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The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with more than 1.299 billion members worldwide. As one of the oldest religious institutions in the world, it has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilisation. The church is headed by the Bishop of Rome, who is known as the Pope. The church's doctrines are summarised in the Nicene Creed. Its central administration, the Holy See, is in the Vatican City, an enclave within Rome, Italy.

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 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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Our Lady of Fatima

Our Lady of Fatima (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈfatimɐ]) is the title given to the Blessed Virgin Mary by those who believe that she appeared to three shepherd children at Fátima, Portugal on the 13th day of six consecutive months in 1917, starting on 13 May, the Fatima holiday. The title of Our Lady of the Rosary is also used in reference to the same apparition; the children related that the apparition specifically identified herself as "the Lady of the Rosary." It is also common to see a combination of these titles, i.e., Our Lady of the Rosary of Fatima ([Nossa Senhora do Rosário de Fátima] error: {{lang-xx}}: text has italic markup (help)).Between May and October of 1917, three shepherd children, Lúcia Santos and her cousins Jacinta and Francisco Marto, reported visions of a luminous lady, believed to be the Virgin Mary, in the Cova da Iria fields outside the hamlet of Aljustrel, near Fatima, Portugal. The Lady appeared to the children on the 13th day of each month at approximately noon, for six straight months. The only exception was August, when the children were kidnapped by the local administrator.
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The Seven Sacraments
by Rogier van der Weyden (ca.1448)

"The seven sacraments, Baptism, Confirmation or Chrismation, Eucharist, Penance, Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders, and Matrimony, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, are efficacious signs of grace perceptible to the senses. They assist individuals in their spiritual progress and growth in holiness.

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6th-century mosaic of Jesus at Church San Apollinare Nuovo in Ravenna, Italy. Though depictions of Jesus are culturally important, no undisputed record of Jesus' appearance is known to exist.

Jesus of Nazareth (7–2 BC/BCE to 26–36 AD/CE), also known as Jesus Christ, is the central figure of Christianity, revered by most Christians as the incarnation of God, and is also an important figure in several other religions. The name "Jesus" is an Anglicization of the Greek Ίησους (Iēsous), itself a Hellenization of the Hebrew יהושע (Yehoshua) or Hebrew-Aramaic ישוע (Yeshua), meaning "YHWH rescues". "Christ" is a title derived from the Greek Χριστός (Christós), meaning the "Anointed One," which corresponds to the Hebrew-derived "Messiah". The main sources of information regarding Jesus' life and teachings are the gospels. Most scholars in the fields of history and biblical studies agree that Jesus was a Galilean Jew, was regarded as a teacher and healer, was baptized by John the Baptist, and was crucified in Jerusalem on orders of Roman Governor Pontius Pilate, on the charge of sedition against the Roman Empire.
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Book of Leinster

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Feast Day of July 21


Lawrence of Brindisi
Saint Lawrence of Brindisi (July 22, 1559, Brindisi, Apulia – July 22, 1619) was a priest and friar of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin. He was born in Brindisi, Kingdom of Naples, to a family of Venetian merchants. He joined the Capuchins in Verona as Brother Lorenzo. An accomplished linguist, Lawrence spoke most European and Semitic languages fluently.

He was appointed definitor-general for Rome for the Capuchins in 1596. Beginning in 1599, Lawrence established Capuchin monasteries in modern Germany and Austria, furthering the Counter-Reformation and bringing many Protestants back to the Catholic faith. In 1601, he served as the imperial chaplain for the army of Rudolph II, Holy Roman Emperor fighting against the Ottoman Turks. He led the army during the capture of Székesfehérvár from the Ottoman Empire, armed only with a crucifix. In 1602 he was elected vicar-general of the Capuchins. He entered the service of the Holy See, becoming nuncio to Bavaria. After serving as nuncio to Spain, he retired to a monastery in 1618. He was recalled as a special envoy to the King of Spain regarding the actions of the Viceroy of Naples in 1619, and after finishing his mission, died on his birthday in Lisbon.

He was beatified in 1783 by Pope Pius VI, canonized in 1881 by Pope Leo XIII, and declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope John XXIII in 1959. His feast day is July 21.
Attributes: leading an army against the Turks; embracing the Child Jesus
Patronage: Brindisi

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Divine Mercy

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