Olaf was the son of Harold Grenske, a lord in Norway. Olaf Haraldsson, often called "the Fat", spent his youth as a pirate. He was baptized in Rouen, and in 1013, went to England to aid King Ethelred against the Danes. He returned to Norway in 1015, captured most of Norway back from the Danes and Swedes, defeated Earl Sweyn at the battle of Nesjar in 1016, and became king. He set about unifying and Christianizing his realm, but the harshness of his rule precipitated a revolt of the nobles in 1029, and aided by Canute of Denmark, they defeated him and forced him to flee to Russia. He returned in 1030 and attempted to recover his kingdom, but was slain at the Battle of Stiklestad in Norway on July 29th. Though not too popular during his lifetime, miracles were reported at his shrine, and a chapel was built, which became the cathedral of Trondheim; it became a great pilgrimage center for all Scandinavia. He is one of the great heroes of Norway for his efforts to unify and Christianize Norway, of which he is patron. He was canonized in 1164 and his feast day is July 29th.
The second Gospel was written by St. Mark, who, in the New Testament, is sometimes called John Mark. Both he and his mother, Mary, were highly esteemed in the early Church, and his mother's house in ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
St. Agnes was a Roman girl who was only thirteen years old when she suffered martyrdom for her Faith. Agnes had made a promise, a promise to God never to stain her purity. Her love for the Lord was very great and she hated sin even more than death! Since she was very ... 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. Gregory, born at Rome about the year 540, was the son of Gordianus, a wealthy senator, who later renounced the world and became one of the seven deacons of Rome. After he had acquired the usual ... 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