The 7 Sacraments (The Holy Mysteries)
Penance (Confession, Reconciliation)
Extreme Unction (Annointing of the Sick)
A Sacrament is defined as "an outward sign of inward grace" which was instituted by Christ Himself and receives its power from God, through the merits of Christ.
Baptism and Penance are known as the "Sacraments of the Dead" because before receiving them when needed, we are dead in sin.
Confirmation, Holy Eucharist, Extreme Unction, Holy Orders, and Matrimony are known as the "Sacraments of the Living" because one must be in a state of grace to receive them licitly and receive their fruits; they give additional grace to souls already spiritually alive.
Matrimony and Holy Orders are known as the "Social Sacraments" because they are designed primarily for the benefit of society and confer a social status.
Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Orders are the three Sacraments which leave an indelible mark on the recipient's soul and can never be repeated.
The 7 Corporal Works of Mercy
To feed the hungry
To give drink to the thirsty
To clothe the naked
To shelter the homeless
To visit the sick
To visit the imprisoned
To bury the dead
Reference Matthew 25 and Tobias 12. "To visit the imprisoned" was originally listed as "to ransom the captives," referring to the ransoming of Christians taken prisoner during Moslem aggression.
The 7 Spiritual Works of Mercy
To counsel the doubtful
To instruct the ignorant
To admonish the sinner
To comfort the sorrowful
To forgive all injuries
To bear wrongs patiently
To pray for the living and the dead
The 3 Eminent Good Works
The 7 Gifts of the Holy Ghost
Fear of the Lord
See Isaias 11:1-3
Class of Gifts of the Holy Ghost known as Charismata
Gift of speaking with wisdom
Gift of speaking with knowledge
Grace of healing
Gift of miracles
Gift of prophecy
Gift of discerning spirits
Gift of tongues (i.e., xenolalia, the ability to speak foreign languages unknown by natural reason)
Gift of interpreting speeches
See I Corinthians 12:6-11; I Corinthians 12:28-31; and Romans 12:6-8. The number of items in this class of Gifts of the Holy Ghost, properly called "charismata," is disputed among theologians. Some add: Gift of government, Gift of Helps, Gift of distributio, Gift of misericordia. The charismata were/are not necessary for individual sanctification, were/are not distributed to all Christians, and are to be subjected to authority and the proper ends for which they were given (I Corinthians 12-14).
The 12 Fruits of the Holy Ghost
See Galatians 5:22-25 (three of these are not mentioned in some Greek and Latin manuscripts). The 12 Fruits of the Holy Ghost are the effects of the 7 Gifts of the Holy Ghost.
The 3 Theological Virtues
Reference I Corinthians 13:13. The Theological Virtues are called such because they are supernatural in origin, relate immediately to God, and can only be gained through His grace
The 4 Cardinal Virtues
Refrerence Wisdom 8:7. The Cardinal Virtues, unlike the Theological Virtues, can be achieved by human effort.
The 7 Capital Sins and their Contrary Virtues
Unrestrained appreciation of our own worth
Immoderate desire for earthly goods
Hankering for impure pleasures
Inordinate desire for revenge
Unrestrained use of food and drink
Sorrow over another's good fortune
Laxity in keeping the Faith and the practice of virtue
The 7 Capital Sins, also known as "The 7 Deadly Sins," are those sins that give rise to other sins. They were first enumerated by Pope St. Gregory the Great in "Moralia in Job."
The 6 Sins against the Holy Ghost
Resisting the known truth
Envy of another’s spiritual good
Obstinacy in sin
The 4 Sins that Cry Out to Heaven
The sin of Sodom
Oppression of the poor
Defrauding laborers of their wages
Genesis 4, Genesis 18, Exodus 2, James 5, respectively.
3 Conditions for Mortal Sin
From the Catechism of St. Pius X, "The Main Kinds of Sin," Question 9-10:
Q: What injury does mortal sin do the soul?
A: (1) Mortal sin deprives the soul of grace and of the friendship of God; (2) It makes it lose Heaven; (3) It deprives it of merits already acquired, and renders it incapable of acquiring new merits; (4) It makes it the slave of the devil; (5) It makes it deserve hell as well as the chastisements of this life.
