Death of Saint Flavian of Civita Vechhia, a Roman deputy-prefect, and Saint Leonidas and his Egyptian companions who were disciples of Saint Philemon and were all martyred by the Roman emperor Diocletian for refusing to worship the Roman gods.
Death of Saint Cannera. This Irish woman is considered the first holy "women's libber." This mystic anchorite always preached that if Jesus could minister to women as He did in the Gospels, then so could the Church's clergy. She broke down superstitions that women were contaminated and dangerous because of the sins of Eve. Just before she died, she broke all barriers by literally walking across the waters of the famed Shannon River in southern Ireland to reach the monastery of Senan where she convinced the abbot to admit her so she could die in peace.
Death of Saint John of Reome, Benedictine abbot who is considered the pioneer of monastic life in France which laid the seeds for her conversion a few centuries later.
Death of Saint Paulinus of Aquilea, Patriarch of Aquilea who worked closely with Charlemagne in ensuring Catholics were instructed in their faith, especially converts. He played a role in various Church councils and defended the doctrine of filioque which defines that the Holy Spirit descends from the Father and the Son. He was a great composer of hymns and poetry.
Death of Blessed Charlemagne at the age of 71. He freed Rome from the tyranny of Barbarossa and the antipope, restoring the true hierarchy. Pope Leo III crowned him the first Holy Roman Emperor on Christmas day at the turn of the 9th century.
Pope Saint Gregory VII, the holy pontiff known as the monk Hildebrand lifts the interdict of excommunication and pardons the German emperor Henry IV who had approached the Pope in penitential garb at Canossa in the northern Italian Alps. It was a great victory for the Church vs. the state over the constant issue of investiture.
Death of Pope Gelasius II, 161st successor of Peter. Born in Gaeta, his pontificate lasted less than one year. Attacked in the Basilica of the Lateran, he was imprisoned by the rebel Cencio Frangipane. When he was freed by Genoese sailors he fled to his native Gaeta. From there, dressed as a pilgrim, he returned to Rome and eventually was forced to move to Cluny where he died on this date.
The ruthless Pope Alexander VI gives his son Cesare Borgia as a hostage to King Charles VIII of France in appeasement for the taking of Naples.
Death of Pope Paul V, 233rd successor of Peter. The papacy of this Roman-born pontiff lasted 16 years. During this time he established relations with Michael Romanoff of Russia and appealed to the civilized nations to intervene and prevent the persecution of Christians in Japan and China. He encouraged Astronomy but did not interfere with the investigation and condemnation of Copernicus.