News Pope John Paul II in 1995

Relic is considered to be of great religious significance

Marine Le Pen is facing the prospect of disappointing results in local elections in March

France's National Front: After a series of political setbacks, it seems Marine Le Pen is not so mighty as all that

After three years of almost unbroken success, the National Front leader Marine Le Pen has begun to stumble in her drive to steam-clean and re-brand the French far right.

Pakistani Muslim devotees light candles while visiting the shrine of Saint Mian Mir Sahib, during an event marking the 369th death anniversary of the saint in Lahore
Tim Sherwood has been dismissed by some for his lack of experience but has excelled working with Spurs' Under-21 side and oversaw an excellent win at Southampton

Tottenham manager: Mousa Dembele declines opportunity to back Tim Sherwood for the full-time role

The Spurs midfielder instead focuses on the victory over Southampton

Why Can The Dead Do Such Great Things? By Robert Bartlett: Book review

The jury is out on the cult of saints and martyrs in this magisterial work

Nelson Mandela in 1956

Nelson Mandela life story: Thabo Mbeki's praise poem

'You have stood at the brink...'

Saints of the Shadow Bible, By Ian Rankin - Review

Ian Rankin’s Rebus is supposed to be written in real time but perhaps that has become somewhat elastic in the Edinburgh created for him. The set up for his latest – Saints of the Shadow Bible – is made possible by a raising of the retirement age in Scotland.

The Breath of Night, By Michael Arditti. Arcadia, £11.99

Matters of extreme religious or political belief rarely trouble modern British novelists, whose default setting is agnostic/liberal. The nagging question behind most criticism of Graham Greene is "Surely he didn't believe in sin? In God? In Hell?" A similar worry may affect readers of Michael Arditti's latest novel. Greene would have appreciated the setting in the steamy Philippines, a country corrupted by an unholy alliance of church and state, and the cast of apostate priests, brutal police, and a young protagonist thrown into a world almost beyond his moral comprehension.

A photo of the late Pope John Paul II hanging from a stage set up near St Peter's Square

John Paul II to be made a saint alongside John XXVI next year, announces Pope Francis

The third longest-serving pope in history, John Paul II created more saints than all the previous popes put together

Mother Teresa: Skopje also has plans for a huge statue of the nun, who was born in the city

Alexander the Great and Mother Teresa... Macedonia goes big on its national monuments

Not content with four-storey statues of Alexander the Great and Mother Teresa, city planners in Skopje are now inviting bids for a version of Rome’s Spanish Steps, part of a beautification campaign that has divided residents.

London launch is in the bag for Moynat

France's richest man and luxury tycoon Bernard Arnault is bringing his new luggage brand to the UK.

Monsieur Le Commandant, by Romain Slocombe. Gallic, £8.99

A French Academician, Paul-Jean Husson writes a letter to his local SS officer revealing his illicit passion for his Jewish daughter-in-law, so placing her fate in the commandant’s hands.

GK Chesterton: He converted to Catholicism in the 1920s and wrote several religious works

Saint GK Chesterton? Bishop begins preliminary tests for canonisation of writer

Room for more than one ‘good book’ as the writer is advanced for his ‘lay spirituality’

Laura Steele is campaigning against the proposed housing development near the Warwickshire village of Lighthorne

A rural retreat near Stratford-upon-Avon? Not if you build 4,800 homes on it

Country idyll under threat - and residents fear Tory cronyism could be at work

Restaurant review: River Cottage Canteen, St John's Court, Whiteladies Road, Bristol

Tracey Macleod visits Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's latest River Cottage Canteen housed in a former church hall in Bristol. But will she be subjected to lengthy sermons about locavorism and sourcing fish responsibly?

For the first time since it was built in the early 1500s, the Tour Saint Jacques is opening to the public this summer

Tower at heart of Paris opens to the public for the first time

Gothic edifice that has inspired writers and scientists alike has just undergone a restoration

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
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Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
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Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing