Pope Clement VII
Pope Clement VII, born Giulio di Giuliano de' Medici, was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 19 November 1523 to his death on 25 September 1534. “The most unfortunate of the Popes,” Clement VII’s reign was marked by a rapid succession of political and religious struggles — many long in the making — which had far-reaching consequences for Christianity and world politics. Elected in 1523 at the end of the Italian Renaissance, Clement VII came to the papacy with a high reputation as a statesman, having served with distinction as chief advisor to both Pope Leo X and Pope Adrian VI. Assuming leadership in a time of crisis, with the Church nearly bankrupt, Clement VII sought to unite Christendom, fragmenting, by making peace among the many Christian leaders at odds, he aspired to liberate Italy, which had become a battleground for invading, foreign armies, thereby threatening the Church’s freedom. The complex political situation of the 1520s thwarted Clement's intentions.
Inheriting Martin Luther’s growing Protestant Reformation in Northern Europe. After escaping confinement in the Castel Sant'Angelo, Clement — with few economic, military, or political options remaining — compromised the Church's and Italy's independence by allying with his former jailor, Emperor Charles V. In contrast to his tortured Papacy, Clement VII was respectable and devout, possessing a “dignified propriety of character,” “great acquirements both theological and scientific,” as well as “extraordinary address and penetration — Clement VII, in serener times, might have administered the Papal power with high reputation and enviable prosperity, but with all of his profound insight into the political affairs of Europe, Clement does not seem to have comprehended the altered position of the Pope” in relation to Europe’s emerging nation-states and Protestantism. A discerning patron, Clement VII commissioned Michelangelo’s The Last Judgment for the Sistine Chapel. Artistic trends of the era are sometimes called the “Clementine style,” and notable for their virtuosity.
In matters of science, Clement VII is best known for approving, in 1533, Nicholaus Copernicus’s theory that the Earth revolves around the Sun — 99 years before Galileo Galilei’s heresy trial for similar ideas. Ecclesiastically, Clement VII is remembered for issuing orders protecting Jews from the Inquisition, approving the Capuchin Franciscan Order, securing the island of Malta for the Knights of Malta. Giulio de' Medici's life began under tragic circumstances. On April 26, 1478 — one month before his birth — his father, Giuliano de Medici was murdered in the Florence Cathedral by enemies of his family. Born illegitimately on May 26, 1478, in Florence, the exact identity of his mother remains unknown — although a plurality of scholars contend that it was Fioretta Gorini, the daughter of a university professor. Giulio spent the first seven years of life with his Godfather, the architect Antonio da Sangallo the Elder. Thereafter, Lorenzo the Magnificent raised him as one of his own sons, alongside his children Giovanni and Giuliano, the former of whom became Pope Leo X. Educated at the Palazzo Medici in Florence by humanists like Angelo Poliziano, alongside prodigies like Michelangelo, Giulio became an accomplished musician.
In personality he was reputed to be shy, in physical appearance, handsome. Since Giulio's illegitimacy barred him from pursuing high-ranking positions in the Church — his natural inclination was for the clergy — Lorenzo the Magnificent helped him carve out a career in the military, he was enrolled in the Knights of Rhodes, but became Grand Prior of Capua. In 1492, when Lorenzo the Magnificent died and Giovanni de' Medici assumed his duties as a cardinal, Giulio became more involved in Church affairs, he studied canon law at the University of Pisa, accompanied Giovanni to the conclave of 1492, where Rodrigo Borgia was elected Pope Alexander VI. Following the fortunes of Lorenzo the Magnificent's firstborn son, Piero the Unfortunate, in 1494, the Medici were expelled from Florence. Over the next six years, Cardinal Giovanni and Giulio wandered throughout Europe together — twice getting themselves arrested; each time Piero the Unfortunate bailed them out. In 1500, both returned to Italy and concentrated their efforts on re-establishing their family in Florence.
Only in 1512, with the assistance of Pope Julius II and the Spanish troops of Ferdinand of Aragon did the Medici retake control of the city. In 1510, while the Medici were living near Rome, a black servant in their household — identified in documents as Simonetta da Collevecchio — became pregnant giving birth to a son, Alessandro de' Medici. Nicknamed “il Moro” due to his dark complexion, Alessandro was recognized as the illegitimate son of Lorenzo II de Medici.
