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The Seven Deadly Sins of the Catholic Church

The Catholic Church maintains that seven vices in particular lead to breaking one or more of the Ten Commandments. These particular bad habits are called [more…]

The Immaculate Conception of Mary

The Immaculate Conception is one of the most Catholic, most mysterious, and most misunderstood Catholic dogmas. The Immaculate Conception has nothing to with how Jesus was conceived; it has to do with [more…]

Mary’s Assumption into Heaven

On the Catholic calendar, Assumption Day observes the day Mary died and rose — body and soul— into heaven. The Catholic Church professes that when Mary’s time on earth came to an end, her body was placed [more…]

Defining Saints in the Catholic Church

The Catholic Church believes that saints are ordinary and typical human beings who made it into heaven. In the broader sense, everyone who’s now in heaven is technically a saint. Saints are human beings [more…]

Praying to Catholic Saints

Catholics often pray to saints asking the saint to intercede with God on their behalf. These prayers of intercession merely ask Mary or another saint to ask Jesus for help. Catholics believe that any reply [more…]

Catholicism and Purgatory

Catholics believe in Heaven, Hell, and something called Purgatory that has two purposes: a temporal punishment for sin, and the cleansing from the attachment to sin. Purgatory [more…]

The Role of the Laity in the Catholic Church

The Catholic Church operates on a hierarchy with the pope at the top and laity at the bottom. Despite the bottom-rung status, the laity compose the majority of the Church. [more…]

The Catholic Sacrament of Holy Orders

Catholic men who "take Holy Orders" receive a special sacrament called Holy Orders, which creates the hierarchy of deacon, priest, and bishop. These men [more…]

Cardinal Virtues of the Catholic Church

A virtue is a habit that perfects the powers of the soul and disposes you to do good. Catholics believe that divine grace is offered to the soul, because without God’s help, humans can’t do good on their [more…]

Mortal and Venial Sins in the Catholic Church

In the Catholic Church, sins come in two basic types: mortal sins that imperil your soul and venial sins, which are less serious breaches of God’s law. The Church believes that if you commit a mortal sin [more…]

A Catholic Devotion: Praying the Stations of the Cross

The Way of the Cross is a popular Catholic devotion. All Catholic parishes have depictions of Christ’s Passion and death called the Stations of the Cross. [more…]

The Roles of Mary in the Catholic Church

Catholics hold Mary, the Mother of God, in a special place in their hearts and give Mary a unique position in the pantheon of Catholic saints. Through the ages, more poems, hymns, statues, icons, paintings [more…]

Apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Since the establishment of the Catholic religion, Mary, the Mother of God, has appeared to a number of people as an apparition — an image imprinted on the senses. Most accounts of apparitions of Mary [more…]

How to Become a Saint in the Catholic Church

First of all, a clarification: The Catholic Church doesn’t make saints like Hollywood makes movie stars. Catholics saints are men and women who lived holy lives in obedience to God’s will, and they became [more…]

What Is a Catholic Feast Day?

The Catholic Church assigns one date out of the year for each and every canonized saint — known as the saint’s feast day. The saints are remembered on their individual feast days with special mention, [more…]

How to Pray the Rosary

Rosary beads help Catholics count their prayers. More importantly, Catholics pray the rosary as a means of entreaty to ask God for a special favor, such as helping a loved one recover from an illness, [more…]

The Catholic Church, Divorce, and Annulment

An annulment is commonly and incorrectly called a "Catholic divorce." The differences between divorce and annulment can be confusing to Catholics and non-Catholics alike — especially when remarriage is [more…]

Catholicism: Excommunication and Other Penalties

Being excommunicated from the Catholic Church is widely misunderstood: It doesn't mean that you're banned from church and stripped of your Catholicism. Rather, excommunication is a strong, remedial penalty [more…]

Handy Terms for Discussing Christian and Jewish Writings

Christian and Jewish religious writings encompass an amazing amount of work. To keep things straight when you're talking about or studying these writings, make sure you understand these helpful terms and [more…]

Dates that Affected Development of the Hebrew Bible — a.k.a. the Old Testament

The Hebrew Bible and Old Testament are the same group of writings, although Jews prefer the term Hebrew Bible. These biblical writings are much older than the Christian New Testament writings. These dates [more…]

Dates that Impacted Formation of the Christian Old Testament

In the last two centuries before Jesus, Jewish writings translated into Greek (including Greek translations of the older Hebrew works not included in the Hebrew Bible) started to come together to form [more…]

Important Dates for the Formation of the New Testament

When and how did Christians decide to add to their biblical canon with a new set of writings? This list shows the time and events that impacted Christians to develop the New Testament: [more…]

Lost Books of the Bible For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Learn some helpful terms regarding religious writings to explain the subject, and study a timeline of important events so you understand how the Hebrew Bible, Christian Old Testament, and New Testament [more…]

People of the Templar Order

Every organization has a chain of command, and the Knights Templar were no different. This alphabetical list shows the different people who made up the Templar Order and the duties they performed for the [more…]

Templar Architecture

The Templars were ambitious builders who modeled much of their architecture after Byzantine examples. The following list shows elements of Templar architecture and explains their uses: [more…]

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