9 things to know and share about Fatima

05/11/2013 Comments (108)

On May 13, 1917, the three "little shepherds" received a powerful revelation from Our Lady of Fatima. Here are 9 things to know and share with friends . . .

May 13 is the optional memorial of Our Lady of Fatima.

Fatima is the most prominent approved apparition of the 20th century.

It became famous the world over, particular for its three-part "secret."

Here are 9 things to know and share with friends . . .


1) What happened at Fatima, Portugal?

A young shepherd girl, Lucia dos Santos, said that she experienced supernatural visitations as early as 1915, two years before the famous appearances of the Virgin Mary.

In 1917, she and two of her cousins, Francisco and Jacinta Marto, were working as shepherds tending their families’ flocks. On May 13, 1917, the three children saw an apparition of Our Lady. She told them, among other...READ MORE

Filed under apparition, apparitions, fatima, our lady of fatima, private revelation, secret of fatima, secrets of fatima, third secret, third secret of fatima

Did Dinosaurs Die Before the Fall?

05/09/2013 Comments (53)

Did animals die before the Fall of Man?

St. Paul tells us:

"For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive" (1 Cor. 15:21-22). 

Does this mean that there was no death--of any kind--before the Fall of Man?

Would that mean that no animals, plants, or microbes died?

What about animals that are carnivores?

Were lions vegetarians? How about alligators? Or sharks?

How about carnivores like Tyrannosaurus Rex?

Let's take a look at the subject . . .


A Key Concept

To set the stage, I need to introduce a key concept: entropy.

Entropy is a very important concept in the sciences. Put simply, entropy is the tendency of...READ MORE

Filed under adam, adam and eve, apologetics, death, fall, fall of man, science

7 things Pope Francis wants you to know about Jesus' Ascension

05/08/2013 Comments (10)

Recently Pope Francis explained Jesus' mysterious Ascension into heaven. Here are 7 things he wants you to know about it.

Whether your diocese celebrates the Ascension of Christ on Thursday or Sunday, the time is upon us.

Recently, Pope Francis gave an explanation of the Ascension, what it means, and how it affects our lives.

Here are 7 things he wants you to know.


1) Your Holiness, what is a good starting point for understanding the Ascension?

[Pope Francis:] Let us start from the moment when Jesus decided to make his last pilgrimage to Jerusalem.

St Luke notes: “When the days drew near for him to be received up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem” (Lk 9:51).

While he was “going up” to the Holy City, where his own “exodus” from this life was to occur, Jesus already saw the destination,...READ MORE

Filed under ascension, liturgical year, pope francis

The Name of the Doctor

05/05/2013 Comments (20)

They're about to reveal Doctor Who's name. Here are some thoughts . . .

We're just about up to the final episode of the current season of Doctor Who.

The title of the episode is "The Name of the Doctor," and it promises to reveal the Doctor's actual name, something that has never been revealed in the 50-year history of the show.

We'll apparently learn the Doctor's name--and why he's kept is secret all this time--at 8 p.m. on Saturday, May 18, when "The Name of the Doctor" airs on BBC America (or a few hours earlier, if you're in the U.K.).

Here are a few thoughts . . .

(BTW, apologies to those who aren't familiar with Doctor Who; what follows is speculation about a major event in the show, and it presupposes some knowledge of what's been happening.)


Filed under doctor who, pop culture, science fiction, television

Pronoun Trouble

05/01/2013 Comments (65)

They're butchering the Swedish language with a hen! And it isn't the Swedish chef who's doing it!

Even Slate Magazine seems skeptical of a recent move in Sweden to introduce a genderless personal pronoun into the Swedish language:


Earlier this month, the movement for gender neutrality reached a milestone: Just days after International Women's Day a new pronoun, hen (pronounced like the bird in English), was added to the online version of the country’s National Encyclopedia.

The entry defines hen as a "proposed gender-neutral personal pronoun instead of he [han in Swedish] and she [hon]."

The National Encyclopedia announcement came amid a heated debate about gender neutrality that has been raging in Swedish newspaper columns and TV studios and on parenting blogs and feminist...READ MORE

Filed under english, feminism, gender, inclusive language, sweden, swedish

8 things to know and share about St. Catherine of Siena

04/27/2013 Comments (10)

St. Catherine of Siena is a saint, mystic, and doctor of the Church. Here are 8 things about her to know and share.

April 29th is the memorial of St. Catherine of Siena.

She is a saint, a mystic, and a doctor of the Church, as well as a patroness of Italy and of Europe.

Who was she, and why is her life so significant?

Here are 8 things to know and share . . .


1. Who is St. Catherine of Siena?

In 2010, Pope Benedict gave an audience in which he discussed the basic facts of her life:

Born in Siena [Italy] in 1347, into a very large family, she died in Rome in 1380.

When Catherine was 16 years old, motivated by a vision of St Dominic, she entered the Third Order of the Dominicans, the female branch known as the Mantellate.

While living at home, she confirmed her vow of virginity made...READ MORE

Filed under catherine, catherine of siena, doctor of the church, doctors of the church, liturgical year, mystic, mystical phenomena, saint, saints, siena

8 things to know and share about St. Mark and his gospel

04/23/2013 Comments (8)

April 25 is the feast of St. Mark, companion of the apostles and evangelist. Here are 8 things about him to know and share.

April 25 is the feast of St. Mark, one of the companions of the apostles and the author of one of the gospels.

Who was he, and what do the Bible and the Church Fathers record about him?

Here are 8 things to know and share . . .


1. Who was St. Mark?

St. Mark is commonly identified as:

  • The figure John Mark from the book of Acts
  • The figure referred to in St. Paul's epistles simply as "Mark"
  • The figure in St. Peter's epistles also referred to simply as "Mark"
  • The author of the second gospel
  • The first bishop of Alexandria, Egypt


2. What does the book of Acts tell us about Mark?

We first meet him in chapter 12, just after the martyrdom of James the son...READ MORE

Filed under gospel of mark, liturgical year, mark, st. mark

What year was Jesus born? The answer may surprise you

04/21/2013 Comments (5)

What year was Jesus born? The answer may surprise you.

You might think that Jesus was born in the Year Zero--between 1 B.C. and A.D. 1.

You often hear that Jesus was born around 6-7 B.C.

The evidence from the Bible and the Church Fathers, however, support a different year.

Here's what the evidence says . . .


Not in Year Zero

There is a good reason why Jesus wasn't born in Year Zero: There wasn't one.

The sequence of years before Christ ends at 1 B.C. and the A.D. series picks up the very next year with A.D. 1.

This is a bit surprising to us, since we're used to working with number lines that have a zero on them, but zero wasn't a concept on the intellectual scene when our way of reckoning years was developed.

If it helps,...READ MORE

Filed under bible history, birth of jesus, christmas, chronology, nativity

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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 the Senior Apologist at Catholic Answers, a contributing editor to Catholic Answers Magazine, and a weekly guest on "Catholic Answers Live."