Christianity

Today in the Middle Ages: April 12, 1334

Giotto di Bondone was appointed Chief Architect of Florence Cathedral on April 12, 1334. He designed a bell tower for the Cathedral, but it was not finished until after his death.

Today in the Middle Ages: April 7, 1506

Today is the 500th anniversary of the birth of St. Francis Xavier. The Spanish-born missionary studied at the University of Paris and was one of the seven priests who joined Ignatius Loyola to found the Jesuit order.

6th Century Pyramid Found under Mexican Passion Play Site

As many as a million Mexicans have watched an annual reenactment of the crucifixion of Christ unaware that a pyramid of the Teotihuacan culture lay under the soil on which they stood.

Winchester Pilgrimage

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The Shire of West Dragoningshire invites all lords, barons, knights, squires, along with their ladies and all other gentles of any station to join them in the Winchester Pilgrimage, 12-14 May 2006.

Nestled in the water meadows alongside the River Itchen, in the shadow of St Catherine's Hill and only 20 minutes walk from the centre of Winchester, lies the medieval buildings of the Hospital of St Cross & Almshouse of Noble Poverty. Location:
Shire of West Dragoningshire (Winchester, England)

University of New Mexico to Host Medieval Lecture Series

The University of New Mexico's Institute for Medieval Studies will host Medieval Innovations: How the Middle Ages Changed Western Culture, a series of six lectures and a concert, Monday, April 3-6, 2006 on the university's main campus in Albuquerque.

Early Coptic Manuscript Found in Egypt

A cache of 6th century Coptic manuscripts has been discovered at the Monastery of Deir al-Surian in western Egypt. The find includes a single completed manuscript and hundreds of fragments from the 6th through 10th centuries CE.

St Chads Burial Place and Tomb Discovered at Lichfield

Following on the recent discovery of the Anglo-Saxon Lichfield Angel, the grave and church of the St Chad have been discovered at Lichfield.

Aztec Mural Documents Spanish Conquest

A recently unearthed Aztec mural, painted shortly after the Spanish conquest, combines Aztec mythology with Christian symbols including a large black and white cross.

Mass Gravesite Discovered Dating to 616 A.D.

A war grave found near Chester, England, has helped to locate the earliest firmly identified battlefield site in England.

"UK£100,000 Will Help Us Save Our King"

At more than 800 years old, it is known as the King of Holderness. But St Augustine's Church in the heart of Hedon is slowly crumbling.

Why the Crusades Still Matter

Two scholars discuss a historic flashpoint and its relevance today. Antonia Ryan conducted an e-mail exchange with two scholars of the Crusades -- one who writes about Christian perspectives and one who studies the Muslim experience of these medieval wars.

Painted Anglo-Saxon Angel Sculpture Found

An almost complete (though broken) Anglo-Saxon sculpture of an angel has been found under Lichfield Cathedral.

Remains of Joan of Arc to be Tested

A team of French scientists hopes that a series of tests will determine if remains discovered near Garches, France are those of 15th century heroine Joan of Arc.

16th Century Tudor Chapel Found

A Tudor chapel, originally built by Henry VII, has been discovered at the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich, England. The original vault has been found completely intact.

Happy 500th Birthday, Swiss Guard!

An article for NPR's Morning Edition looks at the history of the Swiss Guard, who have guarded the Pope for over 500 years.

Starry-eyed Surprise: Medieval Astronomy

Dame Aoife brings us a veritable galaxy of links this week, concerning astronomy not only as a natural science but also as a medieval navigation and timekeeping aid.

10th Century Bulgarian Church Slated for Restoration

Boyana Church near Sofia, Bulgaria has received a UNESCO grant to help with restoration in the aftermath of 2005's floods.

The Legacy of St. Augustine

In a speech delivered to the American Enterprise Institute, Robert Louis Wilken of the University of Virginia, looks at the legacy of Augustine, thinker and writer.

New exhibit on the history of the Bible

"Ink & Blood: Sacred Treasures of the Bible" will be on display at the Florida International Museum through May 14, 2006.

Dante quiz helps sinners find their future home in Hell

Have you been bad? Very bad? Dante Alighieri has an eternal home for you. Use this quiz to find out which of his seven levels of Hell you will inhabit. [PG-13]

Vatican Debates Recognition of Veronica's Veil

A mysterious Christian icon known as Veronica's Veil is being considered for recognition by the Catholic Church. The veil is purported to carry the imprint of Christ's face and resides in a remote monastery in Italy's Abruzzi region.

6th Century Seal Bears Image of Christ

A seal bearing what is thought to be an image of Christ and a cross has been unearthed in Tiberias, Israel. The seal has been dated to the 6th century.

10th Century Graveyard Uncovered in Republic of Ireland

Volunteers in the village of Nobber have uncovered a 10th Century cemetery, 12th Century church and concrete graves in the shape of Celtic crosses.

Boxing Day: A Day for Giving

Vincent Fernandes of the Daiji World looks at the origins of Boxing Day from its roots at the feast of St. Stephen to a day celebrating donating to charity.

Pope Joan in the News Again

ABC News takes a new look at one of the oldest controversies of the Catholic Church: Pope Joan, a 9th century woman who, according to legend, disguised herself as a man to serve as Pope.

A Very PC Holiday!

Diane Roberts of NPR's Weekend Edition offered a very politically correct holiday greeting on Sunday, December 18, 2005 with a look at the winter holiday season, ancient Roman style.

Fra Angelico One Step Closer to Sainthood

Fra Angelico was the model of a self-effacing medieval monk whose art was an expression of religion. Pope John Paul II beatified the 14th century monk, bringing him one step closer to sainthood, and his name and his genius are still celebrated 550 years later.

First Nativity Scene to be Restored

A 13th century marble nativity scene by sculptor Arnolfo di Cambio in the oratory of the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome is scheduled to be removed from the church for restoration.

In-Fighting Threatens Church of the Nativity

Squabbling over repairs to the basilica commemorating the birthplace of Jesus may endanger the Church of the Nativity, according to Telegraph reporter Tim Butcher. He writes that the three Christian communities in charge of maintaining the church cannot agree on restoration methods.

Medieval Fortress Gets Christmas Tree

An illuminated festive tree will grace a medieval fortress in Cumbria after a deal to secure funding.