Month: October 2014

60-Francis file | Play in new windowThis Episode of CS is titled, Francis Though we call him Francis of Assisi, his original name was Francesco Bernardone. Born in 1182, his given name was Giovanni (the Latin form of John). His father Pietro nicknamed him Francesco which is what everyone called him. Pietro was a wealthy dealer in textile fabrics imported from France to their hometown of Assisi in central Italy. His childhood was marked by the privileges of his family’s wealth. He wasn’t a great student, finding his delight more in having a good time entertaining friends. When a local war broke out, he signed up as a young adult to fight for his hometown and was taken prisoner. He was released at 22. Not long after, Francis came down with a serious illness. That’s when he began to consider eternal things, as so many have when facing their mortality. He rose from his sick-bed disgusted with himself and unsatisfied with the world. He again enlisted but as he was making his way to join the troops, he turned back, sensing God had another path for him than war.  He sought seclusion at a grotto near Assisi where his path forward became clearer. He decided to make what was thought to be the obligatory pilgrimage to Rome, where it was assumed all truly godly people went to seek God....

Read More

59-Monk Business Part 2 file | Play in new windowThis episode is titled – Monk Business Part 2 In the early 13th C a couple new monastic orders of preaching monks sprang up known as the Mendicants. They were the Franciscans & Dominicans. The Franciscans were founded by Francis of Assisi. They concentrated on preaching to ordinary Christians, seeking to renew basic, Spirit-led discipleship. The mission of the Dominicans aimed at confronting heretics & aberrant ideas. The Dominicans were approved by the Pope as an official, church sponsored movement in 1216, the Franciscans received Papal endorsement 7 years later. They quickly gained the respect of scholars, princes, & popes, along with high regard by the masses. Their fine early reputation is counterbalanced by the idleness, ignorance, and in some cases, infamy, of their later history. To be a Mendicant means to rely on charity for support. A salary or wage isn’t paid by the church to support mendicant monks. The appearance of these 2 mendicant orders was one of the most significant events of the Middle Ages, and marks one of the notable revivals in the history of the Christian Church. They were the Salvation Army of the 13th C. At a time when the spirit of the Crusades was waning & heresies threatened authority, Francis d’Assisi & Dominic de Guzman, an Italian & a Spaniard, united in reviving the spirit of...

Read More

58-Monk Business Part 1 file | Play in new windowThis 58th Episode of CS is titled – Monk Business Part 1 & is the first of several episodes in which we’ll take a look at monastic movements in Church History. I realize that may not sound terribly exciting to some. The prospect of digging into this part of the story didn’t hold much interest for me either, that is until I realized how rich it is. You see, being a bit of a fan for the work of J. Edwin Orr, I love the history of revivals. Well, it turns out each new monastic movement was often a fresh moving of God’s Spirit in renewal. Several were a new wineskin for God’s Spirit & work. The roots of monasticism are worth taking some time to unpack. Let’s get started . . . Leisure time to converse about philosophy with friends was highly prized in the ancient world. Even if someone didn’t really have the intellectual chops to wax eloquent on philosophy, it was still fashionable for to express a yearning for such intellectual leisure, or “otium” as they called it; but of course, they were much too busy serving their fellow man. It was the ancient version of, “I just don’t have any ‘Me-time’.” Sometimes, as the famous Roman orator & Senator Cicero, the ancients did score the time for such reflection...

Read More

57-The Crusades Part 4 file | Play in new windowThe Crusades, Part 4. The plan for this episode, the last in our look at the Crusades, is to give a brief review of the 5th thru 7th Crusades, then a bit of analysis of the Crusades as a whole. The date set for the start of the 5th Crusade was June 1st, 1217. It was Pope Innocent III’s long dream to reconquer Jerusalem. He died before the Crusade set off, but his successor Honorius III was just as ardent a supporter. He continued the work begun by Innocent. The Armies sent out accomplished much of nothing, except to waste the lives of men. Then someone came up with the brilliant idea the key to conquering Palestine was to secure a base in Egypt first. That had been the plan for the 4th Crusade, if you remember. The Crusaders now made the major port of Damietta their goal. After a long battle, the Crusaders took the city, for which the Muslim leader Malik al Kameel offered to trade Jerusalem & all Christian prisoners he held. The Crusaders thought the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II was on his way to bolster their numbers, so they rejected the offer. Problem is, Frederick wasn’t on his way, so in 1221, Damietta reverted to Muslim control. Frederick II cared little about the Crusade. After several false starts...

Read More

Subscribe To

Communio Sanctorum



Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates providing insights into the history of the Christian Church.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest