The typical history book and professor would tell us that the hoi polloi of the European medieval period were a bunch of illiterates who consequently, had no access to reading. Of course, during the Reformation, many capitalized on this sentiment and claimed that the Church had deprived the People of God of the privilege of reading (due to language and availability) and meditating on the loftiest and most profound theology. Naturally, since I am bringing it up, they would be exaggerating or at least limited in their viewpoint.
We think that words are the only way to read but the Church has never been so narrow-minded. Recognizing the lack of education among her children, she developed a different forms of reading. One of those forms is through architecture. Instead of relying sole on words in books, she wrote and taught through architecture.
Don’t know how to read architecture? Sounds like a little modern illiteracy to me. No worries, it took me a while until I found the “write” resources to teach me to read. I am still reading at the Dr. Seuss level but it is still fries my brain with so much information I cannot handle more. Here is a short tutorial on reading Gothic Cathedral facades. Enjoy and read these books more!!