Pope Francis giving his address to the city of Rome and to the world. | Image source: South China Morning Post As Christmas approaches, we await once more for the address given by the Pope to faithful members of the Church. This message, known as Urbi et Orbi (lit. “to the city and to the world”) is an address given during Easter and Christmas. It is broadcasted worldwide. The Pope grants blessings to those who are present during the address and to those who are listening intently. But why don’t we look back on the message Pope Francis gave Christmas last year? As we celebrate the occasion that is Christmas, the meaningful message last year’s address brought us is still very much relevant.
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew with Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kiril.Image source: Mospat.ru You may have noticed the stark differences between a Catholic priest and an Orthodox priest. Aside from the vestments they wear, Orthodox priests sport long and thick beards. It’s as if it’s part of their tradition! From the fifth to seventh century when the Christian Church had been firmly established, beards have always been a part of the lifestyle of the Orthodox clergy.
After the Industrial Revolution, the modern era began to take hold. As such, art also began to change rapidly. As the Revolution paved the way for a grittier, more realistic art movement, the modern era focused on functionality and practicality. Not only did this mindset affect architecture, but art as well. And thus the Modernist art movement was born. Modernism rose out of the revolt against the Industrial Revolution and the bourgeois worldview. Some of the most famous Modernist artists are Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock, and Frida Kahlo. Modern art is not limited to one style, but of several ones which include as Cubism, Dadaism, and Surrealism.
Contrary to popular belief, the ritual of water immersion isn’t the only method initiating newcomers to the faith. Throughout the globe, societies have adopted many different rituals according to their culture. Judeo-Christian belief popularized the act of cleansing with the use of holy water, but looking at many different communities, we can definitely see the differences in baptism ceremonies.
Leif Erikson Day is coming up! As we celebrate the accomplishments of the first European who landed on American shores, why don’t we take a look at the history of Christianity in Scandinavia? Since the Christianization of Europe, Scandinavia had been a key region in spreading the faith to the people up north. The Vikings who terrorized Europe during the Early Middle Ages began to embrace the Christianity—and so did the people of their homeland.