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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:   March 28

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

March 28, 1515: Spanish mystic Teresa of Avila, founder of a reformed Carmelite order, is born. Though her contemporaries noted her practicality and administrative skills, her legacy stems from her mysticism, evidenced in her Autobiography, Way of Perfection, Book of Foundations, and Interior Castle.

March 28, 1592: Czech theologian Jan Comenius, educator of the Bohemian (or Moravian) Brethren, is born in Nivnice, Czechoslovakia. As today, the region was tormented by warfare, and Comenius believed the only way to bring peace was through education. He designed a plan for educating every province and country, which he presented in The Great Didactic(1632). Education, he believed, should be more than just learning facts and languages (as was the case in his day), it should mold Christian character and should be marked by observing the physical world. He is called "the father of modern education" (see issue 13: Jan Amos Comenius).

March 28, 1661: Scottish Parliament passes the Rescissory Act, repealing all church-state legislation created since 1633 (Charles I's reign). In essence, the act restored the Anglican episcopacy to Scotland and quashed Presbyterianism, which had been the national church since 1638. In 1690 Parliament again established the Church of Scotland as Presbyterian (see issue 46: John Knox).

March 28, 1937: Billy Graham gets his first opportunity to preach when his teacher John Minder unexpectedly assigns him the Easter evening sermon. Graham tried to get out of it, saying he was unprepared, but Minder persisted. Desperately nervous, Graham raced through four memorized sermons, originally 45 minutes each, in eight minutes (see issue 65: The Ten Most Influential Christians of the Twentieth Century).

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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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