Q: Besides grave matter, what is required to constitute a mortal sin?
A: To constitute a mortal sin, besides grave matter there is also required full consciousness of the gravity of the matter, along with the deliberate will to commit the sin.
The 9 Ways We Participate in Others' Sins
By praise or flattery
By defense of the ill done
The 10 Commandments
Thou shalt not have other gods besides Me
Thou shalt not take the Name of the Lord thy God in vain
Remember to keep holy the Lord’s day
Honor thy father and thy mother
Thou shalt not murder
Thou shalt not commit adultery
Thou shalt not steal
Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s goods
Reference Exodus 20 and Exodous 34 and Deuteronomy 5:6-21. Note that the Septuagint, the Latin Vulgate (the official Scripture of the Church), and the original Douay-Reims phrase the Fifth Word as "Thou shalt not murder"; later Douay-Reims versions, such as the Challoner, and the King James Bible, etc., phrase it as "Thou shalt not kill." "Thou shalt not murder," however, is the original intent and the meaning of the earliest texts. Catholics, of course, have 2,000 years of Church teaching and the Magisterium to interpret Scripture, and the meaning of the Fifth Commandment is that one is not to take innocent human life. (For information on the way Catholics number the Commandments, as opposed to how Protestants and Jews number them, see this page in the Apologetics section of this site)
The 2 Greatest Commandments
To love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, soul, mind and strength.
To love thy neighbor as thyself.
Reference Mark 12:30-.31
The 3 Evangelical Counsels
The Evangelical Counsels, also called the Counsels of Perfection, are those precepts given by Christ that are not binding on all, but are binding on those who have a vocation to them. The 10 Commandments, the Precepts of the Church, the two Great Commandments, for ex., bind one and all, but the evangelical counsels do not. See Matthew 19:16-22 for the story of Christ's telling the young man what he needs to do in order to be saved, and then what he needs to do in order to be perfect -- two different things.
The 6 Precepts of the Church (The Duties of a Catholic)
To go to Mass and refrain from servile work on Sundays and holy days
To go to Confession at least once a year (traditionally done during Lent)
To receive the Eucharist at least once a year, during the Easter Season (known as the "Easter duty")
To observe the days of fasting and abstinence
To help to provide for the needs of the Church according to one's abilities and station in life
To obey the marriage laws of the Church
Holy Days of Obligation in Addition to Sundays (English-speaking Countries)
England & Wales
SS Peter & Paul
Australia & New Zealand
SS Peter & Paul
SS Peter & Paul
In the United States: in the Novus Ordo: if 1 January, 15 August, or 1 November falls on a Saturday or Monday, the precept to attend Mass is abrogated; if 15 August or 8 December falls on a Sunday, the Feast is celebrated the next day, but the obligation to attend Mass is abrogated; the Feast of the Circumcision is referred to as "Mary, Mother of God"; the Feast of the Ascension in the United States might be celebrated on the 7th Sunday of Easter, according to Province.
The 3 Powers of the Soul
The 4 Pillars of the Catholic Faith
The Apostles Creed
The Seven Sacraments
The Ten Commandments
The Lord's Prayer
The 3 Pillars of the Church's Authority
The 3 Munera (Duties of the Ordained)
Munus docendi (duty to teach, based on Christ's role as Prophet)
Munus sanctificandi (duty to sanctify, based on Chris's role as Priest)
Munus regendi (duty to shepherd, based on Christ's role as King)
The 3 Parts of the Church
The Church Militant (Christians on Earth)
The Church Suffering (Christians in Purgatory)
The Church Triumphant (Christians in Heaven)
The 4 Marks of the Church
In the Nicene Creed we say that the Church is "one, holy, catholic and apostolic."
