Of the Blessed and Their Buildings

Catherine Barrett
This will be your weekly guide to a history of influencers from Antiquity and the Middle Ages
Created 08 Jan 2021
  • 31 December 2021: Thank you and good night!
    31 Dec 2021 1 2
    Dear Readers, The Blessed and Their Buildings are fading into the sunset. After writing 26 essays since last January, it’s time to move on. To what exactly, I’m not sure, although I have some ideas fo...
  • W48 through 52 Part II: Becket's Wedding Ring
    30 Dec 2021 2 0
    After absorbing, in my customary crash session, the life of Thomas Becket, I decided to use the symbol of the wedding ring for his handle. But before I explain that, let me quickly summarize his life ...
  • W48 through 52 Part I: The Missions: California Dreamin'
    02 Dec 2021 1 1
    My mother c. 1930, Los Angeles The sharp-eyed amongst you will have scratched your heads at my idea that Saint Xavier is associated with the California missions. Let’s just say that I conflated two id...
  • W44 through 48: Saint Martin: Multiplied
    05 Nov 2021 1 0
    Sundial on the south facade of Saint-Martin Vindrac. Photo by author. Saint Martin figured in our story of Sainte Foy (Weeks 40 through 43) as one of the patrons of the five major churches built expre...
  • W40 through 43: Sainte Foy: The Benefits of Bling
    08 Oct 2021 1 1
    Detail from Conques tympanum, photo by author My apologies for the late post-feast-day arrival of this essay, but I was delayed by a visit to a land of miracles…the geological miracles so beautifully ...
  • W35 through 39: Cuthbert: Zigzags and tides
    01 Sep 2021 1 0
    Saint Bede prepares to write his history of Cuthbert Saint Cuthbert has three feast days: March 20, the day of his death in 687 (in the Catholic Church), August 31 for the Episcopal Church, and Septem...
  • W31 through 34: Saint Louis: A Good Hair Day
    04 Aug 2021
    Corbel head from the Château of Najac King Louis IX (1214-1270) is usually described as Saint Louis, and he is the patron saint of France. It would be hard to find a saintlier king, although he had hi...
  • Addendum
    07 Jul 2021 • < 1 min read
    The first mention of the author Conrad Rudolph lists him as Conrad Richter. I cringe that I made this error, but it’s corrected now and happily I got it right everywhere else. Onward…
  • W26 through 30: Mary Magdalene: A Conflicted Cosmos
    07 Jul 2021
    Acrobat from the tympanum of the basilica of Vézelay; he holds pride of place in the center just over the head of Christ This essay is about conflict and the ordering of the cosmos (make no small plan...
  • Addendum
    15 Jun 2021 • < 1 min read
    I have a love/hate relationship with addendums. I love them because they’re like a confessional, one is allowed to “fess up” and move on. I hate them because they mean I made a mistake. One should nev...
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