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Pope John Paul II to be beatified May 1


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Catholic Fun Facts

There are 219,714 Catholic parishes in 168 countries

As of 2008, there were 1.166 billion Catholics worldwide

About 300 priests serve in the Archdiocese of the Military.

Mary Smith, Catholic New York Governor Al Smith's, sister, on Al Smith and his father being one of the first to cross the Brooklyn Bridge:  "I remember Mother sitting at home saying 10 rosaries."

Papal theologian Monsignor Wojciech Giertych states the most common sins for men are lust and gluttony while the most common sins for women are anger, pride, and envy

Regis Philbin, Martin Scorsese, and George Carlin attended Cardinal Hayes High School in The Bronx in New York City

There are 140 Catholic churches in Montreal

There are 4,100 priests in Korea

Actress Mia Farrow still wears the medal of Our Lady of Perpetual Help around her neck that her father gave her when she was 12 years old.  "My faith has helped me through many difficult times."

Who is God was the most searched for query in Google in 2007

According to France's National Institute for Statistics, there are 20,115 French citizens 100 years old or older.  In 1990 there were 3,760 French centenarians. 

Want to purchase a cup of coffee?  That'll cost you three Our Fathers. Want a Coca-Cola?  Five Hail Marys and a Glory Be.  A Cappuccino?  Four Our Fathers.  Holy Spirit Church in Zagreb, Croatia, has opened a "prayer cafe" in the parish hall.  Said Salesian Father Damir Stojic, "A lot of kids used to head for neighboring cafes after Mass here.  We came up with this scheme for persuading them to hang out at the church instead."  Other parishioners have taken to the idea as well.

There were 1.31 billion Catholics in 2006, the latest census data, a 1.4% increase from 2005

Cincture - Rope belt with three knots worn by Franciscan monks.  The knots represent the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience.

3,500,000 teachers in 250,000 Catholic schools worldwide teach 42,000,000 pupils

Saint Dismas was the good thief crucified with Jesus

As of December, 2007, the Vatican has diplomatic relations with 176 countries

There are more Catholics in the U. S. Congress than any other religion 

Archdiocese of New York has 2.5MM parishioners, 410 parishes, 279 schools, and extends 108 miles

Zucchetto is the name of a Catholic cleric's skullcap

bulletPope - white

Cardinal - scarlet


Bishop - purple


Priest - black

Citizens of the Catholic country Monaco are not allowed to gamble within Monaco, a country known for its casinos.  Monegasques pay no income tax.

Feeling pent-up in the Vatican, Pope John Paul II snuck out to ski and hike in the Italian Alps over 100 times before being discovered by a 10-year-old boy who pointed at Pope John Paul II and shouted, "The pope!  The pope!"

In 2005, there were 1.12 billion Catholics, up 1.5% from 2004.  There were 406,411 priests, +.01%/520 priests,  Asia (+3.8%) and Africa (+3.6%) registered the greatest increases in vocations while Europe and the Americas showed a decline in vocations of -.05% and Oceania decreased -1.8%.  Africa has 20.3% of the world's priests, Europe has 48.8%, Americas 30% and Oceanea 1%.

Peruvian bishops caution the faithful that Confession cannot be heard over the internet citing Canon Law 964 which requires the physical presence of both the penitent and confessor

In early times, for example the 11th Century, the Church was opposed to the use of a fork, ascribing the fork as an instrument of the devil

Vatican financed the construction of the Watergate Hotel and Apartment complex in Washington, D. C. infamous in President Richard Nixon's resignation

Indult is special permission

Is your last name Zolp as verified on your birth and Catholic baptismal certificates?  If so, Loyola University in Chicago will provide you with a full four-year scholarship.

Saint Vitus is the Patron Saint Against Oversleeping

Sunday night Mass is the most popular Mass time for Australian Catholics aged 16-29

Catholics are 25% of the United States' military

Saint Médard is the Patron Saint Against Bad Weather

Saint Matilda is the Patron Saint of Misbehaving Children

In 2002, 938 Catholics became martyrs

Albania is 13% Catholic

Croatia is 88% Catholic

Germany is 34% Catholic

Holy Land is 2% Catholic

Italy is 83% Catholic

Ivory Coast is 16.5% Catholic

Japan is 1.5% Catholic

Malta is 99% Catholic.

