Church of the Holy Sepulchre in East Jerusalem

2 April 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean

Calvary/Golgotha © Gerd Eichmann/cc-by-sa-4.0

Calvary/Golgotha © Gerd Eichmann/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is a church in the Christian Quarter of the Old City of East Jerusalem. It contains, according to traditions dating back to the fourth century, the two holiest sites in Christianity: the site where Jesus was crucified, at a place known as Calvary or Golgotha, and Jesus’s empty tomb, where he was buried and resurrected. The tomb is enclosed by a 19th-century shrine called the Aedicula. The Status Quo, an understanding between religious communities dating to 1757, applies to the site. Within the church proper are the last four (or, by some definitions, five) stations of the Via Dolorosa, representing the final episodes of the Passion of Jesus. The church has been a major Christian pilgrimage destination since its creation in the fourth century, as the traditional site of the resurrection of Christ, thus its original Greek name, Church of the Anastasis (‘Resurrection’). Today, the wider complex around the Church of the Holy Sepulchre also serves as the headquarters of the Greek Orthodox patriarch of Jerusalem, while control of the church itself is shared among several Christian denominations and secular entities in complicated arrangements essentially unchanged for over 160 years, and some for much longer. The main denominations sharing property over parts of the church are the Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Armenian Apostolic, and to a lesser degree the Coptic Orthodox, Syriac Orthodox and Ethiopian Orthodox.   read more…

Mariazell in Styria

14 August 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Mariazell Basilica © Bwag/cc-by-sa-3.0-at

Mariazell Basilica © Bwag/cc-by-sa-3.0-at

Mariazell is an Austrian city located in the southeastern state of Styria. Well known for being a hub of winter sports, 143 kilometres (89 miles) north of Graz. It is picturesquely situated in the valley of the Salza, amid the north Styrian Alps. It is a site of pilgrimage for Catholics from Austria and neighboring countries to the east. The object of veneration is an image of the Virgin Mary reputed to work miracles, carved in lime-tree wood. This was brought to the place in 1157, and is now enshrined in a chapel adorned with objects of silver and other costly materials. The large church of which the chapel forms part was erected in 1644 as an expansion of a smaller church built by Louis I, King of Hungary, after a victory over the Ottoman Empire in 1363.   read more…

Abbey of the Dormition in Jerusalem

1 June 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean

© Tango7174/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Tango7174/cc-by-sa-4.0

Abbey of the Dormition is an abbey and the name of a Benedictine community in Jerusalem on Mount Zion just outside the walls of East Jerusalem‘s Old City near the Zion Gate. Between 1998 and 2006 the community was known as the Abbey of Hagia Maria Sion, in reference to the Basilica of Hagia Sion that stood on this spot during the Byzantine period, but it resumed the original name during the 2006 celebrations of the monastery’s centenary. Hagia Maria Sion is now the name of the foundation supporting the abbey’s buildings, community and academic work.   read more…

Portrait: The Reformer Martin Luther

25 October 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Portrait

Martin Luther (1529) by Lucas Cranach the Elder

Martin Luther (1529) by Lucas Cranach the Elder

Martin Luther (10 November 1483 – 18 February 1546), O.S.A., was a German professor of theology, composer, priest, monk and a seminal figure in the Protestant Reformation. Luther came to reject several teachings and practices of the Roman Catholic Church. He strongly disputed the Catholic view on indulgences as he understood it to be, that freedom from God’s punishment for sin could be purchased with money. Luther proposed an academic discussion of the practice and efficacy of indulgences in his Ninety-five Theses of 1517. His refusal to renounce all of his writings at the demand of Pope Leo X in 1520 and the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V at the Diet of Worms in 1521 resulted in his excommunication by the Pope and condemnation as an outlaw by the Emperor.   read more…

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