Pope Paul III
Pope Paul III, born Alessandro Farnese, was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 13 October 1534 to his death in 1549. He came to the papal throne in an era following the sack of Rome in 1527 and rife with uncertainties in the Catholic Church following the Protestant Reformation. During his pontificate, in the spirit of the Counter-Reformation, new Catholic religious orders and societies, such as the Jesuits, the Barnabites, the Congregation of the Oratory, attracted a popular following, he convened the Council of Trent in 1545. He was a significant patron of the arts and employed nepotism to advance the power and fortunes of his family, it is to Pope Paul III. Born in 1468 at Canino, Alessandro Farnese was the oldest son of Pier Luigi I Farnese, Signore di Montalto and his wife Giovanna Caetani, a member of the Caetani family which had produced Pope Boniface VIII; the Farnese family had prospered over the centuries but it was Alessandro’s ascendency to the papacy and his dedication to family interests which brought about the most significant increase in the family’s wealth and power.
Alessandro's humanist education was at the court of Lorenzo de' Medici. Trained as an apostolic notary, he joined the Roman Curia in 1491 and in 1493 Pope Alexander VI appointed him Cardinal-Deacon of Santi Cosma e Damiano. Farnese’s sister, Giulia was reputedly a mistress of Alexander VI and might have been instrumental in securing this appointment for her brother. For this reason, he was sometimes mockingly referred to as the "Borgia brother-in-law," just as Giulia was mocked as "the Bride of Christ." More disparagingly he was referred to as "Cardinal Fregnese". As Bishop of Parma, he came under the influence of his vicar-general, Bartolomeo Guidiccioni; this led to the future pope breaking off the relationship with his mistress and committing himself to reform in his Parma diocese. Under Pope Clement VII he became Cardinal Bishop of Ostia and Dean of the College of Cardinals, on the death of Clement VII in 1534, was elected as Pope Paul III; as a young cleric, Alessandro lived a notably dissolute life, taking for himself a mistress and having three sons and two daughters with her.
By Silvia Ruffini, he fathered Pier Luigi Farnese. The elevation to the cardinalate of his grandsons, Alessandro Farnese, aged fourteen, Guido Ascanio Sforza, aged sixteen, displeased the reform party and drew a protest from the emperor, but this was forgiven when, shortly after, he introduced into the Sacred College Reginald Pole, Gasparo Contarini, Jacopo Sadoleto, Giovanni Pietro Caraffa, who became Pope Paul IV; the fourth pope during the period of the Protestant Reformation, Paul III became the first to take active reform measures in response to Protestantism. Soon after his elevation, 2 June 1536, Paul III summoned a general council to meet at Mantua in the following May. Paul III first deferred for a year and discarded the whole project. In 1536, Paul III invited nine eminent prelates, distinguished by learning and piety alike, to act in committee and to report on the reformation and rebuilding of the Church. In 1537 they turned in their celebrated Consilium de emendenda ecclesia, exposing gross abuses in the Curia, in the church administration and public worship.
This report was printed not only at Strasbourg and elsewhere. But to the Protestants it seemed far from thorough, yet the Pope was in earnest. He perceived that Emperor Charles V would not rest until the problems were grappled with in earnest, a council was an unequivocal procedure that should leave no room for doubt of his own readiness to make changes, yet it is clear that the Concilium bore no fruit in the actual situation, that in Rome no results followed from the committee's recommendations. As a consequence of the extensive campaign against "idolatry" in England, culminating with the dismantling of the shrine of St. Thomas Becket at Canterbury, the Pope excommunicated Henry VIII on 17 December 1538 and issued an interdict. On the other hand, serious political complications resulted. In order to vest his grandson Ottavio Farnese with the dukedom of Camerino, Paul forcibly wrested the same from the duke of Urbino, he incurred virtual war with his own subjects and vassals by the imposition of burdensome taxes.
