In the mid-eleventh century, the Italian city of Milan was ruled by a corrupt archbishop named Guido who took a permissive attitude toward the ecclesiastical abuses of simony (the buying or selling of ecclesiastical offices) and clerical immorality (priests living with concubines). Those working to stop these abuses were led by the deacon (Saint) Arialdo, supported by his close friend, Andrew, from Parma. The Holy See sided with Arialdo and excommunicated the archbishop himself, charging him with the crime of simony. Guido retaliated by having Arialdo tortured and murdered. Arialdo’s friend Andrew saw to his honorable burial, and afterward entered the Vallombrosan Order. He subsequently became abbot of the Vallombrosan monastery of Strumi, where he took up his pen to write biographies of his martyred friend Arialdo and of the Vallombrosans’ founder, Saint John Gualbert. Sadly, most of Andrew’s writings were later lost in a sixteenth century fire at the Vallombrosans’ Florence monastery. Andrew was a peacemaker, credited with reconciling in his lifetime the opposing cities of Florence and Arezzo.
St. Rita was born at Spoleto, Italy in 1381. At an early age, she begged her parents to allow her to enter a convent. Instead they arranged a marriage for her. Rita became a good wife and mother, but ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
Emma was a relative of Emperor St. Henry II and also known as Hemma. She was raised at Henry's court by St. Cunegund, and according to legend was married to Landgrave William of Friesach. Their two children were murdered during an uprising of mines owned by William. ... 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
When St. Mamertinus was Abbot of the monastery which St. Germanus had founded at Auxerre, there came to him a young man called Marcian (also known as Marian), a fugitive from Bourges then occupied by ... 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