Category Archives: Religion

Saint Patrick: History and Legends

Saint_Patrick

Saint Patrick was a 5th century British Christian missionary. He is known as the “Apostle of Ireland” and is one of the patron saints of Ireland. It’s believed during Saint Patricks thirty years of missionary work in Ireland he converted over 135,000 people, established 300 churches, and consecrated 350 bishops. Patrick was captured by Irish…

Medieval Catholicism was not as gloomy as the BBC portrays it

catholicism BBC

BBC iPlayer is the most wonderful invention. When you flop onto the sofa late at night you can catch up with all the programmes you should have seen earlier. Just recently I have caught up with The Renaissance Unchained, which is presented by the hugely engaging Waldemar Januszczak. The first episode concentrated on the northern…

Mapping Miracles: Cambridge project on Medieval hagiography

St George

Saints and miracles in today’s Church are connected through the canonization process. Usually, for a person to be beatified, and then canonized, a miracle by their intercession must be verified. But this saint-miracle connection is older than the process of canonization, and the stories of saints from the earliest times are often accompanied by tales…

Benedictine monks host a conference on the protection of religious monuments

Novalesa Abbey

The Italian Novalesa Abbey celebrated 40 years of its modern history by hosting the European THETRIS Project Conference Press Release: A conference was held on 21 June 2013 in the Benedictine Novalesa Abbey in the Italian region of Piemonte (Piedmont) with the participation of European experts on the protection of sacred monuments involved in the…

Papal election Infographic

Wondering how a Pope is elected? What is the papal election, or conclave process? Does black smoke or white smoke mean a pope has been elected? Here is a good infographic explaining conclave process. Infographic created by Antonio Farach

No sexy outfits, nuns told in 1,300-year-old ‘rule’ book

Nun

Nuns in Essex were warned to avoid garments that would “nourish the fires of sexual anticipation” in a 1,300-year-old book of advice now up for auction. They were held up as paragons of virtue, but one congregation of Essex nuns appear to have needed some pointers on how to conduct themselves. In a book of…

Medieval sects shook church teachings

Knights Templar

The histories of Knights Templar, the Cathars and the Essenes sects are fascinating, but also tragic. Some of what these groups believed went against the established church’s views with respect to whether Jesus was divine, whether he died on the cross, that he escaped to France and married, had children and so on. According to…

Hildegard of Bingen: Sibyl of the Rhine, Singing Still

It’s an age of widespread cultural and ecclesial malaise: the State encroaches ever more into the affairs of the church; the clergy is indolent and ineffective, oft corrupt and unchaste; the laity is poorly catechized; and Gnosticism advances. It’s the twelfth century, into which a Teutonic prophetess stepped, prepared to confront the spirits of the…

Over 800 years of European history in medieval Bohemian monastery

In order to find the monastery in Tepla, in the western Bohemian region of the Czech Republic, a traveller should stamp the image of the church well into his memory beforehand. For there are few signs showing the way. The church’s two steeples do that. And yet Premonstratsky Klaster Tepla, as the monastery is called…

Giovanni Maria Vian: John Paul II’s Beatification Is “Historic”

In a signed editorial in this week’s English edition, Giovanni Maria Vian wrote that “one has to go back to the heart of the Middle Ages to find similar examples, but in contexts that are in no way comparable to Benedict XVI’s decision.” The director explained that no Pope has beatified his immediate predecessor in…

The Sierra Nevada Brewery helps fund The Abbey of New Clairvaux reconstruction

An order of Cistercian monks in rural northern California lives a quiet life of prayer, contemplation and work. One of their projects is to reconstruct a medieval monastery, also called a chapter house, that dates back to 12th century Spain. The Abbey of New Clairvaux is using original stones carved for the Santa Maria de…

The ‘little things’ matter, Saint David of Wales

Like many other Christian traditions, the Episcopal Church has a custom of remembering “the saints.” And by saints, we simply mean those Christians throughout history whose lives continue to inspire and encourage us. Now, we are a little less likely than other traditions to venerate those saints, but we still believe it is very important…

Edmonton police recover piece of Vladimir the Great’s skull

Vladimir the Great survived many bloody battles during the Middle Ages as he became the first Russian ruler to embrace Christianity. And since his death in 1015, Catholics have managed to retain possession of Saint Vladimir’s remains during wars, invasions, revolutions and disasters. But what is left of the patriarch of Eastern European Christianity almost…

Pope Benedict XVI On St. Elizabeth of Hungary

Here is a translation of the address Pope Benedict XVI gave 20 October 2010 at the general audience in St. Peter’s Square. * * * Dear Brothers and Sisters, Today I would like to speak to you about one of the women of the Middle Ages who inspired great admiration: St. Elizabeth of Hungary, also…

‘Priceless’ medieval church artifacts stolen

National alerts were issued for several ‘priceless’ church artifacts stolen overnight on Sunday from Tidersrums church in southeastern Sweden’s Kisa. Among the missing items are an altar cross or crucifix, two candlesticks and three wooden sculptures from the 13th and 14th centuries. The sculptures, which newspaper Östgöta Correspondenten described as “priceless” on its website on…