Perugia, renouncing its obedience, was besieged by Paul's son, Pier Luigi, forfeited its freedom on its surrender. The burghers of Colonna were duly vanquished, Ascanio was banished. After this the time seemed ripe for annihilating heresy. In 1540, the Church recognized the new society forming about Ignatius of Loyola, which became the Society of Jesus; the second visible stage in the process becomes marked by the institution, or reorganization, in 1542, of the Congregation of the Holy Office of the Inquisition. On another side, the Emperor was insisting that Rome should forward his designs towards a peaceable recovery of the German Protestants. Accordingly, the Pope despatched Giovanni Morone (not yet a cardi
Pope Pius XII
Pope Pius XII, born Eugenio Maria Giuseppe Giovanni Pacelli, was head of the Catholic Church from 2 March 1939 to his death. Before his election to the papacy, he served as secretary of the Department of Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs, papal nuncio to Germany, Cardinal Secretary of State, in which capacity he worked to conclude treaties with European and Latin American nations, most notably the Reichskonkordat with Nazi Germany. While the Vatican was neutral during World War II, Pius XII maintained links to the German Resistance, used diplomacy to aid the victims of the war and lobby for peace, spoke out against race-based murders and other atrocities; the Reichskonkordat and his leadership of the Catholic Church during the war remain the subject of controversy—including allegations of public silence and inaction about the fate of the Jews. After the war, he advocated peace and reconciliation, including lenient policies towards former Axis and Axis-satellite nations, he was a staunch opponent of Communism and of the Italian Communist Party.
During his papacy, the Church issued the Decree against Communism, declaring that Catholics who profess Communist doctrine are to be excommunicated as apostates from the Christian faith. In turn, the Church experienced severe persecution and mass deportations of Catholic clergy in the Eastern Bloc, he explicitly invoked ex cathedra papal infallibility with the dogma of the Assumption of Mary in his Apostolic constitution Munificentissimus Deus. His magisterium includes 1,000 addresses and radio broadcasts, his forty-one encyclicals include the Church as the Body of Christ. He eliminated the Italian majority in the College of Cardinals in 1946. After his 1958 death, he was succeeded by Pope John XXIII. In the process toward sainthood, his cause for canonization was opened on 18 November 1965 by Pope Paul VI during the final session of the Second Vatican Council, he was made a Servant of God by Pope John Paul II in 1990 and Pope Benedict XVI declared Pius XII Venerable on 19 December 2009. Eugenio Maria Giuseppe Giovanni Pacelli was born on 2 March 1876 in Rome into a family of intense Catholic piety with a history of ties to the papacy.
His parents were Virginia Pacelli. His grandfather, Marcantonio Pacelli, had been Under-Secretary in the Papal Ministry of Finances and Secretary of the Interior under Pope Pius IX from 1851 to 1870 and helped found the Vatican's newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano in 1861, his cousin, Ernesto Pacelli, was a key financial advisor to Pope Leo XIII. Together with his brother Francesco and his two sisters and Elisabetta, he grew up in the Parione district in the centre of Rome. Soon after the family had moved to Via Vetrina in 1880 he began school at the convent of the French Sisters of Divine Providence in the Piazza Fiammetta; the family worshipped at Chiesa Nuova. Eugenio and the other children made their First Communion at this church and Eugenio served there as an altar boy from 1886. In 1886 too he was sent to the private school of Professor Giuseppe Marchi, close to the Piazza Venezia. In 1891 Pacelli's father sent Eugenio to the Liceo Ennio Quirino Visconti Institute, a state school situated in what had been the Collegio Romano, the premier Jesuit university in Rome.
In 1894, aged 18, Pacelli began his theology studies at Rome's oldest seminary, the Almo Collegio Capranica, in November of the same year, registered to take a philosophy course at the Jesuit Pontifical Gregorian University and theology at the Pontifical Roman Athenaeum S. Apollinare, he was enrolled at the State University, La Sapienza where he studied modern languages and history. At the end of the first academic year however, in the summer of 1895, he dropped out of both the Capranica and the Gregorian University. According to his sister Elisabetta, the food at the Capranica was to blame. Having received a special dispensation he continued his studies from home and so spent most of his seminary years as an external student. In 1899 he completed his education in Sacred Theology with a doctoral degree awarded on the basis of a short dissertation and an oral examination in Latin. While all other candidates from the Rome diocese were ordained in the Basilica of St. John Lateran, Pacelli was ordained a priest on Easter Sunday, 2 April 1899 alone in the private chapel of a family friend the Vicegerent of Rome, Mgr Paolo Cassetta.
