“This Is Because of Their Similarity to the Human Head”: Orthodox Customs to Commemorate the Beheading of John the Baptist

which is what we're doing today. Commemorating it, I mean, not doing it. … [Read more...]

“Monk Takes Devotion to New Heights”…

...by sitting on them. … [Read more...]

Two Tributes to Mary Magdalene

with two very different portraits of the saint. (Five minutes left in her feast day!) First, Katrina Fernandez offers a sheaf of portraits, of which my favorite by far is the muscular, off-center, whirlingly ecstatic interpretation of Giambattista Pittoni. Then Joanne McPortland writes about her ongoing relationship with the saint, and offers a hushed, serene, almost doll-like portrayal by Georges de la Tour. … [Read more...]

It’s the Feast of the Jailers of Sts Peter and Paul

St Processus and St Martinian, who converted under the influence of their prisoners; they're the patron saints of wardens, jailers, and prison police. … [Read more...]

It’s the Feast of St Vitus!

Patron of actors and dancers. Here's my review of the terrific Ballets Russes exhibit at the National Gallery again--why not check it out today if you're in DC? And here's Plisetskaya as the Dying Swan:(and more where that came from) … [Read more...]

It’s the Feast Day of St Joan of Arc

A great day to criticize the Church hierarchy! And also to burn dinner! … [Read more...]

“Clinical Sentiments”

This chorus ultimately gives way to “St. John of Gods” as an alternative mantra.  St. John of God is a psychiatric clinic in a southern suburb of Dublin, run since 1882 by the religious order of that name. Though it offers a range of services, it is best known for alcoholism treatment. The legend of the original St. John of God, a 16th-century Portuguese monk, holds that following a dramatic conversion experience, he was locked up in an asylum for the insane and mistreated.  This inspired him to … [Read more...]


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