Cornelius was elected pope “by the judgment of God and of Christ, by the testimony of most of the clergy, by the vote of the people, with the consent of aged priests and of good men” after a 14 month vacancy in the papacy.
Saint Robert Bellarmine was ordained in 1570 during a period when the study of theology was in a weakened state. He dedicated his time and energy to the study of Church history, the Fathers of the Church, and to Scripture, in order to organize Church teaching to face the attacks of the Protestant Reformers.
Joseph of Cupertino is most famous for levitating during prayer. After a short career with the Capuchins, he joined the Conventual Franciscans. Following a brief assignment caring for the friary mule, Joseph began his studies for the priesthood.
Little is known about the life of Januarius. Legend has it that he and his companions were thrown to the bears in the amphitheater of Pozzuoli, but the animals failed to attack them. They were then beheaded, and Januarius' blood ultimately brought to Naples.
The Korean martyrs, including Saints Andrew Kim Taegon and Paul Chong Hasang, spread the gospel in their native land under extremely difficult circumstances. The holy companion martyrs include bishops, priests, and laity, some of whom where French missionaries.
Matthew was a Jew who worked for the Romans as a tax collector. His fellow Jews considered him a traitor and resented him. The Pharisees viewed him, and all tax collectors, as sinners. So it was a real shock to hear that Jesus called such a man to be one of his followers. But that’s the kind of thing that Jesus did.
Saint Lorenzo Ruiz, the first canonized Filipino martyr, became a witness to the faith almost by accident. Fleeing a legal charge, he ended up with a group of Dominicans headed for Japan, where they were all arrested, tortured, and finally executed.
Saint Pio of Pietrelcina, popularly known as Padre Pio, grew up in southern Italy. At the age of 15, he joined the Capuchins and was ordained in 1910. In 1918 he received the stigmata, the markings of the crucified Jesus, which he then bore for the next 50 years.
John Henry Newman, the 19th-century's most important English-speaking Catholic theologian, spent the first half of his life as an Anglican and the second half as a Roman Catholic. He was a priest, popular preacher, writer, and eminent theologian in both churches.