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.
Bishop of Trier, Germany, from 332, and a miracle worker. He was probably born at Silly, France, and succeeded St. Agritus as bishop of Trier, giving refuge to St. Athanasius in 336. St. Paul, the ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
By tradition Joachim and Anne are considered to be the names of the parents of Mary, the Mother of God. We have no historical evidence, however, of any elements of their lives, including their names. Any stories about Mary's father and mother come to us through legend ... 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
The people of Olkusz in Bohemia in 1431 had every reason to be suspicious of their new pastor. They knew what a Cracow professor would think of their small rural town. But even more insulting, their ... 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