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. John Joseph of the Cross was born about the middle of the seventeenth century in the beautiful island of Ischia, near Naples. From his childhood he was the model of virtue, and in his sixteenth ... 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. Julie (Julia) Billiart was born in 1751 and died in 1816. As a child, playing "school" was Julie's favorite game. When she was sixteen, to help support her family, she began to teach ... continue reading
By Deacon Keith Fournier
This great defender of the faith insisted on the central claim of Christianity: God can be known and loved-indeed, that is why He came into our midst in the person of His Son; so that through a relationship with Jesus Christ, man could participate in the ... continue readingMore Christian Saints & Heroes