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Catholicism: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
When Is Easter in 2015?
Easter 2015 celebrates the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Find the date of Easter 2015 and links to other Easter resources.
What Is Gaudete Sunday?
How did Gaudete Sunday get its name, and what is the significance of Gaudete Sunday?
Pray the Saint Andrew Christmas Novena
The Saint Andrew Christmas Novena is prayed 15 times every day from the Feast of Saint Andrew the Apostle (November 30) until Christmas.
Catholic Holy Days of Obligation and Moveable...
This Catholic calendar for 2014 lists the dates of the Holy Days of Obligation in the United States, as well as the dates of moveable feasts.
What Are the Twelve Days of Christmas?
There are three answers to the question What Are the Twelve Days of Christmas?, and one of them is correct.
What Are the Holy Days of Obligation in 2015?
This Catholic calendar for 2015 lists the dates of the Holy Days of Obligation in the United States, as well as the dates of moveable feasts.
What Are the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit...
Learn about the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, as enumerated in Isaiah 11:2-3.
Six Steps to Lighting an Advent Wreath
Complete instructions on how to light the Advent wreath, with links to Advent wreath prayers.
All About the Season of Advent in the Catholic...
Advent is a period of preparation before Christmas. Learn more about the season of Advent in the Catholic Church.
When Is Ash Wednesday in 2015?
Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent, the season of preparation for the resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday. Find the date of Ash Wednesday 2015.
Advent Wreath Prayer for the Third Week of Advent
In the prayer for the Advent wreath for the third week of Advent, we anticipate Christmas, and so we ask Christ to grant us His grace that we might be prepared for welcoming His Birth.
When Is Holy Week in 2015?
Holy Week 2015 is the final week before Easter 2015. Find Holy Week 2015 dates.
When Is the Virgin Mary's Birthday?
Catholics celebrate the Virgin Mary's birthday as the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. When is the Virgin Mary's birthday?
When Should You Put Up Your Christmas Tree?
Many people decorate their Christmas tree the weekend after Thanksgiving. But is there a proper time to put up your Christmas tree?
When Is Good Friday in 2015?
Good Friday is the day on which Christians commemorate the death of Jesus Christ on the Cross. Find the date of Good Friday 2015.
What Does Epiphany Mean to Catholics?
The Epiphany of Our Lord Jesus Christ is best known as the visitation of the Magi or Wise Men. Learn more about one of the oldest Christian feasts.
When Does Advent 2014 Begin?
The season of Advent begins on a different date each year. When does Advent 2014 begin?
When Is Epiphany 2015?
Epiphany, the 12th day after Christmas, celebrates the visit of the three wise men to the Christ Child. What is the date of Epiphany 2015?
10 Prayers Every Catholic Child Should Know
Find ten Catholic prayers for children, along with tips on how to help your children learn these prayers.
What Are the Four Cardinal Virtues (And What Do...
Learn more about the four principal moral virtues.
When Should You Take Down Your Christmas Tree?
One of saddest sights of Christmas is to see Christmas trees out at the curb on December 26. When should you take down your Christmas tree?
What Are the Holy Days of Obligation for...
Which six Catholic Holy Days of Obligation are currently celebrated in the United States?
What Are the Seven Sacraments of the Catholic...
Learn the basics of the seven sacraments of the Catholic Church.
When Is Lent in 2015?
Lent is the season of penance and prayer before Easter. Find the dates of Lent 2015.
What Day Is Easter in 2014?
Find the date of Easter 2014 and links to other Easter resources.
Why Must Catholics Go to Confession?
What is Confession, and why does the Catholic Church teach that Christians must confess their sins to a priest?
What Does the Immaculate Conception Really Mean?
Few doctrines of the Catholic Church are as misunderstood as the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. What is the Immaculate Conception?
What Are the Requirements for Getting Married...
What are the requirements for having a Catholic wedding?
Catholic Advent Calendar 2014
Find the dates of the Sundays and major feast days that fall in Advent 2014.
Catholic Calendar for Lent 2015
Lent is a time of preparation for the death of Christ on Good Friday and His Resurrection on Easter. Here are the Sundays and major feast days for Lent 2015.
What Is a Novena?
The definition of a novena in Catholicism.
