Jesus ascends to take his seat in Heaven. The apostles and many other people are there to see this event. It occurred, and is still celebrated, 40 days after Easter.
Jesus fulfills the Scriptures by rising from the dead. He has conquered death and opened the gates to Heaven. He has saved us.
Paul, then Saul, was a huge persecutor of Christians. Saul was on his way to Demascus to, ironically, persecute more Christians. On the road, a bright light was seen before him. Saul fell off of his horse and saw Jesus. Jesus asked Saul, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. Now get up and go into the city and you will be told what you must do." Saul went blind. For three days, he could not eat, drink, or see. In Demascus, Saul met a disciple named Ananias who baptized him after Ananias received a vision from the Lord to do so. Things like scales fell from Saul's eyes, and he could see again. Saul, now Paul, went on to spread the word of God.
This is explained in chapter fifteen of Acts of the Apostles. There was a disagreement over whether or not the Gentiles had to first follow Mosaic law before they could become Christians. Peter told them that God makes no distinction between Gentile and Jew; on the contrary, we believe that we are all saved in the same way though the grace of Jesus Christ.
The First Council of Nicaea was the first Ecumenical church council. Ecumenical means representing a number of different Christian churches. Councils are called together when the church has a problem. The problem that lead to the Council of Nicaea was the heresy of Arius. Arius said that God the Son (Jesus) was inferior to God the Father. The Council fixed this and said that they are consubstantial. Consubstantial means of the same substance. Arius also said that there was a time that God the Father made God the Son. This is saying that Jesus did not exist at a time, but this is not true. The Council fixed this by saying that Jesus is 100% man and 100% divine. He is eternal. At the Council they also made a set date to celebrate Easter, and they made the Nicene Creed. At this Council, there were 318 bishops present. Pope Sylvester (now Pope St. Sylvester), was too old to travel from Rome to Nicaea, so he sent Bishop Hosius of Cordova to represent him. Emperor Constantine (see Edict of Milan) was a big part of this Council.
The First Council of Constantinople was a council with 150 bishops. Pope Damasus and Emperor Theodosius I led the council. This council was again brought together to correct a heresy. There was a heresy going around at the time that said the Holy Spirit was not divine. The council fixed this by saying that the Trinity, even the Holy Spirit, were all divine. They were all God, but they were three distinct persons. At this council, the part in the Nicene Creed about the Holy Spirit was added.
At the First Council of Ephesus, there were more than 200 bishops. The pope at the time, Pope Celestine I, couldn't make it, so St. Cyril of Alexandria led the council as his representative. This council was called to make right another group of heresies that were being spread. One was that Jesus was two people. There was the divine Jesus and the human Jesus. The council confirmed that Jesus was one person who was 100% God and 100% human. Another false teaching was the fact that Mary was not seen as the Mother of God, and so, they called her the Mother of Christ. This was changed to showing that Mary is the Mother of God since Jesus is human and divine. Jesus is God. We call Mary the Theotokos. Theo means God and tokos means mother in Greek.
The First Council of Chalcedon was attended by more than 150 bishops. Pope St. Leo I and Emperor Marcian led the council. The council was gathered to right another wrong idea being spread by some of the early theologians. This heresy stated that Jesus Christ was human and divine, but his divine nature overruled his human nature. The council fixed this by saying that Jesus has two distinct natures, human and divine. At this council, they also agreed that the Emperor should not get involved with religious affairs.
Paul was beheaded with a sword near Rome. It was around June 29, 67, but the date is still under dispute. Paul was probably martyred after his fifth missionary journey ended in 67 A.D. Paul was likely beheaded by the Romans, under Emperor Nero.
The Bible doesn’t tell us how the apostle Peter died. Tradition says that Peter was crucified upside-down in Rome. Tradition says that, when Peter was put to death, he requested to be crucified upside-down. This is because he had denied the Lord, and he did not consider himself worthy to die as Jesus had.