South Korea is 8% Catholic

Spain is 95% Catholic

Sweden is 2% Catholic

Tajikistan is 2%  Catholic

Our Lady of Altagracia is the Patron Saint of the Dominican Republic

Saint Fiacre, an Irish-born monk, is the Patron Saint of Gardening.  Saint Fiacre healed the sick with herbs from his garden and grew food for the poor

3% of Iraq is Roman Catholic.  The Catholic Church has been in Iraq for 400 years.

The pope's license plate number is SCV 1

Charles Carroll was the only Catholic to sign the United States Declaration of Independence

Saint Gianna Beretta Molla - Patron saint of working mothers

85% of the Philippines is Roman Catholic

In 2000 there were 801,185 nuns worldwide compared to 968,526 in 1975

In 2003 there were 73,316 nuns in the U. S. compared to 179,954 in 1965

According to the 2002 census, Buncrana was named the most Catholic town in the Republic of Ireland at 94.3%.  The Republic of Ireland was 88.4% Catholic in 2002.

September 2003 U. S. Catholic school enrollment was 2,484,252 students

Vatican has 900 citizens and 3,000 employees

Simony is the purchase or sale of sacred or spiritual things and was halted by Pope Nicholas II in 1059

26 persons: One bishop, 20 priests, 4 religious, and a Catholic lay person were martyred during 2005


United States Catholic 2002 Statistics:

66.4 million U. S. Catholics - 23% of U. S. population

208 U. S. archdioceses and dioceses

29,715 U. S. diocesan priests

14,772 U. S. priests in religious orders

449 new U. S. priests

74,698 U. S. sisters

5,568 U. S. brothers

14,106 U. S. deacons

226 Catholic orphanages serving 714,253 youngsters

241,727 new marriages

1,605,490 infant baptisms

81,043 adult baptisms

897,635 First Communions

637,705 Confirmations

686,651 Catholic high school students

1,900,000 Catholic elementary students

585 Catholic hospitals serving 84,000,000  patients


The number of U. S. Catholic clergy declined during 1981-2001 from 58,534 to 45,713 while the U. S. Catholic population grew by 14,000,000/27%.

Saint Monica was Saint Augustine's mother

40 is the mystical number signifying penance.
bulletFlood - 40 days and 40 nights
bulletIsraelites condemed to roam the desert - 40 years
bulletMoses fasted on Mount Sinai - 40 days
bulletElias - fasted for 40 days and 40 nights
bulletJesus - fasted for 40 days in the desert
bulletSaint Francis of Assisi - fasted for 40 days after which he received the stigmata

Chrism Mass. This Mass celebrates the first Eucharist shared with the Apostles by which Jesus asked for priestly vocations.  Priests renew their vows at a Chrism Mass

From November, 1964, Catholics could eat meat on Friday

Old St. Peter's Church (16 Barclay Street, New York, NY 10007), where Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton was baptized and made her First Holy Communion, is the oldest Catholic parish in New York State

What makes for an authentic Catholic Church catechism?  The Pope's introductory letter

Saint Gertrude of Nivelles is the Patron Saint of Cats

Saint Roch is the Patron Saint of Dogs

Diocese of Brooklyn has 1.8 million Catholics

Fides is the Vatican's missionary news service


Worldwide 2001 Catholic Statistics:

1,060,840,000 Catholics, a gain of 15,783,000 from year 2000

Europe - 280,589,00, a gain of 455,000 from year 2000

Oceana - 8,320,000, a gain of 511,000 from year 2000

Africa - 135,660,000, a gain of 5,642,000 from year 2000

Asia - 108,168,000, a gain of 866,000 from year 2000

Americas - 528,103,000, a gain of 8,712,000 from year 2000

Worldwide 2002 Catholic Statistics:

1.07 billion Catholics

62.4% in the Americas

40.5% in Europe

26.8% in Oceania

16.5% in Africa

3% in Asia


The Catholic Church owns about 237,000 acres in America

U. S. Catholicsm grew by 1.5% in 2009 with 68 million Catholics - more than any other U. S. religion.

Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the U. S. House of Representatives,  converted to Catholicism on Holy Saturday, 2009.  A lifelong Baptist, Speaker Gingrich said his conversion was a ten-year journey.

