Leo the Great (c. 400-461) on the priesthood of all believers



Writing at the middle of the 5th century, Leo I (c. 400-461) affirms that all Christian believers are sharers in the priestly office of Christ, anticipating aspects of the Reformation doctrine of the priesthood of all believers:

“The sign of the cross makes all those who are born again in Christ kings, and the anointing of the Holy Spirit consecrates them all as priests. As a result, apart from the particular service of our ministry, all spiritual and rational Christians are recognized as members of this royal people and sharers in the priestly office [of Christ]. What is there that is royal for a soul as to govern body in obedience to God? And what is there that is as priestly as to dedicate a pure conscience to the Lord, and to offer the unstained offerings of devotion (immaculatas pietatis hostias) on the altar of the heart?”

– Leo the Great (c. 400-461), Sermo 95, de natali ipsius

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