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The dome of St. Peter's Basilica.

Catholicism is the entirety of the beliefs and practices of the Latin and Eastern Churches that are in full communion with the pope as the Bishop of Rome and successor of Saint Peter the Apostle, united as the Catholic Church.

The first known written use of "Catholic Church" appears in a letter by Ignatius of Antioch c. AD 107 to the church of Smyrna, whose bishop, Polycarp, visited Ignatius during his journey to Rome as a prisoner. He wrote:

Let no man do anything connected with the Church without the bishop. Let that be deemed a proper Eucharist, which is [administered] either by the bishop, or by one to whom he has entrusted it. Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude [of the people] also be; even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church.

— Ignatius of Antioch, Letter to the Smyrnaeans 8

His use of "Catholic Church" suggests that it was already in current use, for he sees no need to explain himself and uses the expression as one already known to his readers. It gives expression to 12–16). Dissenting groups breaking away from this universal unity were already known to the Apostles: in his letters Paul refers to the " Judaizers" (those requiring observance of the Mosaic Law), and in his Book of Revelation St. John calls them " Nicolaitans". They believe that it is a small step for those faithful to the teaching of the Apostles to identify themselves as the Catholic Church ("the one Church everywhere"), and not to include those dissenting and breaking away from unity with her.

The term Catholic Christianity entered into Roman law by force of edict on 27 February AD 380:

It is our desire that all the various nations which are subject to our clemency and moderation, should continue the profession of that religion which was delivered to the Romans by the divine Apostle Peter, as it has been preserved by faithful tradition and which is now professed by the Pontiff Damasus and by Peter, Bishop of Alexandria, a man of apostolic holiness. According to the apostolic teaching and the doctrine of the Gospel, let us believe in the one Deity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, in equal majesty and in a holy Trinity. We authorize the followers of this law to assume the title Catholic Christians; but as for the others, since in our judgment they are foolish madmen, we decree that they shall be branded with the ignominious name of heretics, and shall not presume to give their conventicles the name of churches. They will suffer in the first place the chastisement of divine condemnation and the second the punishment of [as] our authority, in accordance with the will of heaven, shall decide to inflict.


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Coat of Arms during the Vacancy of the Holy See

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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Credit: Sanchezn

Notre Dame de Paris, known simply as Notre Dame in English , is a Gothic cathedral on the eastern half of the Île de la Cité in Paris, France, with its main entrance to the west. It is still used as a Roman Catholic cathedral and is the seat of the Archbishop of Paris.

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Pope John Paul II

Pope John Paul II ( Latin: Ioannes Paulus PP. II, Italian: Giovanni Paolo II, Polish: Jan Paweł II) born About this sound  Karol Józef Wojtyła  [ˈkaɾɔl ˈjuzεf vɔi̯ˈtɨwa]; 18 May 1920 – 2 April 2005) reigned as the 264th Pope of the Roman Catholic Church and Sovereign of the State of the Vatican City from 16 October 1978, until his death, almost 27 years later, making his the second-longest pontificate in modern times after Pius IX's 31-year reign. He is the only Polish pope, and was the first non- Italian pope since the Dutch Adrian VI in the 1520s. He is one of only four people to have been named to the Time 100 for both the 20th century and for a year in the 21st. Canonized in 2014, he was made the patron of World Youth Day even before canonization, for 2008 in Sydney, Australia. He started those days for youth in 1986.
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A painting of a nineteenth-century church facade. The facade is white-washed, in a late-classical style. Men in period dress are shown chatting in front.

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Feast Day of November 25


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Saint Catherine of Alexandria, also known as Saint Catherine of the Wheel and The Great Martyr Saint Catherine ( Greek ἡ Ἁγία Αἰκατερίνη ἡ Μεγαλομάρτυς) is a Christian saint and martyr claimed to have been a noted scholar in the early 4th century. She was one of the saints to speak to Saint Joan of Arc. The Orthodox Churches venerate her as a "great martyr," and in the Roman Catholic Church, she is traditionally revered as one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers.

St. Catherine's life is mostly composed of legends which have many different variations. The most popular version is as follows. Legend states that Catherine was the daughter of Constus, governor of Alexandria in Egypt. She is said to have received a "most splendid education." She declared to her parents that she would only enter into marriage with someone who surpassed her in reputation, wealth, beauty and wisdom. Catherine's mother was secretly a Christian, and sent her to a hermit who told her of a youth who surpassed her in everything, such that "His beauty was more radiant than the shining of the sun, His wisdom governed all creation, His riches were spread throughout all the world." [2]

Having received a vision that urged her baptism, she became a Christian and was transported to heaven in vision and betrothed to Christ by the Virgin Mary (this ancient theme of a mystical marriage to a deity is familiar in the ecstatic mythology of the eastern Mediterranean and Anatolia).

Catherine's story goes on to relate how she is said to have visited the current Roman Emperor Maxentius and to have attempted to convince him of the error of his ways in persecuting Christians. Her legend states that Catherine succeeded in converting his wife, the Empress, and also many pagan wise men sent to dispute with her by the Emperor, all of whom were subsequently martyred. Upon the failure of the Emperor to woo Catherine, he ordered Catherine into prison, and when the people who visited her converted, she was condemned to death on the breaking wheel (an instrument of torture). The wheel itself broke when she touched it, so she was beheaded.

In an elaboration of the legend, angels carried her body to Mount Sinai, where in the 6th century AD, the Eastern Emperor Justinian established Saint Catherine's Monastery, Mount Sinai, the church being built between 548 and 565. Saint Catherine's Monastery survives, a famous repository of early Christian art, architecture and illuminated manuscripts.

Her principal symbol is the spiked wheel, which has become known as the Catherine wheel, and her feast day is celebrated on 25 November in most Christian churches. However, her feast is celebrated on 24 November in the Russian Orthodox Church because Empress Catherine the Great did not wish to share her patronal feast with the Leavetaking of the feast of the Presentation of the Theotokos.


Attributes: the " breaking wheel"; sword; with a crown at her feet; hailstones; bridal veil and ring; dove; scourge; book; woman arguing with pagan philosophers
Patronage: apologists, craftsmen who work with a wheel ( potters, spinners, etc.), archivists, dying people, educators, girls, jurists, knife sharpeners, lawyers, librarians, libraries, Balliol College, maidens, mechanics, millers, nurses, philosophers, preachers, scholars, schoolchildren, scribes, secretaries, spinsters, stenographers, students, tanners, teachers, theologians, University of Paris, unmarried girls, haberdashers, wheelwrights, Żejtun, Żurrieq
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Augustine as depicted by Sandro Botticelli

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Divine Mercy

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  1. ^ Extract of English translation from Henry Bettenson, ed., Documents of the Christian Church (London: Oxford University Press, 1943), p. 31, cited at Medieval Sourcebook: Theodosian Code XVI by Paul Halsall, Fordham University. Retrieved Jan 5, 2007. The full Latin text of the code is at IMPERATORIS THEODOSIANI CODEX Liber Decimus Sextus (170KB download), archived from George Mason University. Retrieved Jan 5, 2007.
  2. ^ Self-Ruled Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America. Accessed 30 Dec 2006.
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