normans, and after they had ravaged the count’s territories as far as Sutri, Galeria was reduced to the last extremity. It was then that the antipope offered to give up his claims, if his personal safety was guaranteed. After this had been done by thirty Roman nobles, Benedict gave himself up, went to Rome with the Pope, and retired to his home near S. Maria Maggiore to lead a quiet life. The power of the Campanian barons was completely broken.

It would not have been natural if Nicholas had forgotten the man who called him to the Papacy, and who had been mainly instrumental in bringing his rival to his knees. Ingratitude, however, cannot be laid at his door. He no sooner returned to Rome than he made Hildebrand oeconomous and archdeacon of the Roman Church. It seems to have been about this year that, perhaps for the second time, he took over the management of the monastery attached to St. Paul’s outside-the-walls, in which he had long dwelt as a monk.

Among the signatures to the decrees of the Roman synod of April is that of “Airard, bishop and abbot of St. Paul’s”. Whilst in the latter capacity, he had been nominated by Leo IX (1049) to the See of Nantes, but had been rejected by its people, had returned to Rome, and had again resumed his government of the abbey of St. Paul. However, about this time (1059 or 1060) he returned to France and made further vain efforts to obtain possession of his see. He was certainly still alive in 1064. Following Paul Bernried, it would seem that Hildebrand had been “set over” the monastery of St. Paul when Airard left it in 1049. Owing to the latter’s incompetency, it was in a wretched condition both temporarily and spiritually. It would not appear that Hildebrand had then the title of abbot; but he at once reformed it, and handed it back to Airard on his return from his fruitless journey in a very different state to that in which he had found it. Even on Airard’s second departure, he seems for a second period to have governed the abbey at least for some time, probably till the death of Airard, merely as its procurator.

A memorial of his zeal for the external as well as the internal beauty of his monastery has come down to our times in the famous panelled bronze doors of St. Paul’s, which were saved from the disastrous fire of 1823. Standing at present in the sacristy of the great basilica, they are a solid memorial of the renaissance in art which was actually in progress at Constantinople about this time, and of the yearning in western Europe for better artistic work, which accompanied its intellectual awakening in this century. Inscriptions on the doors themselves let us know that they were made in the year 1070, “during the times of His Holiness Pope Alexander II, and of the Lord Hildebrand, venerable monk”, and that they were fashioned at Constantinople by one Stauracius. The expense of their production was borne by Pantaleon, “patricius and consul”, one of the sons of Count Mauro of Amalfi, and an ardent partisan of the Greek cause against the Normans. They were covered with fifty-four embossed bronze plates, ornamented with enamel work and inlaid with gold and silver thread. Needless to say that from one cause and another they are no longer in perfect condition.

From several of Nicholas’s letters it is clear that he had very early in his pontificate formed the design of imitating Pope Leo IX and of going to France. Unable, however, to carry out his intention as soon as he had hoped, he manifested his interest in the affairs of that country by the dispatch of letters and legates. The council of 1059 was no sooner over than he sent notice of its decrees “to the bishops of Gaul, Aquitaine, and Gascony”, along with a copy of the retractation of Berengarius.

Perhaps about this also, Nicholas sent to the same country another letter which is worth mentioning, as it puts us in touch with that Franco-Russian alliance of which we have of late years heard so much. In 1051 Henry I of France married, for her great beauty, the Princess Anne, daughter of Jaroslav the Great, grand-duke of Kief (1015-54). Writing to this interesting lady, the Pope tells her that he rejoices to hear that manly virtues have taken up their abode in her womanly breast. He exhorts her to persevere in their exercise to the last hour of her life, and to use her influence that her husband may govern his kingdom well and may protect the Church. In fine, he would have her bring up her children well in the love of their Creator, and remind them that, if they are noble because they belong to the royal family, they are still more noble because they have the Church for the mother.

Whether or not on account of any representations made to him by his wife, Henry appears at this time to have viewed Rome with less suspicion. At any rate the first mentioned among those present at the coronation of his son, the little Philip (May 23, 1059), are Hugh, archbishop of Besançon, and Ermenfrid, bishop of Sion (in the Valais). And they were, the first after the consecrator, Gervais, archbishop of Rheims, to give their assent to the choice of Philip as king, though this privilege was accorded them “out of deference to the person they represented, for it is well known that the election can take place without the consent of the Pope”.

