The CHRISTIANITY PORTAL
Christianity is a religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, as described in the New Testament. Its adherents, known as Christians, believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and savior of all people, whose coming as the Messiah was prophesied in the Old Testament.
Depending on the specific denomination of Christianity, practices may include baptism, Eucharist (Holy Communion or the Lord's Supper), prayer (including the Lord's Prayer), confession, confirmation, burial rites, marriage rites and the religious education of children. Most denominations have ordained clergy and hold regular group worship services.
Christianity developed during the 1st century CE as a Jewish Christian sect of Second Temple Judaism. It soon soon also attracted Gentile God-fearers, which lead to a departure from Jewish customs, and the establishment of Christianity as an independent religion. During the first centuries of its existence Christianity spread throughout the Roman Empire, and also to Ethiopia, Transcaucasia, and some parts of Asia.
, "seat" from the Greek kathedra
(καθέδρα), seat, bench, from kata
"down" + hedra
seat, base, chair) is a Christian church
which contains the seat
of a bishop
, thus serving as the central church of a diocese
, or episcopate
. Churches with the function of "cathedral" are usually specific to those Christian denominations with an episcopal hierarchy, such as the Roman Catholic
, and some Lutheran
In respect of the church buildings in the Eastern Orthodox Church, the English word "cathedral" commonly translates katholikon (sobor in Slavic languages), meaning of "assembly"; but this title is also applied to monastic and other major churches without episcopal responsibilities. When the church at which an archbishop or "metropolitan" presides is specifically intended, the term kathedrikos naos (literally: "cathedral church") is used.
Following the Protestant Reformation, the Christian church in several parts of Western Europe, such as Scotland, the Netherlands, certain Swiss Cantons and parts of Germany, adopted a Presbyterian polity that did away with bishops altogether. Where ancient cathedral buildings in these lands are still in use for congregational worship, they generally retain the title and dignity of "cathedral", maintaining and developing distinct cathedral functions, but void of hierarchical supremacy. From the 16th century onwards, but especially since the 19th century, churches originating in Western Europe have undertaken vigorous programmes of missionary activity, leading to the founding of large numbers of new dioceses with associated cathedral establishments of varying forms in Asia, Africa, Australasia, Oceania and the Americas. In addition, both the Catholic Church and Orthodox churches have formed new dioceses within formerly Protestant lands for converts and migrant co-religionists. Consequently, it is not uncommon to find Christians in a single city being served by three or more cathedrals of differing denominations.
The term "cathedral" actually carries no implication as to the size or ornateness of the building. Nevertheless, most cathedrals are particularly impressive edifices. Thus, the term "cathedral" is often applied colloquially to any large and impressive church, regardless of whether it functions as a cathedral, such as the Crystal Cathedral in California or the Arctic Cathedral in Tromsø, Norway.
Saint Joan of Arc
, nicknamed "The Maid of Orléans
: Jeanne d'Arc
, IPA: [ʒan daʁk]
; ca. 1412 – 30 May 1431), is considered a national heroine
of France and a Catholic saint
. A peasant
girl born in eastern France who claimed divine guidance, she led the French army to several important victories during the Hundred Years' War
, which paved the way for the coronation of Charles VII
. She was captured by the Burgundians
, sold to the English, tried by an ecclesiastical court
, and burned at the stake when she was 19 years old. Twenty-five years after the execution, Pope Callixtus III
examined the trial, pronounced her innocent and declared her a martyr
. Joan of Arc was beatified
in 1909 and canonized
in 1920. She is – along with St. Denis
, St. Martin of Tours
, St. Louis IX
, and St. Theresa of Lisieux
– one of the patron saints
Joan asserted that she had visions from God that instructed her to recover her homeland from English domination late in the Hundred Years' War. The uncrowned King Charles VII sent her to the siege of Orléans as part of a relief mission. She gained prominence when she overcame the dismissive attitude of veteran commanders and lifted the siege in only nine days. Several more swift victories led to Charles VII's coronation at Reims and settled the disputed succession to the throne.
Down to the present day, Joan of Arc has remained a significant figure in Western culture. From Napoleon onward, French politicians of all leanings have invoked her memory. Famous writers and composers who have created works about her include: Shakespeare (Henry VI, Part 1), Voltaire (The Maid of Orleans poem), Schiller (The Maid of Orleans play), Verdi (Giovanna d'Arco), Tchaikovsky (The Maid of Orleans opera), Mark Twain (Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc), Arthur Honegger (Jeanne d'Arc au bûcher), Jean Anouilh (L'Alouette), Bertolt Brecht (Saint Joan of the Stockyards), George Bernard Shaw (Saint Joan) and Maxwell Anderson (Joan of Lorraine). Depictions of her continue in film, theatre, television, video games, music and performance.
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