The Pope’s Crusade

Most people are familiar with The Crusades, a series of religious wars initiated by the Catholic Church in the Holy Land between 1095 and 1291. But few are as familiar with the most notorious crusade of them all: the Albigensian crusade, directed by Pope Innocent III.  In 1209, he ordered Christian armies against fellow Christians […]

Stigmatics: Saints or charlatans?

The story behind the stigmata The first recorded stigmatic was Saint Francis of Assisi, who received the stigmata – the wounds of Christ – on his hands and feet during a religious ecstasy in 1224. But most stigmatics throughout history have been women. In the fourteenth century, Catherine of Siena, a mystic and laywoman, is […]