Born c. 937, Octavian was the illegitimate son of Alberic II and was just 18 when elected to the papacy as John XII in 955. Seven years later, Otto I helped John recover papal lands from Berengarius II, and John crowned Otto Holy Roman Emperor. However, when Otto proclaimed the Privilegium Ottonianum, which declared that the pope is a vassal of the emperor, John began to plot against him. When Otto came to Rome later that year, John took the treasury to Tivoli, where he hid from the emperor. When John failed to appear at a synod that accused him of misconduct, Otto made Leo VIII pope. In January of 964, John led a rebellion against Otto and the new pope; John lost. After Otto left Rome the following month, John regained the city and the papal throne. Otto's return ended John's papacy. John died in May, and the cause of his death is attributed variously to a stroke or an outraged husband.
Franciscan Capuchin martyr. He was born Mark Rey is Sigmaringen, Germany, in 1577. A practicing lawyer, he traveled across Europe as a tutor to aristocrats but then started defending the poor. In ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
Clare was a beautiful Italian noblewoman who became the Foundress of an order of nuns now called "Poor Clares." When she heard St. Francis of Assisi preach, her heart burned with a great desire to imitate Francis and to live a poor humble life for Jesus. So ... continue readingMore Female Saints
St. Michael the Archangel - Feast day - September 29th The name Michael signifies "Who is like to God?" and was the warcry of the good angels in the battle fought in heaven against satan and his followers. Holy Scripture describes St. Michael as "one of the chief ... continue reading
The name Gabriel means "man of God," or "God has shown himself mighty." It appears first in the prophesies of Daniel in the Old Testament. The angel announced to Daniel the prophecy of the seventy weeks. His name also occurs in the apocryphal book of Henoch. He was the ... continue reading
Although little is known about Simon Stock's early life, legend has it that the name Stock, meaning "tree trunk," derives from the fact that, beginning at age twelve, he lived as a hermit ... continue reading
By Rev. Peter M. J. Stravinskas, Ph.D., S.T.D.
This model of Christian manliness recommends himself to us not for any strange or exciting things he did (because he really didn't) but for the daily listening to and heeding the voice of Almighty God - in the home, in the synagogue and Temple, in the ... continue readingMore Christian Saints & Heroes