Born in Rome, Stephen was a member of the ruling house of Spoleto. Before he was elected pope in 931, he was bishop of Agnani. Shortly after his election, he ordered the corpse of his predecessor, Formosus, disinterred, and he tried the dead pontiff on various charges in what is now called the Cadaver Synod. Formosus, whose part was taken by a deacon, was found guilty, and his corpse was mutilated and thrown into the Tiber. Stephen declared all of Formosus' ordinations invalid and required that any clergyman whom Formosus had ordained write a letter acknowledging that his ordination had been and was invalid. Formosus had ordained Stephen, who argued that he had been ordained against his will. However, he did accept demotion and was reordained. The basilica of the Lateran collapsed not long after this bizarre event, and many credited divine judgement. Fifteen months after his election, Stephen was ousted and imprisoned; he was strangled in prison. Rumors abound that he was insane.
In 1565, the Vatican was looking for a secret agent. It was shortly after the Council of Trent and the pope wanted to get the decrees of the Council to all the European bishops. What would be a ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
Yes, there is a St. Julia and here is her story: St. Julia was born of noble parents in South Africa. When she was still quite young, her city was conquered by barbarians. Julia was captured and sold as a slave to a pagan merchant, but she did not complain or feel ... 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 Hortense decided to marry Laurent Cousin in Pibrac, France, it was not out of love for his infant daughter. Germaine was everything Hortense despised. Weak and ill, the girl had also been born ... continue reading
By Deacon F.K. Bartels
St. Teresa's whole life is one of simple beauty and fervent purpose; it is a life contained in Christ. She shows us how to live the same way through Prayer.On reading from St. Teresa, a deep feeling of her love for His Majesty envelops us; we begin, in a very real, ... continue readingMore Christian Saints & Heroes