February 21, 2001
volume 12, no. 52

Events throughout Church History that occurred on February 21st

  • 107 A.D.
  • Death of Saint Simeon , believed to be first cousin of Jesus and nephew of St. Joseph who became one of the first bishops. Some historians believe he was given a heavenly warning of the impending destruction of Jerusalem in 66 AD and gathered a group of faithful and fled the city, setting a safe distance away until returning to Jerusalem to rebuild it. Though many times he nearly met his martyrdom, it wasn't until 107 when, under the persecution of Emperor Trajan that he was scourged and crucified like his relative Christ had been 74 years before.

  • 434 A.D.
  • Death of the Northern African Martyrs Saint Felix, Fortunatus, Saturninus, Secundinus, Siricius, and Verulus along with their companions at Hadrumetumm at the hands of Vandals who derided them for their superstitious faith.

  • 606 A.D.
  • Death of Saint Paterius, This Roman monk from Brescia wrote extensive commentaries on the Bible while transcribing the Latin Vulgate in his monastery. He was also a close friend and confidant of Pope Saint Gregory the Great and helped influence the latter in formulating Gregorian chant.

  • 1072 A.D.
  • Death of Saint Peter Damian, Doctor of the Church. Born in Ravenna, Italy he died when he was 71 after a dedicated life in his Church of giving of himself heart and soul.

  • 1173 A.D.
  • Saint Thomas Becket, Martyred Archbishop of Canterbury is canonized by Pope Alexander III three years after Thomas had been murdered in the Cathedral.

  • 1513 A.D.
  • Death of Pope Julius II, 216th successor of Peter. Born in Savona, Italy, he was elected on November 26, 1503 and his pontificate lasted ten years. During this time he encouraged the arts and contributed to the study magnificence of Rome through the contribution of the Renaissance masters Raphael and Michelangelo. It was Julius who completed construction of St. Peter's Basilica as it is today. He also called the 18th Ecumenical Council, also known as Lateran V in which the Church would deal with Neo-Aristotelianism and enact reforms in an effort to stave off the growing dissidence among those who embraced "enlightenment."

  • 1595 A.D.
  • Death of Saint Robert Southwell, Jesuit martyr who was canonized by Pope Paul VI on October 25, 1970 along with forty other martyrs in England and Wales during this time of persecution of Catholics. Robert, whose family was influential inside the court of King Henry VIII, considered his family of the Church greater and became a member of the Society of Jesus and returned to England, ministering to the people in disguise because priests were arrested at that time. Eventually he was betrayed by one of those who he ministered to as a chaplain and tortured terribly as the English executioners, at the order of Queen Elizabeth, sought to extract information from Robert to uncover the many other priests still in hiding. He refused and died a martyr's death.

  • 1730 A.D.
  • Death of Pope Benedict XIII, 245th successor of Peter whose pontificate lasted six years. Born in Gravina di Puglie, Italy on February 2, 1649 he was already 75 when he became Vicar of Christ. He occupied himself principally with his spiritual mission. On the occasion of the 17th Jubilee (1725) he inaugurated the marvellous flight of steps of Trinita dei Monti in Rome. It was Benedict who canonized Saint Louis Gonzaga and the patron saint of Poland, Saint Stanislaus.

February 21, 2001
volume 12, no. 52
TIME CAPSULES in Church History
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