Who was St. Francis of Assisi? 12 things to know and share

10/04/2014 Comments (8)

Who was St. Francis of Assisi? (12 things to know and share)

St. Francis is one of the most famous saints in Church history.

He’s so significant that the current pope—Pope Francis—chose to take his name.

October 4th is his memorial day.

But who was he, and what did he do?

Here are 12 things to know and share . . .

 

1) When did St. Francis live?

He was born in 1181 or 1182 (we’re not sure), and he died in 1226. He thus lived to be only 44 or 45 years old.

He was born—and he died—in Assisi, Italy, which is somewhat near Rome.

You can read about Assisi here.

 

2) How did he get the name “Francis”?

Although many people take new names upon entering religious life, this is not how St. Francis originally got his name.

He was born Giovanni...READ MORE

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8 things to know and share about the Guardian Angels

10/01/2014 Comments (5)

You have a hidden companion who shadows you wherever you go. But don't worry. He's only there to help! Here are 8 things to know and share . . .

October 2 is the memorial of the Guardian Angels in the liturgy.

Here are 8 things to know and share about the angels it celebrates . . .

 

1) What is a guardian angel?

A guardian angel is an angel (a created, non-human, non-corporeal being) that has been assigned to guard a particular person, especially with respect to helping that person avoid spiritual dangers and achieve salvation.

The angel may also help the person avoid physical dangers, particularly if this will help the person achieve salvation.

 

2) Where do we read about guardian angels in Scripture?

We see angels helping people on various occasions in Scripture, but there are certain instances in which we see angels...READ MORE

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Celebrating the Archangels: 7 things to know and share

09/28/2014 Comments (16)

On Sept. 29th, we celebrate St.s Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael--Archangels. Here are 7 things to know and share . . .

September 29th is the feast of St.s Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael—archangels.

These are the only three angels whose names are mentioned in Scripture, and this is their day.

Here are 7 things to know and share . . .

 

1) What is an archangel?

The word “archangel” (Greek, archangelos) means “high-ranking angel”—the same way that “archbishop” means a high-ranking bishop.

Only St. Michael is described as an archangel in Scripture (Jude 9), but it is common to honor St.s Gabriel and Raphael as archangels also.

 

2) Why are they called “saints” if they’re angels rather than humans?

The word “saint” (Greek, hagios) means “holy one.”

It does not mean “holy human being.” As a result, it...READ MORE

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Did God Deceive Jeremiah?

08/31/2014 Comments (52)

Did God really "dupe" Jeremiah? How could an all-good God do that?

The readings you heard at Mass on Sunday say that God “duped” Jeremiah.

Wait . . . what?

How could an all-holy God “dupe” or deceive anybody?

What’s going on here?

 

Let’s Start with the Text

The readings for the 22nd Sunday of Ordinary Time (Year A), contain a passage from Jeremiah, which reads, in part:

You duped me, O LORD, and I let myself be duped;
you were too strong for me, and you triumphed.
All the day I am an object of laughter;
everyone mocks me [Jer. 20:7].

“Duped”?

Okay, let’s start by noting that “duped” is a tin-eared translation. The word is too colloquial and comes of as jarring in this context.

How does the verse read in other translations? Here it is in the...READ MORE

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St. Augustine: 10 things to know and share

08/27/2014 Comments (19)

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

08/14/2014 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

08/05/2014 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

07/30/2014 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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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."