The first Frenchman elected pope, Sylvester was so widely-educated that his contemporaries said he must be in a league with the devil. Born Gerbert c. 945, he began his studies at Aurillac, where he later became abbot. In Spain, he learned music, geometry, arithmetic, and astronomy. His skill at math so impressed John XIII that he recommended Gerbert to Otto I as a tutor for Otto II. In that post, Gerbert continued his own education and studied logic under Gerann of Rheims. Otto made Gerbert abbot of Bobbio, where he was unpopular with the monks. In 987, Gerbert became secretary to Hugh Capet, who appointed him archbishop of Rheims four years later. Gerbert was as unpopular with the clergy in his diocese as he had been with the monks at Bobbio. He was removed from this post in 995, when the Council of Monzon determined that the previous archbishop had been wrongfully deposed and was the rightful archbishop. Otto II choose Gerbert to succeed Gregory V in 999 and gave the pope the eight counties of the Pentapolis (Rimini, Pesaro, Fano, Senigallia, Ancona and the adjacent territories). The Romans rebelled against Otto and Sylvester in the same year and drove both from Rome. Sylvester was later allowed to return as spiritual leader only. He died the following year.
Virgin and abess, also known as Adelgundis, Aldegonde, or Orgonne. She was a member of the royal family of the Merovingians and was raised by two saints: St. Walbert and St. Bertila, her parents. The ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
With the lives of so many early martyrs shrouded in legend, we are fortunate to have the record of the courage of Perpetua and Felicity from the hand of Perpetua herself, her teacher Saturus, and others who knew them. This account, known as "The Martyrdom of ... continue readingMore Female Saints
St. Michael the Archangel - Feast day - September 29th The name Michael signifies "Who is like to God?" and was the warcry of the good angels in the battle fought in heaven against satan and his followers. Holy Scripture describes St. Michael as "one of the chief ... continue reading
The name Gabriel means "man of God," or "God has shown himself mighty." It appears first in the prophesies of Daniel in the Old Testament. The angel announced to Daniel the prophecy of the seventy weeks. His name also occurs in the apocryphal book of Henoch. He was the ... continue reading
In the year 1400, a young man came to the door of the largest hospital in Siena. A plague was raging through the city so horrible that as many as twenty people died each day just in the hospital ... continue reading
By Deacon Keith Fournier
This great defender of the faith insisted on the central claim of Christianity: God can be known and loved-indeed, that is why He came into our midst in the person of His Son; so that through a relationship with Jesus Christ, man could participate in the ... continue readingMore Christian Saints & Heroes