Pape Saint-Léon IX

Bruno of Eguisheim, son of Count Hugues IV of Nordgau and Heilwige of Dabo, was born on 21st June 1002 in Eguisheim castle. He was destined for the priesthood.

After studying in Toul, he became Chaplain to his cousin, Conrad II, then Bishop of Toul in 1026.
Throughout his episcopacy, he strived to reform the Church and refused to accept the interference of the Emperor in spiritual matters. In 1048, the Emperor appointed him as the new Pope.

His enthronement in 1049 marked a turning-point in the history of Christianity.
A remarkable traveller, he visited Germany, Lorraine, Alsace and the South of Italy. He convened numerous Synods and Ecumenical Councils in order to engage the moral reform of the Church. He also worked hard to restore Papal rule by promoting the concept of centralising the power of the Church.

Determined to maintain the supremacy of Rome over the other Churches, he was nonetheless unable to prevent the schism with the Eastern Church that occurred in July 1054, just after his death the 19th April 1054 following imprisonment by the Normans in the South of Italy. Despite this failure, the Papacy had recovered its prestige and popularity, and the reform of the Church was under way. Shortly afterwards, in 1087, Pope Leo IX was canonised by Pope Victor III.

In Eguisheim, since 1894, a chapel is dedicated to him. She was constructed in neo-roman style on the site of the former castle keep. On the vaulted ceiling are painted medaillons by the artist Martin, in 11th century style. They depicted 7 scenes from the life of St Leo, while the stained-glass windows, dating from 1895, symbolise the Saints of Alsace, many of whom came from the family of the Counts of Eguisheim.

The chapel is open to the oublic from April to Novembre. Some mass take place in it.

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