Our Catholic faith is understood through two major building blocks: Scripture and Tradition. When Christ established the Church, He gave us these beautiful gifts so that we might grow ever closer to God and spread the Gospel to the whole world. He also gave us an additional gift that is a stark reminder of the fact that the Church is both living and trustworthy: apostolic succession.
Since God created the earth, marriage has been a part of His divine plan. Though the relationship between man and woman (and, therefore, marriage) was damaged by original sin, Jesus repaired this relationship and raised marriage to a sacrament. The Church recognizes marriage as a sacred institution that is not merely a personal decision, but a vocation.
Question: Was Mary born with original sin?
Catholics hold the belief that the Blessed Virgin Mary was born without original sin. This belief is referred to as the Immaculate Conception. The concept of the Immaculate Conception goes back to the early Church Fathers, but it was not officially defined by the Church until 1854.
Throughout the liturgical year, a priest wears different colored vestments for Mass depending on the liturgical season and which Mass he is celebrating. The colors have symbolic meaning and mark the passage of time. The four most common colors for vestments are green, white, violet, and red.
Question: Who was the first pope?
Today, we have a tendency to take the office of pope as a given. Pope Francis is the Holy Father, the Bishop of Rome, who leads Catholics as the “chief pastor of the whole Church, the Vicar of Christ upon earth.” But where does the office of pope come from, and who first held that title?