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i:v T1IO 


616. MAJOR 








Joins Christ yetterday and to-day, and <he same for over. - HKB. xiii. 
God is charity. Joair iv, g. 




618. MAJOR 




We cheerfully recommend to the patronage of th 
Catholic community the Catecliism of Perseverance, trans 
lated from the " Petit Catechisme de Perseverance " of the 
Abbe Gaume, as a work well calculated to impart solid 
historical, liturgical, roeral, and doctrinal instruction in 
an agreeable fbrro, and being particularly well suited for 
the purpose erf higher religious instruction in Catholic 
ichools and academies* 

-f- MARTIN J., Bisho}> of Louisville. 
4- MICHAEL, BisJiop of Mcbilt. 
f- ANTHONY, Bislwp of New Orleans* 
^ BisJiop of Galvestw. 

Entered accwdicg to Act of Congress, in the year 2S50, by 


In the Clerk s Office of the DUtxict Court of Maryland. 



Introduction, . , . . , . . xv 

Prayer before and after Catechism, . . . xxxvii 


CHAPTER I. Teaching of Religion Catechism, . 38 
II. Teaching of Religion Scripture and 

Tradition, . . . . .40 

III. Knowledge of God God considered 

in himself, . . . .43 

IV. God considered in his works First 

day of Creation, r .- . 45 

V. Second day of Creation, . . : ,; 46 

VI. Third day of Creation, . . . 48 

VII. Third and fourth days of Creation, 50 

VIII. Fourth day of Creation, concluded, 52 

IX. Fifth day of the Creation, . . 54 

X. End of the fifth and beginning of the 

sixth day of Creation, . . .55 
XL End of the sixth day of Creation, . 57 
XII. Knowledge of Man Man considered 

in himself, ... . . .59 

XIII. Man considered in his relations to 

creatures, . . . . .60 

XIV. Man considered in his relations to 

God, . ... .- , 63 



CHAPTER XV. Knowledge of the Jlngeto, . 64 

XVI. The fall of Man, ... 66 

XVII. Justice reconciled in the punishment 

of original sin, . . . .68 
XVIII. Necessity of faith in the mystery of 

the Redemption History of Job, 70 
XIX. Knowledge of Religion, it is a great 

grace, . -. . . . .72 
XX. What is Religion, . .- ; . 73 
XXL The Messiah promised and prefigured 
Adam and Abel, first and second 
figures of the Messiah, . . .75 
XXII. Noah the third figure, (A. C. 2348,) 77 

XXIII. Melchisedech, fourth figure, (A. C. 

2247-1921,) 79 

XXIV. Isaac, the fifth figure, (A. C. 1871- 

1836,) 81 

XXV. Jacob, sixth figure, (A. C. 1739,) 83 
XXVI. Joseph, seventh figure, (A. C. 1729- 

1689,) 84 

XXVII. The Paschal Lamb, eighth figure, 

(A. C. 491,) . . ... 86 
XXVIII. The Manna, ninth figure, (A. C. 

1491,) 87 

XXIX. The Sacrifice and Brazen Serpent, 
tenth and eleventh figures, (A. C. 
1451.) .... . . 89 

XXX. Moses, twelfth figure, (A. C .1451,) 91 
XXXI. Joshua, thirteenth figure, (A. C. 1450- 

1426,) . . . . .92 

XXXII. Gideon, fourteenth figure, (A. C. 

1405,) . . . . . . 93 


CHAP. XXXIII Sampson, fifteenth figure, (A. C. 

1245-1117,) . . . .95 
XXXIV Seventh promise of the Messiah, 

(A. C. 1116-1048,) ... 97 
XXXV. David, sixteenth figure, (A. C. 

1022-1015,) . . . .99 
XXXVI Solomon, seventeenth figure, (A. C. 

1015-982,) . . . . lOtf 
XXXVII. Jonas, eighteenth figure, (A. C. 

975-825,) 103 

XXXVIII. Messiah foretold, Prophecies of Da 
vid,) 105 

XXXIX. Prophecies of Isaias, (A. C. 720,) 10 / 
XL. Prophecies of Osee, Micheas, Joel 

and Jeremias, (A. C. 600,) . 10,* 
XLI. Prophecy of Ezechiel, (A. C. 580.) 110 
XL1I. Prophecies of Daniel, (A. C. 551- 

538,) . . . . .113 
LIII. Prophecies of Aggeus, Zacharias, 

and Malachias, (A. C. 538-454,) 114 
LIV. Summary and application of the 

promises, figures and prophecies, 116 
XL V. Preparation for the Messiah Mon 
archy of the Assyrians and Per 
sians, (A. C. 900-460,) . .119 
XL VI. History of Judith, (A. C. 810,) 123 
XLVII. History of Tobias, (A. C. 611,) .124 
XL VIII. History of Esther, (A. C. 460,) 125 
XLIX. Monarchy of the Greeks and Ro 
mans, (A. C. 336-170,) . .127 
L. History of the Machabees, (A. C. 

170,) 129 

LL Unity of Religion and the Church, 131 



CHAPTER LII. Influence of Religion, 


CHAPTER L State of the world at the coming of the 

Messiah, . ; .* . . 136 
II. Birth of the Messiah, ^. . . 138 

III. Hidden Life of our Lord Jesus 

Christ, ..... . . . u*. 

IV. Public Life of our Lord First year, 142 
V. First year, . . . . .14* 

VI. First year, . _. , = . " -"r v . 145 

VII. Second year, ... . . 147 

VIII. Second year, . . ^ < .150 

IX. Third year, . -. . , . 15* 

X. Third year, . *. . . . .154 

XI. Third year, . . . , . . 156 

XII. Passion of our Lord, . ,. ", . 158 

XIII. Passion of our Lord, continued, . 160 

XIV. The Burial and Resurrection of our 

Lord, . . * , .. . 163 

XV. The glorious life of our Lord, . . 166 

XVI. Our ,ord restorer of the world, . .168 

XVII." Our Lord, the new Adam, . . 171 

XVIII. First and second articles of the Creed, 173 

XIX Third, fourth and fifth articles of the 

Creed, . . * . . .176 
XX. Purgatory, . . . . " " . 178 

XXI. Sixth and seventh articles of the 

Creed, ... . ..... 180 

XXII. Eighth, ninth, tenth and eleventh arti 
cles of the Creed, . , . .182 
XXIII. Twelfth article of the Creed Sign of 

the Cross, .. . . . . 184 



CHAP. XXIV, Hope and Charity, . , ,186 
XXV. Charity The Decalogue, . 188 
XXVI. First Commandment, . ,.. ,190 
XXVII. First Commandment continued 

Second Commandment, . .193 
XXVIII. Second Commandment continued 

Third Commandment, . .195 
XXIX. Fourth Commandment, . . 197 
XXX. Fifth, sixth, and ninth Command 
ments, . * , . .200 
XXXI. Seventh and tenth Commandments, 202 
XXXII. Eighth Commandment, |*j . 204 

XXXIII. The Sacraments, ... 206 

XXXIV. Of Baptism, . v: . > 208 
XXXV. Baptism, continued, . . . 210 

XXXVI. Of Confirmation, . . ; ;>- : .212 
XXXVII. The Eucharist, . ... 214 
XXXVIII. The Eucharist, continued, . .216 
XXXIX. Penance, . . . * . 218 
XL. Penance, continued, : . 220 
XLI. Penance, continued, . . . 222 
XLII. Indulgence The Jubilee, . . 224 
XLIII. Extreme Unction, . . * 226 
XLIV. Sacrament of Holy Orders, . . 228 
XLV. Sacrament of Holy Orders, con 
tinued, V - . . . 230 
XLVI. Sacrament of Matrimony, . . 232 
XL VII. Grace and Prayer, . . . 234 
XL VIII. End of our union with Christ, . 238 
XLIX. End of our union with Christ, con 
tinued, . . . 239 
L. Obstacles to our union with our 

Lord. *: - . . . 241 




The Church, . 

The Church, continued, 
















4 VIII. 






Christianity established First preach 
ing of the Apostles First Century, 
Lives of SS. Peter and Paul, 
Life of St. Paul, continued, . ; . 
Lives of the other Apostles, . . 
Manners of the Pagans, . . . 
Manners of the Christians, . .- . 
Manners of the Christians, continued, 
Manners of the Christians, continued, 
First Century, . . . . 

First and second Persecutions, 
Third and fourth Persecutions Sec 
ond Century, ..... 268 

Fifth and sixth Persecutions, . . 270 
Sixth Persecution, . . . .272 

Seventh PersecutionThird Cen 
tury, . ..... 274 

Eighth and ninth Persecutions, . 276 
Tenth Persecution Third and fourth 
Centuries, . . . . .278 

Tenth Persecution, continued Fourth 
Century, . . . 
Tenth Persecution, continued, | ; 
Tenth Persecution, continued, 
Divinity of Religion, 
Arius St. A thanasius Fourth Cen 
tury, . . ., .. . T ? 
St. Hilary St. Martin St Gregory 
Nazianzen St. Basil, . . .288 

















St. Hilarion, St. Ambrose, St. Au- 
gustin Second General Council 
Fourth and fifth Centuries, . 290 

St. Chrysostom, St. Jerome, St. Ar- 
senius Third and fourth General 
Councils Fifth Century, continued, 292 

St. Patrick, St. Clotilda, St. Bene 
dict Fifth General Council 
Fifth and sixth Centuries, . . 294 

St. Austin, and St. John the Almo 
ner Sixth and seventh Centuries, 296 

St. John the Almoner, continued 
The true Cross restored Seventh 
Century, . .- .-..- . 297 

St. Sophronius Sixth General Coun- 
cil-^St. Willibrod Seventh and 
eighth Centuries, . . . . 299 

St. Boniface Martyrdom of the Re 
ligious of Lerins and of St. Stephen 
Eighth Century, ,. . . -301 

St. John Damascen Seventh Gen 
eral Council Eighth and ninth 
Centuries, ..... 303 

Eighth General Council Conversion 
of the Russians and Normans 
Ninth and tenth Centuries, . . 304 

St. Gerard, St. Odon, St. Adelaide, 
Conversion of the Poles Tenth 
Century, ,,.. . . 306 

St. Bruno, St. William, St. Gregory 
VII. Eleventh Century, . . 307 

Founding of the great St. Bernard 
Eleventh Century, . . . 309 


CHAP. XXXV. Conversion of the Hungarians 

Eleventh Century, continued, .311 
XXXVI. Founding of several Religious Or 
ders Eleventh and twelfth Cen 
turies, . . . . . . 313 

XXXVII. Twelfth Century, continued, . 315 
XXXVIII. Council of Lateran Conversion of 
the Rugians Twelfth and thir 
teenth Centuries, . . . .316 

XXXIX. Establishment of the Mendicant Or 
ders Thirteenth Century, con 
tinued, . . . . 318 
XL. General Councils of Lateran and 
Lyons Thirteenth Century, con 
tinued, . . , * . 320 
XLI. Founding of th% Cellite Friars 