Shortly after ordination he began postgraduate studies in canon law at Sant'Apollinaire. He received his first assignment as a curate at Chiesa Nuova. In 1901 he entered the Congregation for Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs, a sub-office of the Vatican Secretariat of State. Monsignor Pietro Gasparri, the appointed undersecretary at the Department of Extraordinary Affairs, had underscored his proposal to Pacelli to work in the "Vatican's equivalent of the Foreign office" by highlighting the "necessity of defending the Church from the onslaughts of secularism and liberalism throughout Europe". Pacelli became an apprentice, in Gasparri's department. In January 1901 he was chosen, by Pope Leo XIII himself, according to an official account, to deliver condolences on behalf of the Vatican to King Edward VII of the UK
The last rites, in Roman Catholicism, are the last prayers and ministrations given to an individual of the faith, when possible, shortly before death. The last rites go by various names, they may be terminally ill. What in the judgment of the Roman Catholic Church are properly described as the Last Rites are Viaticum, the ritual prayers of Commendation of the Dying, Prayers for the Dead. Of these, only Viaticum is a sacrament; the sacrament of Anointing of the Sick has been postponed until someone is near death, so much so that, in spite of the fact that in all celebrations of this sacrament, the liturgy prays for recovery of the health of the sick person if that would be conducive to his salvation, Anointing of the Sick has been thought to be for the dying and has been called Extreme Unction. If administered to someone, not just ill but near death, Anointing of the Sick is accompanied by celebration of the sacraments of Penance and Viaticum. In such cases, the normal order of administration is: first Penance Anointing Viaticum.
Although these three sacraments are not, in the proper sense, the Last Rites, they are sometimes mistakenly spoken of as such. The Eucharist given as Viaticum is the only sacrament associated with dying: "The celebration of the Eucharist as Viaticum is the sacrament proper to the dying Christian". In the Roman Ritual's Pastoral Care of the Sick: Rites of Anointing and Viaticum, Viaticum is the only sacrament dealt with in Part II: Pastoral Care of the Dying. Within that part, the chapter on Viaticum is followed by two more chapters, one on Commendation of the Dying, with short texts from the Bible, a special form of the litany of the saints, other prayers, the other on Prayers for the Dead. A final chapter provides Rites for Exceptional Circumstances, the Continuous Rite of Penance and Viaticum, Rite for Emergencies, Christian Initiation for the Dying; the last of these concerns the administration of the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation to those who have not received them. In addition, the priest has authority to bestow a blessing in the name of the Pope on the dying person, to which a plenary indulgence is attached.
People awaiting execution would receive Confession and Viaticum, but not Anointing of the Sick, since their impending death is not on account of an illness. In the Orthodox Church and those Eastern Catholic Churches which follow the Byzantine Rite, the last rites consist of the Sacred Mysteries of Confession and the reception of Holy Communion. Following these sacraments, when a person dies, there are a series of prayers known as The Office at the Parting of the Soul From the Body; this consists of a blessing by the priest, the usual beginning, after the Lord's Prayer, Psalm 50. A Canon to the Theotokos is chanted, entitled, "On behalf of a man whose soul is departing, who cannot speak"; this is an elongated poem speaking in the person of the one, dying, asking for forgiveness of sin, the mercy of God, the intercession of the saints. The rite is concluded by three prayers said by the priest, the last one being said "at the departure of the soul."There is an alternative rite known as The Office at the Parting of the Soul from the Body When a Man has Suffered for a Long Time.
The outline of this rite is the same as above, except that Psalm 70 and Psalm 143 precede Psalm 50, the words of the canon and the prayers are different. The rubric in the Book of Needs states, "With respect to the Services said at the parting of the soul, we note that if time does not permit to read the whole Canon customarily just one of the prayers, found at the end of the Canon, is read by the Priest at the moment of the parting of the soul from the body."As soon as the person has died the priest begins The Office After the Departure of the Soul From the Body. In the Orthodox Church Holy Unction is not considered to be a part of a person's preparation for death, but is administered to any Orthodox Christian, ill, physically or spiritually, to ask for God's mercy and forgiveness of sin. There is an abbreviated form of Holy Unction to be performed for a person in imminent danger of death, which does not replace the full rite in other cases. Anointing Deathbed confession Excommunication http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/how-we-teach/catechesis/upload/Sacramental-Catechesis-11-19-12.pdf Extreme Unction article in The Catholic Encyclopedia Preparation for Death article in The Catholic Encyclopedia Higgins, Jethro.
