DAILY CATHOLIC    FRI-SAT-SUN     February 5-7, 1999     vol. 10, no. 25


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Historical Events in Church Annals for February 5:

  • 250 A.D.
  • Death of Saint Agatha, Virgin and Martyr. For more on this early saint, see DAILY LITURGY.

  • 345 A.D.
  • Death of Saint Abraham of Arbela, Bishop of that see who was martyred in Iraq by the shah of Persia Shapur II in what was then Assyria.

  • 519 A.D.
  • Death of Saint Avitus of Vienne, Bishop of Vienne. He was the son of Saint Isychius a former Roman senator who preceded his son as Bishop. Avitus converted the monarch of Burgundy King Sigismund. He also was effective in fending off the heresies of Arianism and deleting the pagan customs of the Franks through his preaching and effective letters.

  • 1005 A.D.
  • Death of Saint Fingen, Irish saint fwho was abbot of Metz whose specialty was restoring run-down monasteries and abbeys throughout Ireland. When a controversy arose regarding administration of the abbeys by foreign monks, he was able to convince Pope John XVII to decree that Irish abbeys could only be administered by Irish monks.

  • 1015 A.D.
  • Death of Saint Adelaide, Abbess of the Abbey at Bellich in Germany. She was a stickler insisting her nuns knew Latin in order that when they prayed they would know what they were praying and offer more edification in their chanting. She did not confine her care just to the contemplative sisters but reached out to the villagers, ministering to them when they were in the greatest need of help during a great famine.

Historical Events in Church Annals for February 6:

  • 300 A.D.
  • Death of Saint Dorothy, Virgin and Martyr who was thrown into jail for her faith. Not only did she convert two women who had infiltrated the prison to convert her to apostasy in Caesarea, but on her way to be executed she was taunted by the Caesarean lawyer Theophilus who taunted her about her faith, baiting her to send him a basket of "golden apples and roses" when she reached the promised land she spoke of. To his utter surprise an agnel appeared to her a few seconds later with a basket that she presented the incredulous Theopilus. He was so moved that he renounced apostasy and was converted on the spot and he, too, was put to death with St. Dorothy on this date. She is considered the patron saint of gardeners.

  • 312 A.D.
  • Death of the Martyrs Saint Silvanus, Phoenicia, Luke, and Mucius who were all tortured and sentenced to death because of their faith after an interminable time in a dank dungeon with little to eat or drink at the order of the cruel emperor Maximian.

  • 337 A.D.
  • Election of Pope Saint Julius I, 35th successor of Peter. His pontificate would last 15 years in which wh would order that the Eastern Church should celebrate Christmas on December 25th instead of uniting it with the Epiphany. He would go on to be considered the founder of the Holy Archives of the Holy See since he would order that all official acts be preserved.

  • 1077 A.D.
  • Death of Saint Gerald of Ostia, Bishop of Ostia. He had succeeded Saint Peter Damian as Prior at Cluny before Pope Alexander II made him papal legate to France, Spain and Germany. It was in the latter where the German emperor Henry V, incensed over the investiture issue and Alexander's steadfast refusal to budge, had Gerald arrested for a while, trying to use the holy legate as a bargaining chip with the pontiff. It didn't work and so Gerald was finally released and appointed to the See of Ostia.

  • 1897 A.D.
  • Deaths of Saint Paul Miki and his Companion Martyrs near Nagasaki, Japan by fierce pagan Samurai warriors. For more on this, see DAILY LITURGY.

  • 1922 A.D.
  • Cardinal Ambrogio Damiano Achille Ratti, Archbishop of Milan is chosen the 259th successor of Peter taking the name Pope Pius XI on this date. His pontificate would last 17 years. In the seventh year of his pontificate he would conclude a Concordat with Benito Mussolini between the Church and the Italian State. He also would commission Marconi to construct Vatican Radio.

Historical Events in Church Annals for February 7:

  • 319 A.D.
  • Death of Saint Theodore of Heraclea. He was an up-and-coming general in charge of the Roman army of Emperor Licinius but he embraced Christianity rather than the sure thing of a brilliant military career worshipping pagan idols. He even went out of his way to torch pagan temples. For this he was arrested and thrown into a fiery furnace. As the flames seared around him he was gifted with a beautiful vision of his Heavenly reward and with a smile on his face in total peace, he accepted his martyrdom.

  • 550 A.D.
  • Death of Saint Tressan, an Irish missionary priest who was ordained by Saint Remigius and was sent to tend the flocks of France where he served faithfully in the Diocese of Rheims.

  • 590 A.D.
  • Death of Pope Pellagius II, 63rd successor of Peter. His pontificate lasted eleven years. During this time he sought help from Constantinople because of the constant seige threats of the Lombards. He decreed that priests must recite the Divine Office every day. He died on this date a victim of a widespread plague where the victims died yawning and sneezing.

  • 1878 A.D.
  • Death of Pope Pius IX, 255th successor of Peter at the age of 85. His pontificate lasted a phenomenal 32 years, second only to Saint Peter's time of governing the Church. During Pius' papacy he proclaimed the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception, convened the First Vatican Council and declared the Infallibility of the Pope when the Vicar of Christ speaks "ex cathedra." Also, on September 20th, 1870 to avoid further bloodshed, he was forced to agree to allow Rome to become the capital of Italy, surrendering to King Victor Emmanuel the Papal States except for Vatican City, which was shrunk to its present 104-acre site, thus ending over a millennium of the Church ruling the Papal States.

February 5-7, 1999       volume 10, no. 25


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