Death of Saint Valentine, Bishop of Terni and Martyr who was imprisoned for aiding those going to their martyrdom. He had gathered a large following of faithful who followed his virtuous acts and emulated his courage by submitting as well to martyrdom for their faith. Valentine, said to have sent "love" letters on Christ to his people, converted his jailers in the same manner Saint Paul did. This infuriated the emperor Claudius who had him beaten with heavy and sharp clubs, then beheaded. His cult has survived the test of time and yet, today, he is more well-known in secular circles than ecclesiastical ones.
Death of Saint Abraham, a Syrian hermit who was appointed Bishop of Charres. Through his pastoral care, many in that Mesopotamian region converted to Christianity. He died on this date while visiting the emperor in Constantinople who ordered great pomp and circumstance for his funeral, donning one of Abraham's stoles to show his esteem.
Death of Saint Auxentius of Bithynia, another Syrian hermit who spent much of his time in austere penance and prayer. He left his hermitage to plead his innocence against charges of heresy at the Council of Chalcedon. Once exonerated, he returned to his hermitage where scores of followers flocked to him and he formed religious communities for both men and women.
Death of Saints Cyril and Methodius, "Apostles to the Slavs." For more, see DailyLITURGY.
Death of Saint John Garcia, Religious Founder of the Discalced Trinitarians. Known as Padre Juan Baptiste de Concepcion and like other founders before and after him, he had to deal with fierce opposition launched by those who resisted reform. When he died on this date, however, his reform movement had proved quite successful, numbering 34 religious institutions that had enforced his reforms.
Pope Benedict VIII crowns the king of Germany Henry II as Holy Roman Emperor.
Pope Saint Gregory VII, the holy monk known as Hildebrand and the 157th successor of Peter, excommunicates the Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV. Henry would repent and show his sincerity by wearing only a rough habit and brave the freezing cold of the mountain regions of Canossa to ask forgiveness in person. Though he would revert to his rebellious ways later.
Cardinal Gregario Papareschi is elected Pope Innocent II, 164th successor of Peter. He would hardly be elected when he would be forced to flee Rome because of the rival Pierleoni Family which elected their favorite son Cardinal Pietro Pierleoni as the antipope Anacletus II on the same day as Innocent's selection. Lothario of Saxony, a bitter enemy of the Pierleoni clan would secure the city allowing Innocent to return to Rome. Innocent would call the Tenth Ecumenical Council or Lateran II in 1139 which would end the papal schism and enact reforms.