King Under the Mountain: St. George of England

As an undergraduate, we’d read Edmund Spencer’s The Faerie Queene. The professor explained how the Red Cross Knight represented St. George, the patron saint of England, and his defeat of the dragon represented the triumph of British Protestantism over the presumed errors of ‘superstitious’ Catholicism. Twenty years later I found myself in an Orthodox church … More King Under the Mountain: St. George of England

Very Strange Expressions of Christianity

They don’t look very Christian—those strange faces made of leaves, and those women displaying cartoonishly enlarged genitals on the walls of medieval churches. In his article for First Things, British folklorist and historian Francis Young makes a compelling argument that the odd, seemingly pagan expressions of Christianity that are found throughout Europe have more to do … More Very Strange Expressions of Christianity

Mothers Lament the Slaughter of the Innocents, an Irish Poem

“When Herod saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, he was infuriated, and he sent and killed all the children in and around Bethlehem who were two years old or under . . .” – Matthew 2:16. The horrors of mass infanticide, as felt by the Irish and translated by Kuno Meyer … More Mothers Lament the Slaughter of the Innocents, an Irish Poem

St. Nicholas’s Lament

Far better to be forgotten! I who fasted from my mother’s breast have been replaced by a rotund double. He gobbles cookies from plates left out across the lands, one night every year. I once saved three maidens anonymously. I funded their futures. This imposter promises trinkets to overfed children in hollow malls. Elven acolytes … More St. Nicholas’s Lament

Nicholas! Saint Nicholas! Love Can Never End: Wisdom From Hans Brinker

My friend thinks I hate Santa Claus. Not true. I hate Christmas music in November; I hate Santa songs which eclipse, or don’t even mention, Jesus. In the Lutheran tradition, at least in my particular church, we didn’t play Christmas music until December 24.  The first three weeks of December are about Advent, about anticipation, … More Nicholas! Saint Nicholas! Love Can Never End: Wisdom From Hans Brinker

A Tarnished Adaptation from the Golden Legend

Nicely told picture book legend, with the rhythm of a folktale. Most of the illustrations convey the mood and enhance the text, especially the aged face of the “fierce and bold” Offero, and the dark black and red illustration which accompanies the devil disguised as a knight. The illustration of the king was impressively majestic, … More A Tarnished Adaptation from the Golden Legend

Sustained By Prayers

About a month ago, on July 17, Orthodox Christians in Russia and throughout the world observed the one-hundred year anniversary of the assassination of Tsar Nicholas and his family. A procession was held, starting from the Church on the Blood in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg, a church constructed at the site where the Romanovs … More Sustained By Prayers