Gregory VII Born Hildebrand c. 1020 in Tuscany, Pope/St. Gregory VII was one of the great church reformers. Educated in Rome, Hildebrand was chaplain to Gregory VI, whose exile he shared. When Gregory VI died in 1047, Hildebrand entered a monastery where he remained until Leo IX called him to Rome to serve as treasurer of the church. Elected pope in 1073, Hildebrand took the name Gregory in honor of St. Gregory the Great and began to institute reforms against simony, clerical marriage (and/or unchastity), and lay investiture. The same year, he issued the Dictatus papae, which proclaimed the supremacy of the pope and avowed that the pope inherited the personal sanctity of St. Peter. Gregory's opposition to lay investiture led to conflict with Emperor Henry IV, who deposed Gregory at the Synod of Worms in 1076. Gregory promptly excommunicated Henry. The two were reconciled in 1077 at Canossa but had another falling out three years later. When Henry captured Rome in 1084, Robert Guiscard rescued the pope, who later fled to Monte Cassino to escape a popular rebellion against Guiscard. Gregory died in Salerno in 1085, and Paul V canonized him in 1606.
St. Zita was born into a poor but holy Christian family. Her older sister became a Cistercian nun and her uncle Graziano was a hermit whom the local people regarded as a saint. Zita herself always ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
"Jesus loved Martha and Mary and Lazarus." This unique statement in John's gospel tells us of the special relationship Jesus had with Martha, her sister, and her brother. Apparently Jesus was a frequent guest at Martha's home in Bethany, a small village ... 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
Maximilian was born in 1894 in Poland and became a Franciscan. He contracted tuberculosis and, though he recovered, he remained frail all his life. Before his ordination as a priest, Maximilian ... 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