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Wed, Nov 28th - 5:06AM

Immaculate Conception

St John the Evangelist on the Island of PatmosImmaculate Conception is the Roman Catholic dogma holding that from the first instant of its creation, the soul of the Virgin Mary was free from original sin; this doctrine is not to be confused with that of the Virgin Birth, which holds that Jesus Christ was born of a virgin mother.

The Immaculate Conception is not described in the Bible.   St John the Evangelist's vision on the island of Patmos is the basis for the development of the dogma.   When he was writing the Apocalyse the Virgin appeared to him 'clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet and upon her head a crown of twelve stars' (Revelation XII, 1-4).

There was opposition to the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception.   The theological controversy gained momentum in the 19th century.   Finally in 1854, Pope Pius IX issued a solemn decree declaring the Immaculate Conception to be a dogma essential for the belief of the universal church.

Shown is St John the Evangelist on the Island of Patmos by Diego Velazquez (1599-1660).   More Christian art is on the Christian Paintings WebRing Blog.

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Thu, Nov 22nd - 5:33AM

Lost Sheep

Bishop Bruce Howe When criticized for associating with sinners, Jesus used the parable of the lost sheep (Luke 15:1-7).

A good shepherd is prepared to leave his flock in jeopardy in order to resue one lost sheep. God is as pleased with a repentant sinner as with a group of already righteous people.

A shepherd's crook is the symbol of a bishop, who is supposed to look after fellow Christians as a good shepherd.

Shown is Bishop Bruce Howe, former Anglican Bishop of Huron.

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Sat, Nov 10th - 5:14AM

Sunderland Pattison Gardner

Sunderland Pattison Gardner In the 19th century, Sunderland Pattison Gardner became a leading voice among Quakers throughout the United States and Canada.

He was born in Rensselaerville, New York in 1802 and at the age of 30 he was called to the ministry. In a 42 year period he preached 2,261 sermons always delivered extemporarily. He travelled extensively and news of his arrival always drew large attendance. in 1889, when he was 87 years old, nearly 1,000 people gathered to hear him preach.

The Memoirs of Sunderland P. Gardner offer a glimpse into 19th century Quaker lfe and thought.

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Sun, Nov 4th - 11:06AM

Book of Kells

Book of KellsThe Book of Kells is a manuscipt of the four Gospels made in the 8th century. All the pages are illuminated in gold and glowing colors. Not only are there many pages covered entirely with pictures and ornament, but the first letter of each sentence is illuminated, each time differently. Besides the regular patterns, people, animals and birds are often drawn.

The manuscript takes its name from Kells, a town in County Meath, Ireland, which had a monastery famous for its learning from early times. It is now in the library of Trinity College, Dublin.

Shown left are the opening words of St John's Gospel from the Book of Kells.

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