Roman Catholic Pope, Saint. Born Bruno von Egisheim-Dagsburg. When he was young, it is said that though he had given abundant evidence of a bright mind, on one occasion he could not study out of an exceptionally beautiful book which his mother had bought and given to him. It turned out that the book had been stolen from the Abbey of St. Hubert in the Ardennes. When his mother Heilwig had restored the volume to its rightful owners, the child's studies went on unchecked. Leo was a cousin of Emperor Conrad II, and he commanded troops when Italy was invaded in 1026. He also fought against the Schism that was happening between the churches of East and West at the time. He received the nickname of Pilgrim Pope due to his travels through Europe, enforcing his reforms, insisting that his bishops, clergy, and councils follow suit. Eventually, however, his papacy was ruined by his military ambitions. He added new Italian regions to the papal states, and when the Normans invaded these areas in 1053, he personally led an army to rid the lands of the invaders. This drew wide criticism, defeat in the field, his capture, and several months imprisonment at Benevento. He spent his time there well, learning Greek to better understand the writings of the Eastern Church, but his health suffered badly. He died in Rome not long after his release.
Bio by: Mongoose