An eternal heart. The cardiac phenomena of St Teresa of Ávila

Leonardo Rossi For the Carmelite Order, 2022 is a year of important commemorations, being the anniversary of the death of Saint Teresa of Ávila (1515-1582) and the fourth centenary of her canonisation (1622). Pope Francis celebrated a memorial mass last 12 March to commemorate the Castilian mystic. However, apart from some initiatives by the SpanishContinue reading An eternal heart. The cardiac phenomena of St Teresa of Ávila

Of bodysnatching and lesser crimes

Kristof Smeyers The archives of the Franciscans in my hometown Hasselt, Belgium, hold a box that is labelled, in all capitals, ‘CRIME’. This surprises me. The box sits in a voluminous collection of records about the Franciscan brother Valentinus Paquay, who for more than a century now has been widely revered as the town’s mostContinue reading “Of bodysnatching and lesser crimes”

The body matters

Written by Leonardo Rossi The body matters. The corpses of religious leaders and charismatic figures have been charged with powerful – and sometimes contradictory – meanings. Human remains of illustrious people are for some groups monuments of devotional memory while, for others, they are irritating symbols that need to be hidden or destroyed. In thisContinue reading “The body matters”

Bodies on display. An alternative Roman Tour

By Leonardo Rossi Rome, bodies, (aspiration to) eternity. If these keywords arouse your interest, then you are reading the right post. Whether you are travelling with your imagination sitting on a cosy sofa or walking on the centuries-old cobblestones of Rome, this alternative tour throws you into popular Roman devotion, showing you stages unfamiliar toContinue reading “Bodies on display. An alternative Roman Tour”

Weighing the body

by Kristof Smeyers The time has come now, at last, to talk truth. Our research on stigmata doesn’t directly engage with the possibility of the wounds’ divine or supernatural nature. As cultural historians (albeit from different angles) our interest is in the stigmata’s meaning to people in the past rather than in trying to prove or disprove,Continue reading “Weighing the body”