Pope Gregory IX, the 178th successor of Peter and the pontiff who canonized Saint Francis, Saint Dominic, and Saint Anthony of Padua, also instituted the Holy Inquisition and on this date he sent the first inquisition team to Aragon in Spain.
Death of Saint Philip Neri, founder of the Confraternity of the Most Holy Trinity which was composed of laymen to minister to needy pilgrims. He was a great promoter of Forty Hours' Devotion of the Blessed Sacrament, to Which he had a great love and dedication to. He became known as the "Apostle of Rome" for his holy counsel to Popes, Cardinals and clerics as well as numerous political leaders and the common populace. He died in Rome on this date and was canonized in 1622 by Pope Gregory XV.
Death of Saint Mariana de Paredes y Flores, who was born in Quito, Ecuador. She was gifted with prophecy and is purported to have performed miracles. After an earthquake and an epidemic struck the city of Quito, Mariana offered herself in reparation for the people's sins. Soon after God granted her prayers by eliminating the epidemic, she died on this date in Quito where she has been known since as the "Lily of Quito." She was canonized in 1950 by Pope Pius XII.
Even though the state of Maryland had tolerated all faiths, the Colony of Massachusetts, heavily populated by Quakers, decided to ban Roman Catholic priests in an effort to dissuade Catholics from settling in and around Boston and other areas of "New England." Those who had been persecuted in England, forgot what freedom meant and began their own persecutions. Catholics in the Boston area suffered greatly but the fruits of their persecution, like the early Christian martyrs, proved fruitful for Boston would become a great hub of Catholicism over the next few centuries.
After years of bitter fighting in which 3,400 have been killed over the past 30 years, peace may finally be at hand. The people of Ireland - North and South have spoken with their definitive yay vote on Friday.
The polls opened at 7 am local time with many people waiting in line to vote before going to work. The polls closed at 10 pm. Nearly 4 million people in the north and south were eligible to vote. "There appears to be a constant stream of voters," Northern Ireland's chief electoral officer Pat Bradley told BBC radio. "Certainly it's higher than what one would expect."
The peace agreement, reached in April after 22 months of talks, sets up a new elected Northern Ireland assembly and boosts cross border cooperation with the Irish Republic. However, Northern Ireland loyalists view the agreement as a slippery slope that could end in unification with the Irish Republic, ending British sovereignty. Catholics on both sides of the border heavily favored the agreement, but Protestants were sharply split. Yet enough Protestants voted for it to nullify any opposition. Analysts have said strong support for the plan among Protestants is vital if it is to work.
John Paul came to Vercelli in northwest Italy to beatify a World War II military chaplain, the Rev. Secondo Pollo, who was killed by enemy fire while trying to comfort a wounded soldier. Beatification is the last formal step before sainthood in the Church.
The Pope, who recently turned 78 and whose health problems sometimes force him to struggle through long ceremonies, looked relatively strong at the end of the 2 1/2 hour ceremony under a hot sun. On Sunday, by Vatican calculations, John Paul surpassed the 19 years, seven months and seven days served by Pius XII, who died in 1958.
At Turin, Pope John Paul II knelt in silent prayer Sunday before the Shroud of Turin, and encouraged scientists to keep testing the linen many believe wrapped the body of the crucified Christ. "Since we're not dealing with a matter of faith, the Church can't pronounce itself on such questions," the Pope said. "It entrusts to scientists the tasks of continuing to investigate, to reach adequate answers to the questions connected to this shroud."
But the Holy Father urged scientists to respect both "scientific methodology and the sensibility of the faithful." Whatever its origin, the 78-year-old Pontiff said the shroud is for him "the icon of the suffering of the innocent of all times."
Speaking to bishops from the states of Ohio and Michigan, who were in Rome for their ad limina visits, the Pope said, "As bishops, you must explain to the faithful why the Church does not have authority to ordain women to the ministerial priesthood, at the same time making clear why this is not a question of the equality of persons or of their God-given rights."
In a talk which centered on the role of the priesthood, the Holy Father emphasize that the vocation should never be seen in terms of worldly power. "It is not a career, nor does it mean belonging to a clerical caste," he said. Rather, the priesthood involves a life of dedicated service to the Christian community. He added that good priests must also be "men of prayer like Christ himself."
While underlining the importance of the priest's own interior life, and calling for renewed devotion to the Eucharist, the Liturgy of the Hours, and private prayer, the Pope also asked American priests to take a special interest in the preservation of strong family life. He made special mention of "the assistance that priests can give to young couples as they prepare for the responsibilities of married life."
A day earlier, Pope John Paul II had referred to the family as "the most precious and important resource for the present and the future of Italy."
Speaking to the bishops of Italy, who were meeting in Rome for their 44th annual assembly, the Holy Father pointed to the many threats to strong family life today, and underlined the need for pastoral work to combat those dangers. He also called attention to the Italian constitution, which recognizes the family as the fundamental unit of society, based on marriage.
Speaking to Italian pro-life workers the next day, the Pope said that the 3 million unborn Italian children killed by legal abortions in the past 20 years testify to the weakness of the country's current legal system. He argued that the legalization of some abortions has failed to stem the increase in clandestine abortions, and has contributed to "the degradation of public morality." And he called for international moves to recognize and codify the fundamental right to life.
The Pope also pointed out that 40,000 babies have been saved from abortion because of the intervention of pro-lifer volunteers who offer help to pregnant women. He encouraged those workers to continue their efforts, and asked parishes and dioceses to support them.
Returning to his theme of the previous day, the Holy Father concluded his address by stressing the need to protect the family, the institution of marriage, and the dignity of women.
UN officials said they hoped Habibie would use the impetus of reform to pledge a referendum on the former Portugese colony's future, but feared he will not be strong enough to take the necessary steps. Indonesia invaded East Timor in 1975 after Portugal abandoned the territory following more than 300 years of colonial rule. Suharto annexed the territory a year later as Indonesia's 27th province, although the UN has never recognized Indonesia's claim.
The majority Muslim nation is accused of widespread human rights abuses in the mainly Catholic region, and an active rebellion continues to fight the occupation. Although UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan made no mention of East Timor in an official statement on the situation in Indonesia, UN officials privately said the international community wants to convey the message that resolving the East Timor issue would do much to gain international help and acceptance for the new government.