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Wednesday, March 1, 2017
Today is Ash Wednesday. It is the first day of Lent and an important ceremony in the Catholic Liturgy.
The Catholic Church is the oldest institution in the Western world. It traces its history back almost 2,000 years.
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Today's Random Fact:
The word "Catholic" was first used by Ignatius of Antioch around the year A.D. 110. It is from the Greek word katholikos, which means "toward the whole." Ignatius was suggesting that the Church is a gift offered by Christ to all people.
Catholics believe that the pope, who is based in Rome, is the successor to Saint Peter, which Christ appointed as the first head of His church.
Catholics rely more on ritual and ceremony than do most other Christian religions. The intent of the rituals is to create an experience in which faith is felt and religion literally comes to life, with God’s presence in the here-and-now world.
A common Catholic symbol is ashes, which are ancient signs of penance. Catholics place ashes on their foreheads at the beginning of Lent as an outward sign of repentance.
The magical term "hocus pocus" probably comes from the most sacred moment in Catholic ritual: the consecration of the bread as the body of Christ by the priest speaking the words "This is my body," which in Latin is Hoc est enim corpus meum.