When reading the Book of Esther, you may find that it is the only book in the Bible that fails to make mention of God. In this article, you will find additional religious facts, including information on patron saints and early beliefs.
The patron saint of syphilis and of Paris is named St Denis, who was beheaded, but is said to have carried his head around with him.
The patron saint of Malta, breast diseases, earthquakes, fire and sterility is named St Agatha. During the 3rd century, Agatha chose to defend her virginity by opposing a high-ranking Roman. As a result, she was sent to prison, where her breasts were removed. Divine intervention restored her breasts. Upon her release, she was sent to work in a brothel. Despite all of this, her virginity remained intact, which is considered a miracle. Agatha was slated to burn at the stake, where her body would not set afire. Finally, she was beheaded. Every year, Sicilians honor her memory on a feast day, where the streets fill with people carrying images of her breasts.
During the Middle Ages, the confessional box was invented not to uphold secrets told in confidence, but to stop priests from sexually assaulting women.
Early Christian churchgoers believed that the Virgin Mary was impregnated by her ear, which spread great fear that accidental aural penetration was possible. They believed that wearing wimples with a tight fit would prevent the act from taking place.
If you’re ever stranded on a deserted island and must fend for yourself, take care in knowing that the Catholic Church accepts cannibalism as a justifiable method of saving one’s life.
The act of masturbation appears in the Bible, as Onan, the son of Judah, is described as ‘spilling his seed’ in the Old Testament (Genesis 38:9). This would make him the only masturbator mentioned in the Bible. The Church routinely used this passage as a way to condemn the practice, which eventually led to the creation of the word ‘onanism,’ which during Victorian times, was used to refer to someone who practiced self-abuse.
Lepers appear throughout the Bible, but many cases were probably misdiagnosed, which most likely led to a great deal of people suffering the scorn of others. Living as outcasts, people with any skin defect were classified as a leper, meaning even a bad case of facial acne landed you in hot water with society. Many of those branded a leper may have actually suffered from the effects of syphilis.
Before the Reformation, men faced excommunication if they wore a wig. The Church made it a requirement for men to wear their hair short, straight and without any embellishments.
The Church adopted a code of celibacy in 1123 for the priesthood. After 350 years passed, Pope Innocent VIII admitted that he had fathered several illegitimate children. Before you praise him for his honesty, he was motivated to speak the truth only to quiet a rumor traveling about Rome that he was a woman.