January 11, 2001
volume 12, no. 11
This Day in Church History

  • 142 A.D.
  • Death of Pope Saint Hyginus, 9th successor of Peter. Athenian-born, he was elected in 138 after a two year vacancy after the martyrdom of Pope Saint Telesphorus. Hyginus determined the different prerogatives of the clergy and defined the grades of the ecclesiastical hierarchy. He instituted the use of godparents at baptism to assist the new catechumen during their Christian life. He also decreed that all churches be consecrated.

  • 180 A.D.
  • Death of Saint Leucius of Brindisi, who was the first Bishop of Brindisi. He was assigned there from Alexandria in Egypt by Pope Saint Soter. This St. Leucius is not to be confused with another St. Leucius from the 600's..

  • 250 A.D.
  • Death of Saint Alexander of Fermo, bishop of Fermo, Italy who became a martyr during the persecution of Roman emperor Decius.

  • 314 A.D.
  • Death of Pope Saint Miltiades, 32nd successor of Peter. This African-born pontiff was elected on July 2, 311 and it was during his papacy that the emperor Constantine, after his vision "in hoc signo vinces" issued his decree of tolerance for the Christian Faith. The blessed bread dates from Militiades pontificate and it was he who constructed, with the help of Constantine, the Basilica of St. John Lateran.

  • 325 A.D.
  • Death of Saint Palaemon, anchorite abbot who, with Saint Pachomius a former soldier, founded many hermitages. Palaemon was one of the first of the Egyptian hermits.

  • 500 A.D.
  • Death of Saint Honorata of Pavia Benedictine nun from Pavia, Italy. She was the sister of Saint Epiphanius, bishop who paid a ransom to the king of Heruli after the monarch had kidnapped her.

  • 529 A.D.
  • Death of Saint Theodosius of Cappadocia often called the "Cenobiarch." He was a lector who sought to be a hermit and sought out Saint Simon the Stylite in Antioch before moving on to the Holy Land where he died on this date in Bethlehem.

  • 570 A.D.
  • Death of Saint Anasasius of Castel Sant'Elia. This former notary of the Church became a Benedictine and was appointed abbot of the Castel Sant'Elia Monastery where he died on this date in 570.

  • 625 A.D.
  • Death of Saint Vitalis, Benedictine monk from Gaza. His later life as a religious was dedicated to ministering to harlots in an attempt to convince them to amend their ways. Many nights he would pay a prostitute in order that he might not sleep with her, but rather preach to her and be assured that, at least for one night, she would not be in sin. Many women were converted by his sincerity and genuine care for their souls.

  • 705 A.D.
  • Death of Pope John VI, 85th successor of Peter whose four-year pontificate experienced an extremely difficult period for Christianity. Rejected in the East and in Spain by the Saracens, John VI defended the prerogatives of the Church against the Byzantine Emperor, and ransomed many slaves.

January 11, 2001
volume 12, no. 11

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