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Church History

1st and 2nd Apology of Justin Martyr

1st and 2nd Apology of Justin Martyr

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The First Apology was an early work of Christian apologetics addressed by Justin Martyr to the Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius. In addition to arguing against the persecution of individuals solely for being Christian, Justin also provides the Emperor with a defense of the philosophy of Christianity and a detailed explanation of contemporary Christian practices and rituals. This work, along with the Second Apology, has been cited as one of the earliest examples of Christian apology, and many scholars attribute this work to creating a new genre of apology out of what was a typical Roman administrative procedure.

All Things Catholic - A Guide From A to Z

All Things Catholic - A Guide From A to Z

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"Shaun McAfee has put together a great and easy resource for learning more about the Catholic Faith. Whether you have been Catholic your whole life or are simply curious about joining, this book is one to have on your shelf and read." -- Archbishop Gregory Aymond, Archdiocese of New Orleans

One can spend hours searching for answers about the Catholic Faith and how to share it with others. There are a multitude of books that explain the various areas of Church teaching, but never -- before now -- a definitive desktop volume on more than 260 Catholic topics, from A to Z, featuring key definitions, teachings, practices, people, and resources for further reading.

This fascinating, one-stop guidebook delivers the intellectual tradition of the Church while providing practical Catholic applications, spiritual wisdom, and guidance on a broad range of topics, from the basics of the Faith to more current issues, such as transgenderism and yoga.

These pages put timely and timeless information at your fingertips, whether you're seeking information about a specific teaching, wondering about the Church's stance on a social topic, or looking for inspiration to evangelize someone to the Faith.

You will discover:

- Catholic rules to live by from Scripture, Tradition, and the Catechism
- Answers to common questions about what Catholics really believe
- Refreshers on Catholic doctrine from the sacraments to moral theology
- Ways to defend important Catholic teachings in daily life
- Traditional prayers and important lists to remember

This is an ideal resource for Catholic school students, catechists, RCIA catechumens, and anyone seeking to understand and discuss Catholicism intelligently. It will be a frequently used, lifelong resource that will draw you in for longer reads than you expect.

"When I saw this book's title, I presumed Shaun McAfee had produced an updated version of a classic Catholic dictionary, such as those by Donald Attwater, Fr. John Hardon, and Fr. Peter M. J. Stravinskas. Not so. McAfee's offering makes no attempt, as the others did, to be comprehensive. It aims to be captivating -- and it is. It's an eclectic, idiosyncratic, and delightful compendium of definitions and explanations, with many topics not found in any other Catholic dictionary." -- Karl Keating, Founder, Catholic Answers

Catholicsim Everywhere From Hail Mary,Passes to Cappuccinos: How the Catholic Faith is Infused in Culture

Catholicsim Everywhere From Hail Mary,Passes to Cappuccinos: How the Catholic Faith is Infused in Culture

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Many faithful Catholics greet God and give Him thanks and praise when they arise in the morning and retire at night. How they stay connected with Him and the Faith throughout the day, however, varies widely. Many forget that He is right there to call upon whenever the need or impulse arises. Others see Him all around, in the flowers of the field, the birds of the air, the smile of a child. Uniquely, Catholicism Everywhere treats the reader to the many expressions of God in the hobbies, foods, structures, and inventions developed by the Catholic Church and her members.

Enjoy a cup of coffee and thank Pope Clement VIII for his refusal to ban coffee and his edict proclaiming it to be an acceptable drink for Christians. Turn on the radio and recall that Fr. Jozef Murgas patented a form of wireless telegraphy, made the first wireless voice transmission, and gave away his secrets to allow for the development of radio. Send an e-mail and shop online with a nod to Sr. Mary Kenneth Keller, a member of the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who became one of the first two students to earn a doctorate in computer science, helping pave the way for personal computing.

In these crisp, compelling passages, you will also learn about:

  • The saint whose research led to the discovery of insulin
  • The priest who posited the big bang theory
  • The thrilling significance of the St. Michael's Jump
  • The origin of the Hail Mary pass
  • The saint who used beer to help save lives
  • The actor whose promise in prayer led to the building of a famous children's hospital
  • The film Pope Paul VI said would bring more people to Christ than anything before
  • These and other remarkable stories show how the Catholic Church and her members have borne tremendous fruit, in faith, to serve their fellow man. This book features chapters on pets, gardening, health care, cuisine, travel, entertainment, science, and more, including the Catholic founding of Alcoholics Anonymous, the Mayo Clinic, the Blue Army, the Knights of Columbus, and the Legion of Mary.

    From sports to weather forecasting to wedding customs to military service, Catholicism Everywhere connects your work, your play, and your daily habits with the vibrant heritage, culture, and prayers of the Catholic Faith.

    Christ In Dachau

    Christ In Dachau

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    "What we priests were forced to endure under the Nazi regime, especially in Dachau concentration camp, is no more than a cup filled from the vast sea of human suffering in the world today," wrote Fr. John Lenz. "It is not this suffering as such that is important. The important thing is to show those who have crosses of their own to bear in life just what the grace of God can do for those who follow faithfully in the footsteps of Christ the Crucified. It is no less important to reveal the wickedness of Hell."

    The Nazi hellhole Dachau concentration camp held the largest number of Catholic priests -- more than 2,400 -- in the Nazi camp system. They came from two dozen countries, from every background -- parish priests and prelates, monks and friars, teachers and missionaries. More than one-third were killed.

    Among the survivors was Fr. Lenz, who was asked by his superiors to write an account of what he saw -- and experienced -- so that it would not be forgotten. This book, filled with gripping real-life stories and eighty photos, was the stunning result and became an immediate sensation.

    This work is unique among those written on the Holocaust; it reveals how, by tireless sacrifice amid barbaric suffering, the Church was victorious in one of the darkest times in human history. When the Nazis entered several European countries, many people were afraid to speak up. Numerous priests, however, continued to preach the gospel and the truth about the dignity of life and freedom. Through their courageous witness you will learn about:

  • The arrest and imprisonment of priests and other faithful citizens
  • What really happened at Dachau and the horrific treatment of prisoners
  • How priests ministered to fellow prisoners and prayed unceasingly in the camps
  • Ways in which priests secretly brought the Blessed Sacrament to the people and heard confessions
  • Spiritual lessons learned in the face of death and despair
  • "Only when we are forced to endure the most profound suffering and hardship do we learn how to catch hold of God's hand in our misery," Fr. Lenz reflected. "We learn to pray."

    Faith of our Fathers a history of True England

    Faith of our Fathers a history of True England

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    The Catholic Church has been a part of English history since the arrival of Christian missionaries to Roman Britain in the first century after Christ. England was evangelized in these early centuries to such an extent that, by the time the Romans withdrew in the fifth century, the Celtic population was largely Catholic.

    Anglo-Saxon England, prior to the Norman Conquest, was a land of saints. From St. Bede, with his history of the early Church, to the holy king St. Edward the Confessor, Saxon England was ablaze with the light of Christ. During the reign of St. Edward, a vision of the Virgin at Walsingham placed the Mother of God on the throne as England's queen, the land being considered her dowry. Even following the Norman Conquest, the Faith continued to flourish and prosper, making its joyful presence felt in what would become known as Merrie England.

    Then in the sixteenth century, this Catholic heart was ripped from the people of England, against their will and in spite of their spirited and heroic resistance, by the reign of the Tudors. This made England once again a land of saints--that is, of martyrs, with Catholic priests and laity being put to death for practicing the Faith. The martyrdoms would continue for 150 years, followed by a further 150 years of legal and political persecution.

    In the nineteenth century, against all the odds, there was a great Catholic revival, heralded by the conversion of St. John Henry Newman, which would continue into the twentieth century. Much of the greatest literature of the past century has been written by literary converts to the Church, such as G. K. Chesterton, Evelyn Waugh, Graham Greene, and J. R. R. Tolkien.

    This whole exciting, faith-filled story is told by Joseph Pearce within a single-volume history of "true England", the England that remained true to the faith through thick and thin, in times both "merrie" and perilous. It is a story not only worth telling but worth celebrating.

