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Introduction

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The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide . As one of the oldest religious institutions in the world, 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 Rome, 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, that its bishops are the successors of Christ's apostles, and that the Pope is the successor to Saint Peter to 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.

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Coat of arms of Bishop Ivan Ljavinec of the Ruthenian Catholic Church, showing a blend of Eastern and Western heraldic styles.

Ecclesiastical heraldry is the tradition of heraldry developed by Christian clergy. Initially used to mark documents, ecclesiastical heraldry evolved as a system for identifying people and dioceses. It is most formalized within the Catholic Church, where most bishops, including the Pope, have a personal coat of arms. Clergy in Anglican, Lutheran, Eastern Catholic, and Orthodox churches follow similar customs. Institutions such as schools and dioceses bear arms called impersonal or corporate arms.Ecclesiastical heraldry differs notably from other heraldry in the use of special symbols around the shield to indicate rank in a church or denomination. The most prominent of these symbols is the ecclesiastical hat, commonly the Roman galero or Geneva Bonnet. The color and ornamentation of this hat carry a precise meaning. Cardinals are famous for the "red hat", but other offices are assigned a distinctive hat color. The hat is ornamented with tassels in a quantity commensurate with the office.
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Credit: Diliff


Saint Peter's Square, or Saint Peter's Piazza (Italian: Piazza San Pietro), is located directly in front of St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City, the papal enclave within Rome (the Piazza borders to the East the rione of Borgo). The open space which lies before the basilica was redesigned by Gian Lorenzo Bernini from 1656 to 1667, under the direction of Pope Alexander VII.

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Clement (died 1258) was a thirteenth century Dominican friar who was the first member of the Dominican Order in Britain and Ireland to become a bishop. In 1233, he was selected to lead the ailing Diocese of Dunblane in Scotland, and faced a struggle to bring the bishopric of Dunblane (or "bishopric of Strathearn") to financial viability. This involved many negotiations with the powerful religious institutions and secular authorities which had acquired control of the revenue that would normally have been the entitlement of Clement's bishopric. The negotiations proved difficult, forcing Clement to visit the papal court in Rome. While not achieving all of his aims, Clement succeeded in saving the bishopric from relocation to Inchaffray Abbey. He also regained enough revenue to begin work on the new Dunblane Cathedral.
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St Mary's Cathedral, Perth

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Feast Day of October 21

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Saint John of Bridlington (John Thwing, John of Thwing, John Twenge, John Thwing of Bridlington) (1319-1379) is an English saint of the 14th century. Born John Twenge in 1319 in the village of Thwing on the Yorkshire Wolds, about nine miles west of Bridlington, he was of the Yorkshire family Twenge, which family in Reformation days supplied two priest-martyrs and was also instrumental in establishing the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Bar Convent, York.

John completed his studies at Oxford and then entered the Priory of Bridlington. Charged successively with various offices in the community, he was finally despite his reluctance elected prior, which office he held until his death.

Even in his lifetime he enjoyed a reputation for great holiness and for miraculous powers. On one occasion he changed water into wine. On another, five seamen from Hartlepool in danger of shipwreck called upon God in the name of His servant, John of Bridlington, whereupon the prior himself appeared to them in his canonical habit and brought them safely to shore.

After his death from natural causes the fame of the miracles wrought by his intercession spread rapidly through the land. Archbishop Neville charged his suffragans and others to take evidence with a view to his canonization, 26 July, 1386; and the same prelate assisted by the Bishops of Durham and Carlisle officiated at a solemn translation of his body, 11 March, 1404, de mandato Domini Papae.


Attributes: fish, book, crozier, fur almice; muzzled animal at his feet
Patronage: women in difficult labour; fishermen
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Benedict XVI


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Divine Mercy

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