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Mary at the CrossFROM THE ARCHIVES
Mary at the Cross
From three little verses in John has come a rich tradition of song and art.
Patrick Henry Reardon
From Issue 83: Mary in the Imagination of the Church

Along with Gabriel's Annunciation to Mary (Luke 1:26-38), her Visitation to Elizabeth (1:39-56), and Jesus' birth and infancy (2:7,16; Matthew 2:11), one other biblical scene depicting the mother of Jesus is especially prominent in the history of Christian ...

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ARMCHAIR HISTORIAN:  My Top 5 Books on Desert Spirituality

CH BLOG:   From Jesus to Mary and Back Again: The History of the Annunciation

QUIZ:  Easter Through the Ages

TODAY IN CHRISTIAN HISTORY:   October 26

QUOTE OF THE WEEK:  John Chrysostom


Did You Know?

Only in the Holy Land can you celebrate Jesus' death and resurrection in the place where it happened. The fourth-century pilgrim Egeria described the Holy Week services in Jerusalem: "What I admire and value most is that all the hymns and antiphons and readings, and all the prayers that the bishops say, are always relevant to the day which is being observed and to the place in which they are used." Today, much like in Egeria's era, thousands of Christians observe Good Friday by following the "Via Dolorosa"—the traditional route Jesus walked on the way to his crucifixion—from the Mount of Olives to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The route and rituals have changed over the centuries, but the devotion has not. Jerusalem Christians' celebration of Easter influenced Christian worship around the world. The practice of following the "stations of the cross" is one example.

You can learn more about the Holy Land in our archives.



Armchair Historian

My Top 5 Books on Desert Spirituality

By Jennifer Hevelone-Harper

As Christians from all branches of the church today rediscover the ancient traditions of Christian spirituality, the literature of early Christian monasticism is a welcome voice in our conversation with the saints. Many sources are now available in accessible English translations, so enter into the world of men and women who forsook the expectations of their society to pray in the deserts of Palestine and Egypt. Primary sources predominate on the list below, but each translation is accompanied by useful introductions and commentaries by top scholars. Enjoy!


Quiz

Easter Through the AgesEaster Through the Ages

Take the quiz ... then explore the history. In addition to the Holidays section of our archives, you can find Easter-related content in several past issues of Christian History & Biography: Issue 97: The Holy Land, Issue 83: Mary in the Imagination of the Church, and Issue 59: The Life & Times of Jesus of Nazareth



Today in Christian History

October 26, 899: Alfred the Great, ruler of Wessex, England, from 871, dies. His defeat of the Danes ensured Christianity's survival in England, but he is also known for his ecclesiastical reforms and his desire to revive learning in his country.

October 26, 1466: According to some accounts, Dutch scholar Desiderius Erasmus was born on this date. The first editor of the Greek New Testament, he also wrote In Praise of Folly (a satire of monastic and ecclesiastical corruption) and many other works (see issue 34: Luther's Early Years and issue 43: How We Got Our Bible).

October 26, 1529: Thomas More becomes Lord Chancellor of England. Though he defended religious freedom in his book Utopia, he strongly opposed the Reformation and wrote against Luther, Tyndale, and others. Because he also opposed Henry VIII's claim to be the supreme head of the English church, as well as the king's divorce, he was executed (see issue 16: William Tyndale and issue 48: Thomas Cranmer).

October 26, 1633: The Puritan congregation at Newton (now Cambridge), Massachusetts, chooses Thomas Hooker as its pastor. Hooker, like many Dissenters, had earlier fled persecution in England by traveling to Holland. He then sailed to America with preachers John Cotton and Samuel Stone, leading grateful Puritans in Boston to quip that they now had "Cotton for their clothing, Hooker for their fishing, and Stone for their building" (see issue 41: American Puritans).

October 26, 1950: Mother Teresa founds the first Mission of Charity in Calcutta, India (see issue 65: The Ten Most Influential Christians of the Twentieth Century).

October 26, 1966: The first World Congress on Evangelism opens in West Berlin, attracting approximately 600 delegates from about 100 countries.

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Quote of the Week

Let no one grieve at his poverty,
for the universal kingdom has been revealed.
Let no one mourn that he has fallen again and again;
for forgiveness has risen from the grave.
Let no one fear death, for the Death of our Savior has set us free.
He has destroyed it by enduring it.
—John Chrysostom, bishop of Constantinople; sermon, ca. 400




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