What Is the Catholic Sacrament of Confirmation?
Learn about the history and practice of the Sacrament of Confirmation in the Catholic Church.
Eternal Rest: A Prayer for the Souls in Purgatory
Find the text of Eternal Rest, one of the most common Catholic prayers for the dead.
The Solemnity of Christmas in the Catholic Church
Christmas is the Christian feast of the birth of Jesus Christ. Learn more about the history of Christmas.
What Is the Sacrament of Baptism?
Learn about the practice and effects of the Sacrament of Baptism in the Catholic Church.
Preparing for Christmas With the Advent Wreath
Learn about the history of the Advent wreath and how to incorporate it into your celebration of Advent.
The Twelve Days of Christmas . . . Haven't...
Think the 12 Days of Christmas are the 12 days before Christmas? Think again!
The Feast of the Immaculate Conception
The Immaculate Conception is the subject of many misconceptions. Learn more about the feast and the dogma of the Immaculate Conception.
What Are Holy Days of Obligation?
The definition of Holy Days of Obligation in the Catholic Church.
How Do You Make the Sign of the Cross?
What is the Sign of the Cross, and how do Catholics pray it?
Do You Know the Act of Contrition?
Find the text of a traditional form of the Catholic Act of Contrition.
When Is Easter in 2016?
Easter 2016 celebrates the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Find the date of Easter 2016 and links to other Easter resources.
How to Make an Advent Wreath
For many Catholic families, the centerpiece of their Advent celebration is the Advent wreath. Find complete illustrated instructions for making your own Advent wreath. Page 3.
How Is the Date of Easter Calculated?
Easter is a moveable feast, which means that it does not occur on the same date every year. How is the date of Easter determined each year?
What Are the Three Theological Virtues?
Find the names of the theological virtues.
When Does Advent Start This Year?
Advent, the period of preparation for Christmas, begins on a different date every year. When does Advent start?
Do You Know the Five Types of Prayer?
Prayer is how Christians communicate with God and the saints. Learn about the five major types of prayer.
Do Catholics Have to Attend Mass on January 1?
Is January 1, the Feast of Mary, Mother of God, a Holy Day of Obligation? Find out here!
Learn the Guardian Angel Prayer
Find the text of the Guardian Angel Prayer, a good prayer to help children learn how to pray.
Scripture Reading for the Third Sunday of Advent
In this reading for the third Sunday of Advent, we see that the Lord has passed His judgment on Israel, whose obedience to His Word is, at best, merely out of habit. Indeed, many of the children of Israel no longer even acknowledge Him as Lord. Therefore, the gospel will be preached to all nations by Christ.
Advent Wreath Prayer for the Fourth Week of...
In our Advent wreath prayer for the fourth and final week of Advent, we ask Christ to forgive us for our sins and, through His grace, to create us anew when He comes.
Can You Name the 12 Fruits of the Holy Spirit?
Find the twelve Fruits of the Holy Spirit, works that we can perform only with the aid of the Holy Spirit.
Seven Steps to Making a Better Confession
Want to make a good Confession? Follow these seven steps.
Advent Wreath Prayer for the Second Week of...
In this prayer for the Advent wreath for the second week of Advent, we ask Christ to move us to action, so that we can prepare ourselves for His coming at Christmas.
What Day Is Thanksgiving Day in 2014?
Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday with religious significance in the United States. Find the date of Thanksgiving Day 2014.
What Are the Sacraments of Initiation?
Learn more about the sacraments of initiation—Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Communion—on which the rest of the Christian life depends.
Catholicism 101: An Introduction to the...
Learn about the basic beliefs and practices of Catholicism.
What Are the Ember Days?
Ember Days mark the change of both the natural and the liturgical seasons in the Christian Church. Learn more about this ancient practice.
A Novena to Saint Anthony for Any Need
In this novena, we ask for Saint Anthony’s intercession and promise to live more Christian lives.
When Is Pentecost Sunday 2015?
Pentecost Sunday, which marks the end of the Easter season in the Christian calendar, celebrates the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles. Find the date of Pentecost Sunday 2015.
Your First Prayer of the Day: The Morning...
A traditional form of the Morning Offering prayer said by Catholics every morning.