"Last Rites and the Anointing of the Sick". Oregon Catholic Press. Retrieved 2018-07-27
Province of Brescia
The Province of Brescia is a Province in Lombardy, northern Italy. It has a population of some 1,265,325 and its capital is the city of Brescia. With an area of 4,785 km², it is the biggest province of Lombardy, it is the second province of the region for the number of inhabitants and fifth in Italy. It borders the province of Sondrio to the north and north west, the province of Bergamo to the west, the province of Cremona to the south west and south, the province of Mantua to the south, to the east the province of Verona and Trentino; the province stretches between Lake Iseo in the west, Lake Garda in the east, the Southern Rhaetian Alps in the north and the Lombardian plains in the south. The main rivers of the province are the Mella and the Chiese. Besides Brescia, other important towns in the province are Darfo Boario Terme, Desenzano del Garda, Palazzolo sull'Oglio, Ghedi, Rovato, Rezzato, Orzinuovi, Salò, Gardone Val Trompia and Lumezzane; the province of Brescia is the largest in the region, boasts three main lakes, Lake Garda, Lake Iseo and Lake Idro, plus several other smaller lakes, three valleys, Val Camonica, Val Trompia and Valle Sabbia, as well as a wide flat area south of the city, known as the Bassa Bresciana, several hilly areas surrounding the city landscape and extending eastwards towards Veneto and west to Franciacorta.
Due to the altitude and morphological variety and the presence of large lakes, the province includes all kinds of biomes in Europe: from something similar to the maquis shrubland up to the perennial snow of Adamello. The three main valleys on the territory of Brescia are the Val Camonica, crossed by the river Oglio and inserted in the northwestern part of the province from Adamello to Lake Iseo. All the three valleys have the point of union the Croce Domini Pass, which takes the name from the "cross" formed by the union of the three basins. Within the province there are eight lakes; the main lake basin, in both dimensional and cultural terms, is Lake Garda, shared with the Veneto and Trentino regions, which with its 370 km² of surface is the biggest lake in Italy. Because of its size, the lake has a considerable influence on the climate and the surrounding environment, generating a micro-geographic area in a more mitigated climate both in summer and winter. Lake Iseo is the second lake of the area, is situated at about 180 m above sea level, in an area called Sebino, between Val Camonica and Franciacorta, which divides the provinces of Bergamo and Brescia.
Lake Idro, the third lake within the provincial territory, is located in Valle Sabbia, on the border between Brescia and the province of Trento, differs from the other two main lakes for its modest size. The waters of the lake are exploited for the irrigation of crops in contiguous territories, as well as for the production of energy through a small power plant located in the municipality of Vobarno. Other small lakes in the province are: Lago della Vacca, Lago d'Arno, Lago Aviolo, Lago Baitone, Lago Moro and Lago di Valvestino. There are about 45 watercourses crossing the territory of the province, but all of them are torrents; the only watercourses that can be defined as real rivers are just three: Oglio and Mella. Highest point: Mount Adamello, Saviore dell'Adamello Highest settlement: Tonale Pass, Ponte di Legno Northernmost municipality: Ponte di Legno Southernmost municipality: Fiesse Easternmost municipality: Limone sul Garda Westernmost municipality: Pontoglio Rock Drawings in Valcamonica.
Castle of Brescia. Lake Garda, Lake Iseo and Lake Idro; the Province of Brescia is an administrative body of intermediate level between a municipality and Lombardy region. The three main functions devolved to the Province of Brescia are: zoning; as an administrative institution, the Province of Brescia has its own elected bodies. From 1945 to 1995 the President of the Province of Brescia was chosen by the members of the Provincial Council, elected every five years by citizens. From 1995 to 2014, under provisions of the 1993 local administration reform, the President of the Province was chosen by p
John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople, was an important Early Church Father. He is known for his preaching and public speaking, his denunciation of abuse of authority by both ecclesiastical and political leaders, the Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom, his ascetic sensibilities; the epithet Χρυσόστομος denotes his celebrated eloquence. Chrysostom was among the most prolific authors in the early Christian Church, exceeded only by Augustine of Hippo in the quantity of his surviving writings, he is honored as a saint in the Oriental Orthodox, Eastern Orthodox, Catholic and Lutheran churches, as well as in some others. The Eastern Orthodox, together with the Byzantine Catholics, hold him in special regard as one of the Three Holy Hierarchs; the feast days of John Chrysostom in the Eastern Orthodox Church are 27 January. In the Roman Catholic Church he is recognized as a Doctor of the Church and commemorated on 13 September in the current General Roman Calendar and on 27 January in the older calendar.
