Born and raised in Eguisheim, Germany (now a part of France), Leo became a Benedictine monk and later became canon and bishop of Toul. In 1049, he was elected pope by a council of bishops at Worms. However, Leo insisted upon a canonical election by the bishops and people of Rome themselves.
During his five year reign, St. Leo exhibited a reforming spirit that had not been seen in Rome for quite sometime. At the Easter synod of 1049, St. Leo condemned concubinage and institued celibacy for all ranks of the clergy including subdeacon. St. Leo also fought strenuously against simony (the selling of clerical offices) particularly in Germany. At another Easter synod in 1050, the pope condemned the teachings of Berengar of Tours.
St. Leo was also active as a diplomat in trying to secure the submission of the Hungarians to the German empire and in fighting the Normans in southern Italy. He was imprisoned and died in 1054 shortly after returning to Rome.
Our Lady of the Angels, pray for us!
St. Leo IX, pray for us!