Fourteenth Century, . . .321 
XLII. General Council of Vienne Four 
teenth Century, . . . . 323 

XL1II. Council of Constance Fifteenth 

Century, . . . -. . 324 
XLIV. Council of Florence Discovery of 
America Fifteenth Century, con 
tinued, 326 

XL V. Combat of the Church with Protest 
antismSixteenth Century, . 327 
XL VI. Brothers of St. John of God and the 
Jesuits Sixteenth Century, con 
tinued, . . . . . 329 
XLVII. Council of Trent The Ursulines 

End of the sixteenth Century, .330 
XL VIII. Missions to America and the Le 
vant Seventeenth Century, . 332 




CHAP. XLIX. Martyrs of Japan Seventeenth Cen 
tury, continued, . . , . . 333 
L. Founding of the Brothers of the 
Christian Schools Missions in 
China and America Eighteenth 

Century, 335 

LI. Many Apologists of Religion Eigh 
teenth Century, continued, . . 336 
LIT. The Clergy of France Martyrs of 
the Revolution End of the Eigh 
teenth Century, . . .338 


CHAPTER I. Christianity visible Necessity and 

advantages of exterior worship, . 340 

II. Origin of Ceremonies, . ,, . 341 

III. Of Churches, .; . -. . . . 342 

IV. Churches, continued, . . . 344 
V. Of Blessings and Cemeteries, . . 346 

VI. Of Festivals, their object and beauty, 347 

VI L The Sunday The Office, . . .348 

VIII. The Office, continued, ... 350 

IX. Office, continued, . . . .351 

X. Office, concluded Use of Latin 

The Chant, . . , . . 352 
XI. Of Sacrifice in general, and Mass in 

particular, . . . . . 354 
XII. Of the Vestments of the Priest, . 355 

XIII. Ornaments of Bishops Color of Or 

naments, - ... . . " . . . 357 

XIV. Sacred Vessels and Holy Water, . 359 
XV. Procession and the first part of the 

Mass, . ... . . . . 360 




CHAP. XVI. Use of Incense, and the second part 

of the Mass, . . * . . 362 

XVII. Second part of the Mass, continued, 363 

XVIII. Second and third part of the Mass, 365 

XIX. Third part of the Mass, . . .366 

XX. Third and fourth part of the Mass, 367 

XXI. Fourth part of the Mass, continued, 369 

XXII. Fifth part of the Mass, . . . .370 

XXIII. Sixth part of the Mass, -. - . 372 

XXIV. Days of the week and month, . . 373 
XXV. Advent, 374 

XXVI. Feast of the Immaculate Conception, 376 

XXVII. Ember days and Vigils, . . .377 

XXVIII. Christmas, . . . J V 378 

XXIX. Feast of the Circumcision, . . 380 

XXX. Epiphany, . .... . 381 

XXXI. Purification, . i ". . .382 

XXXII. Lent, . . . ... 384 

XXXIII. Ash Wednesday Liturgy of Lent, . 385 

XXXIV. Last fifteen days of Lent, . . 387 
XXXV. Palm Sunday Holy Thursday, . 388 

XXXVI. Good Friday, .... 389 

XXXVII. Holy Saturday, . .L . .391 

XXXVIII. Easter, . . . .- . 392 

XXXIX. The Annunciation, , . . . 393 

XL. Month of Mary Scapular Rosary, 395 

XLI. Rogations Procession of St. Mark, 396 

XLII. The Ascension, .... 397 

XLIII. Pentecost, . . . ; . 398 

XLIV. Feast of the Holy Trinity, . . 399 

XLV. Corpus Christi, . . . .401 

XLVI. Feast of the Sacred Heart, . . 402 

XLVII. Visitation Assumption, . . 403 

CON TENTS: x iii 


CEAP. XL VIII. Nativity Presentation, . . 404 
XLIX. Finding and Exaltation of the Holy 

Cross, .."... . . . 405 

L. Feast of St. Michael and the Guar 
dian Angels, . . . . 406 

LI. Feast of All Saints, . . . 408 
LII. All Souls, . . .. .-.: . 400 

LIIL Dedication, .... . . 410 

LIV. Religion in time and eternity, .411 


THE great merit of the Catechism of Perseverance 
as a text-book for the more advanced instruction of 
young persons in the history, doctrines and practices of 
the Christian religion, has been universally admitted. 
The plan followed by the author is such as to facilitate 
very much the acquisition of this necessary knowledge, 
by presenting a connected idea of religion from the 
creation of man to the end of time. For a more par 
ticular explanation of his method, we refer the reader 
to his introductory remarks. The first edition of the 
abridged work in English appeared in this city a few 
years ago, and was received with the warmest com 
mendations of the press. In presenting it again to the 
public, we beg leave to state that it has undergone a 
careful revision, and many inaccuracies of expression 
have been corrected. A table of contents has also been 
added, which will be found very convenient in a book 
containing so many details. We offer it therefore 
with confidence to the Catholic community, hoping 
that it will meet their approbation and answer the im 
portant ends for which it was designed. 



ST. AUGUSTIN, the illustrious Bishop of Hippo,being 
asked what was the best method of teaching religion, 
replied in his admirable treatise, Manner of teaching the 
ignorant : " The true method of teaching religion is to 
begin with these words, In the beginning God created 
the heavens and the earth, and develop the whole history 
of Christianity down to our own time. It will not be 
requisite to relate all the particulars of the Old and 
New Testament, a labor neither feasible nor necessary. 
Make an abridgment, insist on what seem to you the 
most important points. ... In order to show the whole 
scope of religion, bear in mind that the Old Testament 
is the figure of the New ; that the entire Mosaic relig 
ion, the patriarchs, their lives, their covenants, their 
sacrifices, are so many figures of what we see ; that the 
whole Jewish people and their government are but a 
GREAT PROPHET of Jesus Christ and of the Church." 

This, according to St. Augustin, should be the 
teaching of the letter of religion. The holy doctor, 
faithful interpreter of the divine Master, makes the 
spirit of religion consist in the love of God and our 
neighbor ; he speaks thus : " Commencing your ac 
count from the creation of all things in a state of per 
fection, and bringing it down to the existing period of 
ihe Church, your sole aim will be to show that every 


thing prior to the Incarnation of the Word, tends 
to manifest the love of God in accomplishing this 
mystery. Jesus Christ himself immolated for us, 
teaches us the immensity of God s love for us, in 
giving us his true and only Son. If, then, the prin- 
cipal end proposed to himself by the eternal Word 
in coming on earth, was to teach man how much 
he is beloved by God, and if this knowledge itself 
has no other end than to kindle in man s heart the 
love of that God who first loved him, and the 
love of his neighbor, of which God has himself given 
both the precept and the example; and if, again, 
the whole of the Scriptures, anterior to Jesus Christ, 
have for their object the announcement of his coming ; 
and if the whole of the Scriptures posterior to him 
speak only of Christ and charity, is it not evident that 
not only the law and the prophets, but also the New 
Testament, are reducible to these two great precepts : 
the lore of God and the love of our neighbor ? 

" You will, therefore, explain whatever you rehearse, 
and account for the cause and lite end of all events, by 
the word love, in such a manner that this grand idea may 
be ever present to the mind and heart. This two-fold 
love of God and our neighbor, being the end to which 
tends all you have to say, you will treat the whole in 
such a way, as to lead your hearers to faith, from 
faith to hope, from hope to charity" 

Such is the plan we have endeavored to follow. 
Could we have chosen a better V Will the youth of the 
nineteenth century lose any thing by having St. Augus 
tan for their catechist ? Thus, the exposition of the 


Catholic religion from the beginning of the world to 
the present day, the Catholic religion before, during, 
and after the preaching of Jesus Christ, is the object 
of this Catechism. 

It is divided into four courses ; the first embraces 
the period from the first day of creation to the coming 
of the Messiah : the second, the birth, life, death, and 
resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ : the third, the 
establishment, preservation and propagation of the 
Catholic Church : the fourth, the church visible its 
worship, both exterior and interior, 


The first course will embrace the following matter : 
1. GOD. THE six DAYS OF CREATION. We adore 
in his ineffable essence the God of eternity, who has 
created time and all things that exist in time. The 
existence and perfections of this eternal Being de 
manding first our attention, we consider his power, 
his wisdom, his goodness, his liberty, his immutability, 
his providence. 

After contemplating God in himself, we consider 
him in his works. With the morning stars we assist 
at the glorious spectacle of the creation of the universe. 
Each creature, as it comes forth from his hand, bears 
on its brow, graven in living characters, the omnipotent 
word, God. All things speak the unity, power, wis 
dom, goottness, and paternal providence of Him who 
watches with the same care over those majestic orbs 
which will run their destined coarse until the* end of 


ages, and the tender flower whose life (A a day com 
mences and ends with the rising and setting of the sun, 
2. THE PRIMEVAL STATE. Created in a state of 
grace and supernatural justice, man knew God, knew 
himself, knew all nature thus was he happy in his 
Intellect. He loved God with a lively, tender, pure, 
and tranquil love, and in God and for God he loved 
himself and all creatures thus was he happy in his 
heart ; exempt from infirmities and sickness, he would 
never have known death thus was he happy in his 
body ; in a word, united to Him who is the source of 
happiness and immortality, the wisole man was pos 
sessed of happiness and immortality. Hence in the 
primitive state there was, for God, an tmresisted exer 
cise of his dominion over man, and through man, over 
all creatures : omnia in omnibus / for man, truth, chari 
ty, and immortality hence between God and man an 
intimate union, which gave glory to God, peace to man r 
order and Jhannony to all creatures. Such was man, 
and such the state of the world In the state of innocence, 
have we looked upon the beautiful vision, for man s 
primitive happiness passed with the Heetness of a 
vision, when we witness the terrible catastrophe, which 
has left its remembrance indelibly stamped tipon the 
minds of the nations of the earth ; man w fallen f He 
is stripped of grace and his supernatural justice, con 
demned to* death, tne union between God and man is 
destroyed and man condemned to labor, infirmities, 
sickness, and all the miseries his fallen state is heir 
to^ Yet*heis not destroyed forthwith,. as he merited; 


he is not treated as were the rebel angels ; time is 
granted him to recover from his fall, regain what he 
had lost, and the means are furnished him where 
with to repair his misfortunes and be re-united to God. 
Here commences the great mystery of God s mercy 
a Redeemer is promised. 

4. THE MESSIAH PROMISED. To close the heart of 
man against despair, and afford him patience during 
tour thousand years, a Redeemer is promised. Scarcely 
is he fallen, when the words of God to the serpent, 
her seed shall crush thy head, announce to him the con 
soling tidings. Adam comprehends this first promise, 
and transmits it to his children, as the only hope of the 
human race, for two thousand years. The second 
promise is made to Abraham, and fixes the fulfilment 
among his descendants. As ages roll on, the promises 
become more numerous, more precise and definite. 
Man was always assured of a Redeemer, but he knew 
not when or where to expect him gradually he is 
taught to find him in the family of David. Here the 
promises cease, with David ; whilst the figures, com^ 
mencing also with Adam, exhibited and continued in 
Abel, Noah, Melchisedec, Isaac, Joseph, the Paschal 
Lamb, Moses, &c., also cease in the person of Jonas, 
the last figure of the Messiah. 