Other churches of the Western tradition, including some Anglican provinces and some Lutheran churches commemorate him on 13 September. However, certain Lutheran churches and Anglican provinces commemorate him on the traditional feast day of 27 January; the Coptic Church recognizes him as a saint. John was born in Antioch in 349 to Greek parents from Syria. Different scholars describe his mother Anthusa as a pagan or as a Christian, his father was a high-ranking military officer. John's father died soon after his birth and he was raised by his mother, he was tonsured as a reader. It is sometimes said that he was bitten by a snake when he was ten years old, leading to him getting an infection from the bite; as a result of his mother's influential connections in the city, John began his education under the pagan teacher Libanius. From Libanius, John acquired the skills for a career in rhetoric, as well as a love of the Greek language and literature; as he grew older, John became more committed to Christianity and went on to study theology under Diodore of Tarsus, founder of the re-constituted School of Antioch.
According to the Christian historian Sozomen, Libanius was supposed to have said on his deathbed that John would have been his successor "if the Christians had not taken him from us". John lived in extreme asceticism and became a hermit in about 375; as a consequence of these practices, his stomach and kidneys were permanently damaged and poor health forced him to return to Antioch. John was ordained as a deacon in 381 by Saint Meletius of Antioch, not in communion with Alexandria and Rome. After the death of Meletius, John separated himself from the followers of Meletius, without joining Paulinus, the rival of Meletius for the bishopric of Antioch, but after the death of Paulinus he was ordained a presbyter in 386 by Evagrius, the successor of Paulinus. He was destined to bring about reconciliation between Flavian I of Antioch and Rome, thus bringing those three sees into communion for the first time in nearly seventy years. In Antioch, over the course of twelve years, John gained popularity because of the eloquence of his public speaking at the Golden Church, Antioch's cathedral his insightful expositions of Bible passages and moral teaching.
The most valuable of his works from this period are his Homilies on various books of the Bible. He was concerned with the spiritual and temporal needs of the poor, he spoke against abuse of wealth and personal property:Do you wish to honour the body of Christ? Do not ignore him when he is naked. Do not pay him homage in the temple clad in silk, only to neglect him outside where he is cold and ill-clad, he who said: "This is my body" is the same who said: "You saw me hungry and you gave me no food", "Whatever you did to the least of my brothers you did to me"... What good is it if the Eucharistic table is overloaded with golden chalices when your brother is dying of hunger? Start by satisfying his hunger and with what is left you may adorn the altar as well, his straightforward understanding of the Scriptures – in contrast to the Alexandrian tendency towards allegorical interpretation – meant that the themes of his talks were practical, explaining the Bible's application to everyday life. Such straightforward preaching helped Chrysostom to garner popular support.
He founded a series of hospitals in Constantinople to care for the poor. One incident that happened during his service in Antioch illustrates the influence of his homilies; when Chrysostom arrived in Antioch, the bishop of the city, had to intervene with Emperor Theodosius I on behalf of citizens who had gone on a rampage mutilating statues of the Emperor and his family. During the weeks of Lent in 387, John preached more than twenty homilies in which he entreated the people to see the error of their ways; these made a lasting impression on the general population of the city: many pagans converted to Christianity as a result of the homilies. As a result, Theodosius' vengeance was not as severe. In the autumn of 397, John was appointed Archbishop of Constantinople, after having been nominated without his knowledge by the eunuch Eutropius, he had to leave Antioch in secret due to fears that the departure of such a popular figure would cause civil unrest. During his time as Archbishop he
The Holy Land is an area located between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea that includes the Eastern Bank of the Jordan River. Traditionally, it is synonymous both with the biblical Land of Israel and with the region of Palestine; the term "Holy Land" refers to a territory corresponding to the modern State of Israel, the Palestinian territories, western Jordan, parts of southern Lebanon and of southwestern Syria. Jews and Muslims all regard it as holy. Part of the significance of the land stems from the religious significance of Jerusalem, as the historical region of Jesus' ministry, as the site of the Isra and Mi'raj event of c. 621 CE in Islam. The holiness of the land as a destination of Christian pilgrimage contributed to launching the Crusades, as European Christians sought to win back the Holy Land from the Muslims, who had conquered it from the Christian Byzantine Empire in the 630s. In the 19th century the Holy Land became the subject of diplomatic wrangling as the Holy Places played a role in the Eastern Question which led to the Crimean War of 1853-1856.
