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Introduction

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The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide . As the world's "oldest continuously functioning international institution", it has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilisation. The church is headed by the Bishop of Rome, known as the Pope. Its central administration, the Holy See, is in the Vatican City, an enclave within Rome, Italy.

Catholic theology is based on the Nicene Creed. The Catholic Church teaches that it is the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic church founded by Jesus Christ, that its bishops are the successors of Christ's apostles, and that the Pope is the successor to Saint Peter to whom primacy was conferred by Jesus Christ. It maintains that it practises the original Christian faith, reserving infallibility, passed down by sacred tradition. The Latin Church, the twenty-three Eastern Catholic Churches, and institutes such as mendicant orders and enclosed monastic orders reflect a variety of theological and spiritual emphases in the church.

Of its seven sacraments the Eucharist is the principal one, celebrated liturgically in the Mass. The church teaches that through consecration by a priest the sacrificial bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ. The Virgin Mary is venerated in the Catholic Church as Mother of God and Queen of Heaven, honoured in dogmas and devotions. Its teaching includes sanctification through faith and evangelisation of the Gospel as well as Catholic social teaching, which emphasises voluntary support for the sick, the poor, and the afflicted through the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. The Catholic Church is the largest non-government provider of education and health care in the world.

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The Introit Gaudeamus omnes, scripted in square notation in the 14th—15th century Graduale Aboense, honors Henry, patron saint of Finland.

Gregorian chant is the central tradition of Western plainchant, a form of monophonic, unaccompanied sacred song of the western Christian Church. Although it had mostly fallen into disuse after the 1600s, it experienced a revival in the 19th Century in the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglo-Catholic wing of the Anglican Communion. Gregorian chant was organized, codified, and notated mainly in the Frankish lands of western and central Europe during the 9th and 10th centuries, with later additions and redactions, but the texts and many of the melodies have antecedents going back several centuries earlier. Although popular legend credits Pope Gregory the Great with inventing Gregorian chant, scholars believe that the chant bearing his name arose from a later Carolingian synthesis of Roman and Gallican chant.Gregorian chants are organized into eight scalar modes.
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Credit: Raffaello Sanzio

The School of Athens or "Scuola di Atene" in Italian is one of the most famous paintings by the Italian Renaissance artist Raphael. It was painted between 1509 and 1510 as a part of Raphael's commission to decorate with frescoes the rooms that are now known as the Stanze di Raffaello, in the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican.

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Joan of Arc

Joan of Arc, or Jeanne d'Arc in French, (c. 1412 – May 30, 1431) was a 15th century national heroine of France. She was tried and executed for heresy when she was only 19 years old. The judgment was overturned by the Pope and she was declared innocent and a martyr 24 years later. She was beatified in 1909 and canonized as a saint in 1920. Joan asserted that she had visions from God which told her to recover her homeland from English domination late in the Hundred Years' War. The uncrowned King Charles VII sent her to the siege at Orléans as part of a relief mission. She gained prominence when she overcame the dismissive attitude of veteran commanders and lifted the siege in only nine days. Several more swift victories led to Charles VII's coronation at Reims and settled the disputed succession to the throne.


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Pope Gregory XV

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Feast Day of November 13

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Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini (July 15, 1850 – December 22, 1917) known during her life as Mother Cabrini, was the first American citizen to be canonized by the Roman Catholic Church.

She was born Maria Francesca Cabrini in Sant'Angelo Lodigiano, in Lombardy, the youngest of thirteen children of Agostino Cabrini and Stella Oldini. Two months premature, she remained in delicate health throughout her 67 years.

At 13, she was sent to Arluno to study under the Daughters of the Sacred Heart, and at 18 she was certified as a teacher. Four years later she contracted smallpox, and because of this, she was refused admission into that order and into the Canossians as well. Finally, she took religious vows in 1877, becoming the Mother Superior of the House of Providence orphanage in Codogno, where she was teaching.

In 1880, the orphanage was closed and she became one of the seven founding members of the Institute of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (MSC). Mother Cabrini composed the rules and constitution of the order, and she continued as its superior-general until her death.

The order established seven homes and a free school and nursery in its first five years. Its good works brought Mother Cabrini to the attention of Bishop Giovanni Scalabrini of Piacenza and of Pope Leo XIII.

Although her lifelong dream was to be a missionary in China, the Pope sent her to New York City on March 31, 1889. There, she obtained the permission of Archbishop Michael Corrigan to found an orphanage, which is located in West Park, Ulster County, NY today and is known as Saint Cabrini Home, the first of 67 institutions she founded in New York, Chicago, Seattle, New Orleans, Denver, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and in countries throughout South America and Europe. Long after her death, the Missionary Sisters would achieve Mother Cabrini's goal of being a missionary to China. After much social and religious upheaval and only a short time, the sisters left China, and subsequently a Siberian placement.

She was naturalized as an American citizen in 1909.

Mother Cabrini died of complications from malaria at Columbus Hospital in Chicago. Though originally entombed in West Park, NY after her death on December 22, 1917, her remains were exhumed from West Park in 1931 and are now enshrined on display under glass in the church's altar at St. Frances Cabrini Shrine, 701 Fort Washington Avenue, in the Manhattan neighborhood of Hudson Heights. The street to the west of the shrine was renamed Cabrini Boulevard in her honour.


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Patrick, Archbishop of Armagh


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Divine Mercy

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