Peddling purgatory relief: Johann Tetzel

When Martin Luther affixed his "95 Theses" to the door of Wittenberg's Castle Church 500 years ago this Oct. 31, one of the foremost items on his mind was the selling of indulgences.

The Irish Franciscan who gave St. Patrick his feast day

St. Patrick's Day is now a big celebration on multiple continents, but how did it get going? Patrick, who died in 461 A.D., didn't launch the festivities himself.


Brother, doctor, soldier, lies

Essay: After a failed attempt to become a Trappist monk, imposter Ferdinand Waldo Demara proceeded to join nearly a dozen other Catholic orders. 


Inspired by Dymphna, Belgium town welcomes mentally ill

The story of Dymphna -- the patron saint of the mentally ill -- involves such horrors as incest and decapitation. However, her legacy launched a community of unprecedented and unrivaled compassion for the mentally ill.