Odo of Lagery (or Chatillan) was elected pope in 1088 and took the name Urban II. He studied under St. Bruno, the founder of the Carthusians, and was a monk at Cluny before his appointment to the see of Ostia in 1078. At the time of Urban's election to the papacy, Antipope Clement III controlled Rome, and Urban did not reside there until 1093. He took strong positions on clerical celibacy and against simony. He argued that kings could not appoint bishops and abbots but could invest them if the church had canonically appointed them. Urban supported the Christian conquest of Spain from the Moors, and at the council of Claremont in 1095, he declared the Truce of God and preached the first crusade. Urban died in 1099; although he died two weeks after the Crusaders conquered Jerusalem, he did not live to hear the news.
Nothing is known of St. James the Greater's early life, though it has been established that he is the son of Zebedee and Salome and brother of John the disciple. The title "the Greater" was added to ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
Saint Monica, also known as Monica of Hippo, is St. Augustine of Hippo's mother. She was born in 331 A.D. in Tagaste, which is present-day Algeria. When she was very young, she was married off to the Roman pagan Patricius, who shared his mother's violent temper. ... continue readingMore Female Saints
Saint Michael the Archangel isn't a saint, but rather he is an angel, and the leader of all angels and of the army of God. This is what the title "Archangel" means, that he is above all the others in rank. St. Michael has four main responsibilities or offices, as we ... continue reading
Peregrine Laziosi was born of a wealthy family at Forli, Italy, in 1260. As a youth he was active in politics as a member of the anti-papal party. During one uprising, which the Pope sent St. Philip Benizi to mediate, Philip was struck in the face by Peregrine. When ... continue reading
By Deacon Keith Fournier
This great defender of the faith insisted on the central claim of Christianity: God can be known and loved-indeed, that is why He came into our midst in the person of His Son; so that through a relationship with Jesus Christ, man could participate in the very ... continue readingMore Christian Saints & Heroes