Christianity

Da Vinci Music Decoded

An Ex-Royal Airforce Codebreaker and his son claim to have unlocked the mystery of symbols on the Rosslyn Chapel.

America's only medieval church

According to the research of the late historian Alwyn Ruddock, America's only medieval church may have been located in Newfoundland. Now University of Bristol researcher Evan Jones wants to use the notes to find the church purportedly built by an Italian friar in 1498.

American Catholics push for beatification of the Five Friars

Rev. Conrad Harkins, representing the Catholic Diocese of Savannah, Georgia, made a trip to Rome recently carrying evidence he hopes will aid in the beatification of five Spanish missionaries martyred 410 years ago on the Georgia coast.

Rib bone NOT Joan of Arc's

John Leicester of the Globe and Mail reports on the ongoing controversy over the remains of Joan of Arc. The verdict: It is a rib bone, but it did not belong to Joan of Arc.

St. Clare Friary remains to be analyzed

Researchers will soon begin analysis of remains from 30 medieval graves discovered in February, 2007 in Preston, England's city center, believed to have once been the site of a friary dedicated to St. Clare.

Turkey Restores Ancient Armenian Church as Show of Goodwill

Akdamar Church, also called the Church of Surp Khach, or Holy Cross, an Armenian structure dating back to 921 C.E., is being restored in a US$1.5 million project being undertaken by Turkey as a step towards improving relationships between the two neighboring countries.

Scholar believes St. Patrick in Ireland earlier than 5th century

Celtic scholar and linguist Daniel Melia believes that St. patrick may have preached his message to the Irish 50 years earlier than previously believed. The earlier time period would place the saint within provincial Roman society rather than during tribal invasions.

6th century book restored in Ethiopia

In an article for the Spring 2007 issue of Skin Deep, a publication for bookbinders, Mark Winstanley discusses Tsbook [Tigrinya for Good] - The Gospel of Abba, a 6th century Ethiopian Gospel and its repair project.

Bones of Saint Philipp for sale in Russia

The skull and bone purported to be holy relics of Saint Philipp are for sale by a private owner on a Russian website. The Russian Orthodox Church has called the sale "blasphemous."

Medieval priory found beneath Somerset barn

Researchers working on artifacts found beneath a 16th century barn near Dunster, England believe they belong to the Benedictine Priory of Dunster which dates to 1127 CE. Archaeologists have so far discovered two walls, paving and glazed tile fragments.

Marriage, divorce and whiskey in Ireland

The February 2007 issue of the Chivalry Sports online newsletter includes two new articles: Marriage and Divorce Laws in Early Medieval Ireland and A recipe for Irish Whiskey Cake.

The REAL history of Valentine's Day

An article posted on Newswise looks at the history - and myths - of Valentine's Day. "Though it may be swathed in pink fluffy confections, Valentine’s Day is far from sugar sweet. Before you dig into that box of chocolates, here’s the real history behind all the candy and flowers."

New Medieval Views of Stonehenge

This new view of Stonehenge is a tiny Medieval drawing in the "scala mundi" or "world ladder" on a chart which chronicles Creation. While not the oldest image of Stonehenge, it one of only a few known to exist.

Shakespeare's Church Has Leaky Roof

The caretakers of the church where William Shakespeare was baptized and buried want help to fix its leaky roof. Holy Trinity Church in Stratford upon Avon is seeking sponsors to "adopt a gargoyle" and help the church provide the extensive maintenance needed.

Canterbury Cathedral in crisis

England's Canterbury Cathedral has launched an international fundraising campaign in a effort to raise more than UK£50m necessary for urgent repairs.

Saint Nicholas honored by exhibit in Bari, Italy

An exhibition of artwork depicting Saint Nicholas will be on display in Bari, Italy, the saint's resting place. Saint Nicholas, Art Masterpieces in East and West is jointly organized by the Bari Municipality, the district of Puglia, the Bari University, the local Department of Archaeology, the Archbishopric of Bari and the metropolitan church of Saint Nicholas in Bari, and will be on display until May 6, 2007.

Bones probably not those of Joan of Arc

Eighteen experts, working to determine if a rib bone and a piece of cloth belonged to St. Joan of Arc, have not completely finished their task but now feel that "there is relatively little chance that the remnants are hers."

Devil's Music in the Vatican

Rock and roll music will represent Hell in a new opera based upon Dante's medieval epic, The Divine Comedy. The composition by Monsignor Marco Frisina will premiere in Vatican City.

Hymns and carols of Christmas

Douglas D. Anderson has created a website of ancient Christmas music "to preserve the rich history of Christmas carols and hymns which might otherwise be lost." The site includes both lyrics and MIDI files of the music.

Santa's sleigh or Thor's chariot?

"The idea of St Nicholas got very much mixed in with Thor's transport when it comes to the sled with flying reindeer," said Helge Soerheim of the Archaeological Museum in Stavanger. On December 21, 2006, IC Wales explored the idea of how Vikings might have celebrated the Christmas season.

Snorri Sturluson was wrong

A new investigation of the cathedral in Trondheim, Norway, has revealed that Icelandic literary hero Snorri Sturluson had been wrong in his documentation of the cathedral’s history.

Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna Exhibits 'Christ ist geboren' - illumination and yule

Since the first of December a new interesting exhibition is on display at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna: Christ ist geboren - Prachthandschriften zum Weihnachtsfest. The exhibit runs until 14 January, 2007.

Christian meets Celt in Scottish mythology

Scotland's place in world mythology is explored in an article by Diane MacLean for the Scotsman. Was King Arthur a Scot? Is the blood of Jesus in Scotland, and is Scotland really the lost city of Atlantis?

Early Christian graves discovered in the Ukraine

Early Christian burials dating to the 11th and 13th centuries have been found in Chernihiv in the Ukraine. Experts believe that the 30 tombs prove that the city was important in early Russian history.

Celibacy Requirement for Priests May Be Reconsidered

In the Middle Ages, celibacy for the clergy was not universally enforced. Now a Roman Catholic Cardinal suggests that the Church might take a fresh look at the issue.

Satan Getting Press: New Books about the Devil

"As anybody who has seen the recent Meryl Streep movie The Devil Wears Prada knows, Satan is back in vogue. It is unsurprising, then, that some of the Devil’s sparkle has rubbed off in Western universities."

Joan of Arc Relic Authenticity in Doubt

A piece of bone and fragment of blackened cloth preserved in France since the fifteenth century may not be authentic relics of St. Joan. A new scientific examination of the items raises questions.

Saint Paul's Tomb Found?

Archaeologists in Rome believe that they have discovered the tomb of St. Paul the Apostle. A sarcophagus, which may contain the remains of the saint, was unearthed at the St. Paul Outside the Walls basilica.

Swedish Christmas Goat - Centuries Old Tradition

Each year for the last 40 years, the centuries-old symbol of Christmas in Sweden, a huge straw goat, has been built in Gavle, Sweden. Only 10 of them have seen the new year; the rest have been torched, run over by cars, knocked over or otherwise destroyed by vandals.

Today in the Middle Ages: December 7, 1539

On December 7, 1539, Martin Luther granted Philip, Landgrave of Hesse a confessor's dispensation to marry a second wife, although his first wife was still living and not divorced. Christine of Saxony, described as "unattractive and sickly," apparently favored her husband's plan to marry again.