Christianity

Badge of St. Ursula found in England

A metal dectorist in Lancashire, England has unearthed a 500-year old pilgrim badge of St. Ursula. The badge came from her shrine in Cologne, Germany and is unique in Britain.

Ancient Ukraine comes to Houston

For the first time, many residents of the United States will be able to view Ukrainian treasures spanning 6,000 years. The exhibition will be hosted by the Houston (Texas) Museum of Natural Science from May 27 to Sept 5, 2011.

Did Giotto paint the shroud of Turin?

A new book by an Italian art historian claims that the Shoud of Turin is neither a biblical relic nor a medieval hoax, but a creation of the famous Rennaissance artist Giotto.

Prayer book and crucifix of Mary Queen of Scots reunited in Scotland

As she walked to the scaffold to be executed, Mary Queen of Scots carried an ornate crucifix and a Book of Hours. Now both artifacts, thought to have been carried by Mary, were reunited for a day at Loretto School in Musselburgh, East Lothian. (photo)

Gregorian Chant sampler available for free at Amazon

Grimmund of the Kingdom of Northshield reports that Amazon.com is offering a sampler of Gregorian chant for free download. The download works with any MP3 player.

Want the severed head of a medieval saint? Act now while supplies last!

The (alleged) severed head of St. Vitalis of Assisi, a 14th century Italian monk, is being put up for auction in Ireland. The relic has been owned by a prominent Irish family since the 18th century.

The magnificent Aya Sofya

Undoubtedly, one of the greatest places of worship in history is the Aya Sofya, also known as Hagia Sophia or “Church of the Holy Wisdom.” Located in İstanbul, the church is visited by over two million tourists a year. Terry Richardson of Today's Zaman offers a history. (photo)

Coptic nuns deface Egyptian temple

The Egyptian gods must have been angry when 6th century Coptic nuns used the walls of their temple for personal comments. The graffiti has been discovered at the 3200-year-old temple at Abydos.

Norway's Borgund stave church one of the "10 most beautiful"

Egan reports that the Budget Travel Magazine is featuring an article on the "10 most beautiful churches." Among them is the 12th century Borgund stave church in Borgund Norway, a well-preserved example of "the integration of Christianity with Norse culture."

New pilgrim trail to cross Wales

"North Wales is a landscape charged with a history of faith, and this particular pilgrim route will be, for all who follow it, a true path towards the light, supported by all those living memories of prayer and holy lives," said Dr. Rowan Williams about the new pilgrim trail across Wales.

Tomb of St Francis of Assisi re-opens

A special Franciscan mass will celebrate the re-opening of the restored tomb of St Francis of Assisi in Umbria, Italy. The saint died in 1226. (photo)

Medieval art forum in Germany, September 2011

A open colloquium to discuss medieval art will offer researchers of many fields the opportunity to discuss their ideas. From September 21 to 24, 2011, the first Forum Medieval Art will take place in Halberstadt, Germany.

Baltimore museum hosts exhibit on reliquaries

Until May 15, 2011, the Walters Art museum in Baltimore, Maryland will host Treasures of Heaven: Saints, Relics and Devotion in Medieval Europe, "a fascinating array of objects tracing the evolution and permutations of reliquaries from late antiquity to the Renaissance."

Late Roman graves discovered in Canterbury

Archaeologists have discovered a cemetery, dating to the late Roman period, is the St. Dunstan's area of Canterbury, England. They believe, due to the placement of the bodies and lack of grave goods, that the burials were Christian.

Mysterious Irish brooch has link to Greece

In 2011, a woman cutting turf in a family bog at Tullahennell North, Ireland, discovered what proved to be a 7th century brooch bearing the Greek symbol for Christ. Now researchers have linked the pin to a Christian community with ties to Greece. (photo)

6th century Ethiopian manuscript identified in Minnesota

A theology student has discovered the second-oldest known Ethiopic Old Testament at Saint John’s University in Minnesota (USA). The manuscript dates to the 6th century.

"Magically gorgeous objects:" beginning of modern art

Understanding the medieval mindset that placed magical value on sacred objects, such as relics and talismans, may be difficult for the modern public, but no one can dispute the beauty of such works of art. (photos)

Irish stone crosses subject of thesis

In her 1991 Master's Thesis, The Role of the High Cross in Early Christian Ireland: 8th to 11th Centuries, Jill Quattlebaum discusses the early Christian Church in Ireland and the importance of the stone cross as its symbol. The thesis is available to read online.

14th century manuscript returns to Bangor Cathedral

Sunday worshippers at Bangor Cathedral in Wales were given a rare treat recently: they were permitted to view the Bangor Pontifical, "a 14th Century bishop's manuscript, containing blessings and text of plainchant." The manuscript had been absent from its home for preservation and digitalization. (photo)

Early Byzantine church discovered in Israel

Israeli archaeologists are excited over the discovery of a 6th century Byzantine church in the desert southwest of Jerusalem. The small basilica features "exquisitely decorated" mosaic floors.

Russian icons at Boston museum

Lady Zabava reports that the Museum of Russian Icons in Clinton, Massachusetts will present a "stunning, major exhibition of 37 paintings and artifacts from Moscow’s Andrey Rublev Museum—most never shown before in the U.S—" from now until July 25, 2011.

Toronto Exhibit celebrates King James Bible

A new exhibit at the University of Toronto's Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library celebrates the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible. Great and Manifold: A Celebration of the Bible in English runs until June 3, 2011. (photos)

Washington DC area to host early music concerts

On March 5 and 6, 2011, Collegium Cantorum will present Anonymous 24: a concert of medieval chant and (mostly) sacred polyphony. The concerts will take place in Bethesda, Maryland and Washington D.C.

Lindisfarne Gospels online for the first time

The British Library has announced that digitized copies of two "iconic treasures" from the Anglo Saxon era have been added to the library's Digitised Manuscripts site: the Lindisfarne Gospels and the Old English Hexateuch.

Luttrell Psalter available to view on British library website

Jasper C. of the Kingdom of Ansteorra reports that the entire Luttrell Psalter is available to view on the British Library website in Adobe Flash format.

Teacher finds 17th century Bible

While searching for historic baptismal certificates to share with her students, Wisconsin teacher Debra Court stumbled across an old book. Further research has shown the book to be a hand-illustrated, German Bible dating to 1670. (video)

Preserving historic manuscripts passion of Minnesota monks

Central Minnesota is the home of Hill Museum at St. John's Abbey, an unlikely site for the world's largest collection of historic religious manuscripts. Ray Suarez of PBS Newshour interviews Father Columba Stewart, director of the museum. (video)

Did Scots beat Norse to Iceland?

New research by experts from Bangor University in Wales may show that the Vikings were not the first to reach Iceland. The first may have been Irish monks from the Scottish islands who travled there 70 years before their Nordic neighbors.

A Celtic Amazing Grace

Violinist Andre Rieu wows a stadium full of spectators with a beautiful Celtic rendition of the hymn Amazing Grace, complete with a band of pipers and a lone pennywhistle. The video is available on YouTube.

Holy Thorn of Glastonbury vandalized

Police in Glastonbury, England are looking for vandals who cut the branches from the Holy Thorn, a 2,000-year-old tree said to have been planted by Joseph of Arimathea. (video)