Giovanni Pierinelli of Santa Teresita checks on his Baby Jesus inventory at the 17th annual trade show of the Catholic Marketing Network last week (Aug. 6-9) in Somerset, N.J. RNS photo by David Gibson.

Catholic gift stores see a (papal) bull market

(RNS) “If you are a Catholic gift and book store and you are not willing to reinvent yourself, you are going to be out of business,” said Alan Napleton, president of the Catholic Marketing Network. “God doesn’t seem to suspend the laws of economics just because we’re Catholic.”

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Religion & Ethics Newsweekly Video: Painting icons

This week, Orthodox Christians mark the final days of Great Lent, a time of repentance, fasting, and prayer in preparation for Orthodox Easter, or Pascha, on May 5. Iconographer Seraphim O’Keefe talks about how icons play a role similar to fasting in the Orthodox tradition.

RNS photo courtesy Mr. Klevra

Artist sets out to bring Madonnas back to Rome

ROME (RNS) Even in Rome, a life-size Madonna on a wall is not a common sight — even more so if you leave the city's historic center for the drab concrete of the city's former industrial districts. But bringing sacred art back to Rome's run-down streets is exactly what one artist has set out to do. By Alessandro Speciale.

RNS photo courtesy courtesy Rev. Lawrence Lew.

What did Jesus do on Holy Saturday?

(RNS) Every Christian knows the story: Jesus was crucified on Good Friday and rose from the dead on Easter Sunday. But what did he do on Saturday? That question has spurred centuries of debate, perplexed theologians as learned as St. Augustine and prodded some Christians to advocate for amending an ancient creed.  By Daniel Burke.