The CHRISTIANITY PORTAL
Christianity is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. Its adherents, known as Christians, believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and savior of all people, whose coming as the Messiah was prophesied in the Hebrew Scriptures of Judaism, called Old Testament in Christianity, and chronicled in the New Testament. It is the world's largest religion with over 2.4 billion followers.
Christianity finds its beginning as a Second Temple Judaic sect in the 1st century in the Roman province of Judea. Jesus' apostles and their followers spread around Syria, Europe, Anatolia, Mesopotamia, Transcaucasia, Egypt, and Ethiopia, despite initial persecution. At it soon attracted Gentile God-fearers, which lead to a departure from Jewish customs, and, after the Fall of Jerusalem, AD 70 which ended the Temple-based Judaism, Christianity as a religion began.
Emperor Constantine the Great converted to Christianity and decriminalized it in the Roman Empire by the Edict of Milan (313), later convening the Council of Nicaea (325) where Early Christianity was consolidated into what would become the state church of the Roman Empire (380). The early history of Christianity is sometimes referred to as the "Great Church", the united communion of the "orthodox" Christian churches before their schisms. Oriental Orthodoxy split after the Council of Chalcedon (451) over differences in Christology, while the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church separated in the East–West Schism (1054), especially over the authority of the bishop of Rome. Similarly, Protestantism split in numerous denominations from the Catholic Church in the Reformation (16th century) over theological and ecclesiological disputes, most predominantly on the issue of justification and the primacy of the bishop of Rome. Following the Age of Discovery (15th–17th century), Christianity was spread into the Americas, Oceania, sub-Saharan Africa, and the rest of the world via missionary work.
A papal conclave
is the method by which the Roman Catholic Church
fills the office of Bishop of Rome
, whose incumbent is known as the Pope
, the head of the Church. The electors, when locked together in a room for this purpose, form a conclave
, (from the Latin cum clave
"with a key") which they are not permitted to leave until a new Pope is elected. Conclaves have been employed since the Second Council of Lyons
decreed in 1274
that the electors should meet in seclusion. They are now held in the Sistine Chapel
in the Palace of the Vatican
Since the year 1061, the College of Cardinals has served as the sole body charged with the election of the Pope, the source of the term Prince of the church for cardinals. In earlier times, members of the clergy and the people of Rome were entitled to participate, in much the same way as the laity helped determine the choice of bishops throughout the Catholic Church during this early period. Popes may make rules relating to election procedures; they may determine the composition of the electoral body, replacing the entire College of Cardinals if they were to so choose.
Mary Helen MacKillop RSJ
(15 January 1842 – 8 August 1909), now formally known as St Mary of the Cross MacKillop
, was an Australian nun who has been declared a saint by the Catholic Church
. Of Scottish descent
, she was born in Melbourne
, but was best known for her activities in South Australia
. Together with the Reverend Julian Tenison Woods
, she founded the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart
(the Josephites), a congregation
of religious sisters
that established a number of schools and welfare institutions throughout Australasia
, with an emphasis on education for the rural poor.
With the process to have MacKillop declared a saint having begun in the 1920s, she was beatified in January 1995 by Pope John Paul II. Pope Benedict XVI prayed at her tomb during his visit to Sydney for World Youth Day 2008 and, in December 2009, approved the Catholic Church's recognition of a second miracle attributed to her intercession. She was canonised on 17 October 2010, during a public ceremony in St Peter's Square at the Vatican. She is the first and only Australian to be recognised by the Catholic Church as a saint. She is the patron saint of Australia (along with the Virgin Mary as Our Lady, Help of Christians) and Brisbane.
A rendering of the Last Supper made from salt, Wieliczka salt mine, Poland
Did you know...
...that there are approximately 2.5 billion Christians worldwide?
...that there are usually 66 books in the Protestant Bible, and 73 in the Catholic Bible, and 75 in the Eastern Orthodox Bible?
...that there are over 33,500 Protestant denominations in 238 countries worldwide?
...that during the Avignon Papacy from 1305 to 1378, several medieval popes lived/resided in Avignon and not in Rome?