Browsing: Religion

A Brief History On November 10, 1202, despite letters from Pope Innocent III (a much more popular pope than Guilty III) forbidding it and threatening excommunication, Catholic crusaders on the Fourth Crusade began a siege of the Catholic city of Zara (now Zadar, Croatia). Digging Deeper Whereas the First Crusade successfully restored Jerusalem to Christian rule and laid the basis for the Kingdom of Jerusalem, subsequent crusades were far less productive for the crusaders.  Jerusalem was lost after the failed Second Crusade.  Nor would it be regained during the Third Crusade, even with the participation of Europe’s three most powerful…

A Brief History According to Orthodox Christian tradition, on October 27, 312 A.D., the night before the Battle of Milvian Bridge against the Roman Emperor Maxentius, the Emperor Constantine the Great adopted as his motto the Greek phrase “ἐν τούτῳ νίκα” after having a vision of a Christogram in the sky. Digging Deeper This episode is one of the most unusual and controversial stories in the history of Christianity, and probably the only time the Christian religion was involved so energetically in the military battlefield.  Of course, nothing can be officially proved, and this story is a matter of faith…

A Brief History On October 27, 1838, Missouri’s governor issued an order for all Mormons to leave the state or face extermination! Digging Deeper After Joseph Smith founded the Church of Christ (later called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints or popularly known as the Mormon Church), he and his followers had a downright hellacious time finding acceptance in mid-nineteenth century America.  His journeys in Ohio and Missouri were filled with violent incidents.  For example, in 1832 a mob tarred and feathered the first Mormon leader. The late 1830s were not much kinder.  The situation for the…

A Brief History October 19 marks the feast of Saint Frithuswith, also spelled Frideswide, who passed away on that date in 727 A.D., and for whom a king had died as he tried to force her into marriage! Digging Deeper Frithuswith was born as a princess in England, but became the first abbess of an Oxford double monastery.  As such, she is now the patron saint of Oxford. Before her canonization as a saint, young Princess Frithuswith founded St. Frideswide’s Priory.  As such, she became bound to celibacy.  Nevertheless, an English king named Algar wanted to marry her and despite her refusal,…

A Brief History On October 10, 1580, after a three-day siege, an English army beheaded over 600 Papal soldiers and civilians in Ireland. Digging Deeper In the decades following the religious turmoil brought about by the Protestant Reformation, the various Christian groups of Europe battled each other in wars to either assert their religious independence or to forcibly convert their enemies. One of the most infamous examples of religious violence occurred in the British isles where King Henry VIII founded the Anglican Church primarily to divorce one wife so as to marry another.  Henry’s reign is remembered for his having…

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