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.
When she was 56, Angela Merici said "No" to the Pope. She was aware that Clement VII was offering her a great honor and a great opportunity to serve when he asked her to take charge of a religious ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
Emma was a relative of Emperor St. Henry II and also known as Hemma. She was raised at Henry's court by St. Cunegund, and according to legend was married to Landgrave William of Friesach. Their two children were murdered during an uprising of mines owned by William. ... 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. John, Apostle and Evangelist (Feast day - December 27th) St. John, the son of Zebedee, and the brother of St. James the Great, was called to be an Apostle by our Lord in the first year of His ... 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 ... continue readingMore Christian Saints & Heroes