Elected to the papacy in 1254, Rinaldo, the count of Segni, took the name Alexander IV. A native of Anagni, he was born in 1199 and became a cardinal deacon in 1227. In 1231, he was made cardinal bishop of Ostia, and he served under Innocent IV as cardinal protector of the Franciscans. Alexander inherited Innocent's quarrel with Manfred, the illegitimate son of Frederick II. In a struggle over the crown of Sicily, Alexander excommunicated Manfred in 1255. The two waged war for the rest of Alexander's reign, which ended with his death in 1261. The energy and resources spent against Manfred kept Alexander from realizing his dream of crusading against the Mongols. Alexander did, however, bless the Augustinian hermits and canonize Clare of Assisi.
Eldest son of a shoemaker, John was born at Diest, Brabant. He early wanted to be a priest, and when thirteen became a servant in the household of one of the Cathedral canons at Malines, John ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, Virgin (Feast day November 13) St. Frances was born in Lombardi, Italy in 1850, one of thirteen children. At eighteen, she desired to become a Nun, but poor health stood in her way. She helped her parents until their death, and then worked ... 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
In the year 1400, a young man came to the door of the largest hospital in Siena. A plague was raging through the city so horrible that as many as twenty people died each day just in the hospital ... continue reading
By Deacon F.K. Bartels
St. Teresa's whole life is one of simple beauty and fervent purpose; it is a life contained in Christ. She shows us how to live the same way through Prayer.On reading from St. Teresa, a deep feeling of her love for His Majesty envelops us; we begin, in a very real, ... continue readingMore Christian Saints & Heroes