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.
St. Zita was born into a poor but holy Christian family. Her older sister became a Cistercian nun and her uncle Graziano was a hermit whom the local people regarded as a saint. Zita herself always ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
St. Catherine of Alexandria, Virgin and Martyr whose feast day is November 25th. She is the patroness of philosophers and preachers. St. Catherine is believed to have been born in Alexandria of a noble family. Converted to Christianity through a vision, she ... 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
When Sulpicius Severus first met Martin of Tours he was stunned. Not only did the bishop offer him hospitality at his residence -- a monk's cell in the wilderness instead of a palace -- but Martin ... 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