What Is the Catholic Sacrament of Holy Orders?
Learn about the history and practice of ordination, the Sacrament of Holy Orders, in the Catholic Church.
What Are the Seven Deadly Sins?
Find the names of the seven deadly sins, the tendencies that cause us to commit all other sins.
Scripture Readings for the Third Week of Advent
The readings for the Third Week of Advent from the Office of the Readings of the Liturgy of the Hours, the daily prayer of the Catholic Church.
Advent Wreath Prayer for the First Week of Advent
In our prayer for the Advent wreath for the first week of Advent, we ask Christ to come, to set us free from our sins and from the punishment that we deserve. He is our salvation.
Why Is Wisdom the First and Highest Gift of the...
Learn more about the gift of wisdom, the perfection of faith.
Learn How to Pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet
Learn how to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet, a devotion revealed to St. Maria Faustina Kowalska, on a standard rosary.
What Are the 10 Holy Days of Obligation in the...
The Catholic Church currently has ten Holy Days of Obligation. Find a list of and a short explanation of each.
When Is Saint Nicholas Day 2014?
Saint Nicholas Day celebrates the life of Saint Nicholas of Myra, a fourth-century bishop best known today as the real-life model for Santa Claus. Find the date of Saint Nicholas Day 2014.
Catholicism FAQs: What Is Laetare Sunday?
Laetare Sunday is the popular name for the Fourth Sunday in Lent. Learn more about this important milestone in our Lenten journey.
What Does the Catholic Church Say About Marriage?
What does the Catholic Church teach about the Sacrament of Marriage?
When Does Lent 2015 Begin?
The season of Lent, the time of preparation for Easter Sunday, begins on a different day each year. When does Lent 2015 begin?
What Is a Saint?
Learn more about those holy men and women who, through extraordinary lives of virtue, have already entered Heaven.
An Ancient Prayer to Saint Joseph
This ancient prayer to Saint Joseph, the foster father of Christ, is a powerful novena.
Novena to Mary, the Undoer of Knots
The Novena to Mary, Undoer of Knots, asks the Blessed Virgin to intercede with Christ to untie the knots of sin in our lives.
Celebrating Advent
These activities and devotions can aid us in celebrating Advent as it is meant to be celebrated so that, when Christmas arrives, we can greet Christ with joy.
Is Immaculate Conception a Holy Day of...
Is the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary a Holy Day of Obligation? Find out here!
Did the Virgin Mary Die Before She Was Assumed...
Did the Blessed Virgin Mary die before she was assumed into Heaven? Find the traditional answer of the Christian Church, East and West.
Learn the 'Come Holy Spirit' Prayer
Find the text of one of the most well-known prayers to the Holy Spirit.
When Is Easter This Year?
Easter, the greatest feast day in the Christian calendar, is a moveable feast. When is Easter this year?
What Are the Four Cardinal Virtues?
Find the names of the four primary moral virtues.
Why Can't Women Be Priests in the Catholic...
The reasons for the all-male priesthood.
What Are the 7 Gifts of the Holy Spirit?
Find the names of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, which help Christians to live a Christian life.
How to Bless Your Advent Wreath (In Seven...
Find complete instructions on how to bless your Advent wreath at the beginning of Advent.
Why Do Catholics Fast? (And When Do They Do It?)
What does fasting mean? Why and when do Catholics fast? Learn more about the spiritual discipline of fasting in the Catholic Church.
What Is the Sacrament of Last Rites?
Last Rites is another term, rarely used today, for the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick.
The Virgin Mary's Birthday
When was the Virgin Mary born? Find the date, and learn about the traditions surrounding the Virgin Mary's birthday.
Offer This Prayer for Your Deceased Father
This prayer is a good way to remember our father, especially on the anniversary of his death.
A Prayer for the Feast of Christmas
This beautiful prayer reminds us what Christmas is all about.
When Is Palm Sunday 2015?
Palm Sunday, the final Sunday before Easter, marks the beginning of Holy Week. Christian churches distribute palms (and sometimes pussy willows) on Palm Sunday to commemorate Christ's triumphal entrance into Jerusalem.
What Is the Sacrament of Communion in the...
