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The Catholic Church, sometimes referred to as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide . As the world's oldest and largest continuously functioning international institution, it has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilization. The church consists of almost 3,500 dioceses (also called "local churches") around the world on every continent, each shepherded by its bishop. The pope, who is the Bishop of Rome (and whose titles also include Vicar of Jesus Christ and Successor of St. Peter), is the chief pastor of the whole church, entrusted with the universal Petrine ministry of unity and correction. The church's international administration is the Holy See, located in the tiny, independent European state of Vatican City in Rome, Italy, of which the pope is also head of state.
The Christian beliefs of Catholicism are found in the Nicene Creed. The Catholic Church teaches that it is the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church founded by Jesus Christ in his Great Commission, that its bishops are the successors of Christ's apostles, and that the pope is the successor to Saint Peter, upon whom primacy was conferred by Jesus Christ. It maintains that it practises the original Christian faith, reserving infallibility, passed down by sacred tradition. The Latin Church, the twenty-three Eastern Catholic Churches, and institutes such as mendicant orders, enclosed monastic orders and third orders reflect a variety of theological and spiritual emphases in the church.
Of its seven sacraments, the Eucharist is the principal one, celebrated liturgically in the Mass. The church teaches that through consecration by a priest, the sacrificial bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ. The Virgin Mary is venerated in the Catholic Church as Mother of God and Queen of Heaven, honoured in dogmas and devotions. Its teaching includes Divine Mercy, sanctification through faith and evangelization of the Gospel as well as Catholic social teaching, which emphasises voluntary support for the sick, the poor, and the afflicted through the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. The Catholic Church is the largest non-government provider of education and health care in the world. (Full article...)
Gregorian chant is the central tradition of Western plainchant, a form of monophonic, unaccompanied sacred song of the western Christian Church. Although it had mostly fallen into disuse after the 1600s, it experienced a revival in the 19th Century in the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglo-Catholic wing of the Anglican Communion. Gregorian chant was organized, codified, and notated mainly in the Frankish lands of western and central Europe during the 9th and 10th centuries, with later additions and redactions, but the texts and many of the melodies have antecedents going back several centuries earlier. Although popular legend credits Pope Gregory the Great with inventing Gregorian chant, scholars believe that the chant bearing his name arose from a later Carolingian synthesis of Roman and Gallican chant.Gregorian chants are organized into eight scalar modes.
Joan of Arc, or Jeanne d'Arc in French, (c. 1412 – May 30, 1431) was a 15th century national heroine of France. She was tried and executed for heresy when she was only 19 years old. The judgment was overturned by the Pope and she was declared innocent and a martyr 24 years later. She was beatified in 1909 and canonized as a saint in 1920. Joan asserted that she had visions from God which told her to recover her homeland from English domination late in the Hundred Years' War. The uncrowned King Charles VII sent her to the siege at Orléans as part of a relief mission. She gained prominence when she overcame the dismissive attitude of veteran commanders and lifted the siege in only nine days. Several more swift victories led to Charles VII's coronation at Reims and settled the disputed succession to the throne.
Did you know...
Feast Day of December 2
, or Vibiana
) is a Roman Virgin
. The earliest mention in an authentic historical authority occurs in the "Liber Pontificalis,"
, where the biography of Pope Simplicius
(468–483) states that this pope "consecrated a basilica of the holy martyr Bibiana, which contained her body, near the 'palatium Licinianum' "
(ed. Duchesne, I, 249). The Basilica of Santa Bibiana
still exists. (Full article...
Attributes: column and scourge with leaded thongs; branch of a tree; dagger; scourge; depicted tied to a column
Patronage: parish, epilepsy, epileptics, hangovers, headaches, insanity, mental illness, mentally ill people, single laywomen, torture victims
||Jesus Christ, whose body and blood are truly contained in the sacrament of the altar under the forms of bread and wine; the bread being changed (transsubstantiatio) by divine power into the body, and the wine into the blood, so that to realize the mystery of unity we may receive of Him what He has received of us. And this sacrament no one can effect except the priest who has been duly ordained in accordance with the keys of the Church, which Jesus Christ Himself gave to the Apostles and their successors.
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