Death of Saint Denis or Dionysius, Bishop and his companions Saint Rusticus and Saint Eleutherius, all by beheading near Paris during the percution of Christians by the Roman emperor Decius. For more on this, see DAILY LITURGY.
Death of Blessed Gunther, hermit and cousin of emperor Heinrich II. He died at the age of 50 in Bohemia in his hermitage.
Death of Pope Clement II, 149th successor of Peter, who was elected on Christmas day 1046. This Saxony-born pontiff ruled for less than a year. His great preoccupation was with the arrogance of the Count-Bishops, the cause of much bitter fighting among their vassals during this time known as the "Dark Ages." He succeeded in overcoming the resistance of Bishop Aribert of Milan as not was all harmony within the Holy See during this time.
Richard the Lionhearted escapes Jerusalem under disguise after the Saladin had issued a ransom for his capture.
Death of Saint John Leonardi, priest and religious founder. For more on this saint, see DAILY LITURGY.
Death of Pope Pius XII, 260th successor of Peter. Born Eugenio Pacelli in Rome, he was elected on his birthday on March 2, 1939 just as World War II was about to break out. He strongly opposed Marxist persecutions. It was Pius who discovered the tomb of Saint Peter during the excavations under the great Basilica. He celebrated the 24th Jubilee in 1950 and proclaimed the Dogma of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven. His pontificate lasted nineteen and a half years.