February 4-6, 2000
volume 11, no. 25
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708 A.D. Death of Pope Sisinnius, 87th successor of Peter. There was very little noteworthy to report in a very brief pontificate that lasted only 20 days. He worried about the restoration of the walls of Rome which were constantly menaced by the Lombards and Saracens, but he never had the chance to put his reinforcement plans into action.
1505 A.D. Death of Saint Joan of Valois, deformed daughter of King Louis XI. Though she was hunch-backed and ugly, she was married for political purposes at the age of 9 to Louis, the Duke of Orleans. Though she remained a virgin, she loved her husband but never bedded with him. When Louis appealed to Pope Alexander VI, the notorious pontiff who kept courtiers, for an annulment, Joan did not stand in his way but saw it as an opportunity to become a religious. After time in seclusion she received help from a Franciscan friar to found a contemplative, cloistered order of nuns with the specific purpose of praying for reconciliation for all our enemies and those who did not share the faith. Even though she suffered from an unknown disease the left her physically doubled over and hideous to look at, she was beautiful on the inside and received her Heavenly crown officially when she was canonized by Pope Pius XII in 1950.
1612 A.D. Death of Saint Joseph of Leonissa, austere Capuchin missionary who was also a victim soul, suffering much and offering it all for the honor and glory of God. The fruits of his harvest were many, manifested in countless miracles spiritually and physically.
1693 A.D. Death of Saint John de Britto, Jesuit missionary to India who was responsible for many miracles and who, more than once, was captured and subjected to unspeakable tortures but managed to escape until finally at Orirur in Marava, the raja there was so upset with the number of Christian conversions that he ordered de Britto out of the country. But Fr. John, knowing the people needed him, could not obey the order and thus the raja had him beheaded. Like the early Romans, his martyrdom did more for future conversions despite the raja's drastic measures to stop the flow of Christianity.
345 A.D. Death of Saint Abraham of Arbela, Bishop of that see who was martyred in Iraq by the shah of Persia Shapur II in what was then Assyria.
519 A.D. Death of Saint Avitus of Vienne, Bishop of Vienne. He was the son of Saint Isychius a former Roman senator who preceded his son as Bishop. Avitus converted the monarch of Burgundy King Sigismund. He also was effective in fending off the heresies of Arianism and deleting the pagan customs of the Franks through his preaching and effective letters.
1005 A.D. Death of Saint Fingen, Irish saint fwho was abbot of Metz whose specialty was restoring run-down monasteries and abbeys throughout Ireland. When a controversy arose regarding administration of the abbeys by foreign monks, he was able to convince Pope John XVII to decree that Irish abbeys could only be administered by Irish monks.
1015 A.D. Death of Saint Adelaide, Abbess of the Abbey at Bellich in Germany. She was a stickler insisting her nuns knew Latin in order that when they prayed they would know what they were praying and offer more edification in their chanting. She did not confine her care just to the contemplative sisters but reached out to the villagers, ministering to them when they were in the greatest need of help during a great famine.
312 A.D. Death of the Martyrs Saint Silvanus, Phoenicia, Luke, and Mucius who were all tortured and sentenced to death because of their faith after an interminable time in a dank dungeon with little to eat or drink at the order of the cruel emperor Maximian.
337 A.D. Election of Pope Saint Julius I, 35th successor of Peter. His pontificate would last 15 years in which wh would order that the Eastern Church should celebrate Christmas on December 25th instead of uniting it with the Epiphany. He would go on to be considered the founder of the Holy Archives of the Holy See since he would order that all official acts be preserved.
1077 A.D. Death of Saint Gerald of Ostia, Bishop of Ostia. He had succeeded Saint Peter Damian as Prior at Cluny before Pope Alexander II made him papal legate to France, Spain and Germany. It was in the latter where the German emperor Henry V, incensed over the investiture issue and Alexander's steadfast refusal to budge, had Gerald arrested for a while, trying to use the holy legate as a bargaining chip with the pontiff. It didn't work and so Gerald was finally released and appointed to the See of Ostia.
1897 A.D. Deaths of Saint Paul Miki and his Companion Martyrs near Nagasaki, Japan by fierce pagan Samurai warriors. For more on this, see DAILY LITURGY.
1922 A.D. Cardinal Ambrogio Damiano Achille Ratti, Archbishop of Milan is chosen the 259th successor of Peter taking the name Pope Pius XI on this date. His pontificate would last 17 years. In the seventh year of his pontificate he would conclude a Concordat with Benito Mussolini between the Church and the Italian State. He also would commission Marconi to construct Vatican Radio.
February 4, 2000 |
volume 11, no. 25
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