February 13, 2001
volume 12, no. 44

Events throughout Church History that occurred on February 13th

  • 250 A.D.
  • Death of the martyrs Saint Fusca and her nurse Saint Maura who both had a sword jammed through their heart during the terrible persecution of the Roman emperor Decius in Ravenna.

  • 259 A.D.
  • Death of Saint Polyeuctus, martyr of Melitene who laid down his weapons and despite the fact he was wealthy, gave it all to the poor and converted to Christianity. His officers ordered him to return and renounce Christianity, but when he wouldn't they tortured him along with intimidating his family. Despite these tactics, Polyeuctus remained loyal to Christ and for this he was beheaded. Even after his head was severed the countenance of joy and peace on his face shocked his executioners and encouraged the faithful who witnessed it, including his family.

  • 512 A.D.
  • Death of Saint Stephen of Lyons, Bishop of Lyons who played a major role in the conversion of the Arian Burgundians.

  • 550 A.D.
  • Death of Saint Domnoc O'Neil, an Irish monk who had an affinity to insects much in the same manner as Saint Francis of Assisi had to animals. The story is told that a humongous swarm of bees were always around him and never harmed him even though those around him were always in fear. In fact, he brought the bees back to Ireland from Wales after they buzzed him constantly, refusing to let him leave without them. Despite this, Saint Ambrose is considered the Patron Saint of Beekeepers, not Domnoc even though the church where he is buried near Bremore in County Dublin is called "the Church of the Beekeeper."

  • 1130 A.D.
  • Death of Pope Honorius II, 163rd successor of Peter, whose pontificate lasted 6 years. His pontificate began quite stormy for on December 21, 1124, as the Cardinal of Ostia he was forcefully by sword put on the throne by the faction of the Frangipani family in connivance with the chancelor Almeric. This had happened after Pope Celestine II had been elected by a majority of the cardinals. Celestine was deposed as the Frangipani's bought off the rest of the Conclave during a time of corruption. Honorius himself was not touched by this corruption and sought to renew friendly relations with all European courts in uniting against the sword of Islam. Yet, it is also true that he was really a "puppet pope" for the wily Almeric and this led to the formation during Honorius' six-year reign of the famous pro-papal Guelphs and the pro-emperor/anti-papal Ghibbelines which would cause great consternation and bloodshed as these extremist groups sought to influence both the political scene and the Church. Honorius, on the brink of death in January of 1130, was stolen away to a monastery under the protection of the Frangipani family by Almeric to prevent the rival Pierleoni family from gaining control.

  • 1663 A.D.
  • Galileo Galilei arrives in Rome to be tried by the Roman Inquisition for his beliefs in the science that the earth revolves around the sun. The Inquisition, fearing the spread of rationalism, would condemn Galileo's theories which would remain that way for centuries until proof was submitted that he was right and he was exonerated.

February 13, 2001
volume 12, no. 44
TIME CAPSULES in Church History
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