Portal:Catholicism

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Introduction

Catholicity (from Greek καθολικότητα της εκκλησίας, "catholicity of the church") or catholicism (from Greek καθολικισμός, "universal doctrine") is a concept that encompasses the beliefs and practices of numerous Christian denominations, most notably those that describe themselves as Catholic in accordance with the Four Marks of the Church, as expressed in the Nicene Creed of the First Council of Constantinople in 381: "[I believe] in one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church."

While catholicism is most commonly associated with the faith and practices of the Catholic Church led by the Pope in Rome, the traits of catholicity, and thus the term catholic, are also claimed and possessed by other denominations such as the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Oriental Orthodox Church, the Assyrian Church of the East. It also occurs in Lutheranism, Anglicanism, as well as Independent Catholicism and other Christian denominations. While traits used to define catholicity, as well as recognition of these traits in other denominations, vary among these groups, such attributes include formal sacraments, an episcopal polity, apostolic succession, highly structured liturgical worship, and other shared Ecclesiology. The Catholic Church is also known as the Roman Catholic Church; the term Roman Catholic is used especially in ecumenical contexts and in countries where other churches use the term Catholic, to distinguish it from broader meanings of the term.

Among Protestant and related traditions, catholic is used in the sense of indicating a self-understanding of continuity of faith and practice from Early Christianity as delineated in the Nicene Creed. Among Methodist, Lutheran, Moravian, and Reformed denominations the term "catholic" is used in the in claiming to be "heirs of the apostolic faith". These denominations consider themselves to be catholic, teaching that the term "designates the historic, orthodox mainstream of Christianity whose doctrine was defined by the ecumenical councils and creeds" and as such, most Reformers "appealed to this catholic tradition and believed they were in continuity with it."

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King Henry VIII of England

The English Reformation was the series of events in 16th century England by which the Church of England broke away from the authority of the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church.These events were part of a wider process, the European Protestant Reformation, a religious and political movement which affected the practice of Christianity across the whole of Europe during this period. Many factors contributed to the ferment: the decline of feudalism and the rise of nationalism, the rise of the common law, the invention of the printing press and increased circulation of the Bible texts, the transmission of new knowledge and ideas not only amongst scholars but amongst merchants and artisans also; but the story of why and how the different states of Europe adhered to different forms of Protestantism, or remained faithful to Rome or allowed different regions within states to come to different conclusions (as they did) is specific to each state and the causes are not agreed.
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Credit: Raffaello Sanzio

The School of Athens or "Scuola di Atene" in Italian is one of the most famous paintings by the Italian Renaissance artist Raphael. It was painted between 1509 and 1510 as a part of Raphael's commission to decorate with frescoes the rooms that are now known as the Stanze di Raffaello, in the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican.

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A millennium-old Byzantine mosaic of Saint John Chrysostom, Hagia Sophia

John Chrysostom (349– ca. 407, Greek: Ιωάννης ο Χρυσόστομος, Latin: Ioannes Chrysostomos) was the archbishop of Constantinople. He is known for his eloquence in preaching and public speaking, his denunciation of abuse of authority by both ecclesiastical and political leaders, the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, and his ascetic sensibilities. After his death (or, according to some sources, during his life) he was given the Greek surname chrysostomos, meaning "golden mouthed", rendered in English as Chrysostom.The Orthodox Church and Eastern Catholic Churches honor him as a saint (feast days: November 13 and January 27) and count him among the Three Holy Hierarchs (feast day, January 30), together with Saints Basil the Great and Gregory the Theologian. He is recognized by the Roman Catholic Church as a saint and a Doctor of the Church.
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Saint Reineldis

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Feast Day of February 17

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Saint Alexis Falconieri (Florence, 1200Mount Senario, 17 February 1310) is one of the seven founders of the Order of the Servites and, as such, commemorated on their common feast day, 17 February — the day of Alexis' death.

Alexis was the son of Bernard Falconieri, a merchant prince of Florence, and one of the leaders of the Republic. His family belonged to the Guelph party, and opposed the Imperialists whenever they could consistently with their political principles.

Alexis grew up in the practice of the most profound humility. He joined the Laudesi, a pious confraternity of the Blessed Virgin, and there met the six future companions of his life of sanctity. The other six companions were Buonfiglio dei Monaldi (Bonfilius), Giovanni di Buonagiunta (Bonajuncta), Bartolomeo degli Amidei (Amideus), Ricovero dei Lippi-Ugguccioni (Hugh), Benedetto dell' Antella (Manettus) and Gherardino di Sostegno (Sosteneus). Like Alexis, they belonged to six patrician families of that city. In difference to Alexis, the others all were ordinated priests.

He was favoured with an apparition of the Mother of God, 15 August 1233, as were these companions. The seven soon afterwards founded the Order of the Servites. Alexis at once abandoned all, and retired to La Camarzia, a house on the outskirts of the town, and the following year to Mt. Senario.

With humility, he traversed, as a mendicant, in quest of alms for his brethren, the streets of the city through which he had lately moved as a prominent citizen. So deep and sincere was his humility that, though he lived to the great age of hundred and ten years, he always refused to enter the priesthood, of which he deemed himself unworthy.

His duties were confined principally to the material needs of the various communities in which he lived. In 1252 the new church at Cafaggio, on the outskirts of Florence, was completed under his care, with the financial assistance of Chiarissimo Falconieri. Saint Juliana Falconieri, his niece, was trained in sanctity under his personal direction.

The influence exerted on his countrymen by Alexis and his companions may be gathered from the fact that in a few years ten thousand persons had enrolled themselves under the banner of the Blessed Virgin in the Servite Order.

His body rests near the church of the Annunciation, in Florence.
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Henry Cardinal Manning, Archbishop of Westminster


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Divine Mercy

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