Welcome back to "How Catholic Are You?" Today, we're sharing with you the miraculous and mysterious story of Pope Saint Leo I (also known as Pope Leo the Great) and Attila the Hun. Bit of an odd pair, don't you think? In fact, Attila was one of the most ruthless conquerors in human history. What could he ever want with a pope?
As a matter of fact, he wanted to conquer his city. In the year 452, Attila and his army ravaged through Italy like a hot knife through butter. They had their eyes set on the crown jewel of the region: Rome. With Roman troops overrun (this was only 20 or so years before the Western Roman Empire fell), the city seemed all but lost with the Huns on the doorstep.
In a last-ditch effort to save the Eternal City, Emperor Valentinian III sent 3 envoys to negotiate with Attila, one of whom was Pope Leo. This is where the mystery comes in! Nothing is known about the ensuing negotiations aside from the fact that Leo met with Attila in his hut. Nobody knows what they spoke about or what was agreed upon, but whatever Leo said saved the city!
After their discussion, Atilla (again, perhaps the most vicious invader in human history) packed up his army and went home. Rome paid no money to the Huns, nor did they give them any territorial rights. It would seem like they gave up nothing at all. How is this possible? Well, the Pope is the Vicar of Christ, the shepherd of the entire universal Church. It is safe to assume that whatever he said was inspired by the Holy Spirit, and sometimes that's all we need know.
This is a crazy and borderline unbelievable story. If they wrote a fictional movie script with this plot, it would immediately be canned because it's just not plausible. But it really happened! Miracles, the Holy Spirit, and the power of Christ to change the hearts of mankind are all real. Praise God for inspiring His Vicar on earth to save the city of Rome. Pope Saint Leo the Great, pray for us!