JULY 29 is the feast day of St. Martha, the sister of Lazarus and Mary. However, in times past, it was also the feast day of
BLESSED POPE URBAN II (+1099).
Urban was born Odo, or Eudes, and kept that name up to his consecration into the papacy. He was a French man who was both abbot of Cluny and bishop of Ostia. As pope (1088-1099), he had to deal with anti-pope Clement III, the infighting of the various Christian countries and the incursion of the Moslems into Europe. He was the pope who initiated the First Crusade in 1095. At the same time, he supported the Spanish in their ongoing fight with the Moors. At the same time, he was obligated to fight simony, lay investitures and clerical marriages.
“Let no one be
chosen in order of succession unto the episcopacy except one who has
been found living religiously in sacred orders. Moreover, we call sacred
orders the diaconate and the priesthood.”
Council of Benevenuto, 1091