During three thousand years, from Adam the first fig 
ure to Jonas the last, appears a long list of illustrious 
personages, who all represent the Messiah in some 
circumstances of his birth, death, resurrection, and 
triumph. A thousand events ary brought to bear, a 


great variety of ceremonies and sacrifices are estab 
lished, all uniting to form the outlines of the portrait. 
The most significant were the sacrifices. Each day 
the blood of victims, the perpetual immolation of the 
lamb in the temple of Jerusalem, unceasingly reminded 
the Jewish people of the future Victim, whose sacrifice 
was to re-place all others, and to which they owed all 
their merit. Of this no Jew was ignorant. Yet these 
mere outlines are not sufficient, the different parts must 
be filled up, the colors must be added, the light and 
shade must be so justly blended, that the likeness may 
be perfect, and leave no possibility of mistaking the 
original. Follow the prophets, whose intelligence 
God, in his wisdom, associates with his own infinite 
intelligence, and to whom he communicates the hidden 
things of the future. He places before their eyes the 
Desired of nations, and bids them make the likeness 
with such precision, render the features so clear, so 
characteristic, so circumstantial, that it shall be im 
possible not to recognize, at sight, this Son of David, 
who will save the world. The prophets, to accredit 
their predictions concerning the Messiah, foretell 
events, nearer their own time, all of which faithfully 
occur at the time and in the manner foretold. Daniel 
foretells the precise time of the Messiah s appearance ; 
all things are made ready for his coming. 


five hundred years of prophecies, perfectly characteriz 
ing ana pointing out the Messiah, marking the place and 
time of his birth, and giving in detail his actions, we 
must prepare for his glorious appearance. The eternal 


Word, the immortal King of ages, the Desired of na 
tions, is about to make his entry into the world ; God, 
his father, makes smooth his way, opens the gates and 
prepares the minds of all people to receive him ; a 
thousand events are made to concur in the establish 
ment of his eternal reign. In the four great monarchies 
which arose at different periods during the course of 
ages, with their eventful existence, wars, victories, and 
alliances, of which the east and the west were the 
theatre, and which absorbed all other empires, till the 
whole world was resting in peace beneath the wings of 
the Roman eagle, we recognize the preparation for the 
coming of the Messiah, and behold the entire universe 
brought to the feet of Jesus Christ, the new born King. 
O ! admirable philosophy, whose sublimity fills the 
learned with astonishment, yet whose simplicity is 
within the reach of the humblest of the weak. Thus 
God, man, the world, Jesus Christ promised, pointed 
out, and prepared for, are the subject of our study 
during the first course. 


In the second course we pass from the reign of 
shadows and preparations to that of light and reality. 
Following the advice of St. Augustin, we present the 
Gospel as the divine commentary and accomplishment 
of the Old Testament. With the fathers of the church 
we teach that the Catholic religion, born with the 
world, known to the patriarchs, further.developed by 
Moses and the prophets, was finally established and 
fully perfected under the Gospel. The Jews had the 

x x i i -/A THOU U C T I ON. 

shadow without the reality, the Christian possesses 
the truth hidden under veils, the saint sees it face to 
face. The Old Testament is manifested in the New, 
and the New shall be manifested in heaven. We thus 
introduce the Christian youth to the life of the Messiah. 
1. THE LIFE OF THE MESSIAH. We behold the 
Son of the august Virgin of Judah, occupied from his 
birth, not in founding a new religion, but in perfecting 
the ancient, in doctrine, morals and worship ; instead 
of impotent elements, substituting sacraments, replete 
with grace and efficacy, abolishing those rights which 
appropriated religion to the Jew only, and declaring 
the end of his mission is not to destroy the law and the 
prophets, but to accomplish and confirm them. He 
unites his new work with the old, or rather teaches 
us that the Old and New Testaments form but one 
whole, of which he is the centre, one edifice of which 
he is the corner stone. We see him born, living, 
teaching as a Man- God, and dying, but dying in a 
manner worthy of God, proving his divinity more in 
vincibly by his death than by his life. A remarkable 
fact characterizes his advent, from the moment of his 
birth ; the nations ceased and have for ever ceased to 
expect the Messiah ; the Jews alone are an exception, 
and yet this very exception is in our favor ; their re 
jection of the Messiah had been foretold ; had the 
Jews not rejected him, he would therefore not have 
been the Messiah. Another fact calls for our atten 
tion ; our Lord fulfils, in its fullest extent, all that 
was expected of the Desired of nations, with respect 
to God, with respect to man, and with respect k Gotl 

/A TR UJJ UCT1 W.V. xx i,i 

and man ; hence infinite homage to God ; perfect atoae- 
ment for man, even to the death of the cross ; and an 
intimate union between God and man. 

2. THE MESSIAH THE NEW ADAM. In the person 
of the Man-God, the human race has been perfectly 
restored to its rights and privileges ; yet each member 
of that race must by his own co-operation participate 
in the restoration, or Christ will profit him nothing. 
He who does not comprehend this fundamental truth, 
does not comprehend Christianity. St. Paul recog 
nizes but two men in the world, tlie first Adam, and 
the second Adam, who is Jesus Christ. In the first, 
the human race became desperate ; ia the second re 
generated. It was our union with the first that 
brought upon us our misery and wo ; nothing but our 
union with the second can repair our loss. Heace the 
indispensable necessity of our being united to the new 
Adam, in our mind, our heart and our senses. 

FAITR. The union of our mind with the new Adam 
is operated by faith lie who will not believe shall be 
condemned : the union of our will o*" heart, by love he 
who loveth not> dwelleth in /"i-ie.s * tiie union of our 
body, by the holy Communion. unless you eat ike. flesh 
of the Son of man, an<t tfrink his blood, you shall not 
have life in you. This admirable economy of Chris 
tianity was the special object of the instructions given 
by the Saviour to the apostles, during the forty days 
after his resurrection. He entered into a full detail, 
and taught the apostles all the truths which they were 
to preach, and man to believe, in order to be united to 


the new Adam, and participate in the fruit of the re 
demption. The apostles make an abridgment, the sym 
bol called the apostles Creed God, one in nature,three 
in persons, the Father creates, the Son redeems, the 
Holy Ghost sanctifies ; Man, a mysterious compound 
of body and soul, created innocent, degraded by his own 
fault, allowed a time of probation, furnished with the 
necessary means to regain his pre-eminent station and 
primitive perfection, amenable for the use made of 
these means ; and eternal felicity or eternal misery, 
the reward ; the World created by God, governed by 
the laws of a universal providence, destined to be 
purified by fire at the moment marked by Him who 
made it out of nothing. Thus teaches the symbol. 

ADAM BY CHARITY. Man is not only a spirit, he pos 
sesses also a heart or body. This simple fact suffices 
to confute the monstrous assertion of the reformers of 
the sixteenth century, that faith alone will save us. By 
faith alone our union with the new Adam is not com 
pleted, but only commenced, it must be completed by 
charity. Therefore the decalogue follows immediately 
the symbol. The latter exercises our faith, the former 
our love, if you love me, keep my commandments. The 
symbol is the teacher of our feeble reason, and the 
regenerating principle of our thoughts. The Deca 
logue is the safeguard of our hearts and the regen 
erating principle of our affections. All the precepts 
of the decalogue are reducible to two, the love of God 
and love of our neighbor. The precepts of the deca 
logue are affirmative or negative. By the affirmative 

IN TR OD U C TI ON. xx y 

the new Adam teaches what we should love, and how 
we should love that is, God, and man for the love 
of God. By the negative, he protects our heart from 
all foreign and injurious love, thereby protecting all 
our dearest interests and securing the welfare and 
happiness of society. 



union of the mind and the will, with the new Adam, 
leads to a still more intimate union. The blood, the 
flesh, the body, the senses of man are vitiated. De 
graded in every portion of his being, man needs an en 
tire regeneration therefore must he be wholly united 
to the new Adam he needs also an exterior sign of the 
interior union operated by faith and love. Hence the 
establishment of the adorable Eucharist. Commenced 
in faith, perfected in love, this union is consummated 
in Communion there man receives a new life, his 
mind, his heart, his senses are all regenerated by a 
participation in the divine nature. Faith, love and 
communion unite him to Christ the new Adam. 

NEW ADAM. Man was created in a supernatural state, 
that is, destined to enjoy a happiness not required by 
the simple conditions of his nature man fell from his 
high destiny ; he was by Jesus Christ restored to his 
primitive right to behold God face to face, and the 
means given him whereby to merit it ; hence religion 
which conducts man to supernatural happiness, is a 
grace, a gratuitous gift man therefore, as is evident, 
cannot, by any virtue inherent in him, arrive at this 


XX vi IN TR 01) U C 77 ON. 

triple union therefore grace is necessary this ^as 
true of man before his fall, his state being supernatural. 
Still more is it true of him since his fall. But grace is 
in a special manner the fruit of prayer hence prayer 
has been always a characteristic feature found amongst 
all people since the beginning of the world it is as 
necessary for the life of the soul, as breathing is for 
that of the body. Pray ahvays pray mthout ceasing. 
Prayer is the soul and life of Christianity. Among 
the first Christians, Christianity and prayer were 
synonymous. Among the converted savages of the 
new world, Christianity is in their language called 
prayer, hence with them to embrace prayer means to 
become a Christian. Grace and prayer therefore are 
necessary for our union with the new Adam. 

ing shown the nature, necessity and conditions of out- 
union with the Redeemer, we explain the end proposed 
by the eternal Word in uniting us so intimately with 
himself it is, that we may live of his life on earth 
and in heaven the life of the new Adam is then the 
model for universal imitation. Not content with pour 
ing the healing balm into our wounded souls, and 
putting us again into the right path, like the noble 
ea<jle teaching his young eaglets to fly, he takes his 
way to heaven, to show us how, and whither we must 
follow him like a tender parent, he has explored 
every path, lived through every stage of life through 
which man must pass, in order to sanctify these differ 
ent stages and teach man to sanctify them. Follow me 
... he that followeth me walketh not in darkness. . . / 


have given you an example that as I have done to you, so 
you do also ; he is our model on earth. Follow me, 

he is our model in heaven that where I am you also 

may be. Christ is our model in every age, ever} state 
and every condition : model of our interior life- What 
were his thoughts ? what his love 1 This is the touch 
stone of all our thoughts and affections. Model of our 
exterior life, He hath done all things well ; model of in 
feriors, He was obedient ; model of superiors, He went, 
about doing good ; model of all who suffer, Not what 1 
will, but what thou wilt. These are the beautiful lessons 
he still teaches from the tabernacle on our altars 
therefore holiness in time and happiness in eternity are 
the end of our union with the new Adam. 