    How The Church Has Changed The World Vol 1

    How The Church Has Changed The World Vol 1

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    25 essays originally published by Magnificat (December 2013 – December 2015) that will give you a new appreciation for the Church and her mission in the world. You know the Church supports your sacramental life, but did you know… - Who created the tradition of the Christmas manger? - Who is the father of modern genetics? - Who developed hospitals to continue the healing work of Christ? - That the greatest dramatist of all time was Catholic? And more! Professor Esolen’s captivating style is as entertaining as it is eye-opening. A great book to affirm that God guides his Church! 

    Ireland's Loyalty to the Mass

    Ireland's Loyalty to the Mass

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    This inspiring book unveils the incomparable history of the Catholics of Ireland, who clung valiantly to the Faith for hundreds of years through some of the worst persecutions ever inflicted on a people. Their unrelenting love of the Most Blessed Sacrament is a clarion call for us in these times when attendance at Holy Mass has waned and the desacralization of the liturgy advances.

    From the golden hour in which St. Patrick, as bishop, said his first Mass on Irish soil down to the coming of the Normans, love of the Blessed Eucharist was one of the dominant characteristics of the Irish race. Even during the Protestant Reformation, with its monastery closures, confiscation of Church treasures, and universally hostile treatment of Catholics, King Henry VIII nevertheless left one thing untouched -- the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. But the attacks would soon begin.

    You will be astonished by the assaults on the Mass during Queen Elizabeth's "reign of terror," which resulted in the martyrdom of more than two hundred Irish Catholics -- many killed in the sanctuary! James I continued the rule of terror, which was brought to new depths of cruelty by the ruthless Oliver Cromwell.

    In these pages, Fr. Augustine Hayden reveals a myriad of shocking details that are highly relevant to our time, including:

    What the Council of Regency did to Protestantize the Mass (Has history repeated itself?)

  • How the Irish faithful responded when it became unlawful to celebrate Mass (Take note!)
  • Why the English government sought to cancel the Mass and the sacraments (Surprise, surprise!)
  • What the English planned following the suppression of the Catholic Mass (And how it backfired)
  • The Saul-like terrorization and banishment of bishops and priests, and their indomitable courage
  • The heroic martyrdom of lay Catholics, who bravely hid priests and guarded the Holy Eucharist
  • "The Mass was the focus of the enemy's hatred," wrote Fr. Augustine, "and it was also the magnet of the people's devotion. Masses infinite in churches, Masses in houses, Masses in every corner -- these were the 'crimes' with which the people of this country were charged."

    You will see why the heroic Catholics of Ireland believed that the Holy Mass and the Real Presence of our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament are worth cherishing -- even unto death. Amid war, starvation, and relentless cruelty, our Eucharistic King gave the Irish the graces they needed to remain steadfast and become a bastion of devotion for the world.

    Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist: Unlocking the Secrets of the Last Supper

    Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist: Unlocking the Secrets of the Last Supper

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    A revelatory exploration of the Jewish roots of the Last Supper that seeks to understand exactly what happened at Jesus' final Passover.

    "Clear, profound and practical--you do not want to miss this book."--Dr. Scott Hahn, author of The Lamb's Supper and The Fourth Cup

    Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist shines fresh light on the Last Supper by looking at it through Jewish eyes. Using his in-depth knowledge of the Bible and ancient Judaism, Dr. Brant Pitre answers questions such as: What was the Passover like at the time of Jesus? What were the Jewish hopes for the Messiah? What was Jesus' purpose in instituting the Eucharist during the feast of Passover? And, most important of all, what did Jesus mean when he said, "This is my body... This is my blood"?

    To answer these questions, Pitre explores ancient Jewish beliefs about the Passover of the Messiah, the miraculous Manna from heaven, and the mysterious Bread of the Presence. As he shows, these three keys--the Passover, the Manna, and the Bread of the Presence--have the power to unlock the original meaning of the Eucharistic words of Jesus. Along the way, Pitre also explains how Jesus united the Last Supper to his death on Good Friday and his Resurrection on Easter Sunday.

