Today’s Saint

Daily Journey with the Saints

April 19 | Humility

Saint Leo IX

A.D. 1002–1054

C. S. Lewis observed, “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it's thinking of yourself less.”

The battle between humility and pride is central to the spiritual life. Pride contaminates anything that is good, destroys relationships, and blinds us to what is good, true, right, and just. It is the source of all moral evil.

Humility is truth. It is false to devalue yourself or your talents. That isn’t humility. Humility is acknowledging the source of your talents. God is the giver of all gifts, the origin of all our talents and abilities, and the source of all goodness and every blessing. You can have exceptional abilities and be humble, you can be an exceptional human being and possess deep humility.

Saint Leo IX’s papacy was marked through and through by humility, beginning with his election.

He was born Bruno of Egisheim-Dagsburg in eastern France and became a bishop at a young age. After Pope Damasus II died in 1048, a small group of clergy convened a meeting and selected Bruno as his successor. They even obtained the approval of the Holy Roman Emperor. Upon hearing this news, Bruno refused to accept until there was a proper election. And then he demanded that not only should his fellow churchmen decide, but also the people of Rome. The Church and Emperor, astonished by this demonstration of humility, agreed. 

Bruno then proceeded to put on the clothing of a poor pilgrim and walk all the way to Rome from France. He arrived in Rome without any ceremonial showiness, and the people received him warmly and called for him to be their pope. At this moment, Bruno took the name of Pope Leo IX. He would later become known as Saint Leo IX. His legacy of humility left a lasting mark on the Church, and is an inspiring reminder to not think less of ourselves, but to think of ourselves less.

Humility is essential to spiritual flourishing. Our desire for humility grows the more we understand what it actually is, and how it differs from pride. 

Prideful arrogance is repugnant. Humility is also supremely attractive. Pride wrestles with the whole universe, trying to get everyone and everything to conform to our will. Humility surrenders gently to God. Pride thinks only of self and now. Humility thinks of everyone and everything, forever. Pride is restless. Humility is peaceful and at ease. 

Pursue humility, not pride. How can you invite humility into your life today?


I will think less about myself and more about others.

This reflection is brought to you from book title.

Also Known As: Pope Leo IX

Symbols: The Roman Rota (An Ecclesiastical Court)

Feast Day Shared By: Saint Expeditus

Canonized: 1082

Canonized By: Pope Gregory VII

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