The first Frenchman elected pope, Sylvester was so widely-educated that his contemporaries said he must be in a league with the devil. Born Gerbert c. 945, he began his studies at Aurillac, where he later became abbot. In Spain, he learned music, geometry, arithmetic, and astronomy. His skill at math so impressed John XIII that he recommended Gerbert to Otto I as a tutor for Otto II. In that post, Gerbert continued his own education and studied logic under Gerann of Rheims. Otto made Gerbert abbot of Bobbio, where he was unpopular with the monks. In 987, Gerbert became secretary to Hugh Capet, who appointed him archbishop of Rheims four years later. Gerbert was as unpopular with the clergy in his diocese as he had been with the monks at Bobbio. He was removed from this post in 995, when the Council of Monzon determined that the previous archbishop had been wrongfully deposed and was the rightful archbishop. Otto II choose Gerbert to succeed Gregory V in 999 and gave the pope the eight counties of the Pentapolis (Rimini, Pesaro, Fano, Senigallia, Ancona and the adjacent territories). The Romans rebelled against Otto and Sylvester in the same year and drove both from Rome. Sylvester was later allowed to return as spiritual leader only. He died the following year.
The massacre of the martyrs of Lyons with their bishop, St. Pothinus, took place during the persecutions of Marcus Aurelius in the year 177. Marcellus, a priest, we are told, by Divine intervention, ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
She is called "the Penitent". St. Mary was given the name 'Magdalen' because, though a Jewish girl, she lived in a Gentile town called Magdale, in northern Galilee, and her culture and manners were those of a Gentile. St. Luke records that she was a notorious ... 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 the father of this Italian saint died, his good mother brought up her twelve children well, even though they were very poor. "Oh, if I could only have the joy of seeing one of you become a ... continue reading
By F. K. Bartels
If there is any message which can be drawn from St. Augustine's life, and there are many, it is the message of repentance and conversion. This is a message the world desperately needs to hear today. It is one of heartfelt dedication to Christ as Master, Teacher and ... continue readingMore Christian Saints & Heroes