    Inspiring and informative, Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist is a groundbreaking work that is sure to illuminate one of the greatest mysteries of the Christian faith: the mystery of Jesus' presence in "the breaking of the bread."

    Proper Catholic Perspectives:Luisa Piccarreta

    Proper Catholic Perspectives:Luisa Piccarreta

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    Born in 1865 in the small town of Corato, Italy, Luisa Piccarreta's life and spiritual journey is now recognized worldwide by many theologians as one of the most profound stories in the history of the Church. Beginning in her early childhood, Luisa was favored by God with many mystical gifts and experiences which permitted her to dedicate her life to God in a special way. Having been asked by Jesus in a vision at age sixteen to become a victim soul, Luisa's life took on the many sufferings and ecstasies such chosen individuals find cast upon them. Most remarkably, Luisa was confined to a bed for about 60 years where she experienced apparitions, visions, the stigmata and even bilocation experiences. However, she is most known today for her extraordinary writings, especially her works on the Divine Will. Fr. Joseph Iannuzzi, an expert on the writings of Luisa Piccarreta, now brings to us even greater clarity on these writings as Proper Catholic Perspectives of the Divine Will is a treasure of wisdom that readers will find priceless in their desire to totally embrace the theology of the Divine Will. The Cause of Beatification of the Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta was opened in Rome in 1994 and is still underway at this time.
    The Shroud - Face to Face

    The Shroud - Face to Face

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    Murder, a true crime scene, controversies, leading scientists' investigations, and a startling NASA study. "An incredibly detailed image of the man on the Shroud shocks the world and befuddles believer and skeptic alike. How to explain such a phenomenon?" writes Robert Orlando, award-winning writer, filmmaker, and director.

    When Orlando was first approached about making a documentary about the Shroud of Turin, he was skeptical of the project--and the Shroud itself. Then he came across conflicting opinions in history and science. This, along with his desire to learn more about the life of Jesus and make sense about the final things, led him to investigate "a new crime scene." This book was inspired by his new documentary with the same title.

    "The murder of Jesus of Nazareth, a carpenter from a small town outside Jerusalem, became the most historically debated crime scene in all recorded history," Orlando explains. "Not only do people debate the historicity of the event, but unlike most other crime scenes, there's a religious element. The murder of this simple carpenter somehow launches the largest, most widespread religion of modern times."

    Through his scholarly research and his detective work, Orlando fascinatingly connects historical, archaeological, scientific, art, and theological research to unveil:

  • Evidence that dates back to the time and place of Christ
  • The results of a startling NASA study and leading scientists' research
  • A biblical clue to where the Shroud may have been hidden
  • What Jesus really experienced according to science, history, and Scripture
  • A miraculous healing from the Shroud following the Resurrection
  • Also included is a timeline of the Shroud's history and an introduction to the key witnesses of Jesus' passion, death, and resurrection. While retelling the story of Christ through the lens of ancient customs and traditions, Orlando breaks open the mysterious discovery of the Shroud.

    In these gripping pages, Orlando lays out numerous opinions and fact-based arguments, and systematically separates fact from fiction. He raises the question: Is the Shroud the connection between faith and science? If the Shroud really is the burial cloth of Jesus, it is the key to unlocking the world's greatest mystery and shedding light in an age of disbelief. In the words of Orlando, "The death of Jesus is the most consequential death in human history."

    To Sanctify the World vital legacy of vatican II

    To Sanctify the World vital legacy of vatican II

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    A leading Catholic intellectual explains why the teachings of the Second Vatican Council are essential to the Church's future--and the world's

    The Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) was the most important Catholic event in the past five hundred years. Yet sixty years after its opening on October 11, 1962, its meaning remains sharply contested and its promise unfulfilled.

    In To Sanctify the World, George Weigel explains the necessity of Vatican II and explores the continuing relevance of its teaching in a world seeking a deeper experience of freedom than personal willfulness. The Council's texts are also a critical resource for the Catholic Church as it lives out its original, Christ-centered evangelical purpose.

    Written with insight and verve, To Sanctify the World recovers the true meaning of Vatican II as the template for a Catholicism that can propose a path toward genuine human dignity and social solidarity.