Daughter of Emperor Arcadius and Empress Aelia Eudoxia. She was born in Constantinople, to the imperial family of the Eastern Empire, becoming regent in 414 for her young brother Theodosius II, who became emperor following the death of their father in 408. Given the honorific title Augusta by the Senate, she took a vow of perpetual virginity and gave herself completely to the task of raising her brother to rule the Eastern Empire. Her control was considerable, including running the day to day affairs of the empire, reforming the moral and religious life of the imperial court, and watching over Theodosius’ education. In 421, Theodosius wed Athenais, who was baptized, took the name Eudocia, and was declared Augusta by her husband. A protracted political struggle between the two very formidable women started immediately. Pulcheria was exiled for a time, but was recalled after Theodosius leamed of his wife’s infidelity. Throughout, Pulcheria was a vocal advocate of orthodoxy against the Eutychian heresy, promoting the appeal of Pope Leo I the Great to the emperor after the decrees of the Latrocinium. In 450, following Theodosius’ untimely death from a fall while hunting, Pulcheria was declared Empress, and she married General Marcian after his agreement to share power with her and to respect her virginity. At her urging, the Council of Chalcedon was convened in 451 she attended the third session which signaled a complete triumph for orthodox Christianity. Pope Leo acknowledged in a letter her instrumental role in the defeat of the heresies of Eutychianism and Nestorianism and for securing the recall of the many orthodox bishops who had been exiled by Theodosius and the heretics after gaining ascendancy in 449. Pulcheria was also responsible for the building of churches, hospitals, and the school of Constantinople, which became one of the chief universities of the Eastem Empire.
It would be easy to concentrate on the mystical experiences God gave this saint, rather than on her life. In fact, it would be difficult to do differently, so overwhelming were those gifts from God. ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
Lucy's name means "light", with the same root as "lucid" which means "clear, radiant, understandable." Unfortunately for us, Lucy's history does not match her name. Shrouded in the darkness of time, all we really know for certain is that ... 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
Founder of the Franciscan Order, born at Assisi in Umbria, in 1181. In 1182, Pietro Bernardone returned from a trip to France to find out his wife had given birth to a son. Far from being excited or ... 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