St. Augustine: 10 things to know and share

Wednesday, August 27, 2014 9:28 PM Comments (7)

St. Augustine is a fascinating figure! On the occasion of his memorial day, here are 10 things to know and share.

August 28th is the memorial of St. Augustine, bishop and doctor of the Church.

He’s one of the most influential Church Fathers and theologians in history.

Who was he and why is he so famous?

Here are 10 things to know and share . . .

 

1) When and where was he born?

St. Augustine was born in A.D. 354 in Thagaste, Numidia (modern day Souk Ahras, Algeria) into an upper-class family.

His father—Patricius—was a pagan, though he converted to Christianity on his deathbed.

His mother—St. Monica—was a Christian and raised Augustine in the faith, though he was not baptized until he was an adult.

He was of mixed-race ancestry, with ancestors including Phoenicians, Berbers, and Latins. He...READ MORE

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The Assumption of Mary: 12 things to know and share

Thursday, August 14, 2014 10:28 PM Comments (21)

What is the doctrine of the Assumption, how did it come to be defined, and how can we apply it in our lives? Here are 12 things to know and share . . .

August 15 is the solemnity of the Assumption of Mary.

In the United States, it is a holy day of obligation.

What is the Assumption of Mary, how did it come to be defined, and what relevance does it have for our lives?

Here are 12 things to know and share . . .

 

1) What is the Assumption of Mary?

The Assumption of Mary is the teaching that:

The Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory [Pius XII, Munificentissimus Deus 44].

 

2) What level of authority does this teaching have?

This teaching was infallibly defined by Pope Pius XII on November 1, 1950 in the bull Munificentissimus...READ MORE

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10 things you need to know about Jesus' Transfiguration

Tuesday, August 05, 2014 3:44 PM Comments (21)

Jesus appeared to three of his disciples in the mysterious event known as the Transfiguration. What was happening here? What did it mean? Here are 10 things you need to know!

The Gospel reading for the Second Sunday of Lent commemorates the mysterious event known as the Transfiguration.

This event is hard to understand. Why did it happen? What did it mean?

Here are 10 things you need to know.

 

1. What does the word "transfiguration" mean?

The word "transfiguration" comes from the Latin roots trans- ("across") and figura ("form, shape"). It thus signifies a change of form or appearance.

This is what happened to Jesus in the event known as the Transfiguration: His appearance changed and became glorious.

Before looking at the Transfiguration itself, it's important that we look at what happened immediately before it in Luke's Gospel.

 

2. What happened...READ MORE

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6 Tools for the Scrupulous

Wednesday, July 30, 2014 11:00 PM Comments (42)

Here are 6 tools that can help people suffering from scrupulosity and OCD.

Scrupulosity and obsessive-compulsive disorder are two painful conditions that frequently go together.

Scrupulosity involves excessive anxiety about the sinfulness of particular actions. For example, having a fear that a typical, everyday action like forgetting to turn off the lights and thus “wasting electricity” might be a mortal sin. Such fears are known as scruples.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a related condition in which a person experiences frequent, painful thoughts (obsessions, such as fear of germs on one’s hands), which may drive him to perform various actions (compulsions, such as repeatedly washing the hands) in order to relieve the anxiety.

The two conditions...READ MORE

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Has Pope Francis reached a decision on Medjugorje: 7 things to know and share

Thursday, July 17, 2014 9:12 PM Comments (54)

Has Pope Francis reached a decision on Medjugorje? Here are 7 things to know and share.

Medjugorje Today is reporting that Pope Francis has made his decision regarding the reported apparitions at Medjugorje, though the results have not been announced.

Here are 7 things to know and share . . .

 

1) What is the source of the claim?

Fr. Kevin Devine, an American priest who has said English-language Masses in Medjugorje for a number of years made the claim after such a Mass on June 25th.

 

2) Where did he get his information?

From Fr. Miljenko Steko, the Franciscan provincial of the territory in which Medjugorje is located.

 

3) What did he say?

According to Medjugorje Today:

“Recently, the Provincial of the Franciscans here in Medjugorje (Fr. Miljenko Steko, ed.) was...READ MORE

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Pope Francis Announces He May Renounce the Papacy One Day: 6 Things to Know and Share

Friday, June 13, 2014 2:38 PM Comments (115)

Pope Francis has announced his intention to one day renounce the papacy. Here are 6 things to know and share . . .

Pope Benedict shocked the world in 2013 by announcing his plans to renounce the papacy, becoming the first pope in centuries to do so.

I predicted at the time that it would not be centuries before another pope resigned, and that Benedict may have started a trend.

That prediction is now being borne out. Pope Francis has announced he may one day renounce the papacy also.

Here are 6 things to know and share . . .

 

1) Where did Pope Francis make his remarks?

In an interview with the Spanish-language newspaper La Vanguardia.

You can read the Spanish original here.

And you can read an English translation here.

 

2) How did the subject come up?

The reporter asked Pope Francis about...READ MORE

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Did Pope Francis tell a divorced and civilly remarried woman she could receive Holy Communion?

Wednesday, April 23, 2014 11:19 AM Comments (337)

Julio Sabetta claims that his wife received a phone call from Pope Francis, who told her that she could receive Communion despite being divorced and civilly remarried. Is this true?

According to press accounts, Pope Francis phoned a divorced and remarried woman in Argentina and told her that it’s okay for her to receive Communion and that the subject as a whole is being discussed at the Vatican.

What are we to make of this?

UPDATE 2:

The Holy See press office has now issued a statement, as follows (with emphasis added):

STATEMENT OF THE HOLY SEE PRESS OFFICE

Vatican City, 24 April 2014 (VIS) – This morning the director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J., issued the following statement:

“Several telephone calls have taken place in the context of Pope Francis’ personal pastoral relationships. Since they do not in any way form part of the...READ MORE

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8 things you need to know about Easter Sunday

Sunday, April 20, 2014 12:39 PM Comments (1)

Easter is the most important day of the Christian calendar, even more important than Christmas. Here are 8 things you need to know.

The great day is finally here: Easter, the most important day of the Christian calendar. More important even than Christmas.

What happened on this day?

Was Jesus' resurrection a real, historical event?

How does the Church celebrate this day?

Is Easter a pagan holiday?

Here are 8 things you need to know.

 

1. What happened on Easter?

Among other things:

  • The women went to the tomb to anoint Jesus' body.
  • They saw angels, who told them he wasn't there.
  • They went to tell the apostles, who initially didn't believe them.
  • Peter and the beloved disciple rushed to see the tomb and found it empty.
  • Mary Magdalen, in particular, had an encounter with the risen Christ.
  • So did the...READ MORE

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About Jimmy Akin

Jimmy Akin
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Jimmy was born in Texas, grew up nominally Protestant, but at age 20 experienced a profound conversion to Christ. Planning on becoming a Protestant pastor or seminary professor, he started an intensive study of the Bible. But the more he immersed himself in Scripture the more he found to support the Catholic faith. Eventually, he entered the Catholic Church. His conversion story, "A Triumph and a Tragedy," is published in Surprised by Truth. Besides being an author, Jimmy is a Senior Apologist at Catholic Answers, a contributing editor to This Rock magazine, and a weekly guest on "Catholic Answers Live."