Death of Pope Saint Fabian, Martyr. For more on this 20th successor of Peter, see TODAY'S LITURGY.
Death of Saint Sebastian, Martyr. For more on this extraordinary martyr, see TODAY'S LITURGY.
Death of Saint Neophytus, young teenage martyr who was murdered for his faith by the regime of the Roman Emperor Galerius at Niceae.
Death of Saint Euthymius the Great, Abbot. Every year as a priest, this Armenian-born holy man would retire to a mountain in total solitude to fast and pray from the feast of the Epiphany to Easter Sunday. He died in Palestine at the age of 95.
Election of Cardinal Giovanni de Sabina as Pope Sylvester III. His pontificate would last only twenty days. For a time he took the place of his predecessor and successor Pope Benedict IX who was elected Sovereign Pontiff three times. Sylvester was caught in the middle because of the factions known as the pro-papal Guelphs and the pro-monarchy Ghibellines. Even though Benedict would issue an interdict against Sylvester and proclaim the latter an antipope, Benedict did not have the authority at the time and it was never fully recognized by the Church. Therefore, Sylvester III remains a legitimate Pope, the 146th successor of Peter.
Death of Saint Eutochium Calafato a Poor Clare nun who envisioned Christ crucified in a mystical vision Who told her she needed to reform the laxity in the convents. She received permission to found a stricter convent and became its abbess. She died at the age of 35 as a victim soul. Two centuries after her death her body was exhumed in Messina and discovered to be incorrupt verifying her sanctity.