ADAM. The apostles thoroughly instructed in the di 
vine economy of man s redemption, must still learn to 
preserve and propagate the heavenly work. For this 
our Lord provides he appoints his vicegerent on earth, 
establishes his hierarchy ; behold the church teaching. 
Christ calls it his body, that is, the visible organ of his 
spirit the mouth by which he will speak the church 
shall never fail, he who hears not the church hears no 
Christ, neither the Father who sent him henceforth 
it will be impossible to have God for our father, if we 
have not the church for our mother. Therefore we 
next consider the church, her constitution, authority, 
characters and advantages. The mission of our 
Saviour is accomplished ; man is redeemed, means of 
salvation secured, the church established to protect 
and perpetuate this immense grace ; he ascends to take 


solemn possession of his noble conquest, the eternal 
home of man. Ever before the throne of his father, 
our high priest and advocate, he pleads for us, watches 
over us below, interposes the infinite merit of his suf 
ferings between our sins and infinite justice ; with 
one hand he aids us to fight our battles, with the other 
he places the crown of victory on the brow of him 
who perseveres to the end. 


sign of God, previous to the coming of the Messiah, 
had for its object, to prepare for and realize the work 
of redemption ; so after the coming of the Messiah the 
whole economy of divine wisdom tends to its main 
tenance and extension. It is the pivot around which 
all human events must turn, the final end of all the 
designs of Providence, the sublime and glorious result, 
for the accomplishment of which, knowingly or un 
knowingly, willingly or unwillingly, empires, kings 
and people combine. The history of religion, since 
Pentecost, is not less essential than its history previous 
to that period. Previous to the ascension, our Lord 
had created the body of the Church, the apostles were 
consecrated, disciples associated with the apostles, the 
different orders of the hierarchy established^the laws 
and regulations for her government promulgated ; we 
but wait the descent of the Paraclete. The glorious 
day of Pentecost bursts upon the world the Holy 
Ghost descends and reposes on each of the assembled 
disciples the soul is united to the body the church 


Is redolent of life, resplendent with beauty, and ex 
ulting in her strength. She is the tower of David, 
seated on the eternal rock, throwing out her beacon 
light to guide and cheer the exiled sons of Eve on the 
perilous ocean of life. We behold our fathers in the 
faith, at Jerusalem, Antioch, Corinth and Rome ; we 
descend with them to the catacombs, and witness their 
angelic piety, holy purity, and more than human meek 
ness and patience in their sufferings, and prayers for 
their persecutors. Christianity established sheds her 
benign influence on man in his intellectual, moral and 
physical capacity ; society feels its wholesome effects, 
the family is blessed ; the father, wife, child, the slave, 
the poor, the prisoner, the stranger are all recipients 
of her bounty, all know and feel what they owe to 
Christianity. The church, however, is militant, for 
her there is no permanent peace on earth ; the conse 
quences of sin are only weakened, not destroyed ; the 
battle is ever to be waged ; the intellectual battle, there 
must be heresies ; the moral battle, there must be scan 
dal ; the physical battle, there must be misfortunes, 
calamities, public and private, national and individual. 
Man s life is a warfare his arms ever in his hands, 
the powers of hell, the impious on earth, the passions 
of his own heart, are leagued against him he must 
fight, and fight till the end ; he must conquer before 
he can be crowned. 

versal and permanent promoter of the work of redemp 
tion, the priest will be another Christ, bear the same 


marks, exercise the same functions as Jesus Christ 
himself. 1. Expiator, he will be a living victim im 
molating himself for the sins of the people ; do this 
in commemoration of me. 2d. Doctor, for ever teaching 
by his words Christian truth Ye are the light of the 
world. Go teach all nations. 3d. Model, by the bril 
liant example of every virtue, to stay the ravages of 
concupiscence and all inordinate love of creatures. You 
are the salt of the earth . . let your light shine before men. 
4. Charitable physician to heal and solace the afflicted. 
Purify the lepers, heal t/ie sick, do good to all. Priest 
of God, such is thy mission ! When dangci urges, 
when the united efforts of the enemy press closely the 
tower of strength, the alarm is sounded from the war 
der s watch ; behold the assembled councils, which 
define and enforce the truth ; they add not, subtract 
not, alter nothing ; perfect from the beginning, the 
church knows no development, is not progressive, 
she is always the same, eternal. Behold, 1 am with 
you all (Jays, even to the consummation of the world* 
From Nice, where she hurls her anathema against the 
impiety of Arius, to Trent where she places the seal 
of her lasting reprobation upon the beastliness ol 
Luther, the unrelenting pride of Calvin, and the inhu- 
man brutality of Henry, she is the mouth piece of Goci 
and witness of the faith as taught in all the churches. 
Saints. In the hour of danger, men powerful i 
words and works are raised up for the aid of the intel 
lectual, moral and physical man therefore three kindf 
of saints : the apologists to defend and propagate the 
truth ; the contemplative to tread under foot honors, 


riches, pleasures, all the passions, and recalling the 
human heart to the love of supernatural things ; saints 
hospitalers to solace and care for the physical wants 
of the sick and unfortunate. 

Religious Orders. In the hour of greatest need, 
when all the powers of hell let loose, enraged and 
combined with the spirits of evil on earth, make their 
most furious onset, behold the Religious Orders rising 
up to do battle for the Lord of Hosts Man s threefold 
wants, intellectual, moral and physical are wisely pro 
vided for hence the orders apologists who preserve, de 
fend and propagate the truth ; the orders contemplative 
to watch over and pray for the preservation of the work 
of redemption in the moral man : the orders hospitalers 
consecrated to the heaven-born duty of nursing and 
providing for the sick and the destitute, from the infant 
in his cradle to the old man just entering the shades of 
death. Oh ! divine institution, the church. O ! spouse 
of the living God ! Priesthood, saints, religious orders, 
the great means of thy preservation through all time, 
are summed up in the" single word," the church. 

8. CHRISTIANITY PROPAGATED. Christ has died for 
all, without distinction of age, sex, nation or condition. 
The greatest mark of God s love to Christians is the 
preservation of Christianity ; the greatest mark of his 
mercy to the nations still seated in the shadow of death, 
is the light of the gospel, borne in the hands of the in 
trepid, self-devoted missionaries. From the moment of 
the going forth of the apostles illumined and strength 
ened and inflamed by the Holy Spirit, to the last mis 
sionary whom we have seen departing to the distant 


clime, the cross his pioneer, the lamb without spot his 
viaticum, through every age and in every clime, these 
men of God, these priests rejoicing in the race, breathe 
but one ardent aspiration, the conversion of souls. 
They suffer privation, submit to the rack, shed their 
generous blood, and fearlessly give up their life to 
consummate their heavenly purpose. As one nation 
peonies unworthy of the further fruition of the light 
of the gospel, its divine rays are seen illumining other 
and distant people. Mysterious providence ! just dis 
pensation ! unspeakable goodness to the heathen I ter 
rible retribution for the unfaithful Christian 1 



1. EXTERIOR WORSHIP. It is not sufficient to rep 
resent religion to the mind and heart of man : that it 
may be comprehended in the full extent of its excel 
lence, it must be presented also to the senses, therefore 
has God given it expression in visible signs. Exterior 
worship is to the dogma and precepts of Christianity, 
what the visible world is to die invisible it is a re 
splendent mirror in which we see, and in a manner 
touch with our hands, the truths of the supernatural 
order, as we behold in the physical world the truths 
of the natural order, 

By exterior worship are rendered visible the teach 
ings of faith, the rules of morality, the fall of man, 
his redemption, his immortal hopes, his duties, his 
iignity. In a word, tlte exterior worship of the Catho 


(ic church is Christianity visible to the senses ; it is to 
religion what the word is to the thought its true ex 
pression ; hence the expression which serves as the 
caption for this course Christianity visible. 

2. THE SUNDAY. After having ascended to the 
early ages, and shown the venerable origin of the 
Catholic worship, its necessity, its teachings and per 
fect harmony with our wants ; after having described 
the august places, the churches in which the holy cere 
monies are performed, and shown that every part of 
these churches is rich with precious and interesting 
mementos, we explain the office of the Lord s day, or 
Sunday, and consequently show how worthy of reli 
gion is the Catholic worship. Whilst all things else 
change and pass away around her, the Church remains 
ever the same ; her worship changes not with climes ; 
what one priest does at the altar at any particular 
moment of the sacrifice, the same is done at the same 
moment by thousands of priests ; not only now, but 
thousands of years ago the same was done. 

3. DIVISION OF TIME. Time, since the fall of man, 
may be defined, the respite granted by divine justice to 
man to recover his lost position. The year is divided 
into three parts, corresponding to the three states of 
religion, befoi e, during, and after the preaching of 
Jesus Christ. 

4. THE FESTIVALS OR FEASTS. The festivals are 
n imperfect image of the eternal festival of the just 
in heaven they are so many refreshing fountains es 
tablished by the t-hurch from one point to another along 
the painful journey of life, at which the weary pilgrim 


may invigorate his drooping spirits. The very name 
recalls to man his history, past, present and future ; it 
teaches him the fear of God, encourages and consoles 
him, by reminding him of his primitive excellence, the 
efficacy of redemption, and the unalloyed happiness 
which awaits him. Festivals are to be considered not 
only in an historical, doctrinal, moral and liturgical 
point of view, but as beautifully harmonizing with the 
season at which they occur ; and still more beautifully 
harmonizing with the wants of the human heart. A 
moment s reflection shows us that during the course of 
the year, there is not a truth which the church does 
not preach, not a virtue she does not propose for our 
imitation, not a fibre of our soul which she does not 
touch in some one of her various admirable festivals. 
Thus is taught the letter of religion. 

5. THE SPIRIT OF RELIGION. Every lesson of the 
Catechism has for its object to place in bold relief this 
great, this one only truth : GOD LOVING MAN, loving 
him always ; having from the beginning of the world 
but one purpose, viz : to render man happy by repair 
ing the evil brought upon himself ; and for the accom 
plishment of this merciful design, requiring and secur 
ing the concurrence of heaven and earth, of people and 
kingdoms, the whole world, old and new. Thus the 
love of God above all things, and our neighbor as our 
selves, for the love of God is the beginning and the 
end, the sum total of all that is taught in the four 
courses. That beautiful, consoling thought, worthy 
of man and of God, cannot be too frequently repeated^ 
TOT/ little children, love one another. 


6. RELIGION IN ETERNITY. After having traveled 
over the six thousand years which separate us from 
the birth-day of creation, after having followed the 
majestic river of religion, dispensing fertility and life 
on every side in its heaven-directed course, we turn 
the eye to the ages of the future and ask ourselves 
whither is this divine religion conducting the human 
race ? The Roman Catholic Church, the sole depos 
itary of this religion, answers, by pointing to heaven. 
She tells us that civilizing the nations, teaching the 
rulers and the ruled, forming them to virtue, and 
solacing all their wants, she gradually repairs in behalf 
of the generations of earth, the woful effects of sin, 
restores to the mind the light, to the heart the health, 
to the soul the empire over the senses, they enjoyed in 
the state of primitive innocence ; thereby restoring man 
to his original excellence and re-uniting him to God, 
the only source of happiness ; in a word, fitting him 
for the beatific vision- of God for all eternity. In 
heaven all things shall be perfected, with respect to 
God, to creatures, and to man. 