Many sites in the Holy Land have long been pilgrimage destinations for adherents of the Abrahamic religions, including Jews, Christians and Bahá'ís. Pilgrims visit the Holy Land to touch and see physical manifestations of their faith, to confirm their beliefs in the holy context with collective excitation, to connect to the Holy Land. Jews do not refer to the Land of Israel as "Holy Land"; the Tanakh explicitly refers to it as "holy land" in only one passage. The term "holy land" is further used twice in the deuterocanonical books; the holiness of the Land of Israel is implied in the Tanakh by the Land being given to the Israelites by God, that is, it is the "promised land", an integral part of God's covenant. In the Torah many mitzvot commanded to the Israelites can only be performed in the Land of Israel, which serves to differentiate it from other lands. For example, in the Land of Israel, "no land shall be sold permanently". Shmita is only observed with respect to the land of Israel, the observance of many holy days is different, as an extra day is observed in the Jewish diaspora.
According to Eliezer Schweid: The uniqueness of the Land of Israel is...'geo-theological' and not climatic. This is the land which faces the entrance of the spiritual world, that sphere of existence that lies beyond the physical world known to us through our senses; this is the key to the land's unique status with regard to prophecy and prayer, with regard to the commandments From the perspective of the 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia, the holiness of Israel had been concentrated since the sixteenth century for burial, in the "Four Holy Cities": Jerusalem, Hebron and Tiberias - as Judaism's holiest cities. Jerusalem, as the site of the Temple, is considered significant. Sacred burials are still undertaken for diaspora Jews who wish to lie buried in the holy soil of Israel. According to Jewish tradition, Jerusalem is the location of the binding of Isaac; the Hebrew Bible mentions the name "Jerusalem" 669 times because many mitzvot can only be performed within its environs. The name "Zion", which refers to Jerusalem, but sometimes the Land of Israel, appears in the Hebrew Bible 154 times.
The Talmud mentions the religious duty of colonising Israel. So significant in Judaism is the act of purchasing land in Israel, the Talmud allows for the lifting of certain religious restrictions of Sabbath observance to further its acquisition and settlement. Rabbi Johanan said that "Whoever walks four cubits in Eretz Yisrael is guaranteed entrance to the World to Come". A story says. Shammua' and R. Johanan HaSandlar left Israel to study from R. Judah ben Bathyra, they only managed to reach Sidon when "the thought of the sanctity of Palestine overcame their resolution, they shed tears, rent their garments, turned back". Due to the Jewish population being concentrated in Israel, emigration was prevented, which resulted in a limiting of the amount of space available for Jewish learning. However, after suffering persecutions in Israel for centuries after the destruction of the Temple, Rabbis who had found it difficult to retain their position moved to Babylon, which offered them better protection.
Many Jews wanted Israel to be the place in order to be buried there. The sage Rabbi Anan said "To be buried in Israel is like being buried under the altar." The saying "His land will absolve His people" implies that burial in Israel will cause one to be absolved of all one's sins. For Christians, the Land of Israel is considered holy because of its association with the birth, ministry and resurrection of Jesus, whom Christians regard as the Savior or Messiah, because it is the land of the Jewish people. Christian books, including editions of the Bible had maps of the Holy Land. For instance, the Itinerarium Sacrae Scripturae of Heinrich Bünting, a German Protestant pastor, featured such a map, his book was popular, it provided "the most complete available summary of biblical geography and described the geography of the Holy Land by tracing the travels of major figures from the Old and New testaments."As a geographic term, the description "Holy Land" loosely encompasses modern-day Israel, the Palestinian territories, western Jordan and south-western Syria