The 12 Apostles
|formerly "Simon," renamed "Kepha" or "Cephas" by Our Lord; preached in Antioch, Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, and Asia Minor, Rome; headed Roman Church (was first Pope); crucified upside-down in Rome, Italy; relics at St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City. Symbols: the Keys; upside-down Latin Cross; book. Feast: June 29 (along with St. Paul); August 1 (St. Peter's Chains).|
|Peter's brother; preached in Scythia; Epirus; Achaia; Hellas; Cappadocia, Galatia, and Bithynia, Scythian deserts, Byzantium;Thrace, Macedonia, Thessaly, and Achaia; crucified in Patrae in Achaia; relics at Cathedral of Amalfi, Italy, and in St. Andrew's Church in Patras, Greece. Symbols: X-shaped Cross; anchor; fish; fishing net. Feast: November 30.|
James the Greater
|he and his brother (John) nicknamed by Jesus "Sons of Thunder" (Boanerges); a son of Zebedee; preached in Spain; beheaded by Herod Agrippa I to please the Jews; relics at Compostela, Spain. Symbols: seashells; pilgrim's staff; scroll; book; floppy hat; trampling a Moor; mounted on horseback. Feast: July 25.|
|he and his brother (James the Greater) nicknamed by Jesus "Sons of Thunder" (Boanerges); a son of Zebedee; the disciple whom Jesus loved; Evangelist; preached in Asia Minor (Ephesus). Symbols: chalice; eagle; serpent; sword; cauldron. Feast December 27.|
|preached in Hieropolis in Asia (?); relics at church of the Dodici Apostoli in Rome, Italy. Symbols: basket of loaves; T-shaped Cross. Feast: May 11 (with St. James the Less)|
|preached in India, Mesopotamia, Persia, Egypt, Armenia, Lycaonia, Phrygia, shores of the Black Sea (?); beheaded or flayed alive and crucified, head downward in Albanopolis in Armenia; relics at St. Bartholomew-in-the-Island in Rome, Italy (?). Symbols: tanner's knife; flayed skin. Feast: August 24.|
|"Levi"; Evangelist; preached in Ethiopia to the south of the Caspian Sea (not Ethiopia in Africa), Persia and the kingdom of the Parthians, Macedonia, and Syria, and to the Hebrews generally (?). Symbols: angel/man/winged man holding a pen or inkwell; bag of coins, money bag, money box, or purse; spear; sword; halberd; lance. Feast: September 21.|
|"Didymus," meaning "Twin"; familiarly (not Scripturally) known as "Doubting Thomas"; preached in India; pierced through with spears by four soldiers at Syriac Mazdai; relics in Santhome Cathedral, Chennai, India. Symbols: T-square; spear. Feast December 21.|
James the Less
|"James the Just" or "James the Younger"; son of Alphaeus (Clophas) and "brother of the Lord"; Bishop of Jerusalem Church; epistle writer; killed by Jews by being thrown off the Temple and clubbed to death. Symbols: fuller's club; book; windmill. Feast: May 11 (with St. Philip)|
|"Thaddaeus"; "brother of James (the Less)"; epistle writer. Symbols: shown with medallion with profile of Jesus around his neck; shown with flame above his head; oar; boat; axe; book; pen. Feast: October 28 (with St. Simon).|
|"Simon the Zealot" or "Simon the Canaanite." Symbols: fish(es); man being sawn in two longitudinally; saw; lance. Feast: October 28 (with St. Jude).|
|replaced after his suicide by Matthias (St. Matthias's Feast: February 24).|
A little poem to help you remember:
Peter, Andrew, James and John,
Phil and Bart and Matt and Tom,
James the Less and Jude and Simon --
Then Judas who betrayed the God-man.
The 12 Tribes of Israel
In order of their birth:
Joseph (Menasseh and Ephraim)
The 8 Beatitudes
Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
Blessed are the meek: for they shall posses the land.
Blessed are they who mourn: for they shall be comforted
Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice: for they shall have their fill
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy
Blessed are the clean of heart: for they shall see God
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called children of God
Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice' sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven
Reference Matthew 5:3-10.
