Aleteia

Catholic history

Understanding icons: What do Jesus’ hand gestures mean?

A visual guide to Christian iconography.

How the two largest Catholic communities of New York came together

There was a time when the Irish and the Italians hated each other.

Enjoy “banking” at a credit union? Thank a priest

The first such institution in the US was at a Catholic parish, with a precedent set by Canadian missionary.

St. Patrick was not Irish. And his name wasn’t Patrick, either

Some things you really didn’t know about Ireland’s favorite saint.

Clonmacnoise, the monastic hand that cradled Europe

Ireland is home to one of the most impressive ancient monastic enclaves in the world.

What happened to the True Cross of Christ?

Hidden many times and then rediscovered, chopped into pieces and dispersed, the precious relic has taken many journeys.

How Catholics invented capitalism

The birth of capitalism is often associated with Protestantism. But the roots of capitalism are slightly different.

Listen to King Alphonse X’s “Canticles of Holy Mary,” the most famous medieval collection of Marian songs and hyms

These Cantigas are comprised of 420 medieval poems, all of which mention the Virgin Mary

Did the Romans really throw all Christians to the Lions?

While Christian persecution was rampant in ancient Rome, it was not constant.

Medieval Lent was harder than you think

Would you mind breaking your fast at evening, rather than giving up chocolate?