Death of Pope Saint Sixtus II, 24th successor of Peter who died of martyrdom at the hands of the Roman Emperor Valerian. During his one year pontificate he effected the translation of the mortal remains of Satint Peter and Saint Paul and introduced the Latin exclamation "Deo Gratias." Though he died on this day, his feast day is celebrated the next day.
Death of Saint Dominic, founder of the Order of Preachers, commonly known as the Dominicans. Born in Calaruega, Spain, it was Dominic to whom the Blessed Mother bestowed the Rosary. He dedicated his life and order to fighting the heresy of Albigensianism. Canonized in 1234 by Pope Gregory IX. Though he also died on this day, his feast day is celebrated the day after next on August 8th.
Death of Pope Calixtus III, 209th successor of Peter. Born in Jativa, Spain, his three year papacy is known for ordering the universal ringing of the bells for the Angelus at noon every day and for instituting the feast of the Transfiguration which we celebrate on this day. He also brought about the growth of the faith to Scandinavia.
Death of Pope Paul VI, 262nd successor of Peter, whose pontificate lasted 15 years. It was Paul VI who brought the Second Vatican Council to its conclusion on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception in 1965. In 1975 he celebrated the 25th Jubilee. He also instituted the Bishops Synods and allowed clerical dress other than cassocks to be worn by priests. Unfortunately, many abused that privilege, becoming ashamed to wear the Roman Collar. He will forever be famous for his masterful encyclical Humanae Vitae which was scorned by so many and began the split within the Church between those who remain loyal to the teachings of the Church and those who choose to disobey and follow their own will. Like his predecessor Pope John XXIII, Pope Paul VI's cause for beatification has been introduced.
Pope John Paul II releases his tenth encyclical on the fundamental questions on the Church's moral teachings called Veritatis Splendor - "The Splendor of Truth.