Things You Didn’t Know About the History of the Church

How much do you know about the Catholic Church?  The Catholic Church has a long and rich history stretching back 2,000 years somewhere in the annals of history there are some forgotten facts.  Here are some interesting facts you may not already know.

1. For the first 1,000 years of Christian History, the Roman Catholic Church was the only Christian church in existence. All the other Christian churches come from the Roman Catholic Church, many of these newer churches are less than 200 years old.

2. Roughly 15% of all the hospitals across the United States are Catholic hospitals and in many countries around the world the church provides the only education, healthcare and social services people have access to.

things you didn't know about the history of the Church

3. With a population of only about 500 people and statistically a little over one crime per day, Vatican City has the highest crime rate in the world. Per capita the crime rate is over 100 percent!  You need to bear in mind that Vatican City is only one square mile, but it has more than 20 million visitors annually and most of the crimes are petty offenses done by tourists.

4. The inventor of the printing press Johannes Gutenberg was Catholic and the first book to ever be printed was the Catholic Bible.

5.  The entire composition of the bible, the books that were included how they were organized by chapter and verse was put together by the Catholic Church.  Later Protestant churches removed the books that conflicted with their ideology, Martin Luther removed many books including Tobit, Maccabees, Sirach, Judith 1 and 2 and Baruch.  Martin Luther also tried to remove Revelations and James but his followers were strongly opposed and the books stayed.

6.  The expenses of the Catholic Church are higher than Apple’s revenue. In 2012 the expenditures were more than $170 billion while in that same year Apple earned $157 billion in revenue.  Most of the expenses were largely charity organizations.

7.  There isn’t actually an official number but there are more than 10,000 saints recognized by the Catholic Church. Technically any person who enters heaven is a saint so the number of saints is considerably larger than those that are recognized.  Here is a video explaining how the Church declares saints.

8. In an emergency any Catholic can perform a baptism, if there is someone near death. It’s valid as long as the person being baptized desires it.  There are guidelines that needs to be followed and the practice should be left to trained clergy.

9. The pope’s security service is the Swiss Papal Guard, the uniforms were designed by Michelangelo and they are armed with halberds. Each member of the guard must complete military training in Switzerland, be male and Catholic.  They must be at least 5’8” tall and demonstrate good conduct.  If they are lucky enough to be chosen they are granted a private audience with his Holiness.  The Swiss Guard is the longest serving active military unit in the world, they have been around since 1506.

10. The Pope must be at least bilingual, Latin is the language of the Church and the most must be fluent in order to conduct the day to day business. Since the pope is also the Bishop of Rome he must also be fluent in Italian.

This Week in the Catholic Church

July 24 – July 30

This Week in the Catholic Church

Sunday, July 24 2016

Prayer of the Day – The Prayer for Travellers
Saint of the Day – St John Boste

St John Boste was canonized by Pope Paul the VI in 1970 as one of the Forty Martyrs, a martyr of Durham.  Born in Westmoreland St John went on to study at Oxford and became a Catholic in 1576 and receiving ordination in 1581.  John was the object of a large manhunt in Northern England, eventually be betrayed, arrested and taken to London.  In London he was put on the rack and crippled, he returned to Dryburn only to be hanged, drawn and quartered.

Monsday, July 25 2016

Prayer of the Day – Each New Day
Saint of the Day – Saint James the Greater

One of Jesus’ first disciples, Saint James the Greater was fishing on the shores of the Sea of Galilee with John the Apostle when Jesus came.  Unable to catch any fish all day, Jesus told the fishermen to dip their nets once again and their nets came up full.  James would be one of the three called to witness Jesus’ Transfiguration.  He was later rebuked by Jesus when he wanted to call fire on a Samaritan town.

Tuesday, July 26 2016

Prayer of the Day – Family Blessing at a Gathering
Saint of the Day – Saints Jaoquim and Anne

They were the parents of the Virgin Mary while there are no mentions of them in either the Bible or the Gospels most information comes from legend and the Gospel of James.  The Gospel of James is an apocryphal writing from sometime in the second century.

Wednesday, July 27 2016

Prayer of the Day – Hail Mary
Saint of the Day – St Pantaleone

A famous physician the was chosen by the Emperor to be his personal physician.  Originally from Nicomedia in Asia began his life as a Christian but was influenced by the pagan court that led him to give up his Christian faith.  A holy priest convinced him of the error of his ways and he returned to the fold.

Thurday, July 28 2016

Prayer of the Day – Prayer for Parents
Saint of the Day – Saint Innocent I

Born in Albano, Italy became Pope in 401.  He emphasized papal supremacy and strongly favored clerical celibacy.  When Rome was sacked by the Goths he went to the Emperor Honorius for help.  He stressed to his bishops that all matters of great importance be referred to Rome.

Friday, July 29 2016

Prayer of the Day – Prayer for Doctors and Nurses
Saint of the Day – St Martha

John’s Gospels say that Jesus had a friendship with Martha and her family.  Jesus was often a guest in Martha’s home in Bethany, just outside of Jerusalem.  Martha is the patron saint of servants and cooks, hospitality was important in the Middle East as well as to Martha.  When Jesus and his disciples came to visit Martha was often the one serving them.

Saturday, July 30 2016

Prayer of the Day – Family Blessing at Bedtime
Saint of the Day – St. Peter Chrysologus

St. Peter Chrysologus was born in Imola, Italy in 406 it was there he was baptized, educated and ordained a deacon.  He earned the name “Chryologus” for being an excellent speaker.  He rid the area of the last of paganism and ruled over his flock diligently.  He remained in Imola until his death in 450, in 1729 he was named a Doctor of the Church for his simple and clear sermons dealing with Gospel subjects.