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.
St. Joan of Arc is the patroness of soldiers and of France. On January 6, 1412, Joan of Arc was born to pious parents of the French peasant class, at the obscure village of Domremy, near the province ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
Elizabeth Bayley Seton was the first native born American to be canonized by the Catholic Church. Born two years before the American Revolution, Elizabeth grew up in the "cream" of New York society. She was a prolific reader, and read everything from the ... 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. John, Apostle and Evangelist (Feast day - December 27th) St. John, the son of Zebedee, and the brother of St. James the Great, was called to be an Apostle by our Lord in the first year of His ... 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