Mark's Gospel is directed at the Gentiles, specifically, Non-Jewish Christians. The Gospel of Mark's message was to encourage Christians in Rome who were being persecuted for their Christianity. He characterizes Jesus as a servant who came to do the Father’s will. The symbol that is associated with Mark's Gospel is a Winged Lion. In Mark's Gospel, we see the more human side of Jesus. We see the part of Jesus that suffered and the part of him that makes him easy to approach. The human side of him with human emotions we can relate to is shown in Mark's Gospel.
Luke's Gospel is directed at the Greek Gentiles. The Gospel of Luke's message is aimed to teach the Greeks about Jesus Christ as Our Savior. He was trying to show them, specifically, but everyone really, how to be a good Christian through the actions of Jesus Christ. The symbol that is associated with the Gospel of Luke is a Winged Ox. In Luke's Gospel, Jesus is portrayed as a compassionate and forgiving figure.
Matthew wrote to the Jewish Christians. Matthew's Gospel has two main messages. First, it is a defense of the fact that Jesus is the promised Messiah. It was especially trying to convince the Jews of this fact. Secondly, the book was intended as a message of encouragement to Jewish Christians. The Gospel of Matthew is associated with the symbol of a Winged Man. In Matthew's Gospel, Jesus is portrayed as the "New Moses" or a teacher.
John's Gospel is directed at everyone. John's message is that Jesus Christ is our Lord and the Messiah. The symbol associated with John's Gospel is an Eagle. John portrays Jesus as God. All of the other Gospels are Synoptic Gospels because they are all similar, but only John's Gospel shows Jesus to be divine.
The first Pope. Peter was chosen by Jesus to be the "Rock" of the Church. His feast day is June 29.
St. Pope Linus was the second Pope of the Church. While he was Pope, he passed a decree saying that women should have their heads covered in church. His feast day is on September 3.
St. Pope Anacletus was the third Pope of the Church. Not much is known about him. He ordained a great number of priests. St. Pope Anacletus died as a martyr. His feast day is April 26.
St. Pope Clement I was the fourth Pope of the Church. He left one writing for the Church. It is called "A Letter to the Church of Corinth." There is a basilica in Rome named after him. St. Pope Clement I died a martyr. His feast day is November 23.
St. Pope Evaristus was the fifth Pope of the Church. It is said that he died a martyr, but that is not known for sure. His tomb is in Vatican City near St. Peter's. His feast day is on October 26.
The Church was falling apart. The last Apostle died about 300 years ago, and the believers were trying to keep the early Church together. The Romans normally accepted all beliefs, but they didn't accept it when the Christians wanted to be the main religion and triumph over the others. Emperor Nero declared war on the Christians and started persecuting them in 64 A.D. In 312 A.D, a man named Constantine saw a vision of Jesus. Jesus told him to put the Greek letter chi and ro, Jesus's initials, on the soldiers' shields. When Constantine went to war against Maxentius, he and his soldiers won. Constantine dedicated the victory to Christ. He became emperor of the West and a great speaker of Christianity. This all leads up to the Edict of Milan. In 313 AD, Constantine met up with the eastern emperor of Milan. They worked together and came up with a system of complete religious acceptance. Christianity grew even more after this, and it became the more favored religion. The Christians came out of hiding and rose to power because they were no longer in fear of persecution.
The Eastern and Western Schism is also known as the Great Schism. The Great Schism was when the Church split into two parts, the Eastern Church and the Western Church. The schism was caused by arguments over whether or not the Pope ruled over the eastern patriarchs, differences in liturgical rituals, and other small conflicts. The Eastern Rite of the Catholic Church and the Western Rite of the Catholic Church have tried to reunite multiple times; however, they are still split to this day.
Birth, Death, Beatification, Canonization, and Special symbols, stories, and patronages
St. Thérèse of Lisieux was born to St. Louis and Marie-Azélie “Zelie” Martin (the patron saints of marriage) on January 2, 1873 in Alençon, France.
The life of St. Thérèse of Lisieux. St. Thérèse of Lisieux was born to St. Louis and Marie-Azélie “Zelie” Martin on January 2, 1873 in Alençon, France. She was one of nine, but only she and 4 of her sisters lived. She was very pampered when she was little.
