Liturgical Year

A reader writes: Jimmy could you please tell us about the origin of the word “Christmas? What did the first Christians call what we today know as Christmas? Is writing X’mas okay? As in today’s language X means “nothing.” I know that X is the 22nd letter of Greek alphabet known as chi. This chi […]

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December 8th is the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. It celebrates an important point of Catholic teaching, and in most years it is a holy day of obligation. Here are 8 things you need to know about the teaching and the way we celebrate it.   1. Who does the Immaculate Conception refer to? There’s […]

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Advent began this last Sunday. Most of us have an intuitive understanding of Advent, based on experience, but what do the Church’s official documents actually say about Advent? Here are some of the basic questions and (official!) answers about Advent. Some of the answers are surprising! Here we go . . .   1. What Is the Purpose […]

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St. Luke records that when Jesus was born an angel of the Lord directed a group of shepherds to go find him. Luke introduces this group of shepherds by saying: And in that region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night [Luke 2:8]. This has led to a […]

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Was Jesus really born on December 25th? You’ll find strong opinions on both sides of this question, with some saying definitely yes and some saying definitely no. I don’t have strong feelings on this question. Although the Church today liturgically celebrates the birth of Our Lord on December 25th, whether this is the exact date […]

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Recently I blogged about the common apologetics claim that the dates of Christmas and the Annunciation were based on the idea that Jesus lived to an “integral age.” In other words, that Jesus died on the anniversary of his birth or conception. According to some authors, it was popularly believed among ancient Jews that prophets […]

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Why do we celebrate Christmas on December 25th? Why is the Annunciation on March 25th? According to some authors, it’s due to something called the “integral age” view that was common among ancient Jews. But this idea itself might be a myth. Here are 9 things to know and share . . . BE SURE […]

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All Souls Day

by Jimmy Akin

in Liturgical Year

This morning when I got to Mass, I saw that they were having one of those craft fairs that they occasionally have at the parish. People set up booths and put out their wares—homemade potholders and jewelery and quilts and things like that. I’ve strolled through these a couple of time and never found anything […]

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October 18th is the feast of St. Luke the Evangelist. Who was he and what do we know about him? Here are 10 things to know and share . . .   1) Who was St. Luke? St. Luke is mentioned by name in three passages of Scripture: In Colossians 4:14, St. Paul writes: “Luke […]

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St. Francis is one of the most famous saints in Church history. He’s so significant that the current pope—Pope Francis—chose to take his name. October 4th is his memorial day. But who was he, and what did he do? Here are 12 things to know and share . . .   1) When did St. […]

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