King of Norway and a martyr, also called Olaf Haraldsson. The son of King Harald Grenske of Norway, he spent most of his youth as a Norse raider until 1010 when he was baptized at Rouen. In 1013, he journeyed to England and offered his services to King Ethelred against the invading Danes. Returning home in 1015 after succeeding to the throne, he embarked upon a war to free Norway from the domination of the Danes and the Swedes, defeating Earl Sweyn at Nesje in 1016. He also immediately requested that missionaries be sent from England to advance the Christianization of Norway. Owing to the harsh nature of his rule, he faced a rebellion of nobles in 1029. Through the aid of the formidable King Canute of Denmark, the rebels overthrew him and drove him into exile in Russia. Olaf returned in 1031 but was slain in battle at Stiklestad, Norway, on July 29. While neither popular nor considered especially holy during his lifetime, Olaf was soon revered after death owing to reports of miracles occurring at his tomb. He was greatly respected as a champion of Norwegain independence, and his shrine became the foundation of the cathedral of Trondheim, which was a popular place of pilgrimage during the Middle Ages. He is the patron of Norway, and was canonized in 1164.
At the end of the sixth century anyone would have said that Augustine had found his niche in life. Looking at this respected prior of a monastery, almost anyone would have predicted he would spend ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
Saint Katharine Drexel, Religious (Feast Day-March 3) Born in 1858, into a prominent Philadelphia family, Katharine became imbued with love for God and neighbor. She took an avid interest in the material and spiritual well-being of black and native Americans. She began ... continue readingMore Female Saints
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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
John Gonzales de Castrillo was born at Sahagun, Leon Spain. He was educated by the Benedictine monks of Fagondez monastery there and when twenty, received a canonry from the bishop of Burgos, though ... 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