We’ve already given you 23 Catholic Facts to help you sound smart, and since that was such a huge success, we’ll give you 23 more for the next time you need to sound super smart.
1. The name “Christian” and “Catholic,” used to refer to the followers of Jesus of Nazareth, and both came from the town of Antioch in Syria at very early dates. (See Acts 11:26 and Ignatius of Antioch’s letter to the Smyrnaeans, ch. 8).
2. The world’s oldest living bishop is Archbishop Peter Leo Gerety, who is 103 years old (b. 19 July 1912). He was the 8th bishop of the diocese of Portland, ME and was eventually consecrated as the 3rd archbishop of Newark, NJ – a position he held for 12 years.
3. The world’s youngest bishop is Bishop Yosafat Moschych, C.M.S.A.A., auxiliary bishop of Ivano-Frankivsk, in the Ukraine. He is 39 years old (b. 16 Sept. 1976).
4. Adrian, or Hadrian IV (Nicholas Breakspear), is the only English-born pope (so far) reigning from 1154-1159.
5. The oldest liturgy still in use is the Liturgy of St. James, believed to have been composed in its final form sometime in the 4th century.
6. The word “monstrance,” also known as an “ostensorium,” comes from the Latin word meaning “to show.” (monstrare – to point out, show; ostendere – to hold out, show, display; to expose).
7. Popes Francis and Benedict XVI frequently cite or cited the apocalyptic book “Lord of the World” by Robert Hugh Benson, a convert to Catholicism. It was published in 1907, but is extremely current and at times eerily predicative. In fact, it just so happens to take place in our current decade of the twenty-teens. Check it out. (Free Kindle version here).
8. Domino’s Pizza founder, Tom Monaghan, is a practicing Catholic and founder of the Ave Maria Foundation, Ave Maria School of Law, Ave Maria University, and the town of Ave Maria, FL. I’m surprised he didn’t create a pizza named the “Ave Maria” topped with extra-virgin olive oil and angel hair pasta. (<—Okay, that was pretty bad. But c’mon!)
9. The first book ever printed by Gutenberg was the bible in 1454 or 1455. All the bibles he printed included the Deuterocanonicals later removed by Protestants.
10. The foundations of Catholicism in America date all the way back to the first voyage of Columbus in 1492. Long before Jamestown, there were Catholic settlements across the North American continent.
11. Bach’s Mass in B Minor was composed over the course of his lifetime. It was only completed a year before his death in 1750. Bach’s compulsion to finish and all the time it took to complete over his life are more interesting considering the fact the he was a Lutheran.
12. The Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help in Champion, WI is the first and only approved Marian apparition site in the United States. It is located in the Diocese of Green Bay. Click here for more information.
13. William Peter Blatty, author of The Exorcist, is a Catholic and a Georgetown University alum. He based the book on a Prince George’s County boy.
14. If Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who reportedly came in second in votes in the 2005 conclave that elected Joseph Ratzinger, would have been chosen at that time, he would have taken the name “John XXIV” rather than “Francis.”
15. Thirty-five (35) craters on the moon are named for Jesuit scientists and astronomers. Click here for an atlas of the moon.
16. “It makes not one iota of difference” is a phrase that can be traced to the First Council of Nicaea in 325 during the height of the Arian controversy. Was Christ of the same substance of the Father or of a like substance with the Father? Was Christ a creature as Arius posited? Of course, orthodoxy prevailed when the term “homoousios” was settled upon. This term means that Jesus was indeed of the same substance or consubstantial with the Father, rather than the term “homo – i – ousios,” meaning of a like substance with the Father and making Him less than the Father. If “homoiousios” had emerged as the term, then Christ would therefore not really be God, but the highest creature created by the Father.
So really, one iota makes a big difference.
17. Director and creator of Star Wars, George Lucas, has hinted that the Jedi order is loosely based on the Jesuit order.
18. The Catholic Vlad Dracul III, or “Vlad the Impaler,” died on the field of battle in Transylvania fending off Ottoman Muslim invaders. Not discounting the fact that he earned his nickname for a bloody reason, it is conceivable that at some point before he died, he called upon the mercy of God to save his soul from eternal damnation. We should pray for him.
19. The Dies Irae (or “Day of Wrath”) melody is found in many scores and works of music throughout the centuries. Pope Gregory the Great can most likely be considered as the originator of the melody. Here is a nifty video about it.
20. The holy sacrifice of the Mass has been celebrated on all seven (7) continents, including Antarctica.
21. The smallest diocese in the United States, in terms of population, is the Diocese of Juneau, Alaska with a total Catholic population of 10,600.
22. Spencer Brewery, located in Spencer, MA, is the only approved Trappist brewery in North America. Beer production is held to the highest Trappist standards and traditions. Information is available here. (On a related note, if anyone would like to send the author some samples, please do!)