Savannah, once the capital of Georgia, was begun by Englishman James Oglethorpe and a 1732 Royal Charter as a colony which did not accept Catholics, rum, or slaves

Pope Benedict XVI is wearing a saturno

The hat Pope Benedict XVI is wearing has been nicknamed saturno/Saturn Hat because it resembles the rings around the planet Saturn.

Actor James Cagney was a parishioner at Saint Monica Church at 413 East 79 Street in New York City

Magna Carta, signed by King John of England in 1215, removed the king's power over the Church

Mississippi is the most religious state in the U. S. and Vermonters are the least religious

Augustiner, the oldest and considered the best beer in Munich, Germany, was first brewed by Augustinian monks in 1328

There are 8,847 Roman Catholic schools in France

Need a prescription, laboratory test, x-ray or ultrasound at the Vatican?  That'll be 75 cents, please.

The Vatican consists of 108 acres

Jesuit Father José Gabriel Funes, Director of the Vatican Observatory, states that there may be intelligent life on other planets, and they would be God's children too

There are 2.2 million Catholics in Pakistan

Which countries have the most Catholics?  Brazil, Mexico and the United States.

The United States has more Catholic colleges and universities than any other country:  213.

The first Mass in the English-speaking American colonies was held on Saint Clement's Island in Maryland on March 25, 1634, and was the beginning of the Archdiocese of Washington

U. S. President Lyndon Baines Johnson and his Catholic daughter Luci attended the installation ceremony for Archdiocese of New York Cardinal Terrence Cooke at Saint Patrick's Cathedral on April 4, 1968

Looking for a spouse?  Pray to Saint Raphael, the Patron Saint of Happy Meetings, advises the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales: "You were sent by God to guide young Tobias in choosing a good and virtuous spouse. Please help me in this important choice which will affect my whole future."

Prayer For the Choice of a Good Spouse

"Saint Raphael, you were sent by God to guide young Tobias in choosing a good and virtuous spouse. Please help me in this important choice which will affect my whole future. You not only directed Tobias in finding a wife, but you also gave him guidelines which should be foremost in every Christian marriage: Pray together before making important decisions.  Amen"

What did Catholic mobster Al Capone's business card list as his occupation?  "Used Car Salesman."

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops settles between one-fourth and one third of all refugees into the United States

In 2002, 56,236 annulments were approved worldwide, 30,968 of which were in North America 

From 1982 to 1984, 80% of American annulments appealed to the Vatican Rota were reversed

Sent by King Charles of Spain in 1769, Franciscan Friar Junipero Serra founded San Diego de Alcala, the first Californian mission

There were 24 missionaries martyred in 2006

White Mass is said for physicians

Pope John Paul II's favorite movie was Life is Beautiful

Spain has a population of 41 million, 94% of whom are Catholic.  Spain has 22,670 Catholic parishes with 27,730 priests.

Poland has 9,990 parishes and 28,000 priests

On January 14, 1506, Pope Julius II purchased Laocoon, the first artwork acquired by the Vatican Museums, from a Roman vineyard. According to Greek mythology, Laocoon was a priest who tried to convince Troy not to accept the Greek gift of a hollow horse.

Marconi began Vatican Radio under Pope Pius XI

Saint Maximillian Mary Kolbe is the Patron Saint Against Drug Addiction

Scotland is 16% Roman Catholic

Polka Masses are popular in Minnesota

Between 43% and 48% of Catholics attend Mass every Sunday in the Archdiocese of Toronto

There are 195 U. S. dioceses and eparcies (Eastern rite churches)

An indulgence is a remission of the temporal punishment due for sins committed.

In 2003, 100,345 Catholics went to prison for their faith

Diocese of St. Joseph of Irkutsk in Siberia is the largest diocese with 10 million square kilometers.  The Diocese of St. Joseph of Irkutsk has 100 parishes serving 50,000 Catholics.

Delores Hart, film actress who appeared in 1957 Elvis film Loving You, became a nun

In Antioch, Syria, the disciples first took the name "Christians."

