Christianity

Codex Sinaiticus to be available online

The Codex Sinaiticus, a 1,600-year-old version of Bible, has been digitized and is being made available online. The manuscript is one of the oldest versions of the Bible.

Knights Templar demand redress from the Pope

700 years after the Knights Templar were eradicated by the Catholic Church, the Association of the Sovereign Order of the Temple of Christ has launched a court case in Spain demanding that the Church exonerate the Order and return assets worth EU€100bn.

Mojo cursed in ancient Cyprus

A 7th century curse inscribed on a tablet has been found by archaeologists working near Limassol, Cyprus. The inscription curses the sexual prowess of men and may be linked to the island's pagan past. PG-13.

Medieval "beguine" movement still alive in Belgium

Life was tough for women in the 13th century, especially those who had lost their husbands and protectors to the Crusades. Experts believe this was the origin of the "beguines — a Roman Catholic laic order that began in the 13th century and branched across northwest Europe."

"Experimental archaeology" at Lysts of Castleton

Recently, a group of SCA members from the Kingdom of Ansteorra undertook an exercise in "experimental archaeology" at the Lysts at Castleton event. The Monks of Castleton spent the event re-creating the monastic lifestyle.

6th century presses from "holy wine factory" found near Mount Sinai

Egyptian archaeologists have discovered two wine presses dating to the 6th century which are believed to be from a factory which produced holy wine for export to Christians. The presses were found near the 6th century St. Catherine's Monastery on the Sinai Peninsula.

St Margaret's church in Leicester, England ransacked by vandals

Police in Leicester, England report that vandals broke into and desecrated a 13th century church in the city's center, overturning lecterns, breaking windows and defecating through a floor panel into the church's medieval foundation.

Life lessons learned on El Camino de Santiago

Modern spiritual seekers are finding value in a medieval pilgrimage. Spain's 500-mile-long El Camino de Santiago gives participants plenty of time to meditate. Jillian Mueller of the Christian Science Monitor chronicles her journey.

"Michelangelo Code" latest renaissance mystery

Reminiscent of "The Da Vinci Code," a decades-old mystery involves the claim that Michelangelo painted subversive messages into his frescoes in the Sistine Chapel, including "secret" profile of the medieval poet Dante and a portrait of Jesus on the cross.

Rare display of Shroud of Turin scheduled

The Turin Shroud will be displayed in public for the first time in ten years, coinciding with a new series of scientific tests. The Shroud has only been displayed five times in the past century.

Mummies on display in Capuchin monastery

The mummified remains of over 8,000 monks and city luminaries make for a strange tourist destination, but that is what visitors will find at the Capuchin Catacombs in Palermo, Sicily. The remains date from the 16th century.

Practice Latin on the Vatican website

An ancient tongue gets a modern boost with the creation of Sancta Sedes, a Latin section of the Vatican's website which features papal texts and religious works.

Lead church roofs target of English thieves

England's historic churches are facing a new enemy: lead thieves, who are now stealing strips of lead from church roofs. The thefts are being blamed on the record high price that lead brings.

[DRA] Winchester Pilgrimage III

description:
Come all ye pilgrims and travellers, and join the Shire of West Dragoningshire for a pilgrimage at the Hospital of St Cross and Almshouse of Noble Poverty. Share with us in an evening of Chaucer; a morning pilgrimage to Winchester Cathedral, during which we will be tested on our knowledge of such things that would be known by pilgrims of yore; an afternoon demonstration of our fighting skills and an evening of feasting Location:
Shire of West Dragoningshire (Winchester, England)

Crusaders left genetic mark on the Middle East

Scientists from the Genographic Project, which is tracking human migrations through DNA, have found traces of a particular DNA signature in Lebanon which they link to European crusaders.

French Templar tomb found

The remains of a Templar knight have been discovered in a tomb near Rennes-le-Chateau, France along with a cache of gold and coins. The mummified body wore the still-recognizable shroud of the order. (video)

Thief rips off 288 pages from Scottish Catholic Archives

A man posing as a student was caught stealing pages from archives in London. He admitted that he stole them from the Catholic Church in Edinburgh as well.

Inquisition "wasn't so bad after all" according to Vatican

The Vatican has created an exhibit to convince the Faithful that the Inquisition "wasn't so bad after all." The temporary Rare and Precious exhibition at Rome's Vittoriano Museum is designed to "expose some myths about this dark chapter of its past."

YouTube clip wins recording contract for Cistercian monks

Executives from Universal Music were "blown away" after hearing the voices of monks singing in a Cistercian monastery near Vienna, Austria on a YouTube video clip. The record producers had been looking for a group to record Gregorian chants, which have become popular.

"The Quest" follows journey of the Templars

The Quest, a Classic Media Group production, follows the journey of the Knights Templar through Europe by studying the work of archaeologists, anthropologists and historians.

Knights Templar petition to restore the Order

An odd advertisement appeared March 18, 2008 in the London Daily Telegraph. Titled "The Ancient & Noble Order of The Knights Templar," the ad announced that the Order "would petition the Pope to 'restore the Order with the duties, rights and privileges appropriate to the 21st century and beyond.'"

"Oops!" Shroud of Turin washed with a red shirt

Vatican City has announced that the venerable Shroud of Turin has been turned pink when it was accidentally washed with a red shirt. "Simply because the shroud has been given a slight pinkish tint does not in any way diminish its sanctity," Vatican spokesman Cardinal Giovanni Lajolo said during a press conference held to address the spiritual repercussions of the shroud's staining.

Rare Anglo-Saxon grave markers found in cathedral walls

Archaeologists are excited about the discovery of rare Anglo-Saxon grace markers in the walls of Peterborough Cathedral. The markers, which are believed to date from the 11th century, were discovered during restoration work to the cathedral.

Fra' Bertie, Knights of Malta leader, dies

His Most Eminent Highness Fra' Andrew Bertie, the first Englishman to lead the Knights of Malta, has died, leaving the Order to select its new Grand Master.

Shroud of Turin photographed in HD

Church leaders and scientists will have a new opportunity to study the famous Shroud of Turin which is rarely seen by the public. The Shroud was recently photographed in high definition, creating a 12.8 billion-pixel image.

Shroud of Turin to be retested

Professor Christopher Ramsey, the director of the Oxford University Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit, is hoping to run new tests on the Shroud of Turin. He believes that tests run in 1988 to date the relic may have been contaminated.

Choral sounds from the Male Choir of St. Petersburg (Russia)

A video on YouTube features the Male Choir of St. Petersburg, Russia, an a capella choir of 25 singers who will be making their American debut in 2009.

Stanford professor helps to preserve Gregorian chant

Stanford University Professor William Mahrt has dedicated his life to the study and preservation of Gregorian chant as director of the the St. Ann Choir of at St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Palo Alto, California.

Holy Grail discovery claimed in the Louvre

Glasgow historian Mark Oxbrow believes he has found the real Holy Grail in - of all places - the Louvre in Paris. Oxbrow believes it is a "green gem-encrusted serving dish which he thinks could have been used at the Last Supper."

Six medieval bishops identified in Scotland

Radiocarbon dating was used recently to help identify the remains of six bishops found buried in at Whithorn Priory in Galloway, Scotland. The skulls dated from between 1200-1360 CE. (photos)