January 24, 2001
volume 12, no. 24
This Day in Church History

  • 250 A.D.
  • Death of Saint Babylas, Patriarch of Antioch, and his martyred companions. Besides the universally well-known Saint John Chrysostom and Saint Ignatius, Babylas is very popular in Eastern Catholic circles. He and his companions were thrown in chains and left to die during the terrible persecution of the Roman emperor Decius.

  • 254 A.D.
  • Death of Saint Felician, Bishop of Foligno who is purported to be the first prelate other than a Pope to be presented the woolen pallium. This was done by Pope Saint Victor I when the Holy Father traveled to Felician's site in Italy to ordain him a bishop and make the presentation. Felician governed his see for five decades before being arrested by Decius and condemned to death. He died at the age of 94 from excessive torture and whippings being dragged behind a Roman chariot outside of Foligno.

  • 268 A.D.
  • Death of Saint Zama, first Bishop of Bologna who was consecrated by Pope Saint Dionysius.

  • 396 A.D.
  • Death of Saint Artemius, Bishop of Clermont who converted to the faith and became a priest and then a bishop. He had been a legate for the Spanish monarchy when he was delayed in France due to sickness and there his life experienced a conversion process that paved the way for his religious life.

  • 580 A.D.
  • Death of Saint Suranus, Abbot of the Sora Monastery. Legend has it that when the Lombards threatened the village at Sora St. Suranus gave the refugees fleeing the city anything they could carry with them for survival, totally depleting the monastery for he knew the Lombards would level it anyway. They did as well as making St. Suranus a martyr on this date in 580 when they realized there was nothing to salvage.

  • 772 A.D.
  • Death of Pope Stephen III, 94th successor of Peter who was born in Sicily and served as Supreme Pontiff for four years. Preceded by two antipopes, he immediately made good the harm caused by them. He corrected the conduct of Charlemagne and encouraged in every way the Christians in Palestine.

  • 817 A.D.
  • Death of Pope Stephen IV, 97th successor of Peter. This Roman-born Vicar of Christ served for only nine months. During this short time he tried to avoid internal riots and rebellion by the institution of an oath to the Emperor subject to the latter's loyalty to the Pope. At Rheims he crowned Emperor Ludovico as King of the Franks.

  • 1118 A.D.
  • John of Gaeta is elected Pope Gelasius II, 161st successor of Peter. He would die a year later. His pontificate would be short but stormy for he would be attacked in the Basilica of the Lateran and imprisoned by the rebel Cencio Frangipane. Genoese sailors would release him a few months later and he would return to Gaeta, dress in the disguise of a pilgrim and return to Rome under cover. Just before his death he would move to Cluny.

January 24, 2001
volume 12, no. 24

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