Learn about the history and practice of the Sacrament of Communion in the Catholic Church.
How Could Someone Be Born Without Original Sin?
Catholics believe that three people were born without Original Sin. Who were they, and why do Catholics believe each was born without Original Sin?
How to Pray the Hail Mary
Find the text and the biblical source of the Hail Mary, the chief Catholic prayer to Mary, the Mother of God.
Have You Memorized the Lord's Prayer?
Find the text of the Our Father or Lord's Prayer, taught by Jesus Christ Himself to His disciples.
What Is the Feast of the Assumption of the...
Learn more about the Assumption of Mary, which commemorates the death of the Virgin Mary and her bodily assumption into Heaven.
Offer This Prayer for a Deceased Mother
This prayer is a good way to remember our mother.
What Is the Catholic Mass?
The Mass is the central act of worship in the Roman Catholic Church. Learn more about the history and symbolism of the Mass.
Latin Text of the O Antiphons
The O Antiphons are the inspiration for the Advent hymn 'O Come O Come Emmanuel.' Find the Latin text and links to English translations.
Do You Know How to Pray the Rosary?
Learn how to pray the rosary, the best-known and most popular devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Prayer to Mary, Undoer of Knots
This closing prayer for each day of the Novena to Mary, Undoer of Knots, can be prayed by itself as a shorter version of the novena.
How to Say the Catholic Grace Before Meals
Find the text of the most common form of the Catholic Grace Before Meals.
A Prayer to St. Gerard Majella for Motherhood
This prayer to St. Gerard Majella, the patron saint of mothers and motherhood, is for women trying to conceive.
About Catholicism's Novena of the Week
Every week, find a new novena selected by Scott P. Richert, the Catholicism expert for About.com.
When Is Mardi Gras in 2015?
Mardi Gras, also known as Fat Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday, is the last day of feasting before Lent begins on Ash Wednesday. Find the date of Mardi Gras 2015.
What Is the Sacrament of the Anointing of the...
Learn about the history and practice of the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick, traditionally known as Extreme Unction or Last Rites.
Fortitude: A Cardinal Virtue and a Gift of the...
Learn more about fortitude, the cardinal virtue and gift of the Holy Spirit that allows us to overcome fear.
What Are the Rules for Fasting and Abstinence...
Find the rules for fasting and abstinence during Lent and Fridays throughout the year.
Why Do Catholics Pray to Saints?
What is the difference between prayer and worship?
What You Need to Know About the Cardinal Virtue...
Learn more about prudence, the cardinal virtue that allows us to determine what is good and what is evil.
A Novena for Christmas: The Expectation of the...
This novena joins us to the Blessed Virgin Mary in expectation as the birth of Christ draws near. Begun on December 16, the novena ends on Christmas Eve.
Learn the Act of Faith, a Common Morning Prayer
Find the text of a traditional Act of Faith, a common morning prayer.
Fear of the Lord: A Gift of the Holy Spirit
Learn more about the fear of the Lord, the last gift of the Holy Spirit, which is the confirmation of the virtue of hope.
Can You Name the 8 Beatitudes?
Find the text of the Eight Beatitudes, delivered by Christ in the Sermon on the Mount.
How to Pray the Divine Mercy Novena
Find the prayers and instructions for praying the Divine Mercy Novena, revealed to Saint Faustina by Christ Himself.
When Was Epiphany in 2014?
Epiphany, the 12th day after Christmas, celebrates the visit of the three wise men to the Christ Child.
What Is a Scapular? (And How Do You Wear One?)
Learn more about the scapular, a small religious object worn by Catholics and tied to a particular devotion.
Is Christmas a Holy Day of Obligation?
Is Christmas a Holy Day of Obligation in the Catholic Church?
When Is Epiphany This Year?
Epiphany celebrates the visit of the three wise men to the Christ Child. When is Epiphany?
O Wisdom: The O Antiphon for December 17
Find the text of O Wisdom, the O Antiphon for December 17, drawn from Isaiah 11:2-3 and 28:29.
What Does Easter Mean to Catholics?
What does the Catholic Church teach about Easter, the day Jesus Christ rose from the dead? Learn more about Easter, the greatest feast in the Catholic Church.
What to Know About the New Translation of the...