First. With respect to God, heaven is the accom 
plishment of all his designs ; the full and entire enjoy 
ment of all his works, the complete manifestation of 
his glory, the delightful reign of a beloved father over 
his docile children, the immeasurable, eternal outpour 
ing of his love for them, and the equally eternal out 
pouring of their love for him ; it is for God the accom 
plishment of the prayer of his eternal Son. Father . . . 
thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is m 


Second. For creatures, heaven is the accomplish 
ment of the expectation spoken of by the great apostle : 
Ecery creature groancth, and is in labor even till now, 
waiting to be delivered from the servitude of corruption 
into the liberty of the glory of the children of God. 

Third. For man, heaven is the accomplishment of 
all his legitimate desires for soul and body / shall be 
jati*jied when thy glory shall appear. What light is 
to him who has been deprived of sight, what health is 
to the sick man, peace to the afflicted, the refreshing 
fountain to the thirsty traveler, his well-loved country 
to the banished exile, heaven is to man, poor, suffering, 
struggling, exiled man ; the full, certain, perfect, enjoy 
ment of all the goods, the repose and immortality of 
happiness and glory. For I reckon (hat the sufferings 
of this present time are not worthy to be compared with 
the glory to come, that shall be revealed to us. 

Summary. The exposition of the Roman Catholic 
Religion, in its letter and in its spirit, its history, its 
dogma, its moral, its worship, its nature, its means, 
and its end in time and eternity, from the beginning 
of the world to the present day, is the design of the 


Prayer before each lesson. 

Come, Holy Ghost! replenish the hearts of thy faithful 
children, and kindle in them the fire of the divine love. 
Send forth thy Spirit and they shall be created; and thou 
shalt renew the face of the earth. 

God! who by the light of the Holy Ghost dost instruct 
the hearts of the faithful, grant, we beseech thee, that in the 
same Holy Spirit, we may ever relish what is right, under 
stand the truths of thy divine teaching in our catechism, 
and for ever rejoice in the consolation of his heavenly inspi 
ration, through Jesus Christ o\ir Lord. Amen. 

Prayer after each lesson. 

We fly to thy patronage, holy mother of God ! despise 
not our petitions in our necessities, but deliver us from all 
danger, ever glorious and blessed Virgin! 

() my God ! who art all love, I do most heartily thank thee 
for having given me the grace to learn the Catechism of 
Perseverance. Thou hast been pleased to enlighten my 
understanding by a more thorough knowledge of thy holy 
religion, thereby to strengthen my heart in the practice of 
those virtues which it commands, grant me then the grace 
to correspond faithfully with this great blessing, which will 
prove a source of salvation to so many souls. 


1 resolve to love God above all things, and my neighbor as 
myself, for the love of God; in proof of this my love, I wil? 
be faithful to the study of my catechism and endeavor tx? 
profit by its instructive and precious lessons. 

A. V. M. 

By thy immaculate conception. most pure Virgin! inter 
cede for me, and obtain for me true purity of soul and body. 



Teaching of Religion. Catechism. 

Question. What is the design of the Catechism of 

Answer. The design of the Catechism of Persever 
ance is to enable those who have made their first com 
munion to persevere in the study and practice of 

Q. Why is it necessary to persevere in the study of 
religion after our first communion ? 

A . It is necessary to persevere in the study of reli- 
gion after our first communion : 1st. Because the in 
structions which precede the first communion are very 
imperfect and easily forgotten. 2d. Because the sal 
vation of many may perhaps depend upon the further in 
struction and counsels of their pastors. 3d. Because, 
\n fine, our life is exposed to many miseries, which re- 
tigion alone, well understood and properly cherished, 
^an alleviate. 

Q. Why is it necessary to persevere in the practice 
of religion after our first communion ? 

A . It is necessary to persevere in the practice of 
religion after our first communion, because our Lord 
has said : " He that shall persevere unto the end, he 
shall be, saved." 

Q. How does the Catechism of Perseverance pro 
cure us these advantages ? 


A. The Catechism of Perseverance procures us 
these two advantages by the solid instruction it affords, 
and the pious example of those who learn it. 

Q. What does the word catechism signify ? 

A. The word catechism signifies oral teaching or 
teaching by word of mouth. 

Q. Why is the name catechism (oral teaching) 
given to the elementary teaching of religion ? 

A. The elementary teaching of religion is thus 
called, because from the beginning of the world till the 
time of Moses, and during the first ages of the church, 
religion was taught orally and not by writing. 

Q. Why was religion taught orally in the beginning 
of the world ? 

A. Religion was taught orally in the beginning of 
the world : 1st, because oral teaching was better suited 
to religion, which was not so fully explained as at the 
present day ; 2d, because men, living much longer 
then, found it very easy to be instructed by oral 

Q. Why was oral teaching also used in the begin 
ning of the church ? 

A. Oral teaching was also used in the beginning 
of the church through fear of the pagans, who might 
have calumniated and turned into derision what they 
did not understand. Even before catechumens the 
mysteries of religion were spoken of with great re 

Q. Of what should the word catechism remind us? 

A. The word catechism should remind us of the 
pure manners of the patriarchs, and the evangelic 
virtues and sufferings of the first Christians, and in 
duce us to imitate them. 


Teaching of Religion. Scripture and Tradition 

Q. Why did God write his law ? 

A. God wrote his law to prevent men from forget 
ting or altering it. He himself gave the law to Moses 
written on tables of stone he commanded him to write 
also his ordinances the prophets afterwards and all 
the inspired writers wrote their prophecies, their in 
structions and the history of the Jewish people. All 
these books combined are called the Old Testament. 

Q. What does the word Testament signify ? 

A. The word Testament signifies alliance or cove 
nant. The Old Testament is the alliance or covenant 
which God made with the ancient or Jewish people 
through the ministry of Moses. It is a contract which 
contains, on the one part, the commands and promises 
of God ; and on the other, the engagements of the Jew 
ish people to keep his commands. 

Q. How are the books of the Old Testament divided ? 

A . The books of the Old Testament may be divided 
into four parts : 1 st. The books of Moses, which are 
five in number ; Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers 
and Deuteronomy. They are called the Pentateuch, or 
the Law, because they contain the covenant. 2d. The 
historical books, which contain either the history of (he 
people of God in general, such as the book of Joshua, 
that of Judges, the four books of Kings, the two books 
called Paralipomenon, the book of Esdras, that of 
Nehemias and the two books of Machabees ; or the 
history of certain saints or other tilttxtrious person noes, 
such as the histories of Job, Ruth, Tobias. Judith and 

Q. Continue. 

A. 3d. The Old Testament contains books of in 
struction, which teach us how to live well ; such aro 


the Psalms of David, one hundred and fifty in number, 
the Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, the Canticle of Canticles, 
the book of Wisdom, and Ecclesiasticus. 4th. Pro 
phetical books, namely, the books of the four great 
prophets, Isaias, Jeremias, Ezekiel and Daniel ; to which 
may be added David and the twelve minor prophets, 
who are so called because they wrote less than the 
first four 

Q. What is the New Testament? 

A. It is the alliance or covenant which God has 
made with the new or Christian people, through the 
ministry of Jesus Christ himself. This alliance is 
more perfect than the ancient. 

Q. Of what is the New Testament composed? 

A. The New Testament is composed: 1st, of the 
historical books, which are the four Gospels of St. 
Matthew, St. Mark, St. Luke and St. John and of the 
Acts of the Apostles written by St. Luke. 2d. The 
books of instruction, which are the letters written by 
the apostles to their disciples, or to the churches which 
they had founded. They are fourteen of St. Paul, 
one of St. James, two of St. Peter, three of St. John 
and one of St. Jude. 3d. The prophetic book, which 
is the Apocalypse of St. John. 

Q. What are the books of the Old and New Testa 
ment combined, called? 

A. The books of the Old and New Testament com 
bined, are called the Bible, that is " The Book " by 

Q. What do you understand by the inspiration, the 
authenticity and genuineness of the sacred books? 

A. A book is inspired, when God himself has re 
vealed the things which it contains and which the 
author could not have naturally known, or when God 
directs the author in the selection of things already 
known to him, and preserves him from error whilst 
writing them ; it is authentic, when it has been really 
written by the author to whom it is attributed ; it is 


genuine, when it has come down to us, such as the 
author wrote it, without any essential alteration. 

Q. How do we know that the books of the Old and 
New Testament are inspired, authentic and genuine. ? 

A . We know that the books of the Old and New 
Testament are inspired, authentic and genuine by the 
testimony of Jews and Christians, by the testimony of 
the martyrs, and finally, by the teaching of the Catho 
lic church whose infallibility is proved by incontestable 

Q. Are all the truths of religion found in the sacred 
Scriptures ? 

A. Not all the truths of religion are found in the 
sacred Scriptures many of them have been handed 
down by tradition. 

Q. What is tradition ? 

A. Tradition signifies testimony or truth handed 
down. We here understand by tradition the word of 
God, not written in the sacred books, but handed down 
from father to son. 

.Q. How many traditions are there? 

A. There are two traditions, the Jewish and the 
Christian tradition. 

Q. What is the Jewish tradition ? 

A . The Jewish tradition is the word of God, not 
written in the Old Testament, but handed down among 
the Jews, either orally, or in writing. 

Q. What is Christian tradition? 

A . Christian tradition is the word of God, not written 
in the New Testament, but which the apostles received 
from the mouth of Jesus Christ, which they trans 
mitted orally to their disciples, and which has come 
down to us by the teachings or writings of the fathers 
or pastors of the church. 

(J. Which are the two great sources of the truths 
of religion ? 

A . The two great sources of the truths of religion are 
the Scriptures and Tradition. We are bound to believe 


the truths handed down to us by the universal tradition 
of the church, as well as those contained in the Scrip 
tures, since they are equally the word of God. 

Knowledge of God. God considered in himself. 

Q. What is God? 

A . God is a spirit, infinite, eternal and omnipotent, 
who sees all things, hears all things, is every where, 
who has created the world by his power, and who 
governs it by his wisdom. 

Q. What proofs have you of the existence of God ? 

A. There are many proofs of the existence of God. 
We give the three following only : 1st. There is no 
cause without an effect ; a painting supposes a painter, 
a house an architect, so also the world presupposes the 
cause that created it. Thus a view of the universe is 
a sensible proof of the existence of God. 2d. The 
testimony of men. All nations have believed in the 
existence of God. He who would dare say that this 
belief Ls false, would be considered a fool. 3d. The 
absurdity of atheism. To deny the existence of God 
is to admit an effect without a cause, that good and 
evil are the same, &c., &c. 

