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.
Innocent was born at Albano, Italy. He became Pope, succeeding Pope St. Anastasius I, on December 22, 401. During Innocent's pontificate, he emphasized papal supremacy, commending the bishops of ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
St. Joan of Arc is the patroness of soldiers and of France. On January 6, 1412, Joan of Arc was born to pious parents of the French peasant class, at the obscure village of Domremy, near the province of Lorraine. At a very early age, she heard voices: those of St. ... 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 Deacon Keith A Fournier
On July 15th in the Liturgical Calendar of the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church, we commemorate the life, holiness, work and death of a great Bishop and Doctor named Bonaventure. He was born in 1218, became a Franciscan Friar in 1243, and died in 1274. A friend ... continue readingMore Christian Saints & Heroes