The 14 Stations of the Cross
Jesus is Condemned to Die
Jesus is Made to Bear His Cross
Jesus Falls the First Time
Jesus Meets His Mother
Simon Helps Jesus Carry His Cross
Veronica Wipes Jesus' Face
Jesus Falls the Second Time
Jesus Meets the Women of Jerusalem
Jesus Falls the Third Time
Jesus is Stripped
Jesus is Nailed to the Cross
Jesus Dies on the Cross
Jesus is Taken Down from the Cross
Jesus is Laid in the Tomb
The 7 Sorrows (Dolours) and 7 Joys of Our Lady
The 7 Sorrows and 7 Joys of St. Joseph
In October 2002, His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, recommended adding 5 more Mysteries to the Rosary to be prayed on Thursdays -- the "Luminous Mysteries" which focus on Jesus' public life. These Mysteries are:
The Baptism in the JordanThis novelty does not change the true Rosary and is merely presented as an option for Christians. This option, however, is one that totally disrupts the relationship between the Rosary and the Breviary's Psalms. Stick with the classic tried-and-true Rosary. To read why adding Mysteries to the Rosary was a most horrible idea, see this page, and to read a critique of Pope John Paul II's Encyclical on the matter, see this page (both pages offsite, will open in new browser window)
The Marriage Feast at Cana
The Proclamation of the Kingdom
The Institution of the Eucharist
The Order of Creation
God, Who is of the supernatural order, created the natural and preternatural (e.g., the angelic) orders out of nothing (ex nihilo), in time ("in the beginning"), and for His own pleasure. Only God can "create," and because of this, it is actually rather blasphemous to refer to man as "creating" anything. Man can produce, re-produce, manufacture, form, fashion, fabricate, design, shape, or make -- but he cannot bring into existence anything out of nothing. Angels and demons, too, are limited and cannot do the truly miraculous. They are able, however, to take what is created and manipulate it in ways that seem miraculous and are able to influence our perceptions and imaginations.
You can remember the Order of Creation by thinking of the first three days as days which God spent creating forms and frameworks by dividing the elements, and the last three days as the days He spent creating things to fill those forms created by dividing the elements, e.g.:
|Day 1 Light||Day 4 specific forms of light in the Sun, Moon, and Stars|
|Day 2 the Firmament/waters||Day 5 birds to fill the firmament, and fish to fill the waters|
|Day 3 dry land||Day 6 land animals and man|
The 9 Choirs of Angels
In ascending order:
The Choir of Angels is divided into three triads with specific concerns:
Angels (the word means "Messengers") are spirits (there was and is debate as to whether they are pure spirit like God or whether they are possess "subtle matter" and are corporeal in a different way from us), created before man, who were given one choice at the beginning of Creation: the Kingdom of God -- or the Absence of God, which is the Kingdom of Satan, the first Angel who rebelled.
There are 7 Archangels (Tobias 12:15). We know the names of 3 of them from Scripture:
- Michael (Daniel, Epistle of St. Jude, Apocalypse of St. John), whose name means "Who is like God" and whose Feast is September 29;
- Gabriel (Daniel and Luke), whose name means "Strength of God" and whose Feast is March 24; and
- Raphael (Tobias), whose name means "Medicine of God" and whose Feast is October 24.
- Sariel; and
The 3 Levels of Reverence
|Dulia:||the reverence we give to Saints|
|Hyperdulia:||the reverence we give to Mary as the greatest of Saints and Mother of God|
|Latria:||the reverence and worship we give to God alone|
The 14 Holy Helpers
St. George, Martyr, April 23
St. Blaise, Bishop and Martyr, February 3
St. Pantaleon, Martyr, July 27
St. Vitus, Martyr, June 15
St. Erasmus (Elmo), Bishop and Martyr, June 2
St. Christopher, Martyr, July 25
St. Giles, Abbot, September 1
St. Cyriacus (Cyriac), Martyr, August 8
St. Achatius, Martyr, May 8
St. Dionysius (Denis), Bishop and Martyr, October 9
St. Eustachius (Eustace), Martyr, September 20
St. Catherine of Alexandria, Virgin and Martyr, November 25
St. Margaret of Antioch, Virgin and Martyr, July 20
St. Barbara, Virgin and Martyr, December 4
The "Holy Helpers" are Saints who first became grouped together and invoked together during the Black Plague, which ravaged Europe between 1346 and 1349. This horrible disease decimated entire towns and struck quickly. First one's mouth would dry and head would ache. Then came the fever, and boils, and the blackening of the tongue. Death would come in hours.
The 7 Last Words of Christ
The 4 Last Things (The Novissima)