The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide . As the world's "oldest continuously functioning international institution", it has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilisation. The church is headed by the Bishop of Rome, known as the pope. Its central administration, the Holy See, is in the Vatican City, an enclave within the city of Rome in Italy.
Catholic theology is based on 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 and enclosed monastic 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 sanctification through faith and evangelisation 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.
The papal conclave of 1492 (August 6 – August 11, 1492) convened after the death of Pope Innocent VIII (July 25, 1492), elected Rodrigo Borja as Pope Alexander VI. The first conclave to be held in the Sistine Chapel, the election is notorious for allegations of simony.
Of the twenty-three cardinals participating in the conclave, fourteen had been elevated by Pope Sixtus IV. The Cardinals of Sixtus IV, known as the "Sistine Cardinals" and led by Giuliano della Rovere, had controlled the conclave of 1484, electing one of their own, Giambattista Cibo as Pope Innocent VIII.
Since 1431 the composition of the College of Cardinals had been radically transformed, increasing the number of cardinal-nephews (from 3 to 10), crown-cardinals (from 2 to 8), and representatives of powerful Roman noble families (from 2 to 4). With the exception of three curial officials and one pastor, the cardinals were "secularly-minded princes largely unconcerned with the spiritual life of either the Latin church or its members." At the time of Innocent VIII's death, the names of Cardinals Gherardo and Sanseverino had not been published, thus making them ineligible to participate in the conclave; however, both were published as an act of the College in sede vacante, Gherardo having been pushed by Orsini and Sanseverino by Sforza.
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Feast Day of April 25
Mark the Evangelist (מרקוס, Greek: Μάρκος) (1st century) is traditionally believed to be the author of the Gospel of Mark and a companion of Peter. He also accompanied Paul and Barnabas in Paul's first journey. After a sharp dispute, Barnabas separated from Paul, taking Mark to Cyprus (Acts 15:36-40). Ironically, this separation helped bring along the creation of the Gospel of Mark. Later Paul calls upon the services of Mark, the kinsman of Barnabas, and Mark is named as Paul's fellow worker.He is also believed to be the first Pope of Alexandria by both the Coptic Orthodox Church and the Greek Church of Alexandria, and thus the founder of Christianity in Africa. His evangelistic symbol is the lion.In 828, relics believed to be the body of St. Mark was stolen from Alexandria by two Venetian merchants and were taken to Venice, where the Byzantine St. Theodore had previously been the patron saint. A basilica was built there to house the relics.There is a mosaic on this Venetian basilica showing how the sailors covered the body relics with a layer of pork.Since Muslims are not allowed to touch pork, this action was done to prevent Muslim intervention in the relics removal.
Attributes:Lion in the desert; bishop on a throne decorated with lions; man helping Venetian sailors; man holding a book with "pax tibi Marce" written on it; man holding a palm and book; man with a book or scroll accompanied by a winged lion; man with a halter around his neck; man writing or holding his gospel; rescuing Christian slaves from Saracens; lion.
Patronage:Barristers, Venice, and others; see 
||After the great Pope John Paul II, the Cardinals have elected me, a simple and humble labourer in the vineyard of the Lord. The fact that the Lord knows how to work and to act even with inadequate instruments comforts me, and above all I entrust myself to your prayers.
- July 26, 2017: The Holy Name of Jesus cathedral in Raleigh, North Carolina was dedicated. The groundbreaking took place on January 3, 2015.
- May 21, 2017: Pope Francis announced a consistory for the elevation of five new cardinals on 28 June. He adhered to his established pattern of appointing cardinals from the peripheries, including the first cardinals from El Salvador, Laos, Mali, and Sweden, the latter of whom will also be the first cardinal from Scandinavia.
- April 12, 2017: Pope Francis expanded the Secretariat for Communications and appointed the 13 new consultants in addition to the 16 members added on July 13, 2016. The secretariat was established in June 2015.
- December 8, 2015 to November 20, 2016: During the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, Rome received 21.3 million pilgrims, the shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe received 22 million pilgrims, and World Youth Day in Krakow received 3 million pilgrims.
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