April 19th


On April 19th, 1054, Pope Leo IX died. Born ‘Bruno, Graf von Egisheim und Dagsburg’, Leo IX was a German aristocrat and ruler of central Italy whose papacy spanned from February 12th, 1049, until his death.

The papacy of Leo IX is considered to hold more historical significance than any other. Leo is considered to have been the catalyst for the Great Schism of 1054, which saw the separation of the Catholic Church – led by Pope Leo IX – from the Orthodox Church – led by Michael Cerularius.


Pope Leo IX had an ambition of reforming the Catholic Church into the heart of global Christianity and, thus, into a global power. In 1054 Great Schism occurred; the separation of the Eastern and Western Churches. This is considered as being closely linked with Leo’s papacy due to his military intervention against the Norman conquest of Southern Italy – which was unsuccessful.

After his defeat against the Norman invaders, Leo was held prisoner in Benevento, Italy, through 1053-54. Leo IX died on April 19, 1054, shortly after his return to Rome. He was succeeded by Pope Victor II.


Read more about the papacy of Leo IX: February 12th


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