Medieval Illumination

Dublin was still rubbing sleep from its eyes. It was the crack of dawn. Well, not literally – it just seemed that way. The sidewalks along historic statue-lined O’Connell Street were largely empty as I paced toward Trinity College on the south side of the Liffey...

Fit for a Queen

Richard Griffin, a former member of the royal security detail to Queen Elizabeth II, tells a delightful story about walking with the monarch near her beloved Balmoral Castle in Scotland and meeting two American tourists. “It was clear from the moment we first stopped...

An Unintentional Irish Pilgrimage

Of the more than 5,000 artifacts displayed floor-to-ceiling at The Little Museum of Dublin, few are more intriguing than a broken stained glass panel of Saint Brendan (484-577) hanging in a window. The scene portrays the beloved Irish holy man in a boat with three...

Iconic brushstrokes from Ukraine

By Steve Beard As I watched the evening news during the haunting first few weeks of the scorched-earth invasion of Ukraine, I could not help but see Kateryna Shadrina’s vibrant image of the Madonna and Child superimposed over the video footage on television of mothers...

Lenten Underground

By Steve Beard It was standing-room-only for the noon Ash Wednesday service at my local church. Ushers were pulling folding chairs out of a closet and people were sitting in the hallway outside the sanctuary. Parishioners were literally standing against the back and...

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