St. Thérèse was devastated when her mother died of breast cancer at the age of 4. After that, she became very sensitive, and it hurt her even more when her older sister Pauline became a Carmelite nun only a few years later. St. Thérèse became ill a couple months later. Many people surrounded her bed, and they all thought she wouldn't make it, she was dying. St. Thérèse prayed every day with her family. One day, while St. Thérèse was praying she looked over at a statue of Mary in her room, Mary smiled at her. St. Thérèse was miraculously healed.
St. Thérèse was very sensitive when she was growing up. However, at the age of 14, Thérèse had a conversion. On Christmas, many French families, including their own, had a tradition of parents putting gifts for their children into shoes by the fireplace. Many children were done with this at 14, but they didn't want Thérèse to grow up, so they continued the tradition; however, on the way home from church, Thérèse overheard her father happily commenting how this would be the last year of this ritual. Normally, Thérèse would break into tears over something like this, but she allowed Jesus to come into her heart so she could be more open to her father's feelings over her own.
The following year, at the age of 15, St. Thérèse wanted to enter the Carmelite convent with her older sisters, Pauline and Marie. The head of the convent said that she was too young, but Thérèse was certain that this is what she wanted to do. Her sister and her father thought that she was a bit too impatient and crazy for wanting to make that decision and commitment so young. In order to get her off of this crazy idea, they took her to Rome. St. Thérèse loved it! She was small, so she could explore and touch tombs and relics without getting into trouble. To end the trip, they saw the Pope. They were told not to try to speak to him, but St. Thérèse did! She told him how she wanted to join the convent and how she should be allowed to even though she was super young. She was pulled away by two guards! Some of the church leaders who had seen her courage were impressed, so they allowed her to join her sisters in the convent.
St. Thérèse was always worried that she would never be enough. As a nun, she couldn't do much. She wanted to be a saint, but she didn't know what she could do. Her sister became a head nun and tensions were high in the convent, so her sister asked her to take on a sacrifice. St. Thérèse would have to stay a novice, this means that she would never become a full fledged nun. Her sister thought that this would help keep the tensions low. St. Thérèse was devastated, but she did as her sister told her; however, St. Thérèse was overjoyed when her little sister Celine also entered the convent once their father died.
St. Thérèse lived out her life in little ways. She wanted to live up to be a saint, but she didn't know how since they were great and she was so small. She wasn't sure exactly how to be as great as them, so she lived through little acts. Many of the others in the convent didn't even recognize her for them, but that didn't bother her. She was very worried that she wasn't living out the vocation that God had given her. But it became clear to her, she even once said, "O Jesus, my Love...my vocation, at last I have found it...My vocation is Love!"
St. Thérèse lived out her life through little acts, offering her entire life to God, through the biggest things she could do, to the absolute smallest until she died of tuberculosis on September 30, 1897 in Lisieux, France.
St. Thérèse of Lisieux is the patron saint of vocations, missions, missionaries, florists, flowers, the sick, loss of parents, against illness, and World Youth Day 2013.
St. Thérèse of Lisieux's symbols are roses and a crucifix covered in roses.
St. Thérèse of Lisieux's feast day is on October 1.
St. Thérèse of Lisieux is one of the only female doctors of the church.
St. Thérèse of Lisieux died on September 30, 1897 at the age of 24. She died because of tuberculosis. St. Thérèse was constantly in great pain. She even said that she almost took her life, but her faith kept her from doing so. St. Thérèse tried to stay positive and cheerful, and some even thought that she wasn't sick because of how well she did this. When she died, she saw it as a blessing to die at 24. This is because she had always felt that she had a vocation to be a priest. At 24, she would have been ordained if she had been a man. She thought that this was God's way of allowing her to avoid the suffering of not becoming a priest. She wanted to serve the world once she was in Heaven, so before she died, she said, "I will spend my heaven doing good on earth. I will let fall a shower of roses." Her last words were, "My God, I love you!"
St. Thérèse of Lisieux was beatified on April 29, 1923 by Pope Pius XI.
