The Catholic Church, sometimes referred to as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide . As the world's oldest and largest continuously functioning international institution, it has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilisation. The church is headed by the Bishop of Rome, known as the pope. Its central administration is the Holy See.
The Christian beliefs of Catholicism are found in the Nicene Creed. The Catholic Church teaches that it is the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic church founded by Jesus Christ in his Great Commission, that its bishops are the successors of Christ's apostles, and that the pope is the successor to Saint Peter upon whom primacy was conferred by Jesus Christ. It maintains that it practises the original Christian faith, reserving infallibility, passed down by sacred tradition. The Latin Church, the twenty-three Eastern Catholic Churches, and institutes such as mendicant orders, enclosed monastic orders and third orders reflect a variety of theological and spiritual emphases in the church.
Of its seven sacraments the Eucharist is the principal one, celebrated liturgically in the Mass. The church teaches that through consecration by a priest the sacrificial bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ. The Virgin Mary is venerated in the Catholic Church as Mother of God and Queen of Heaven, honoured in dogmas and devotions. Its teaching includes Divine Mercy, sanctification through faith and evangelisation of the Gospel as well as Catholic social teaching, which emphasises voluntary support for the sick, the poor, and the afflicted through the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. The Catholic Church is the largest non-government provider of education and health care in the world.
Bede (; c. 672 or 673 – May 25, 735), also Saint Bede, the Venerable Bede, or (from Latin) Beda (Old English pronunciation: [beda]), was a Benedictine monk at the Northumbrian monastery of Saint Peter at Monkwearmouth, today part of Sunderland, and of its companion monastery, Saint Paul's, in modern Jarrow (see Wearmouth-Jarrow), both Northumbria. He is well known as an author and scholar, and his most famous work, Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History of the English People) gained him the title "The father of English history". Bede became known as Venerable Bede (Lat.: Beda Venerabilis) soon after his death, but this was not linked to consideration for sainthood by the Roman Catholic Church. In fact, his title is believed to come from a mistranslation of the Latin inscription on his tomb in Durham Cathedral, intended to be Here lie the venerable bones of Bede, but wrongly interpreted as here lie the bones of the Venerable Bede.
Did you know...
- ... that the idea for the Red Scapular of the Passion (pictured), approved by Pope Pius IX, is said to have been given to a French nun by visions of Jesus and Mary in 1846?
- ... that Father Nicolas Sarrabat, SJ, a French scientist and Jesuit, conducted experiments on the circulation of plants, argued that magnetism was caused by a fire at the Earth's centre, and discovered the largest comet ever recorded?
- ... that Father Lucien Galtier, the first Catholic priest in Minnesota, was responsible for renaming the city of Saint Paul, Minnesota, from its previous name of Pig's Eye?
Feast Day of January 8
||Sharing in solicitude for all the Churches, bishops exercise this episcopal office of theirs, received through episcopal consecration, in communion with and under the authority of the Supreme Pontiff. All are united in a college or body with respect to teaching the universal Church of God and governing her as shepherds.