A native of Sardinia, Symmachus was serving as archdeacon of Rome when he was chosen to become pope in 498. His election was immediately opposed by a segment of the Roman clergy who went so far as to elect an antipope on the very same day that Symmachus had been elected. The antipope and his followers embittered the early years of Symmachus' pontificate. When at length the schism ended, Symmachus expressed his gratitude in an inscription on a church monument: "The biting of the wolves has ceased." Symmachus sent material assistance to the bishops of North Africa living in exile on his native island of Sardinia, who had been banished from their sees by the heretical king Thrasimund. The pontiff also sent the bishops relics of the martyrs to give them spiritual solace. His charity was likewise expended upon ransoming captives, founding three hospices for the needy, and relieving the victims of barbarian raids in northern Italy. It was Pope Symmachus who first expanded the use of the Gloria at Mass beyond its original utilization as a hymn heard only once a year at the Christmas Midnight Mass.
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
Little is known of her life, and the information was received by private revelation from her. Martyred at about age 14 in the early days of the Church. In 1802 the remains of a young woman were found in the catacomb of Saint Priscilla on the Via Salaria. It was ... 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
Although we have evidence that Agatha was venerated at least as far back as the sixth century, the only facts we have about her are that she was born in Sicily and died there a martyr. In the ... 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