ASCENSION THURSDAY WEEKEND ISSUE|
June 1-4, 2000
volume 11, no. 103
MILLENNIUM MILESTONES that occurred on June 1 through June 4 in Church History
Historical Events in Church Annals for June 1:
Death of Saint Justin, the first Christian layman to have written extensively on the Faith and the sacraments, specifically Baptism, educating the masses who, were for the most part, quite ignorant to the Faith. He was a great apologist and most noted for his arguements for Christianity vs. Judaism. Beheaded with six other companions by the Roman prefect Rusticus for refusing to worship the Roman gods, Justin is known as the patron saint of philosophers. For more on St. Justin, see DAILY LITURGY
Pope Innocent III announces the formation of the Fifth Crusade at the Fourth Lateran Council in Rome. It was the Church's 12th Ecumenical Council. Innocent would not live to see the crusade come to fruition, dying during the summer of the following year. It would be left to his successor Pope Honorius III to carry it out, but it ended in failure because of the inaction of Frederick Holy Roman Emperor and his son - the notorious Frederick II Hohenstaufen who basically deserted the Crusades after promising help.
Birth of Jacques Marquette in France. He would go on to become a Jesuit priest and be sent as a missionary to America and Canada where, along with explorer Louis Joliet, he journeyed south, discovering the upper Mississippi River area in Minnesota and Wisconsin and sailed south on the Mississippi all the way to the Arkansas River, carrying the faith to all he came in contact with from 1666 to 1673.
Historical Events in Church Annals for June 2:
Death of Saint Blandina and the Martyrs of Lyons, France. The Christians there were falsely accused of cannibalism and incest and wrongly forced to confess to their crimes, then torn with iron hooks and scalded with hot irons. Through it all Blandina maintained her faith, exclaiming "I am a Christian, and there is no evil done among us."
Death of Saint Erasmus, also known as Saint Elmo, the bishop of Campagna, Italy who was martyred under the persecution of Diocletian though it was not easy for the pagan emperor. Elmo was hurled into a fiery pit but emerged unscathed (thus the phrase "St. Elmo's fire") and then imprisoned. An angel freed him and led him to Formiae where he eventually died of his wounds in dignity. He is one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers and is patron saint of sailors.
After a vacancy of almost one year, Pope Benedict I is elected as the 62nd successor of Peter on this date. He would strive to restore order in Italy and in France where the barbaric invasions had thrown those countries into turmoil.
Death of Pope Saint Eugene I, 75th successor of Peter who decreed the perpetual observance of chastity for all priests.
Death of Saint Nicephorus, Patriarch of Constantinople and staunch opponent of iconoclasm. Because of fierce opposition from the Armenian Emperor, he was exiled to a monastery where he lived the last fifteen years of his life.
Marriage of Geoffrey Plantagenet of Anjou to Queen Matilda of England, whose son Henry II began the line of the Plantagenet dynasty and solidified Holy Mother Church in England until the Windsor monarchs and the rebellion of Henry VIII.
Pope Paul III, 220th successor of Peter and pontiff who gave official approval for the Jesuits and called the the 19th Ecumenical Council, publicly declares that, despite the naive perception by so many Europeans that they were savages, the Native American Indians have souls and are therefore to be accorded the dignity of man and could not be enslaved.
Birth of Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto to a village postman and a seamstress in Upper Venetia, Italy. He would go on to become the holy Pope Saint Pius X, 257th successor of Peter and the Pope who made Holy Communion available to all, especially children from seven years of age up.
The first African Roman Catholic bishop in America Bishop James Healy is consecrated for the Diocese covering the state of Maine.
Historical Events in Church Annals for June 3:
Death of Saint Clotilda, daughter of King Chilperic of Burgundy. Royalty ran in her family as she married King Clovis, king of the Franks whom she converted to Catholicism. After Clovis' death, Clotilda raised their three sons and then retired to an active convent where she served the poor and needy before dying of old age.
Death of Saint Kevin, the seventh century hermit who founded monasteries in Ireland and traveled to Rome to bring back many precious relics for the monasteries. A close friend of Saint Kieran from Clonmacnois, St. Kevin was believed to have performed many miracles and lived to the ripe old age of 120.
On this day Stephen of Blois and his army of crusaders reached Nicea, capturing Antioch on their way to also regaining Jerusalem and Tripoli. The quick victories would come back to haunt the Crusades for Europe came down with a bad case of overconfidence because of the ease in which they had marched through the Turks and Moslems. Over the next 200 years and eight crusades later they would realize how much they had overestimated the strength and resolve of the infidels. This lack of foresight would carry over to many of the succeeding crusades including the ill-fated so-called "Children's Crusade" where thousands of innocents were slaughtered. After two centuries of fighting the Crusades were declared a failure since the Arabs still held the Holy Land.
Death of Saint Morand who is regarded as the patron saint of wine growers since he is said to have fasted only on grapes during Lent. He studied under Saint Hugh at Cluny and became a monk in the Cluniac monasteries, being known for his great holiness and purported miraculous healings.
The famous French theologian Pere Peter Abelard was excommunicated for heresy on this day for his writings. Twenty years later he would return to the Church and be reconciled with Saint Bernard of Clairvaux. Father Abelard retired to a monastery as a monk and died in 1142 in the good graces of the Church.
Historical Events in Church Annals for June 4:
Baptism of Saint Ethelbert, King of Kent, by Saint Augustine of Canterbury. This christening allowed Ethelbert to become the first Christian monarch of England and prompted a mass conversion among his subjects as well as neighboring kings of the Saxons and Angles during his 56-year reign.
Death of Conrad II, king of Germany and Holy Roman Emperor who essentially was not in the mold of his predecessor Henry II, but rather responsible for beginning over two-centuries of harrassment and power struggle with the Vatican beginning with Pope John XIX in 1024 through Pope Clement IV in 1268.
Pope Innocent II crowns Lothair III as Holy Roman Emperor who was not as bad as Conrad II, but nevertheless still gave the papacy plenty of headaches.
Charles IV is coronated as King of Burgundy. It was Charles, who besides Saint Catherine of Siena played an important role in convincing Pope Blessed Urban V to abandon the 70-year Avignon exile and return the papacy to Rome.