February 23, 2001
volume 12, no. 54

Events throughout Church History that occurred on February 23rd

  • 156 A.D.
  • Death of Saint Polycarp, Bishop and Martyr. See DAILY LITURGY.

  • 303 A.D.
  • Death of Saint Serenus, hermit from Yugoslavia who is known as the "Gardener" for his carden of fruits, flowers and herbs on which he lived and preached to others how a garden is like life and they we must cultivate virtue and weed out vice. He was beheaded during the persecution of the Roman emperor Maximium in Sirmium, Yugoslavia which today is just west of Romania.

  • 867 A.D.
  • Death of Saint Lazarus, a Constantinople monk who was an artisan and restored the sacred images destroyed by iconoclasts during the reign of Theophilus who was incensed that he could restore these icons so quickly. Even though the emperor tried to torture him, he was able to evade further persecution and became an ambassador to Rome.

  • 1011 A.D.
  • Death of Saint Willigis, Archbishop of Mainz and Imperial Chancellor to the Holy Roman Emperor Otto II. Acting for the Pope, Willigis also crowned Otto's son Otto III after the death of the former. When Otto III died at an early age in 1002, despite rival factions and discord, Willigis was able to crown Saint Henry II along with his wife Saint Cunegund. Willigis is the patron saint of wheelmakers and carriage horsemen.

  • 1417 A.D.
  • Birth of Pietro Barbo in Venice, Italy. After becoming a cardinal-deacon at the unusually young age of 23, he would go on to be elected the 211th successor of Peter on August 30, 1464 at 47 years-old, taking the name Pope Paul II. He decreed that only cardinals could wear the red beretta. In addition he reduced the interval between Holy Years from 50 to 25 years in order that more could benefit from the special pardons available during these Holy Years or Jubilees. After a seven year pontificate he would die on July 26, 1471 from a stroke.

  • 1447 A.D.
  • Death of Pope Eugene IV, 207th successor of Peter. His 16 year pontificate was highlighted by his convening the 17th Ecumenical Council at Basel. However, out of fear it was transferred to Ferrara and then Florence where it was called the Council of Florence and where the council decided once and for all that the Pope was superior to a Council which resulted in the the election of the antipope Felix V by those who were not willing to go along with Eugene and the Council mandates.

  • 2000 A.D.
  • Pope John Paul II officially began his historic "Jubilee Journey" in retracing Salvation History by honoring Abraham in a "Spiritual Pilgrimage" to Ur, birthplace of the great old covenant patriarch in Chaldea. The current patriarch of the Chaldean Catholics and many Iraqi people traveled to Rome where the Holy Father honored Abraham in Paul VI Hall with memories of that place and time of the Father of Judaic-Christian traditions. The Pontiff was prevented from going to Iraq because of safety concerns under the regime of Saddam Hussein.

February 23, 2001
volume 12, no. 54
TIME CAPSULES in Church History
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