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.
Generations of Catholics have admired this young saint, called her the "Little Flower", and found in her short life more inspiration for own lives than in volumes by theologians. Yet Therese died ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
Barbara lived in the 4th century and brought up as a heathen. A tyrannical father, Dioscorus, had kept her jealously secluded in a lonely tower which he had built for that purpose. Here, in her forced solitude, she gave herself to prayer and study, and contrived to ... 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 Vianney, Priest (Patron of priests) Feast day - August 4 Universally known as the "Cure of Ars)," St. John Mary Vianney was ordained a priest in 1815. Three years later he was made ... continue reading
By St Therese of Lisieux
O Jesus, my love, at last I have found my calling: my call is love. Certainly I have found my place in the Church, and you gave me that very place, my God. In the heart of the Church, my mother, I will be love, and thus I will be all things, as my desire finds its ... continue readingMore Christian Saints & Heroes