St. Margaret of Antioch (Margaret the Virgin-Martyr).  She was said to have been swallowed by Satan, who had adopted the form of a dragon; she then forced the dragon to regurgitate her by irritating its stomach lining with a crucifix.  The dragon depicted here has a unicorn’s horn, symbolizing Margaret’s virginity (as only virgins could touch unicorns safely).  Miniature by an unknown Southern Netherlandish artist, ca. 1440.

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Happiness and the monastic life

Brother Innocent Smith, O.P. is a Dominican friar at The Priory of the Immaculate Conception at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, DC. In this interview, Brother Innocent talks about the life of a Dominican friars, giving up stability, gaining harmony, Gregorian chants, and Irish folk music. (Washington, DC)

Interview & Camera by Erin Williams / Edited by Matt Lauterbach / Produced by Rachel Pikelny


This is a personal piece about religious leaders who corrupt the beliefs of their religion, and abuse their position of power as a platform to preach discrimination. I was asked the other day if this piece is only about Christians. It isn’t specifically about corrupt pastors and priests. I used a church because Christianity is the most popular religion in my country, and because they have a really iconic and easy to recognize silhouette.

I’ve included the original painting. It is black acrylic with white gouache on top.

Waiting for god to act…is actually, waiting for a coincidental, fortuitous, random event to happen…or, more commonly, a contrived, manipulated, engineered  event, which involves believers dropping lots of hints to those around them…

For example…they let slip, in passing (right!)…

"I am prayin’ to god, for a better car…"  (hint, hint, any takers…?)

"Dear god almighty…nothing is impossible for you…I humbly ask that you will provide us with a beautiful new building…one that will glorify me…I mean… your holy name…(hint, hint, congregation…?)

"Teach us, oh lord, to be generous…and that it is better to give…than to receive…That the lord loves a cheerful giver…and what we have received…is a provision from god in any event…for us to use to further build my…I mean his…kingdom on earth…!"


A religious relative kept mentioning to all and sundry, an appliance they needed desperately…I think it was a washing machine. I had replaced mine, so offered them my older one. They proclaimed it a miracle from god. How could I have possibly known they needed one. I said, that they had mentioned their need, repeatedly, to all and sundry. They looked astonished, and claimed to have never mentioned it to anyone, except to god in prayer…

As a kid, my mum constantly used prayer to drop big hints…”And dear lord…please help John to understand how important it is to you…that cleanliness is next to godliness…and that he should tidy his room…!”

I have to take this American lit class and we’re starting with a Romantic poet—which, bearing in mind that I’m not much interested in American literature, poetry, or Romantics, was not very encouraging

then I read about this guy 

and he was so incredibly cool that now I rather want to read his stuff