Figure who appears in the ‘Book of Revelation’ known by the title of Whore of Babylon. She was often claimed to be the mother of all prostitutes and demonic creatures from under the world’s surface. It is told that sat upon a scarlet beast with seven heads and ten horns, wielding a golden cup and wearing drapes of purple and red and an enormous amount of jewels. At some point during the Apocalypse, she will be lead to her downfall by the beast.
She may have been a representation of the Roman Empire which was famous for persecuting Christians. This was because the seven heads of the beast she rode were often described as mountains, leading people to believe they embodied the seven hills of Rome. She may have also been an allegory for Jerusalem itself. The heads of the beast were told to represent kings as well.
Other views have appeared over the centuries. The famous Dante believed that Pope Boniface VIII was equated with her. She also appears in other religions such as Spanish Catholicism, where she was once incarnated Emirate of Córdoba.
Some Reformists even say that she was the embodiment of the Roman Catholic Church. This idea is also held by Seven-Day Adventists and the Latter-Day Saints. In contrast, Jehovah’s Witnesses state that the Whore is the allegory for all religions except their own.
During the holy week, Catholics visit several churches as a tradition every Lenten season. This is usually practiced on the evening of Maundy Thursday. After the Mass of the Lord’s last supper, the Blessed Sacrament is placed on the Altar of Response inside the church for adoration The number of churches that the faithful visits may vary. The convention of going by seven houses of worship on Holy Thursday presumably began in Rome, as early travelers went by the seven basilicas as repentance. The Via Francigena was an old pioneer course amongst England and Rome. It was standard to end the journey with a visit to the tombs of Sts. Peter and Paul. In 1300 Pope Boniface VIII pronounced the main Holy Year, conceding a unique liberality to those, who meeting the imperative conditions, went to St. Dwindle’s Basilica and the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls. After some time the quantity of recommended places of worship expanded to seven. The custom of going to each of the seven holy places was begun by Saint Philip Neri around 1553. He and a couple of companions would assemble before day break and set out on their “Seven Churches Walk”. These journeys were intended to be a counterpoint to the rowdy conduct of Carnival. The Walks turned out to be extremely well known and started to draw in others. My family and I went to several churches and chapels here in our city and prayed before the Blessed Sacrament inside.
On this day in 1294, Pope Celestine V resigned the papacy. Born Pietro Da Morrone in 1215, he was a Benedictine monk until he left that life to become a hermit, living in the Abruzzi mountains. Morrone attracted a following who admired his humble way of life, and he became the leader of a group of hermits called the Celestines. In 1294, when he was nearly eighty, Morrone was elected pope, and reluctantly accepted the role, taking the name of Celestine. The new pope was unprepared for his new position, and only accepted the role for the stability of the church, which had been without a pope for two years as the cardinals had failed to unite behind a candidate. Celestine V struggled with the practical duties of the papacy, and split with the cardinals. After only five months in office, Celestine V resigned to return to his life of asceticism. However, the new pope - Boniface VIII - refused to allow the former pope to return to his old life, choosing to keep Celestine under supervision. Celestine was captured and held at Fumone Castle, remaining there until his death in 1296. Pope Celestine V was canonised in May 1313.
Mos teutonicus was a body preservation practice in the middle ages. This practice involved cutting the corpse into manageable pieces and boiling it. This process separated flesh from bones. The bones could then be sent back to the deceased’s homeland while the tissue was interred near the place of death. However, some preferred their entire remains to be shipped back to. Mos teutonicus was controversial at the time, and Pope Boniface VIII condemned the technique although other clergy supported it.