St. Swithun: Weather Man

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Happy St. Swithun’s Day! Is it raining today? Then according to old British lore, it will rain for the next 40 days. We know this is true because a poem says so: St. Swithun’s day if thou dost rain, For forty days it will remain, St. Swithun’s day if thou be fair, For forty days [Read More...]

The Canonizations of John XXIII and John Paul II: The Opposition

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Two diametrically opposed complaints about the upcoming canonizations of two beloved popes landed in my news feed within minutes of each other. That each comes from radically different camps–modernist and anti-modernist–shows that the fringes are almost always united in their wrongness, if divided in their reasoning. First up is this blast of badly-argued nonsense from [Read More...]

St. Francis on Kickstarter

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A group of monks is using Kickstarter to raise money for the restoration of a cell where St. Francis stayed four times from 1209 and 1223, when he traveled to Rome to get recognition for his new order from Pope Innocent III. The location is the church of San Francesco a Ripa in the Trastevere [Read More...]

Medieval Book Shrines

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Medieval Fragments has a terrific, well-illustrated post on book shrines: shrines designed to look like books. Called a cumdach, the book shrine was a kind of reliquary contains pages from books associated with saints, and occasionally first class relics: Usually quite small, they served as a portable vessel meant for the preservation of a sacred [Read More...]

The Ghost of St. Edmund Kills a King: The 1000th Anniversary!

St. Edmund kills Sweyn Forkbeard

Edmund, King and Saint, was killed in a conflict with the Danes in 869, and afterward his cult grew, perhaps helped along by a legend (or was it!?) found in Archdeacon Hermann’s Miracles of St. Edmund (1096), and repeated and embellished thereafter. After the death of Edmund, the Danes continued to harass England, with Sweyn [Read More...]

Reliquary of St. John of God

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Beautiful. Part of the collection released for use from Wellcome Images, which has a huge collection of medical and scientific images. St. John was a health care worker who founded the Brothers Hospitallers. The reliquary contains a piece of his walking stick. [Read more...]

Stunning Jeweled Saints

Saint Deodatus in Rheinau, Switzerland, by Paul Koudounaris (Thames and Hudson)

Smithsonian has a long, heavily-illustrated piece on photographer Paul Koudounaris and his amazing work cataloging the heavily bejeweled skeletons and corpses of saints. He’s gathered them in a book called Heavenly Bodies: Cult Treasures and Spectacular Saints from the Catacombs (Thames and Hudson), and they are simply astonishing. Here’s a taste: You should read the entire [Read More...]

St. Thomas on “The Fitness of the Incarnation”

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One part of earning a masters in theology is digesting and summarizing largish chunks of St. Thomas Aquinas. The goal is not to just pluck a few key lines and call it a day, but to absorb each block of the Summa and restate it in your own words, proving (you hope) your understanding of [Read More...]


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