The Legacy of Pope Leo XIII
Pope Leo XIII reigned from February 20, 1878 to July 20, 1903. To our Institute members, he is most affectionately admired for a great many reasons, perhaps most especially for his authorship of the Prayer to St. Michael, his eleven encyclicals on the Rosary, and those on Catholic social teaching.
Pope Leo XIII promoted Marian devotion — especially through recitation of the Rosary — as a powerful antidote to the devil’s attacks on the Church, the family, and society. He was well aware of the dangers posed by trends in modern thought. He foresaw many social evils that would come to pass as a result of erroneous philosophies.
He never tired of encouraging political and moral leaders to live and rule in a Christian way. As an intellectual and spiritual leader, he was able to see deeply into the reality of the world, always acutely aware of the invisible yet very real battle being waged against the soul of each person and against communities everywhere.
Pope Leo XIII’s wisdom, foresight, and his tireless work for God’s Kingdom on social, pastoral, and spiritual levels makes him an excellent namesake as our Institute strives to utilize at once sound science and accurate theology, steeped in a life of contemplative prayer, to form exorcists, priests, and deacons equipped to love and serve the most broken members of society through the healing power of Christ.
“The race of man, after its miserable fall from God, the Creator and the Giver of heavenly gifts, ‘through the envy of the devil,’ separated into two diverse and opposite parts, of which the one steadfastly contends for truth and virtue, the other of those things which are contrary to virtue and to truth. The one is the kingdom of God on earth, namely, the true Church of Jesus Christ; and those who desire from their heart to be united with it, so as to gain salvation, must of necessity serve God and His only begotten Son with their whole mind and with an entire will. The other is the kingdom of Satan, in whose possession and control are all whosoever follow the fatal example of their leader and of our first parents, those who refuse to obey the divine and eternal law, and who have many aims of their own in contempt of God, and many aims also against God…
Let us take our helper and intercessor the Virgin Mary, Mother of God, so that she, who from the moment of her conception overcame Satan may show her power over these evil sects, in which is revived the contumacious spirit of the demon, together with his unsubdued perfidy and deceit. Let us beseech Michael, the prince of the heavenly angels, who drove out the infernal foe…”
— Pope Leo XIII, Humanum Genus, Encyclical on Freemasonry, promulgated on April 20, 1884