Q. What are the principal perfections of God? 

A. The principal perfections of God are : 1st. His 
eternity : for God being a.n infinite being, has neither 
beginning nor end. 2d. His independence : God being 
infinite, depends on nothing, all things depend on him, 
nothing happens but by his permission or by his will. 
3d. His unity : God being infinite is necessarily one. 
4th. His spirituality : God being infinite cannot have a 
body because a body is limited, imperfect, subject to 
change and dissolution. Being created to the image of 


God, we are able to trace these different perfections in 

Q. What do we understand by the hands, the arms, 
the ears, the eyes of God ? 

A. By the hands of God we mean that he made all 
things ; by his arms, that he is all-powerful ; by his 
ears, that he hears all things ; and by his eyes that he 
jees all things. It is a manner of speaking by which 
God condescends to place himself within the reach of 
)iir understanding. So also, by the anger of God, we 
aiean the justice with which he punishes sin, for God 
is never in anger. 

Q. What are the other perfections of God ? 

A. The other perfections of God are, his intelligence, 
his goodness, his holiness, his mercy, &c. Since God 
is infinite, he knows all things, the past, present and 
future, or rather there is no past nor future for God, 
all is present. In a word, God possesses all perfec 
tions, without the shadow of imperfection. 

Q. What is providence? 

A. Providence is the act by which God preserves 
and directs all created things to their proposed end. 

Q. Give some proofs of a Providence ? 

A . 1 st. The sight of the universe, the harmony of 
which proves to us that there must be some intelligent 
cause that conducts it. 2d. The testimony of all nations, 
who have ever believed in a God and that he governs 
the world, and have also offered up prayers and sacri 
fices to him. 3d. The absurdity of deism ; for to deny 
a Providence is to admit a God who is blind, deaf, 
dumb and slothful, who lets the world run at hazard, 
and who treats alike the man who adores him and the 
one who outrages him. 



Knowledge of God God considered in his works. 
First day of the creation. 

Q. What were the first words God spoke in creating 
the world ? 

A . The first words God spoke in creating the world 
were these : " Let there be light" These words so 
simple and so immediately followed by their effect, 
" and there wax light" show us the all-powerfulness 
of God. He who is all powerful does what he wishes 
simply by speaking. 

Q. Could not God have created the world in a single 
instant ? 

A. God could have created the world in a single 
instant ; but in employing six days to make the earth 
out of nothing and to arrange it in order, he wished tc 
teach us that he is free to do as he pleases. 

Q. What was the state of the earth when God had 
created it? 

A. AVhen God had created the earth, it was com 
pletely bare, without ornament, without inhabitants, 
and entirely surrounded with deep waters, and these 
waters were enveloped in a thick mist. 

Q. What is light? 

A. It is impossible to know what light is. We 
know very well that it exists, but we cannot compre 
hend it. It is one of those mysteries of nature which 
teach us to believe with docility the mysteries of 

Q. Why has God created light? 

A. God has created light to enable ns to enjoy the 
glorious spectacle of the universe, to admire its beau 
ties, and to labor in our respective avocations. 

Q. Does light come to us with great velocity ? 

A. Light travels with incomprehensible velocity; 


in seven or eight minutes a ray of light travels through 
many millions of miles. 

Q. Why does God make light travel with such 
velocity, and in every direction ? 

A. God makes light travel with such velocity and 
in every direction, in order that an infinity of objects 
may be seen at the same instant by a great number of 
persons, and that the night may be promptly dis 

Q. What are the blessings conferred by light? 

A. The blessings conferred by light are: 1st. To 
color objects, in order to distinguish them. 2d. To 
contribute to our use and pleasure ; for colors embellish 
our dress and furniture ; they are employed in the vari 
ous situations of life : some environ us with modesty, 
others with brilliancy, whilst others serve us for mourn 
ing. 3d. Light secures our health and life. Thus 
God has made all thinsrs for us. 


Knowledge of God God considered in his works. 
Second day of the Creation. 

Q. What did God do on the second day ? 

A. The second day God made the firmament, and 
separated the waters which surrounded the earth ; one 
portion of them he elevated above the firmament, and 
called them the waters above ; the other portion he left 
beneath the firmament, and called them the waters 

Q. What is the firmament ? 

A . The firmament or heavens is all that space which 
extends from the earth to the fixed stars. 

Q. What is the extent of the heavens ? 

A. To judge of the extent of the heavens it will 
suffice to know : 1 st. That the sun which appears to 


occupy so small a space in them, is more than a 
million times greater than the earth, which is about 
twenty-five thousand miles in circumference. 2d. That 
it is ninety millions of miles distant from the earth. 
3d. That the fixed stars are so many suns and are 
thousands in number. It is thus the heavens shovr 
forth the glory of God. 

Q. What must we conclude from this ? 

A. From this we must conclude : 1st. That we are 
of little moment, if we consider only the space we 
occupy in the world, but that we are of very great 
moment if we reflect that the firmament and all its 
wonders have been created for us. 2d. That we ought 
to entertain the greatest respect and love for God, who 
being so great and so powerful has deigned to become 
an infant for us, and to give himself to us in the Holy 

Q. What do you remark of the color of the heavens ? 

A. The color of the heavens is azure, which pleases 
the eye the most. This color sometimes changes, in 
the morning and evening, for instance, in order to 
soothe our sight and prepare it, either for the brilliant 
rays of the sun, or for the coming darkness of the night. 

Q. What occupies the space which separates the 
earth from the heavens ? 

A. The space which separates the earth- from the 
heavens is occupied by air. Air surrounds the whole 
earth and presses upon our bodies with very great 
force ; each man bears on his head a volume of air 
which weighs at least twenty-one thousand pounds ; 
we are not crushed by it because the air within us pro 
duces an equilibrium ; if this equilibrium were to cease 
we should perish immediately. 

Q. What does this show us ? 

A. This shows how completely our life is at every 
moment in the hands of God, and how we should feat 
to offend him. 

Q. Why is air invisible ? 


A. The air which is so closely connected with us ia 
invisible, because, if it were visible, objects could not 
be distinctly seen. 

Q. What is the use of air ? 

A. 1st. The air is a messenger which brings us the 
various odors, and enables us to discern the good or bad 
qualities of food ; it brings us sounds and enables us to 
know what passes at a distance, and also the thoughts 
of others. 2d. The air is a kind of pump that raises 
up from the sea the water necessary to render the 
earth fruitful, and afterwards distributes it wherever 
the Creator ordains. 3d. Finally, the air enables us 
to live by respiration. It is a great blessing for which 
many neglect to thank God. 


Knowledge of God God considered in his work*. 
Third day of Creation. 

Q. What did God do the third day ? 

A . The third day God gathered the sea in the 
place which he had prepared for it ; he commanded the 
earth to appear and bring forth the green herbs, the 
plants and the trees. 

Q. What observation do you make on the extent of 
the sea ? 

A. On the extent of the sea, I observe that it is 
neither too great nor too small. If it were greater, the 
earth would be an uninhabitable marsh, because we 
should have too much rain ; if it were smaller, we 
should not have enough, the earth would be sterile 
and we would die with famine. 

Q. How has God prevented the water of the sea 
from corrupting ? 

A . God has prevented the water of the sea from cor 
rupting by two means ; the first is the ebbing and How- 


ing of the sea ; the sea is always in motion ; during six 
hours it forces the waters from its centre to the shore, 
and during the next six it recalls them from the shore 
to its centre. The second means is the salt in the 
ocean ; the waters of the sea are brackish or salty. The 
salt of the ocean has another advantage, it renders the 
water heavy and prevents the sun from drawing too 
great a quantity of it. 

Q. For what are we indebted to the sea ? 

A. We are indebted to the sea for a great many 
blessings. 1st. It supplies us with rain, with fish 
and with pearls. 2d It brings us, by the means of 
ships, the riches of all other countries. 3d. It facili 
tates the propagation of the faith among all nations. 

Q. What did God do after he had gathered the sea 
into the place which he had prepared for it V 

A. After he had gathered the sea into the place 
which he had prepared for it, God made the dry land 
to appear, to which he gave the name of earth, that is, 
sterile, to show us that the blessings which it affords 
us do not originate from the earth of itself. 

Q. With what did God cover the earth ? 

A . He covered it with green herbs, because green is 
the color* best suited to our eye ; had he colored the 
earth red, black or white, we could not have borne the 

Q. With what properties did God invest the 

A. God invested the herbs with the property of 
bearing seeds in order to propagate and multiply their 
species, and thereby provide for our subsistence and 
the subsistence of animals, which are ail made for our 

Q. How many parts are there in a plant ? 

A. There are four parts in a plant. 1st. The root 

which fixes and nourishes the plant. 2d. The stalk 

which is destined to bear the seed and the fruit. 3d. 

The leaf, which embellishes, warms and nourishes it 



4th. The seed or fruit which serves for our wants and 
pleasures, and for perpetuating the plant. 

Q. What do you conclude from this ? 

A. From this we must conclude, that it is sufficient 
to study only the smallest flower, to fill us with con 
fidence and love for God, and make us exclaim with our 
Lord : Not even Solomon in all his glory was arrayed 
as one of these; if God so clothe the grass of the field 
which to-day is, and to-morrow is thrown into the oven, 
how much more you, ye of little faith. 


Knowledge of God God considered in his works. 
End of third day and beginning of the fourth day 
of the Creation. 

Q. What else did God do on the third day ? 

A. On the third day, God also created the trees of 
every kind. The earth, which thus far was only a 
vast prairie, became on a sudden an immense orchard, 
planted with every sort of trees, loaded with fruits of a 
thousand different kinds. 

Q. Why has God created the fruit trees ? 

A. God has created the fruit trees for our wants and 
our pleasure. He shows us his paternal tenderness by 
giving us, in fruits, a food as wholesome as it is pleas 
ant and very cheap ; and he shows his paternal tender 
ness also by sending us these fruits at the season when 
we most need them. 

Q. Did not God create other trees also ? 

A. God created many other trees which do not fur 
nish us with food. These trees are very useful ; with 
their wood we build houses and ships, make furniture 
and cook our food ; they afford us shade, purify the 
air, and charm the si^ht by the grandeur of their size 
and the beauty of their verdure. 


Q. Do we see all the riches of the earth? 

A. We do not see all the riches of the earth. The 
bowels of the earth are full of precious and useful 
metals, such as gold and iron. God has given us these 
metals to use, and not that we should attach our hearts 
to them. 

Q. What did God do on the fourth day ? 

A. On the fourth day God created the sun, the moon 
and the stars ; the sun to preside over the day, and the 
moon to preside over the night. 

Q. Why were the sun, moon and stars not created 
until the fourth day? 

A. They were not created until the fourth day, in 
order to teach man that they are not the authors of the 
productions of the earth. God wished thereby to pre- 
vent idolatry. 

Q. Why is the sun so far removed from the earth ? 

A . The sun is so far removed from the earth, that it 
may give us light without dazzling the sight, and that 
it may warm without burning us. If the sun were 
nearer, the earth would be burnt and sterile ; if it were 
farther, the earth would be frozen. The same thing 
would happen if the sun were either larger or smaller. 

