Five Catholic Things to Listen to on Spotify

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Spotify has a pretty deep archive, but its poor tagging and search features make it difficult to burrow into the more obscure corners and find the weird stuff hidden below pop songs and other junk. Here are five things that may be of interest to Catholics. Pope John Paul II: Mass in English is not a [Read More...]

Medieval Handwriting: The App

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I don’t expect that many of you need to learn to distinguish among and transcribe the many kinds of medieval hands found in old manuscripts, but Medieval Handwriting is still a must for medieval buffs. The app, available for Android and iOS, includes 26 religious manuscript pages. Each has an introduction, specimen letter forms, and [Read More...]

The Bible of St. Louis

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The Bible of St. Louis is one of the greatest works of illumination in history, with 4,887 illustrations providing an astonishing view of both scripture and the 13th century. The three volumes contain excerpts from the Bible and commentary. They were commissioned between 1226 and 1234 by Blanche of Castile for the education of her son, King [Read More...]

St. Thomas Aquinas Believed in Ghosts

St. Thomas Aquinas at Prayer

We’re coming up fast on Halloween, so I want to jump ahead a bit to see what St. Thomas Aquinas has to say about ghosts. The section is found in the Summa Theologica, Supplementum Tertiæ Partis: Question 69. Matters concerning the resurrection, and first of the place where souls are after death, Article 3. Whether [Read More...]

St. Augustine’s Ghost Story

The Devil and St Augustine Carlisle Cathedral

St. Augustine was the first Church Father to consider at length stories of ghostly apparitions that appeared in various strands of hagiography, legend, scripture, and eyewitness testimony. It’s not truly a “theology of ghosts,” but it’s a more developed consideration of the subject that anyone else, even Tertullian, had attempted, or indeed would attempt for centuries. Augustine [Read More...]

The Greatest Desk For Book Lovers Ever

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And I’m not even kidding. Behold the book wheel, for people who like to multitask:   Erik Kwakkel’s indispensable Medieval Books blog has a great series on medieval desks, and describes the above contraption this way: The image from 1588 shows the bookwheel invented by the Renaissance engineer Agostino Ramelli, whose concept was based on medieval [Read More...]

Christ the Apothecary

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There is a minor tradition in art of depicting Christ as the Divine Pharmacist, an Apothecary of the Soul, mixing and compounding the medicine for mankind. In this illumination from a 16th century manuscript, He is shown writing out the prescription to treat original sin. There’s no word on whether Adam and Eve had a co-pay. [Read more...]

Satan is Just a Little Blond Girl in Pigtails Handing Out Fruit

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The Temptation is much easier to understand when you look at it this way: Although, yeah: the snake body thing should have been a dead giveaway. Think about it, though: we have nasty visual images of Satan in our mind because artists need to convey evil visually, but Paul tells us that Satan himself masquerades as [Read More...]


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