Pope Leo IX escapes captivity and returns to Rome. A German aristocrat, he will come to be regarded as one of the most important German popes in the history of the Catholic church. Leo IX also spends quite a lot of time in Germany, traveling to synods and spending time with Germany rulers like Henry III.
As pope, Leo IX defends traditional morality and pursues ecclesiastical reforms with an emphasis on clerical celibacy (which means it was still a problem) and argues against the practice of simony. He also promotes the doctrine of papal supremacy, disrupting relations with the Eastern Orthodox Church to a degree which will lead, not long after his death, to a permanent schism.