St. Thérèse was canonized by Pope Pius XI on May 17, 1925.
Birth, Death, Beatification, Canonization, and Special symbols, stories, and patronages
St. Kateri was probably born in an area around present day New York in 1656. She was born in a Mohawk village called Ossernenon. Her mother was from a different indian tribe called Algonquin. She was captured by the Mohawks, and she took a Mohawk chief as a husband; however, her family was killed during a smallpox outbreak that left her face scarred, so she was raised mostly by her uncle. Her uncle was also a Mohawk chief.
St. Kateri Tekakwitha was born in 1656. When she was young, she was scarred and her family died during a smallpox epidemic, so she was mostly raised by her uncle. St. Kateri Tekakwitha worked very hard. Her adoptive parents proposed a suitor, but St. Kateri Tekakwitha had no interest. They punished her by giving her more work to do. They figured they would eventually give in and marry the suitor, but she just continued working hard and very quietly.
When she was 19, St. Kateri Tekakwitha converted to Catholicism. She promised to only marry Jesus. She was made fun of by her fellow Mohawks, and many of them thought that she was a witch or sorceress. In order to avoid this persecution, St. Kateri traveled to a community of other native Christians.
St. Kateri Tekakwitha was very devoted to God. She prayed very often for her fellow Mohawks. She would not eat for long amounts of time, she would sleep on thorns, she would make her food less flavorful, and she even once burned herself.
All of her fasting and denial of her health for others did not help her overall health. She became ill and died of sickness on April 17, 1680.
St. Kateri Tekakwitha is the patron saint of ecology, the environment, ecologists, environmentalists, exile, orphans, loss of parents, and people who are ridiculed.
St. Kateri Tekakwitha's symbols are a lily, the rosay, and a turtle.
St. Kateri's feast day is July 14 in the U.S and April 17 in Canada.
St. Kateri Tekakwitha became sick and eventually died on April 17, 1680. She was 24 years old. St. Kateri Tekakwitha died only 5 years after converting to Catholicism. She constantly fasted and put her health aside for others.
St. Kateri Tekakwitha was beatified by Pope John Paul II on June 22, 1980.
St. Kateri Tekakwitha was canonized by Pope Benedict XVI on October 21, 2012.
Birth, Death, Beatification, Canonization, and Special symbols, stories, and patronages
St. Marianne Cope was born on January 23, 1838 in a region of what is present-day Germany. A year after her birth, she and her family moved to the United States. They settled in an area known as Utica, New York.
St. Marianne Cope was born on January 23, 1838. She was born in an area that is now Germany. A year after she was born, her family emigrated to the United States. St. Marianne Cope went to a parish school until she was in eighth grade. Her father than became unable to work, so she worked in a factory for her family.
Her father died in 1862, and her siblings had grown up, so St. Marianne Cope joined the Sisters of the Third Order Regular of Saint Francis in New York. She became a principal at a school for emigrant German children. She also helped with the opening of one of the first Catholic hospitals in New York. King Kalakaua asked her to help them. They were isolated on the island of Moloka'i. More than 50 other religious institutes declined the offer. St. Marianne Cope left with 6 other sisters. They arrived to Hawaii on November 8, 1883.
She helped the lepers as well as those who had cared for the lepers and also got the disease. She worked very hard. Even though she worked with the lepers and cared for them for many years, God never let St. Marianne Cope get leprosy. She continued to work hard until her body couldn't support it anymore. St. Marianne Cope died on August 9, 1918.
St. Marianne Cope is the patron saint of lepers, outcasts, and Hawaii.
St. Marianne Cope's symbol is a lily.
St. Marianne Cope's feast day is January 23.
St. Marianne Cope worked very hard, and her aging body couldn't keep up. She was put into a wheelchair, but she continued to work tirelessly. Even though she worked so hard with the lepers, she never contracted the disease.
St. Marianne Cope died on August 9, 1918 and was buried at Bishop Home.
St. Marianne Cope was beatified on May 14, 2005 by Pope Benedict XVI.
St. Marianne Cope was canonized on October 21, 2012 by Pope Benedict XVI.