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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 around the world. 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 church, entrusted with the universal Petrine ministry of unity and correction. The church's administration, the Holy See, is in the Vatican City, a tiny enclave of Rome, of which the pope is head of state.
The core 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 operates thousands of Catholic schools, hospitals, and orphanages around the world, and is the largest non-government provider of education and health care in the world. Among its other social services are numerous charitable and humanitarian organizations. (Full article...)
Mission San Juan Capistrano was founded on All Saints' Day November 1, 1776 by Spanish Catholics of the Franciscan Order. Named for a 15th-century theologian and "warrior priest" who resided in the Abruzzo region of Italy, San Juan Capistrano has the distinction of being home to the oldest building in California still in use, a chapel built in 1782; known alternately as "Serra's Chapel" and "Father Serra's Church," it is the only extant structure wherein it has been documented that the padre officiated over mass. One of the best known of the Alta California missions (and one of the few missions to have actually been founded twice — others being Mission San Gabriel Arcángel and Mission La Purísima Concepción) — the site was originally consecrated on October 30, 1775 by Father Fermín Lasuén, but was quickly abandoned due to unrest among the indigenous population in San Diego.
Mother Teresa (Albanian: Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu; Albanian pronunciation: ['a?n?s 'nd?a b?'jad?u]) (August 26, 1910 - September 5, 1997) was an Albanian Roman Catholic nun who founded the Missionaries of Charity in Kolkata (Calcutta), India in 1950. For over forty years she ministered to the poor, sick, orphaned, and dying, while guiding the Missionaries of Charity's expansion, first throughout India and then in other countries. By the 1970s she had become internationally famed as a humanitarian and advocate for the poor and helpless, due in part to a documentary, and book, Something Beautiful for God by Malcolm Muggeridge. She won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 for her humanitarian work. Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity continued to expand, and at the time of her death it was operating 610 missions in 123 countries, including hospices and homes for people with HIV/AIDS, leprosy and tuberculosis, soup kitchens, children's and family counseling programs, orphanages, and schools.
Did you know...
Feast Day of February 24
, Maththías Greek pronunciation: [ma?'?i.as]
, from Hebrew Matti?yh?
; died c. AD 80) was, according to the Acts of the Apostles
(written c. AD 80-90), chosen by the apostles
to replace Judas Iscariot
following the latter's betrayal of Jesus
and his subsequent death. His calling as an apostle is unique, in that his appointment was not made personally by Jesus
, who had already ascended into heaven
, and it was also made before the descent of the Holy Spirit
upon the early Church. (Full article...
Attributes: axe, Christian martyrdom
Patronage: alcoholics; carpenters; tailors; Gary, Indiana; Great Falls-Billings, Montana; smallpox; hope; perseverance
||Whoever is separated from this Catholic Church, by this single sin of being separated from the unity of Christ, no matter how estimable a life he may imagine he is living, shall not have life, but the wrath of God rests upon him.
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