DAILY CATHOLIC    FRI-SAT-SUN     February 12-14, 1999     vol. 10, no. 30


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Historical Events in Church Annals for February 12:

  • 381 A.D.
  • Death of the Saint Melitius of Antioch, Bishop of Sebastea who was forced to flee because of the Arian persecution. During his bishophric he was accused of siding with the Arians for they had elected him Archbishop of Antioch. But he was exonerated by Pope Damasus through the support of Saint Basil. He was honored at his death by Saint Gregory of Nyssa who delivered his eulogy.

  • 901 A.D.
  • Death of Saint Antony Kauleas, Patriarch of Constantinople who presided over the Fourth Ecumenical Council at Constantinople which condemned Photius. He was also an abbot prior to being appointed Patriarch. He tried to reunite the East and the West.

  • 1049 A.D.
  • The election of Pope Saint Leo IX, 152nd successor of Peter who would rule the Church for eight years. He would be freely elected by the clergy and people of Rome and would enter bare-foot as a sign of humility. It would be Leo who would have no choice but to excommunicate Eastern emperor Michael Cerularius, the man held responsible for the schism of the Greek Church from the Latin Church which still exists today.

Historical Events in Church Annals for February 13:

  • 250 A.D.
  • Death of the martyrs Saint Fusca and her nurse Saint Maura who both had a sword jammed through their heart during the terrible persecution of the Roman emperor Decius in Ravenna.

  • 259 A.D.
  • Death of Saint Polyeuctus, martyr of Melitene who laid down his weapons and despite the fact he was wealthy, gave it all to the poor and converted to Christianity. His officers ordered him to return and renounce Christianity, but when he wouldn't they tortured him along with intimidating his family. Despite these tactics, Polyeuctus remained loyal to Christ and for this he was beheaded. Even after his head was severed the countenance of joy and peace on his face shocked his executioners and encouraged the faithful who witnessed it, including his family.

  • 512 A.D.
  • Death of Saint Stephen of Lyons, Bishop of Lyons who played a major role in the conversion of the Arian Burgundians.

  • 550 A.D.
  • Death of Saint Domnoc O'Neil, an Irish monk who had an affinity to insects much in the same manner as Saint Francis of Assisi had to animals. The story is told that a humongous swarm of bees were always around him and never harmed him even though those around him were always in fear. In fact, he brought the bees back to Ireland from Wales after they buzzed him constantly, refusing to let him leave without them. Despite this, Saint Ambrose is considered the Patron Saint of Beekeepers, not Domnoc even though the church where he is buried near Bremore in County Dublin is called "the Church of the Beekeeper."

  • 1130 A.D.
  • Death of Pope Honorius II, 163rd successor of Peter, whose pontificate lasted 6 years. He renewed friendly relations with nearly all the European courts in view of the fight against the Saracens. During his papacy the famous factions of the Guelphs (for the Pope) and the Ghibellines (for the Emperor) came into being.

  • 1663 A.D.
  • Galileo Galilei arrives in Rome to be tried by the Roman Inquisition for his beliefs in the science that the earth revolves around the sun. The Inquisition, fearing the spread of rationalism, would condemn Galileo's theories which would remain that way for centuries until proof was submitted that he was right and he was exonerated.

Historical Events in Church Annals for February 14:

  • 269 A.D.
  • Death of Saint Valentine, Bishop of Terni and Martyr who was imprisoned for aiding those going to their martyrdom. He had gathered a large following of faithful who followed his virtuous acts and emulated his courage by submitting as well to martyrdom for their faith. Valentine, said to have sent "love" letters on Christ to his people, converted his jailers in the same manner Saint Paul did. This infuriated the emperor Claudius who had him beaten with heavy and sharp clubs, then beheaded. His cult has survived the test of time and yet, today, he is more well-known in secular circles than ecclesiastical ones.

  • 422 A.D.
  • Death of Saint Abraham, a Syrian hermit who was appointed Bishop of Charres. Through his pastoral care, many in that Mesopotamian region converted to Christianity. He died on this date while visiting the emperor in Constantinople who ordered great pomp and circumstance for his funeral, donning one of Abraham's stoles to show his esteem.

  • 473 A.D.
  • Death of Saint Auxentius of Bithynia, another Syrian hermit who spent much of his time in austere penance and prayer. He left his hermitage to plead his innocence against charges of heresy at the Council of Chalcedon. Once exonerated, he returned to his hermitage where scores of followers flocked to him and he formed religious communities for both men and women.

  • 869 A.D.
  • Death of Saints Cyril and Methodius, "Apostles to the Slavs." For more, see LITURGY.

  • 1613 A.D.
  • Death of Saint John Garcia, Religious Founder of the Discalced Trinitarians. Known as Padre Juan Baptiste de Concepcion and like other founders before and after him, he had to deal with fierce opposition launched by those who resisted reform. When he died on this date, however, his reform movement had proved quite successful, numbering 34 religious institutions that had enforced his reforms.

  • 1014 A.D.
  • Pope Benedict VIII crowns the king of Germany Henry II as Holy Roman Emperor.

  • 1076 A.D.
  • Pope Saint Gregory VII, the holy monk known as Hildebrand and the 157th successor of Peter, excommunicates the Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV. Henry would repent and show his sincerity by wearing only a rough habit and brave the freezing cold of the mountain regions of Canossa to ask forgiveness in person.

  • 1130 A.D.
  • Cardinal Gregario Papareschi is elected Pope Innocent II, 164th successor of Peter. He would hardly be elected when he would be forced to flee Rome because of the rival Pierleoni Family which elected their favorite son Cardinal Pietro Pierleoni as the antipope Anacletus II on the same day as Innocent's selection. Lothario of Saxony, a bitter enemy of the Pierleoni clan would secsure the city allowing Innocent to return to Rome. Innocent would call the Tenth Ecumenical Council or Lateran II in 1139 which would end the papal schism and enact reforms.

February 12-14, 1999       volume 10, no. 30


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