William, an English priest who had come to Denmark to evangelize the country, became bishop of Roskilde in 1044. Denmark was then ruled by the nominally Catholic king, Sweyn Estridsen. When on a certain New Year’s Eve drunken revelers at a royal banquet had made insulting comments about the king, the monarch sent his guards after the offenders to slay them as they were attending the late night office of Matins at a nearby church. The next morning, as King Sweyn approached the same church to attend Mass, he was confronted at the door by Bishop William, attired in his episcopal vestments. William barred the way with his crosier, telling the king, “Stand back, executioner!” The king’s courtiers drew their swords, ready to strike down the bishop, but he stood his ground and offered his neck, declaring himself ready to die in defense of the Church. The king turned and retreated in shame. Later, he came back to the church, barefooted and divested of his royal robes, to express his deep contrition. William went to greet him and gave him absolution for his crime. For the rest of their lives, the two remained close friends.
Martyr whose Apologia, or defense of the faith, is considered one of the most priceless documents of the early Church. Apollonius was a Roman senator who was denounced as a Christian by one of his ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
Generations of Catholics have admired this young saint, called her the "Little Flower", and found in her short life more inspiration for own lives than in volumes by theologians. Yet Therese died when she was 24, after having lived as cloistered Carmelite for ... 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
St. Catherine was born in Florence in 1522. Her baptismal name was Alexandrina, but she took the name of Catherine upon entering religion. From her earliest infancy she manifested a great love of ... 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