In 2000 there were 46,092 marriage annulments granted out of 56,236 ordinary processes worldwide

Madonna della Strada (Our Lady of the Street) is the patron saint of Rome's street sweepers and taxi drivers

The Eucharist lasts about 15 minutes after being consumed.  Food, drink, smoking  etcetera should wait during this time as we Catholics reflect. (There is a one hour fast before receiving Communion)

Saint Clare is the Patron Saint of Television.

60% of Slovakia is Roman Catholic

17.3% of the world's population is Roman Catholic

In 2003, 9.1% of Koreans were Roman Catholic

Father Augustine Tolton was the first person whose both parents were African American to become a Catholic priest in America.  Father Tolton was born into a Catholic slave family in 1854 in Missouri.  Prior to that, three Healy brothers were priests.  The Healy brothers' father was an Irish Catholic Georgian slaveholder and their mother was an African slave.

Saint Raphael the Archangel is the Patron Saint Against Nightmares and Eye Diseases

Saint Genesius and Saint Vitus are the Patron Saints of Actors

Saint James the Apostle is buried in the Cathedral of Santiago in Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Poland is 90% Roman Catholic

Brazil has the most Catholics with 125 million

Olive trees were used for crucifixion

Red Mass - Mass for law courts and lawyers

The Second Vatican Council opened on October 11, 1962

Saint John the Baptist parents were Elizabeth and Zachary.  Saint Elizabeth was Mary's cousin.  Saint John the Baptist was a disciple of Saint John the Apostle.

Seven cardinal virtues are faith, hope, charity, temperance, prudence, fortitude and justice

Saint Isidore of Seville is the proposed patron saint of internet users

Bishop administers the Sacrament of Confirmation

Interregnum.  The time between the death and the replacement of a bishop

The Church in the United States was established on November 6, 1789 by Pope Pius VI

There is no funeral mass during Holy Week

Legion of Decency. Media self-control group disbanded by Vatican II

Brooklyn, New York  is known as The Borough of Churches.

The ashes used on Ash Wednesday are made from burning the previous year's blessed palms

Mass is not celebrated on Good Friday

A Benedictine monk, Saint Bede the Venerable, first used A. D. (Anno Domini)

In 1834 Pope Gregory XVI established the Diocese of Vincennes encompassing all of Indiana and eastern Illinois including Chicago

Saint Joaquim and Saint Anne were Jesus' maternal grandparents

Catholic Charities, USA, headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia (703) 549-1390, was founded in 1910 and had total FY2000 (latest available) income (in millions) of $2,621.2, of which $390.0  was from public support. 87.8was used for programs, and the highest paid official earned $108,264 in compensation and benefits. (Not rated by charity watchdogs AIP and Charity Navigator; received highest rating from Wise Giving Alliance.)

Big Brothers/Big Sisters of America, headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (215) 567-7000, was founded in 1945 and had total FY2002 income (in millions) of $201.4 of which $102.9 was from public support. 80.8% was used for programs, and the highest paid official earned $239,000 in compensation and benefits.  Received highest possible rating from each of three charity watchdogs. (AIP, Wise Giving Alliance and Charity Navigator)

Catholic Relief Services, headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland (800) 235-2772, was founded in 1943 and had total FY2002 income (in millions) of $262.2, of which $111.8 was from public support. 98% was used for programs, and the highest paid official earned $242,799 in compensation and benefits. (Received A- from charity watchdog AIP, highest rating from Wise Giving Alliance, and was not rated by Charity Navigator.)

Saint Vivian (Saint Bibiana) is the Patron Saint of Single Lay Women.  Her Feast Day is December 2

Matthew means "Gift from God"

Blessed Mother's birthday is September 8

Saint Jerome is the Patron Saint Against Anger

Saint Barbara is the Patron Saint Against Death by Artillery and the Patron Saint Against Mine Collapse

Magesterium - the bishops in communion with the pope

Seth was Adam and Eve's third son

Saint Paul the Apostle is the Patron Saint of Writers and Public Relations

Saint Mark the Evangelist is the Patron Saint of Insect Bites and the Patron Saint of Venice

Saint Michael the Archangel is the Patron Saint of Police Officers

Apostles Peter and Andrew were brothers and Apostles James and John were brothers

Saint Andrew is the Patron Saint of both Scotland and Russia

Saint Charles Borromeo is the Patron Saint Against Ulcers




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