JANUARY 26 is the traditional memorial of ST. POLYCARP, BISHOP OF SMYRNA (+156). Polycarp was a bishop in the city of Smyrna, an important trading city, across the Aegean Sea from Athens. But, before that, he was a follower of John. Since he was at least 86 years old...
JANUARY 23 is the traditional Catholic memorial of ST. JOHN THE ALMSGIVER (+c. 619). St. John is also known as St. John the Merciful, John the Almoner, Patriarch John V of Alexandria and John Eleymon. The son of Epiphanius, the governor of Cyprus, he was born in...
Pope Leo VI ruled briefly during a time referred to as the saeculum obsurum. This time began in 904AD, with the coronation of Pope Sergius and continued until 964, with the death of Pope John XII. This was a time when the work of the popes was influenced by the...
Stories abound regarding John’s origins. Some say he was the son of Pope Sergius IV and his mistress, Marozia, daughter of Theophylact, the virtual ruler of Rome for many years. Others say he was the son of John, born in Tossignano, in Bologna. He seems to have been a...
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