Q. What further do you remark with respect to the 

A . I remark that the sun rises and sets every day, 
runs his course with great velocity, illumines and 
vivifies all nature. It is in this an image of Christ, 
who having gone forth from the bosom 01 his Father, 
returned to heaven, after having enlightened all men 
by his doctrine, and sanctified them by his merits and 

Q. Does the sun rise every day at the same point? 

A. The sun does not rise every day at the same 
point, and this is the reason why the days are unequal. 
Each day God marks the point where the sun shall rise 
and where it shall set, in order that he may dispense 
his heat and light upon the unjust as well as the just 


Our heavenly Father wished to teach us, by this, to 
love all men without exception, because they are ail 
our brothers. 


Knowledge of God God considered in his works. 
End of the fourth day of the Creation. 

Q. What else did God do on the fourth day? 

A. On the fourth day God also made the moon to 
preside over the night. This beautiful planet renders 
us the greatest services. It lessens the great darkness 
of the night, it regulates the labors of the field, it affords 
light to the traveler by night, and at each instant re 
veals to us the wisdom of the Creator ; for the moon, 
like the sun, changes each day its hour of rising and 

Q. What more did God do? 

A. God also made the stars, whose number, size, 
and continual, regular motion show forth the glory of 
our heavenly Father and challenge our gratitude. 

Q. How so? 

A. The stars render us great service ; the polar star, 
for instance, directs our course both by hind and sea ; 
the other stars diminish the darkness in the absence of 
the moon. If these stars were nearer to us, they 
would dazzle the sight or burn the earth ; if they were 
farther off, they would be useless. 

Q. Why has God created the sun and moon? 

A. God has created the sun and moon, in order to 
separate the day from the night, and regulate the order 
of the seasons. The light, the heat and the opportu 
nity to labor without fear at our daily avocations, are 
some of the many blessings conferred upon us by the 
day, and deserve all our gratitude. 


Q. What are the blessings of the night ? 

A . The night also brings us a ^reat many blessings : 
1st. It instructs us by withdrawing from our use and 
our sight the creatures which surround us. It recalls to 
our mind the nothingness from which we have sprung, 
arid the darkness of idolatry from which Ave have been 
freed by the gospel. 2d. The night brings us rest and 
sleep, but it does it gently and with deference, to 
teach us that all things are made for us, and ourselves 
for God. 3d. The night refreshes the air, and pre 
serves the herbs and plants, which would perish if the 
sun were to remain always above the horizon. 4th. 
It secures our lives against wild beasts. These beasts 
go forth during night to seek their prey, but if there 
were no night, hunger would force them to go forth 
during the day, and thus man would be incessantly 
exposed to their fury. 

Q. What Other service do we derive from the sun 
and moon ? 

A. We derive another service from the sun and 
moon ; they regulate the order of the seasons. The 
four seasons are necessary ; the spring prepares, the 
summer ripens, the fall lavishes the productions of 
which we have need, and winter gives rest to the tired 

Q. What are the blessings and instructions of each 
season ? 

A . The spring renews all nature and teaches us the 
shortness of growth and life. Summer gives us a 
portion of those things which are necessary for us, and 
teaches us that when arrived at the age of reason, we 
must above all things labor for heaven. The fall fills 
our houses with its blessings, but at the same time 
warns us not to attach our hearts to them. Finally, 
winter enables us to enjoy the blessings given us by 
the other seasons, and it bids us be charitable to those 
who suffer from cold and hunger. 



Knowledge of God God considered in Ms works. 
Fifth day of the Creation. 

Q. What did God do on the fifth day ? 

A . On the fifth day God made the fishes and the 
birds. This new species of creatures, more perfect 
than those which preceded them, affords us a new sub 
ject of admiration. 1st. It is a wonder that the fishes 
can live in the sea, which is salty and produces no 
thing. 2d. It is also a wonder that their race has not 
long since been destroyed. For the larger ones contin 
ually pursue the smaller, whilst there is nothing to 
defend them. To protect themselves, they fly towards 
the shore, whither the larger fish cannot follow them. 
But in thus giving shelter to the smaller, the larger, it 
would seem, are left to perish by being" deprived of 
their prey. Such indeed would be the case if God had 
not provided for their wants by sending them shoals of 
little creatures which they swallow by thousands. 
All these fishes of the sea would perish with cold, if 
they were not warmly protected by their scales and 
their oil. 

Q. What advantages do we derive from the fishes ? 

A.. We derive many advantages from the fishes ; 
their flesh feeds us, and their bones serve for many 
purposes ; there are some which every year visit our 
coasts and are taken, others ascend our streams to their 
very sources in order to carry to all men the blessings 
of the Creator. 

Q, What else did God do on the fifth day? 

A . On the fifth day God also created the birds. Lik 
the fishes they also sprang from the sea, and this is 
a great miracle that the sea should in the twinkling oi 
an eye have produced two species of creatures so dif 
ferent. The birds are a new proof of the infinite wis 
dom of the Lord. 


Q. How so ? 

A . 1 st. By the structure of their bodies, which ar 
wonderfully adapted for flying through the air. 2d. By 
their preservation, for they are provided with every 
thing necessary to protect them from the air and rain, 
and also the means to procure their subsistence. 3d. By 
their nests, for they know that they need nests, and 
when they should make them, as well as the fortn and 
tdze they ought to give them. It is not man, but God 
who taught them all this. 4th. Finally, by their 
instinct, for they change their character and habits as 
soon as they have eggs to hatch or young to feed. 
These little creatures, previously such ramblers, so con 
stantly flying about, so avaricious and such gluttons, 
now become sedentary, courageous, and moderate in 
their appetites. 


Knowledge of God God considered in his works. 
End of the fifth and beginning of the sixth day of 
the Creation. 

Q. What further remark do you make on the birds ? 

A. I further remark that they change from one 
country to another every year. At the approach of 
winter they pass into those regions where they can 
flnd the food and warmth not to be obtained elsewhere. 
They make their passage at the proper time, without 
guide, or map, or provisions, and yet they never fail 
to reach their destination. It is Providence who feeds 
and conducts them. 

Q. Of what utility are birds ? 

A. Birds are of great utility ; their flesh feeds us, 
their feathers serve for a thousand purposes, their song 
delights us, and they deliver us from swarms of insects, 


whose too great numbers would otherwise destroy the 
fruits and harvests. 

Q. Of what does God s goodness to birds remind us ? 

A. God s goodness to birds reminds us of those 
words of our Lord : "A re not two sparrow* sold /or a 
farthing? And yet not one of them shall fall to the 
yround without your Father. Fear not, therefore, you 
are of more value than many sparrows" 

Q . What did God do on the sixth day ? 

A. On the sixth day God first created the domestic 
animals ; by domestic animals are meant all the beasts 
destined to obey man, to aid him in his labor, and fur 
nish him with food and raiment. It is for man, sin 
ful man, they were created. 

Q. What are the principal qualities of the domestic 
animals ? 

A. The principal qualities of the domestic animals 
are : their docility, for they obey even a child ; their 
moderation in food, they eat but little, and are satisfied 
with such of the productions of the earth as are of 
least value ; finally, the attachment they have for us ; 
they know their masters and are always ready to serve 

Q. What are the chief services they render us ? 

A . Their chief services are to transport our produce, 
or carry us with speed from one place to another ; to 
till the fields, feed us with their milk and clothe us 
with their fleeces. 

Q. What else did God do on the sixth day ? 

A. On the sixth day, also, God created the insects 
and reptiles. The wisdom and power of God do not 
shine forth less brilliantly in the creation of the small 
est insect, than in the creation of the firmament. 

Q. How is that shown ? 

A. It is shown: 1st. By the rich dress with which 
he has adorned the insects ; he has clothed them with 
royal magnificence ; their covering displays all the 
brilliancy of purple, of gold, of diamonds and all the 


richest colors. 2d. By the means given them for their 
defence. 3d. By the instruments furnished them for 
labor, for each one has its trade. Some are weavers, 
as the spider ; others are distillers, as the bee. All 
are chemists and mathematicians, that is, they know 
perfectly how to distinguish the plants which suit 
them, they know how to build their habitations so a? 
to render them warm, commodious, agreeable and siu> 
ficient to lod^e themselves and their families. 


Knowledge of God God considered in his works. 
End of the sixth day of the Creation. 

Q. What does the ant teach us ? 

A . The ant, like all other creatures, teaches us to 
glorify God. It teaches us also to use forethought 
and industry in our labor ; finally, it teaches the ten 
derness parents should have for their chilt^en, and 
the care they should take of their education. 

Q. AVhat do the bees teach us ? 

A. The bees teach us to respect our superiors, to 
love and aid our neighbor. They also invite us to 
thank their Creator and our own, for it is by his or 
ders and for us they make their honey. 

Q. What does the silk worm teach us ? 

A . The silk worm teaches us : 1 st. How great is 
the power of God, who from a simple worm produces 
a source of riches for whole provinces. 2d. How 
agreeable humility is to God, since in reliirion, as in 
nature, he makes use of the little and the humble to 
perform his greatest works. 3d. How foolish we are 
to take pride in our dress, since the most costly dresses 
are only the cast-off clothes of a worm. 

Q. What service do the reptiles and wild animals 
rcmlcr us? 


A. The reptiles and wild animals render us many 
services. They teach us to respect and fear God, 
whose power has created so many terrible, animals, 
and whose paternal arm, which keeps them confined 
to the deserts and rocks, could let them loose, when 
ever he pleases. They also furnish us with costly 
furs, and eat up the dead bodies of other animals, which 
if not removed from the earth would corrupt the air. 

Q. What should we think of those things which we 
cannot comprehend in nature ? 

A . We should think : 1 st. That like the rest, they 
are the work of a God infinitely good and infinitely 
wise. 2d. That they are useful, because they form a 
part of the creation, of which they help to make up 
the whole. 3d. They make us know and feel our 
ignorance, and teach us to believe the mysteries of 
religion. 4th. That a great number of them exercise 
our virtue, expiate our sins, and thus contribute to our 
sanctification, which is the object God proposed to 
himself in creating the world. 

Q. What is meant by saying, all is harmony in the 
world ? 

A. In saying that all is harmony in the world, we 
mean that all the parts of the universe have reference 
the one to the other ; that they pre-suppose one an 
other, and that, like the wheels of a watch, they are 
interlinked with one another, and that if the smallest 
thing should be added to or taken from it, the equi 
librium would be destroyed, and neither order nor 
beauty would remain. 

Q. In what light should we look upon the world ? 

A . We should look upon the world as a book in 
which God has written his existence, his goodness, 
his wisdom, his power ; our duty towards him, tow r ards 
our neighbor and towards ourselves. If we know how 
to read this beautiful book, we shall see God present 
everywhere, and this thought will sanctify us, by fill 
ing us with respect, confidence and love. 


Knowledge of Man. Man considered in himself. 

