Originally intended for a career in business, Pietro Barbo, born in Venice in 1417, was ordained when his uncle, Eugene IV, was elected to the papacy. Barbo was elected pope in 1464 and took the name Paul, after having been persuaded that his choice, Formosus (Greek for handsome), was not a fortunate one. A lover of carnival and sport, he promulgated the celebration of Holy Year every 25 years, beginning in 1475. Although he forbade Roman children the study of pagan poetry, he restored ancient monuments in Rome and installed the first printing press in Rome. Eager to combat the Turks, he supported Hungarian and Albanian rebels (including Skanderbeg) with the revenues from the alum mines near Toffa. He did not, however, support the the rebellion of George of Podebrady, King of Bohemia, because he had Hussite tendencies and had refused to suppress the Ultraquists. Paul excommunicated the king in 1466. Discouraged by the loss of Negroponte to the Turks, Paul called unsuccessfully for a crusade against the Turks in 1470. At the time of his death the following year, Paul was negotiating a marriage between Ivan III of Russia and the daughter of Thomas Palćlogos.
Generations of Catholics have admired this young saint, called her the "Little Flower", and found in her short life more inspiration for their own lives than in volumes by theologians. Yet ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
With the lives of so many early martyrs shrouded in legend, we are fortunate to have the record of the courage of Perpetua and Felicity from the hand of Perpetua herself, her teacher Saturus, and others who knew them. This account, known as "The Martyrdom of Perpetua ... continue readingMore Female Saints
Saint Michael the Archangel isn't a saint, but rather he is an angel, and the leader of all angels and of the army of God. This is what the title "Archangel" means, that he is above all the others in rank. St. Michael has four main responsibilities or offices, as we ... continue reading
There is a romantic legend that the mother of Thomas Becket was a Saracen princess who followed his father, a pilgrim or crusader, back from the Holy Land, and wandered about Europe repeating the only English words she knew, "London" and "Becket," until she found him. ... continue reading
St. Catherine of Alexandria, Virgin and Martyr whose feast day is November 25th. She is the patroness of philosophers and preachers. St. Catherine is believed to have been born in Alexandria of a noble family. Converted to Christianity through a vision, she ... continue reading
By Youngsun Jun
Though I am not strong enough to hold the suffering souls in my arms and carry them home, I can do one thing: I can pray for the deliverance of the souls who are in the darkness. I can request help from the angels for them. I can make a 911 call for them. So again, I ... continue readingMore Christian Saints & Heroes