Bartolommeo Prignano was the last person not a cardinal to be elected to the papacy. Born in Naples c 1318, he was made Bishop of Bari in 1377 and was a leading figure at Avignon. He held a post in the chancery before he succeeded Pope Gregory XI as Pope Urban VI in April, 1378. In August of the same year, the French cardinals met at Anagni to nullify the election. They said that they had elected Urban under duress since a mob demanding an Italian pope had threatened them. Scholars say that the cardinals were surprised and upset at Urban's overbearing manner and at his threats to create an Italian majority in the College of Cardinals. The second conclave elected Robert of Geneva as Clement VII. Thus began the Western Schism, which ended in 1417. Urban decreed a Holy Year every 33 years, and shortly before his death in 1389, he ruled that the Visitation of the Virgin to St. Elizabeth, a Franciscan holy day, be celebrated by the whole church.
St. Rita was born at Spoleto, Italy in 1381. At an early age, she begged her parents to allow her to enter a convent. Instead they arranged a marriage for her. Rita became a good wife and mother, but ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
St. Catherine of Bologna, Virgin (Patroness of Artists) Feast - March 9th Born in 1413, Catherine de Vigri was the daughter of a diplomatic agent of the Marquis of Ferrara. At the age of eleven, she was appointed maid of honor to the daughter of the Marquis and shared ... 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 Joseph of the Cross was born about the middle of the seventeenth century in the beautiful island of Ischia, near Naples. From his childhood he was the model of virtue, and in his sixteenth ... 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