Catholicism is the entirety of the beliefs and practices of the Western and Eastern Churches that are in full communion with the pope as the Bishop of Rome and successor of Saint Peter the Apostle, united as the Catholic Church.
The first known written use of "Catholic Church" appears in a letter by St.Ignatius of Antioch about A.D. 107 to the church of Smyrna, whose bishop, Polycarp, visited Ignatius during his journey to Rome as a prisoner: in his letter to Smyrna, Ignatius wrote, "Let no man do anything connected with the Church without the bishop. Let that be deemed a proper Eucharist, which is [administered] either by the bishop, or by one to whom he has entrusted it. Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude [of the people] also be; even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church." (Letter to the Smyrnaeans, 8) His use of "Catholic Church" suggests that it was already in current use, for he sees no need to explain himself and uses the expression as one already known to his readers. It gives expression to St. Paul's teaching that all baptized in Christ are one body in Christ (Gal.3:28; Eph.4:3-6, 12-16). Dissenting groups breaking away from this universal unity were already known to the Apostles: in his letters Paul refers to the "Judaizers" (those requiring observance of the Jewish Law), and in his Book of Revelation St. John calls them "Nicolaitans". It is a small step for those faithful to the teaching of the Apostles to identify themselves as the Catholic Church ("the one Church everywhere"), and not to include those dissenting and breaking away from unity with her.
The term Catholic Christianity entered into Roman law by force of edict under the Roman Emperor Theodosius on February 27 AD 380 in the Theodosian Code XVI.i.2: "It is our desire that all the various nations which are subject to our clemency and moderation, should continue the profession of that religion which was delivered to the Romans by the divine Apostle Peter, as it has been preserved by faithful tradition and which is now professed by the Pontiff Damasus and by Peter, Bishop of Alexandria, a man of apostolic holiness. According to the apostolic teaching and the doctrine of the Gospel, let us believe in the one Deity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, in equal majesty and in a holy Trinity. We authorize the followers of this law to assume the title Catholic Christians; but as for the others, since in our judgment they are foolish madmen, we decree that they shall be branded with the ignominious name of heretics, and shall not presume to give their conventicles the name of churches. They will suffer in the first place the chastisement of divine condemnation and the second the punishment of [as] our authority, in accordance with the will of heaven, shall decide to inflict."
[Extract of English translation from Henry Bettenson, ed., Documents of the Christian Church (London: Oxford University Press, 1943), p. 31, cited at Medieval Sourcebook: Theodosian Code XVI by Paul Halsall, Fordham University. Retrieved Jan 5, 2007. The full Latin text of the code is at IMPERATORIS THEODOSIANI CODEX Liber Decimus Sextus (170KB download), archived from George Mason University. Retrieved Jan 5, 2007.]
Opus Dei, formally known as The Prelature of the Holy Cross and Opus Dei, is an organization of the Catholic Church that teaches the Catholic belief that everyone is called to holiness and that ordinary life is a path to sanctity. The majority of its membership are lay people, with secular priests under the governance of a prelate appointed by the Pope. Founded in Spain in 1928 by the Roman Catholic priest Josemaría Escrivá, Opus Dei was given final approval in 1950 by Pope Pius XII. In 1982, the Catholic Church made it into a personal prelature — its bishop's jurisdiction covers the persons in Opus Dei, wherever they are. The Prelature of Opus Dei has about 87,000 members in more than 80 different countries. About 70% of Opus Dei members live in their private homes, leading traditional Catholic family lives with secular careers, while the other 30% are celibate, of whom the majority live in Opus Dei centers. Opus Dei organizes training in Catholic spirituality applied to daily life. Aside from personal charity and social work, Opus Dei members are involved in running universities, university residences, schools, publishing houses, and technical and agricultural training centers.
Hubert Walter (circa 1160–July 13, 1205) was Chief Justiciar of England and Archbishop of Canterbury in the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries. He owed his early advancement to his uncle Ranulf de Glanvill, who helped him become a clerk in the Exchequer. Walter served King Henry II of England in many different ways, not only in the financial administration. After an unsuccessful candidacy to the see of York, Walter was elected Bishop of Salisbury shortly after the ascension of King Henry's son Richard I to the throne of England. Walter accompanied King Richard on the Third Crusade and was one of the principal persons involved in raising Richard's ransom after the king had been captured in Germany while returning home from Crusade. As a reward for his faithful service, Walter was selected to become the next Archbishop of Canterbury in 1193. Walter also served as justiciar for Richard until 1198.
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Feast Day of March 10
John Ogilvie (1579 – March 10, 1615), was a Scottish Catholic martyr.
Ogilvie, the son of a wealthy Lalaird, was born into a respected Calvinist family near Keith in Banffshire, Scotland and was educated in mainland Europe where he attended a number of Catholic educational establishments, under the Benedictines at Regensburg in Germany and with the Jesuits at Olomouc and Brno in the present day Czech Republic. In the midst of the religious controversies and turmoil that engulfed the Europe of that era he decided to become a Catholic. In 1596, aged seventeen, he was received into the church at Louvain, Belgium. He joined the Society of Jesus in 1608 and was ordained a priest in Paris in 1610. After ordination he made repeated entreaties to be sent back to Scotland to minister to the few remaining Catholics in the Glasgow area (after the Scottish Reformation in 1560 it had become illegal to preach, proselytise for or otherwise endorse Catholicism). He returned to Scotland in November 1613 disguised as a soldier, and began to preach in secret, celebrating mass clandestinely in private homes. However, his ministry was to last less than a year. In 1614, he was betrayed and arrested in Glasgow and taken to jail in Paisley. He suffered terrible tortures, including being kept awake for eight days and nine nights, in an attempt to make him divulge the identities of other Catholics. Nonetheless, Ogilvie did not relent. Consequently, after a biased trial, he was convicted of high treason for refusing to accept the King's spiritual jurisdiction. On 10th March 1615, aged 36 years, John Ogilvie was paraded through the streets of Glasgow and hanged at Glasgow Cross.
His last words were "If there be here any hidden Catholics, let them pray for me but the prayers of heretics I will not have". After he was pushed from the ladder, he threw his concealed rosary beads out into the crowd. The tale is told that one of his enemies caught them and subsequently became a lifelong devout Catholic. After his execution Ogilvie's followers were rounded up and put in jail. They suffered heavy fines, but none was to receive the death penalty.
As a martyr of the Counter-Reformation he was beatified in 1929 and canonised in 1976. He is the only post-Reformation saint from Scotland.
Prayer: "If there be here any hidden Catholics, let them pray for me but the prayers of heretics I will not have".
||She [the Roman Catholic Church] may still exist in undiminished vigour when some traveller from New Zealand shall, in the midst of a vast solitude, take his stand on a broken arch of London Bridge to sketch the ruins of St. Paul's.
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