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Gladiators after the fight, José Moreno Carbonero (1882)

Gladiators: Were any of them Christian?

The persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire is no secret. Christians posed a dangerous threat to the security of the Empire by refusing to worship the pagan gods, whose favor was seen as...
Two Sides to Every Story: The North American Martyrs Shrines and Indigenous/ Roman Catholic Relations – Part II

Two Sides to Every Story: The North American Martyrs Shrines and Indigenous/ Roman Catholic Relations – Part II

Read Part 1 Jerome Lalemant, the second Superior of the Huron mission, said there were so few converts because no Jesuit had been martyred yet. It is stated more than once that if the “glorious crown...
Two Sides to Every Story: The North American Martyrs Shrines and Indigenous/ Roman Catholic Relations

Two Sides to Every Story: The North American Martyrs Shrines and Indigenous/ Roman Catholic Relations

After the Blessed Virgin Mary and her assorted shrines and grottoes, evangelical Catholics in Canada and United States flock to and draw inspiration from the North American Martyrs’ Shrines in...
Frescos in the crypt of St. Agatha, including the outstanding inner chapel altar and fresco (center).

Excavation of the Maltese Catacombs of St. Agatha Revealed Some of the Finest 12th and 15th century Frescos in Europe!

Located just some 60 miles of the coast of Sicily, smack in the middle of the Mediterranean lie the Maltese Islands. The three small islands are Malta, it's sister island of Gozo and the small island...
Remains of the original apse built in 1077 was unearthed during excavation work at St Albans Cathedral.

1,000-Year-Old Norman Cathedral Ruins Unearthed Beneath Church in England

The foundations of a Norman cathedral have been found under just 3ft (90cm) of soil during excavations at St Albans Abbey, the oldest place of continuous Christian worship in England. They are dated...
The Colosseum in Rome, once home to the most brutal games in history.

The Colosseum – From Gladiator Fights to Gory Executions and Sea Battles

Gladiatorial fights, sea battles, criminal (and Christian?) executions. These are only a few of the events, if they can even be called such, that happened in the walls of the Colosseum. Known during...
Detail of ‘The Martyrdom of St. Andrew’ (1646-1647) by Charles Le Brun.

The Violent Birth of ‘Martyrdom’ – How the Ancient Concept Informs Modern Religious Violence

Gervase Phillips / The Conversation The word “ martyr ” has evolved into one of the most emotive terms in the English language. The faithful venerate their memories, celebrate their feast days, name...
Image from ‘Vikings’, a medieval drama series airing on The History Channel.

Vikings Beheaded English King and Patron Saint Edmund, but What Happened to his Body?

It’s a 9th century tale involving Vikings, their beheading of a famous English king, and upheaval that led to the burial and reburial of the king’s remains in an unknown spot. And the story is still...
Silver reliquary with skull purportedly Saint Agnes' - Santa Agnese in Agone Church at Piazza Navona in Rome.

The Fascinating Catacomb of Saint Agnes, a Young Christian Martyr Who Died for her Beliefs

Beneath the city of Rome, among its ancient remains, lie many complexes of catacombs. One of the oldest of these is the one dedicated to Saint Agnes. Agnes (or Agatha) was a beautiful young woman who...
Saint, Witch or Both? The Strange Case of St Columba of Sens

Saint, Witch or Both? The Strange Case of St Columba of Sens

The cult of St Columba is connected to France, where she died. She was beheaded in Sens - the major center of her cult now. However, while French religious people pray to the historical figure as an...
Jeweled Skeleton.

The Macabre, Bejeweled Skeletons of the Catacomb Saints

In 1578, the Roman catacombs near Via Salaria were discovered by curious vineyard workers and later fully uncovered by archeologists, revealing a vast unearthly spectacle. Between 500,000 and 750,000...
The Famous Egyptian Martyr Saint Menas and His Shrine at Abu Mina

The Famous Egyptian Martyr Saint Menas and His Shrine at Abu Mina

Saint Menas (spelled variously as Minas, Mina, Mena and Mennas) is an Egyptian saint and martyr, and has the epithets of the Wonder-worker and the Martyr . St. Menas was one of the most well-known...
The holy well or sacred spring of the Great Basilica in Pliska

Tomb of Christian Bulgarian prince martyred by his brother excavated in Pliska

The grave of a prince who was to become the khan of Bulgaria but refused to deny Christ and was then martyred for it by his brother in the year 833, has been excavated in Pliska, Bulgaria. St. Boyan...
The Miracle of the Slave

Researchers chart thousands of miracle stories recorded about saints of the British Isles

A conference which took place in the Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic at the University of Cambridge saw the launch of a project to categorise and chart the thousands of miracle stories...