A complete list of the changes to the people's parts in the new translation of the Mass.
A Prayer to Our Lady of Mount Carmel
This prayer to Our Lady of Mount Carmel is often tied to the Brown Scapular and is also recited as a novena before the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
What Is the Eucharist?
Find the three meanings of the Eucharist.
Saint Nicholas of Myra, Bishop and Wonder-Worker
Saint Nicholas of Myra is a Christmas icon and one of the most beloved saints of all time. Learn more about the life and legend of Saint Nicholas.
When Is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception...
The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception celebrates the preservation of the Virgin Mary from the stain of original sin. Find the date of Immaculate Conception 2014.
Scripture Readings for the First Week of Advent
Find the Scripture reading from the Catholic Church's Office of Readings for each day of the first week of Advent, as well as a brief commentary on that reading.
A Prayer to Jesus in the Manger
This prayer to the Baby Jesus in the manger is the perfect prayer to accompany the placement of the Christ Child in our home Nativity scene.
What Is the Sacrament of Reconciliation?
The Sacrament of Reconciliation is a common name used for the Sacrament of Confession.
Why Do Catholics Abstain From Meat on Fridays?
When and why do Catholics abstain from meat? Learn more about abstinence in the Catholic Church.
How to Pray to the Holy Spirit for a Favor
This prayer to the Third Person of the Trinity is well suited for praying as a novena.
How Do Catholics Count the 40 Days of Lent?
Lent is 40 days long, but there are 46 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter. How can that be?
What Is an Advent Wreath?
The Advent wreath is a popular Advent custom that originated in Germany.
When Was Easter 2013?
Find the date of Easter 2013 and links to other Easter resources.
What Does the Feast of the Annunciation...
The feast of the Annunciation of the Lord celebrates the angel Gabriel's appearance to the Virgin Mary to announce that she had been chosen to be the Mother of Our Lord.
Understanding: The Second Gift of the Holy Spirit
Learn more about understanding, one of the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit that allows us to penetrate the mysteries of the Christian Faith.
What Is the Jesus Prayer?
The Jesus Prayer is perhaps the most popular prayer among Eastern Christians, both Orthodox and Catholic.
A Prayer to St. Gerard Majella for a Safe...
In this prayer, a mother asks St. Gerard Majella, patron of mothers, to intercede for her and her child during childbirth.
When Is the Baptism of the Lord 2015?
The Baptism of the Lord commemorates Christ's Baptism by St. John the Baptist. Find the date of the Baptism of the Lord 2015.
The Glory Be: Learn About and Memorize This...
Find the text of the Glory Be, one of the earliest known prayers to refer to the Holy Trinity.
What Is the Apostles' Creed?
The Apostles' Creed is the earliest profession of faith, a brief statement of the fundamental Christian beliefs.
A Novena to Saint Jude and the Sacred Heart of...
This short novena to Saint Jude and the Sacred Heart of Jesus is traditionally prayed nine times per day for nine days.
What Is Pentecost Sunday?
Learn more about Pentecost Sunday, which celebrates the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and the Virgin Mary.
When Does Lent Start and End in 2014?
Lent is the season of penance and prayer before Easter. Find the dates of Lent 2014.
How Long Must Catholics Fast Before Receiving...
How long must Catholics fast before receiving Communion, and what are the exceptions?
Why Must Roman Catholics Go to Mass Every Sunday?
The Catholic Church says that all Catholics have an obligation to participate in Mass every Sunday. Why is that necessary, and how do we fulfill our duty to worship God?
What Is Extreme Unction?
Extreme Unction is another term, rarely used today, for the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick.
Counsel: A Gift of the Holy Spirit
Learn more about counsel, the third gift of the Holy Spirit, which is the perfection of the cardinal virtue of prudence.
Prayer of Pope Pius XII In Honor of the...
Pope Pius XII composed this prayer in honor of the 100th anniversary of Pope Pius IX's promulgation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception.
All About Ash Wednesday
What is Ash Wednesday, and how is it celebrated? Learn more about the history and rituals of Ash Wednesday.
Catholicism FAQs: Is Epiphany a Holy Day of...
Is Epiphany a Holy Day of Obligation? Find out here.
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