We have several letters of Nicholas to the consecrator of the boy-king of France. In one of these the Pope notes that Gervais has been accused to him of favouring the party of the antipope, and of not paying sufficient attention to the mandates of the Apostolic See. He has, however, taken no notice of these charges, because a person of good standing has assured him of the archbishop’s “loyalty to St. Peter”. He looks to Gervais to help to raise the Church of the Franks, “which has almost sunk to the ground”, and begs him to use all his influence that the king may not allow himself to be led by designing men who hope, by promoting dissensions between their spiritual and temporal rulers, to escape the censure of the Pope. Gervais must strive especially that Henry do not insist on giving the bishopric of Macon to a man who is utterly unfit for the position.

Though in another letter Gervais commanded to make good damage done to the Church of Verdun, we find by yet another that the archbishop succeeded in convincing the Pope that the suspicion he entertained against his devotion to the Holy See was unfounded. Consequently Nicholas was not slow to express his intention of supporting Gervais. “For we have no wish to be lacking in justice, in support of which, were it necessary, we should think it again to die”


Passing over the fact that it was Nicholas who removed the interdict from Normandy, and gave William the Conqueror permission to retain Matilda as his wife, we must notice his pressing on of reform in France. Feeling now more sure both of the king and of the archbishop of Rheims, and strong in the support of the great order of Cluny, he sent at the close of the year (1059) Cardinal Stephen, a Frenchman, a monk of Cluny and the bosom friend of Hildebrand, to continue the struggle against simony and clerical incontinency. Early in the following year the new legate presided over councils at Vienne and at Tours, while the famous Hugo, abbot of Cluny, also acting in the Pope’s name, did the same in the provinces of Avignon and Toulouse.

The progress of the good work was, however, troubled by the death of the king (August 4, 1060). Formally announcing this event to the Pope, Gervais begged for his counsel. “You know how impatient of control our people are, and how hard to rule. I am afraid their dissensions will mean misery for the country. Help me by your advice to avoid it. As you are the father of all, it is for you to give it to every kingdom, but especially to ours, as it is the duty of good men to aid their native land first and foremost”. He longs for the Pope to come to France, for he has brought honour to it, seeing that Rome has chosen him “to make him her own ruler and that of the world”. He would honour the Pope as Our Lord honoured Peter when he made him head of the Church.

When Stephen passed from France into Germany, he was very far from finding sentiments such as these animating the breasts of many of the bishops of the latter country, especially the aulic prelates. Though they were no doubt angry at the Norman alliance effected by Hildebrand, and at the tone of the new papal election decree, it seems to have been personal feeling that caused them to act against the Pope. This seems to be established by what we are told of the general taint of avariciousness which seems to have infected them all, and of the action of Anno of Cologne. It is Benzo who tells us that it was Anno who starred up others to avenge injuries which Hildebrand had inflicted both upon him and them. The injuries of which they complained were the well merited censures which Nicholas had meted out to them.

Accordingly, during the course, it would seem, of the summer of the year 1060, the chief officials (rectores) of the royal court, along with, forsooth, some holy bishops of the Teutonic kingdom, conspiring against the Roman Church, collected a council. Therein, with an audacity wholly incredible, they passed sentence upon the Pope and declared all that he had decreed null and void. It is not then to be wondered at that when Cardinal Stephen, of whose great virtue and patience St. Peter Damian has much to say, arrived in Germany, the court officials, as well clerical as lay, would neither admit him to their deliberations nor allow him to present to the king the documents he had brought with him. After being kept waiting some five days, he had to return to Rome without accomplishing his mission.

Whilst, by means of his legates, Nicholas was endeavouring to forward the work of reform in distant lands, both among clergy and people, he was moving about Italy himself with the like intent. His beloved Florence saw him several times, and we have traces of him at Fano, Farfa, and other places.

In April 1060 he assisted at a tragic ceremony, viz., at the public degradation of the papal pretender, Benedict X. Unfortunately, knowledge of this event has come down to us only through the antipapal author of the Annales Romani. From an incidental remark made by him, however, it would appear that it was suspicion, at least, of some new movement in his favour which was the cause of this fresh proceeding against him.

At any rate he was brought by the archdeacon Hildebrand into the Lateran basilica before the Pope and a number of bishops assembled in council. He was stripped of his sacerdotal vestments by Hildebrand, and was compelled despite his tearful protestations, to read aloud a list of crimes laid to his charge. By his side stood his aged mother, with bare bosom and dishevelled hair, weeping and wailing, and along with her were his relatives, striking their breasts and tearing their cheeks with their nails.

Unmoved by such a spectacle, the archdeacon cried aloud, “Hear, ye citizens of Rome, the evil deeds of the man you chose as Pope”. Then was the unfortunate forced to clothe himself in the robes of a Pope, only to have them torn from him.