January 31, 2001
volume 12, no. 31

Events throughout Church History that occurred on January 31st

  • 314 A.D.
  • Election of Pope Saint Sylvester I as 33rd successor of Peter. His pontificate would last 21 years and he would be the first Pope to wear the papal tiara. He would celebrate the first Ecumenical Council, overseeing the Council of Nicaea from Rome, yet would play a significant role in defining the "Credo" that would be said henceforth at all Masses. He would also institute Sunday as a holyday in memory of the Resurrection and would create the "Iron Cross" with a nail from the true Holy Cross of Christ.

  • 626 A.D.
  • Death of Saint Aidan, Irish missionary to Wales who founded numerous monasteries and churches and had many miracles attributed to him. Before he died he promised to protect three of his monasteries at Ferns, Drumlane and Rossinver and to seal this bequeathed his staff, a bell and a reliquary to the respective religious institutions. To this day the monasteries and willed gifts remain intact.

  • 1815 A.D.
  • Death of Saint Francis Xavier Bianchini, a Barnabite priest who was known and loved for his mystical gifts iincluding prophecies. In 1805 it is documented that when Mt. Vesuvius was preparing to erupt once more, he blessed the first river of lava that flowed down and it froze, stopping further eruptions. He is ofent called the "Apostle of Naples" because of his work with the poor, the desolate and juvenile delinquent teen boys and girls.

  • 1836 A.D.
  • Death of Blessed Mary Christina, royal daughter of King Victor Emmanuel who married the monarch of the two Sicilies King Ferdinand II. She was only 23 when she died.

  • 1888 A.D.
  • Death of Saint John Bosco, Founder of the Salesians. For more on this saint, see DAILY LITURGY.

January 31, 2001
volume 12, no. 31
TIME CAPSULES in Church History
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