Adrian IV, Nicholas Breakspear was the only Englishman elected to the bishopric of Rome. Born c. 1100, he became a monk at the monastery of St. Rufus near Avignon and became the abbot in 1137. More than ten years later, the monks complained to Eugene III about the severity of their abbot. Eugene removed him from his post but made him a cardinal. In 1152, Breakspear became papal legate to Scandinavia and restructured the church there. He was elected pope two years later. He was the only pope to place Rome under interdict. He withdrew the interdict and crowned Frederick Barbarossa Holy Roman Emperor when Frederick captured the communard, Arnold of Brescia. Adrian did not remain on good terms with the new emperor, and the two were close to war when Adrian died in 1159. Adrian is said to have given Henry II of England dominion over Ireland in the bull Laudabiliter. Many doubt the authenticity of the bull, and those who do not doubt it say that it was later repudiated.
St. Joan of Arc is the patroness of soldiers and of France. On January 6, 1412, Joan of Arc was born to pious parents of the French peasant class, at the obscure village of Domremy, near the province ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
St. Bridget arrived in Ireland a few years after St. Patrick. Her father was an Irish lord named Duptace. As Bridget grew up, she became holier and more pious each day. She loved the poor and would often bring food and clothing to them. One day she gave away a ... 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. Thomas More, Martyr (Patron of Lawyers) St. Thomas More was born at London in 1478. After a thorough grounding in religion and the classics, he entered Oxford to study law. Upon leaving the ... 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