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Thu, Dec 20th - 1:24PM


Symbol of Christ


Coptic Fish CrossThe fish served as an identification mark for the first Christians.   During the time of persecution in the Roman Empire, Jesus fishthe Christians would trace two lines in the sand in the form of a fish to identify fellow Christians.

The Greek word for fish is ikhthus (ΙΧΘΥΣ).   Each letter represents the first letter of a description of Jesus - Jesus Christ God's Son Savior.

Iota (i) is the first letter of Iesous, Greek for Jesus.
Chi (kh) is the first letter of Khristos, Greek for Christ or anointed.
Theta (th) is the first letter of Theou, that means God's.
Upsilon (u) is the first letter of huios, Greek for Son.
Sigma (s) is the first letter of soter, Greek for Savior.



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Fri, Dec 14th - 4:44AM


Martyrs Statues at Westminster Abbey


In 1998, ten 20th century Christian martyrs were commemorated with statues at Westminster Abbey in London. Westminster Abbey is probably the most famous church in Great Britain and is where English monarchs since William the Conqueror in 1066 have been crowned.

The Abbey has the tombs of famous citizens—among them the poet Geoffrey Chaucer and the physicist Isaac Newton. The abbey also contains monuments to prominent political figures and tributes to Shakespeare and other outstanding literary personages.

The martyrs statues (shown left) are in niches above the west gate of the Abbey that had been empty since the Middle Ages .

Who were the ten 20th Century Martyrs?



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Mon, Dec 10th - 4:32AM


Bay Psalm Book

Bay Psalm BookThe Bay Psalm Book was the first book published in the American colonies that is still in existence. It was prepared by about 30 New England clergymen, including Richard Mather and John Eliot, and was printed at Cambridge, Massachusetts Bay Colony, in 1640.

The Psalms in it are metrical translations into English and none have remained in use, although some of the tunes to which they were sung have survived.

It was the only work of its kind in New England churches for more than a century. It went through several editions. The early editions gave no music, but the ninth edition of 1698 contained 12 tunes.

The Bay Psalm Book is considered the most valuable of all American printed books because of its rarity and historical importance. Eleven copies of the first edition of the Bay Psalm Book are known still to exist.

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Thu, Dec 6th - 4:38AM


Stigmata


Stigmata is the appearance of wounds on the hands, feet and in the ribs, in imitation of those made by the nails that pinned Christ to the Cross. In 1224, St Francis of Assisi was the first Christian to manifest the marks which remained on his body for two years until his death.

St. Francis had embarked on a journey to Mt. La Verna for a forty day fast. One morning, a six winged angel appeared to Francis while he prayed. As the angel approached, Francis could see that the angel was crucified. He was humbled by the sight, and his heart was filled with elation joined by pain and suffering. When the angel departed, Francis was left with wounds in his hands, feet, and side as if caused by the same lance that pierced Christ’s side. The image of nails immediately appeared in his hands and feet, and the wound in his side often seeped blood.



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Sun, Dec 2nd - 4:58AM


Mother Mary's House


After Jesus' death, Mary accompanied the disciple John to Ephesus, on the Aegian coast of Asia Minor, were she lived until her assumption. In 431, the Third Ecumenical Council was held there. At this 'Council of Ephesus' Mary was proclaimed to be the 'God Bearer'.

'The House of Mother Mary' was identified in the visions of German nun Anna Katharina Emmerick, who died in 1824. Her detail visions were published in a book by Clemens Brentano. In 1881, a French priest discovered a small stone building he took to be the house described in the book but his discovery was not taken seriously. Ten years later, two Lazarist missionaries rediscovered the building, using the same source for a guide. They learned that the four-walled, roofless ruin had been venerated for a long time by the members of a distant mountain village who were descended from the Christians of Ephesus.

The current chapel is the result of a restoration work completed in 1950, built on top of original remains to make it suitable for pilgrimage after it was declared an official Catholic pilgrimage site. The restored portion of the chapel is distinguished from the original remains of the structure by a line painted in red.







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