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.
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
Gianna Francesca Beretta was born in Magenta in Italy. She was the tenth of thirteen children in her family, only nine of whom survived to adulthood. When she was three, her family moved to Bergamo, and she grew up in the Lombardy region of Italy. In 1942, Gianna ... 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
Louise de Marillac was born probably at Ferrieres-en-Brie near Meux, France, on August 12, 1591. She was educated by the Dominican nuns at Poissy. She desired to become a nun but on the advice of her ... 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