Born in Rome and educated at the Lateran, Paschal was the abbot of St. Stephen's monastery when he was elected pope in 817. He was consecrated the following day to bypass imperial confirmation. Paschal justified this action to Louis I the Pious by saying that he had not sought the office but had undertaken it as an unwanted task. Louis then declared that papal elections are free and did not require imperial approval. The two rem ained on good terms, even after supporters of Lothair, Louis' son and co-emperor, beheaded members of the papal household. Paschal had the perpetrators executed as traitors. Paschal supported St. Theodore of Studios in his struggle against the iconoclast emperor, Leo V. When Paschal died in 824, he was so unpopular that a mob prevented the funeral proc ession from entering St. Peter's.
St. Zita was born into a poor but holy Christian family. Her older sister became a Cistercian nun and her uncle Graziano was a hermit whom the local people regarded as a saint. Zita herself always ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
Empress mother of Constantine the Great. She was a native of Bithynia, who married the then Roman general Constantius I Chlorus about 270. Constantine was born soon after, and in 293, Constantius was made Caesar, or junior emperor. He divorced Helena to marry co ... 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
St. Peter Claver was born at Verdu, Catalonia, Spain, in 1580, of impoverished parents descended from ancient and distinguished families. He studied at the Jesuit college of Barcelona, entered the ... continue reading
By Justin Soutar
During his visit to the United States this coming September, Pope Francis will canonize Blessed Junipero Serra, the heroic 'Apostle of California.' Once that happens, the Golden State will have its own patron saint and the Church will have another great missionary role ... continue readingMore Christian Saints & Heroes