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Lent is a period of fasting and reflection for many Chistians. Pascal Deloche/Godong/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

What are the origins of Lent?

The 40-day Lenten season, when many Christians observe fasting, began in mid-February. A scholar explains how the practice may have emerged around the fifth century.
An image of 15-year-old Carlo Acutis during his beatification ceremony in Assisi, Italy. AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

Who are patron saints and why do Catholics venerate them?

Many saints are venerated for specific reasons, professions or even nations. There are saints who are believed to provide assistance in selling a property.
The ceremony for the beatification of Carlo Acutis, an Italian boy who died in 2006 of leukemia, is held Oct. 10 in front of the St. Francis Basilica in Assisi, Italy. AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia

An Italian teen is set to become the first millennial saint, but canonizing children is nothing new in the Catholic Church

Italian teenager Carlo Acutis, who died at the age of 15, is on the path to becoming a saint. A scholar explains the long history of child saints in the Catholic Church.
The General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Enoch Adeboye, holding a placard, leading a protest in Lagos. Olukayode Jaiyeola/NurPhoto/Getty

How religion inspires the Nigerian diaspora to develop Africa

Religion has often been a key motivation for philanthropy and economic fairness. Africans in the diaspora champion this.
A 19th-century engraving depicts the Angel of Death descending on Rome during the Antonine plague. J.G. Levasseur/Wellcome Collection

How 3 prior pandemics triggered massive societal shifts

Societies and cultures that seem ossified and entrenched can be completely upended by pandemics, which create openings for conquest, innovation and social change.

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