True, it’s not yet technically summer, but with Memorial Day weekend come and gone, now seems as good a time as any to have a quiz on all things Catholic. And as always: no using Google, Wikipedia, or Denzinger!

  1. What are the four traditional symbols of the Four Evangelists?
  2. What was the name of the chair in which the pope was carried about (until St. John Paul II)?
  3. What is the smallest religious order in terms of the number of priests it has?
  4. In the Tridentine Mass how many times does the priest make the Sign of the Cross?
  5. What are the four Cardinal Virtues?
  6. Who is known as the “Seraphic Doctor” in the Latin Church?
  7. Who was the first woman Doctor of the Church?
  8. Who is the patron saint of dentists?
  9. What pope engraved poetry in the ancient Roman Catacombs?
  10. Which papal election was the last in which a temporal power (king or emperor) actively interfered?
  11. What was the limit of the number of Cardinals until the papacy of St. John XXIII?
  12. Who was the first Catholic to run for the presidency of the United States?
  13. Which founding father of the United States was a Catholic (the only one)—and a millionaire?
  14. How many different branches of Franciscans are there?
  15. Who is the youngest saint to be formally canonized that is not a martyr?
  16. Which saint added the name of “Jesus” to the Hail Mary?
  17. How many of the 14 traditional Stations of the Cross actually appear in the Bible?
  18. What was the name of the tasseled hat worn by Cardinals until it was replaced by the biretta?
  19. Abbots and Bishops share the same four pieces of regalia: what are they?
  20. What is the difference between an abbey and a monastery?
  21. What is another name for a monstrance?
  22. Before he became a Trappist monk, Thomas Merton applied to—and was rejected by—which religious order?
  23. What famous Catholic poet coined the phrases: “To err is human / to forgive, divine,” “A little learning is a dangerous thing,” and “Fools rush in where angels fear to tread”—all in the very same poem?
  24. Until the 17th century a “cochlear” was used at every Mass: what was it and what did it do?
  25. What atheistic artist was commissioned by Pope St. John XXIII to decorate a set of doors for St. Peter’s Basilica?



  1. St. Matthew: An Angel; St. Mark: a winged Lion; St. Luke: an Ox; St. John: an Eagle.
  2. The Sedia Gestatoria.
  3. The Order of St. Jerome has only four priests left out of 11 monks.
  4. Thirty-three times.
  5. The Four Cardinal Virtues are Prudence, Temperance, Fortitude and Justice.
  6. St. Bonaventure
  7. Saint Catherine of Siena
  8. St. Apollonia
  9. Pope St. Damasus.
  10. The papal election of 1903 was vetoed by Emperor Franz Joseph.
  11. For almost four hundred years there were only seventy cardinals. Pope St. John XXIII increased it to 90.
  12. Alfred E. Smith (he lost to Herbert Hoover)
  13. Charles Carroll of Carrollton was the only Catholic to sign the Declaration of Independence. His net worth in today’s dollars is approximated at $450 million.
  14. Many! There are the Capuchin Franciscans (OFM Cap.), the Conventuals (OFM Conv.), the Leonine Union Franciscans (OFM), the Third Order Regular (T.O.R.), along with Franciscan Sisters (OSF) and the Poor Clares, for a total of six.
  15. Francisco and Jacinto Marta, aged 10 and 9. Prior to them, St. Dominic Savio was the youngest non-martyr saint at age 14.
  16. St. Bernadine of Siena is credited with adding the name of “Jesus” into the Hail Mary.
  17. Seven: Stations 1 (Jesus is Condemned to death), 5 (Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus Carry His Cross), 8 (Jesus consoles the women of Jerusalem), 10 (Jesus is stripped of His Clothing), 11 (Jesus is nailed to the Cross), 12 (Jesus dies on the Cross), and 14 (Jesus’ body is laid in the tomb).
  18. The galero was a broad-brimmed hat worn by cardinals and with tassels indicating the level (bishop, archbishop, patriarch, metropolitan) they were.
  19. Both abbots and bishops wear (1) a pectoral cross, (2) a miter, and a (3) ring as a sign of their position and authority. They also both carry a (4) crozier.
  20. An abbey is headed by an abbot or an abbess: in it may reside canons regular, canonesses, or even monks. A monastery is strictly for monks, and may be led by an abbot, or in the case of the Carthusians, a prior.
  21. A monstrance is also known as an ostensorium.
  22. Thomas Merton (Fr. Louis, O.C.S.O.) was rejected by the Franciscans.
  23. Alexander Pope coined these bon motsin his long poem “An Essay on Criticism.”
  24. The cochlear was a small golden spoon formerly used to precisely measure out the exact amount of water to be mixed with the wine at the Offertory.
  25. Manzu