While surfing various topics on the Wikipedia, I came across an entry for Saint Arialdo, an Italian deacon who lived in the 11th Century. Born of a noble family, he was well educated, attending a couple of universities. He became a deacon in the Diocese of Milan, and joined a group of Milanese citizens with the goal of reforming the diocesan clergy, and Milan’s corrupt bishop. The efforts by Arialdo and his compatriots eventually lead to the excommunication of the bishop. On June 27, 1066, his henchmen would later ambush and assassinate Arialdo, while he was on a journey to Rome. In 1067, Pope Alexander II would declare Arialdo a martyr and saint.
Even, in the early Middle Ages, deacons had an influential affect on the life of the Church. The Diaconate may be different these days, but we deacons are still called to bring new life to our local parishes; by our ministries, and by the way we each live the Gospel of Jesus Christ.