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.
St. Zita was born into a poor but holy Christian family. Her older sister became a Cistercian nun and her uncle Graziano was a hermit whom the local people regarded as a saint. Zita herself always ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
"Jesus loved Martha and Mary and Lazarus." This unique statement in John's gospel tells us of the special relationship Jesus had with Martha, her sister, and her brother. Apparently Jesus was a frequent guest at Martha's home in Bethany, a small village ... 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
Barbara lived in the 4th century and brought up as a heathen. A tyrannical father, Dioscorus, had kept her jealously secluded in a lonely tower which he had built for that purpose. Here, in her ... continue reading
By Alex Basile
Every carpenter must practice patience. We can learn important lessons from the wood shop in Nazareth from the humble Saint Joseph. I have always been a "do it yourself" type of guy thanks to my father. My dad is always a steady presence during my home-improvement ... continue readingMore Christian Saints & Heroes