Q. What else did God do on the sixth day ? 

A. On the sixth day also God made man, saying, 
Let u* make man to our image and likeness. The 
world existed as a magnificent book in which Gol 
had written his adorable perfections, but there was no 
one to read it ; the world was a brilliant palace, but 
there was no master to inhabit and enjoy it. There 
fore God made man. 

Q. Why did God make man last? 

A . God made man last because man is the master of 
all creatures, and it was proper that all things should 
be prepared to receive him. 

Q. Why did God say, Let us make man f 

A. God said, Let us make man, and not, Let man be 
made. In order to show us the grandeur of the work 
he was about to make, he consults with himself, he 
deliberates, and finally says, Let us make man. He 
then took slime of the earth, and out of it formed the 
body of man after which he gave him a soul. Thus 
man is composed of body and soul. 

Q. What does the body of man proclaim? 

A. The body of man, in the first place, proclaims 
the power and infinite wisdom of God ; secondly, it 
marks the dignity of man. To the eye of reason, our 
body is a master-piece worthy of admiration, and to 
the eye of faith it is a living temple of the Holy 
Ghost, worthy of the most profound respect. 

Q. What is the soul ? 

A. It is the spiritual, free and immortal principle 
which thinks, wills and acts in us. 

Q. How is our soul spiritual? 

A. Our soul is spiritual, that is, it has neither length, 
breadth, nor thickness ; it can neither be seen by our 


eyes, nor touched by our hands ; it is spiritual, be 
cause all its operations are spiritual. 

Q. Is our soul free ? 

A. Our soul is free, that is, it can will or not will, 
act or not act. Material creatures are not free, because 
their acts are always and invariably the same. We 
feel that we are free, because we experience joy when 
ever we do good, and sorrow whenever we do* evil. 

Q. Is our soul immortal? 

A. Our soul is immortal, that is, it will never die ; 
it cannot be dissolved like the body, because it has no 
parts. God alone could annihilate our soul, but he lias 
said that he will never annihilate it, but will reward 
or punish it for all eternity. 

Q. How was man made to the image of God? 

A. Man was made to the image of God, because 
God is a pure spirit, and man, as to his soul, is also a 
pure spirit : God is free and eternal, and man by his 
soul is free and immortal. God is the king of the 
whole universe, and man is the vicegerent of God, 
and the lord of all that surrounds him. All things 
have reference to God all things have reference to 
man, and therefore man should refer himself and all 
things to God. From this we should conclude that 
we are beings truly great, and that we ought greatly 
to fear doing anything unworthy of us. 


Knowledge of Man. Man considered in his relations 
to creatures. 

Q. What do man s relations with creatures show us ? 

A. The relations of man with creatures show us 
the goodness of God and the dignity of our nature. 
Man was created to be : 1 st. The master. 2d. The 
usufructuary. 3d. The high-priest of the universe. 


Q. What is meant by man s being the master of the 
Universe ? 

^i. Man is master of the universe, that is, God has 
given him command over all creatures. As long as 
man remained innocent, all creatures submitted freely 
to his will ; but they revolted against him as soon as 
he revolted against God. He has not, however, lost 
all power over them. 

Q. What is meant by man s being the usufructuary 
of the universe ? 

A. Man is the usufructuary of the universe, that is, 
he enjoys all creatures, and they all have reference to 
him. This is effected by means of his five senses, the 
sight, the hearing, the smell, the taste and the touch, 
by which he appropriates all creatures to himself and 
makes them serve for his use and pleasure. In eating 
a piece of bread, we enjoy the labor of the whole uni 
verse ; for to produce a piece of bread and prepare it 
for use, the concurrence of all the elements, of men, 
and of God himself is necessary. 

Q. How is man the high- priest of the universe ? 

A. Man is the high- priest of the universe, that is, 
he is obliged to offer up himself and all creatures to 
God. God has made all things for his own glory ; but 
creatures cannot glorify God in a manner worthy of 
him ; they have neither an understanding to know him, 
a heart to love him, nor a tongue to praise and bless 
him. It is man who must discharge for them all these 
duties to their Creator. 

Q. What did God do after he had created man ? 

A. After he had created man, God constituted him 
master of the whole universe, and conducted him into 
the palace which he had prepared for him. This 
palace was a delightful garden, planted with every 
variety of trees, loaded with the most delicious fruits. 
It was called the terrestrial Paradise. When Adam 
entered Paradise, God caused all the animals to come 


before him ; Adam gave to each its name, as to a 
servant, and all submitted to their new master. 

Q. How was man to have governed the world? 

A. With justice and equity, that is, to make all 
creatures serve for the glory of God and his own sanc- 
tification. Adam did this as long as he was innocent ; 
we ought to imitate him, and not follow the example 
of the majority of the world, who, instead of making 
all creatures serve for the glory of God, make use of 
them to offend him. 

Q. Will men always make an improper use of 
God s creatures ? 

A. Men will not always make a bad use of God s 
creatures ; for these shall one day be free from this 
abuse. Until that time they groan in being obliged to 
take part in our iniquities, and await the last judgment 
with impatience. 

Man considered in his relations to God. 

Q. In what state was man created ? 

A. Man was created not only with all the qualities 
and all the privileges of a perfect nature, but also in 
a state of grace and supernatural justice. That is to 
say, he was created without having merited it, he was 
created exempt from miseries and infirmities, and more 
over destined for a supernatural end. 

Q. Explain this last truth, namely, man s being 
destined to a supernatural end. 

A . Man as a finite being had a right only to a finite 
happiness, that is, to see God in his creatures as in a 
mirror. But God in his goodness destined man to see 
him face to face, for all eternity, as the angels see him 
in heaven, which is a happiness infinitely greater than 
to see him only in his creatures. 


Q. Did God owe this happiness to man ? 

A. God did not owe this happiness to man, who 
could not have attained it by any virtue of his nature 
Therefore it is called supernatural. 

Q. How can man arrive at this supernatural hap 
piness ? 

A. Man can arrive at this supernatural happiness 
by grace, that is, by the lights and supernatural help 
which God gives him, and which do not destroy his 
nature, but perfect it. 

Q. What then is the end for which man has been 
created ? 

A. The end for which man has been created, is to 
know, love and serve God on earth, in order to possess 
him and to see him face to face during all eternity. 

Q. Was man, in the state of innocence, happy ? 

A. Man in the state of innocence was happy ; his 
understanding knew all that it ought to know ; his 
heart loved all that it ought to love ; his body was ex 
empt from infirmities and was immortal. After having 
adored, loved and contemplated God in his creatures, 
he would have gone, without suffering the pangs of 
death, to contemplate him face to face in heaven with 
the angels. 

Q. How was the first woman created ? 

A. God sent a mysterious sleep upon Adam, during 
which he took from him, without pain, one of his ribs 
and out of it formed a body, to which he gave a 
rational soul. Thus was the first woman created. On 
seeing her Adam exclaimed : This now in the bone of 
my bone and the flesh of my The Lord then 
blessed them and instituted the holy state of mar 

Q. What command did God give to our first parents ? 

A. Thus far God had spoken to our first parents 
only of their authority and their happiness ; it was but 
just that he should require the homage of their grati 
tude. He told them to eat of all the fruiti of the ter- 


restrial Paradise, except the fruit from the tree of the 
knowledge of good and evil. 

Q. Were our first parents bound to obey God ? 

A . Our first parents had every reason to obey God : 
1st. This command was very just. 2d. It was very 
easy. 3d. They had all the graces necessary to keep 
it. 4th They had every motive not to violate it ; 
their happiness in this world and the next was to be 
the price of their obedience. 

Q, By whom were they tempted V 

A. They were tempted by the devil. God, whose 
wisdom and power are infinite, had formed creatures, 
purely material, such as the plants and animals ; others 
material and spiritual, such as man ; and others purely 
spiritual, such as the angels. 

Q. What are the angels ? 

A, The angels are creatures purely spiritual and 
superior to man. Some of them revolted against God 
and were immediately punished and changed into 

Knowledge of the Angels. 

Q. In what are the angels superior to men ? 

A. The angels are superior to men in knowledge 
and power. They know much better than we the 
things that are known by us. They know many 
things which we do not know ; and they can do many 
things which are impossible to us. 

Q. In what state were the angels created ? 

A. All the angels were created in a state of inno 
cence and sanctity, but this happy state did not render 
them impeccable ; the eternal enjoyment of God was to 
be the reward of their fidelity. Some of them refused 


to humble themselves before God, and were changed 
into devils. 

Q. What is the occupation of the devils or bad 
angels ? 

A. The occupation of the bad angels is to tempt 
men, and to do us all the harm they can, as we see in 
the case of the holy man Job. The devil, however, 
can do us no harm without the permission of God. He 
permits him to tempt us in order to try our virtue, but 
lie gives us all the graces necessary to triumph over 
his attacks. 

Q. Are there different grades of good angels ? 

A . Among the good angels there are different grades. 
They are divided into three hierarchies, which contain 
each three orders; these nine orders are called the nine 
choirs of angels. . The first hierarchy embraces the 
Thrones, the Cherubim and the Seraphim ; the second 
embraces the Powers, the Virtues and the Domina 
tions ; the third embraces the Angels, the Archangels 
and the Principalities. 

Q. What are the duties of the good angels ? 

A. The first duty of the good angels is to adore and 
praise God. St. John represents them to us as pros 
trate with respect before the throne of his divine 
Majesty, repeating without ceasing these words : Holy, 
holy, holt/, Lord God Almighty, ncho was, and who is, 
and who is to come. 

Q. What is the second duty of the good angels ? 

A . Th ( 3 second duty of the good angels is to preside 
over the government of the visible and invisible world, 
and execute the orders of God with regard to man. It 
is by the ministry of angels that the great events of the 
Old and New Testament have been accomplished. 

Q. What is the third duty of the good angels ? 

A. The third duty of the good angels is to watch 
over and guard the universal church. The holy 
father? teach us that millions of angels environ the 
heepfoUl of Jesus Christ, to defend it in the continual 


war it sustains from the bad angels. They watch ovei 
and protect kingdoms and empires. The Scripture 
speaks of the angel guardian of the Persians and the 
Greeks, and the holy fathers tell us that each church 
has not only a bishop but also an angel for its protector. 

Q. What is the fourth duty of the good angels ? 

A. The fourth duty of the good angels is to watch 
over each one of us. At the first moment of our exist 
ence, an angel comes to place himself at our side, to 
defend us and conduct us to heaven. He presents to 
God our prayers and our good works, and prays for us. 

Q. What must we conclude from the work of the 
six days ? 

A . We must conclude : 1 st. That God is truly pow 
erful, truly wise and truly good. 2d. That man is truly 
a great being, since all the inferior creatures were 
made only in reference to him, and that even the 
angels labor continually for him. 3d. That we ought 
to love God, use all things for his glory and to have a 
great respect for ourselves. 4th. That we ought to 
observe the Sunday with great fidelity. 

The fall of Man. 

Q. With what punishment did God menace oar 
first parents ? 

A. The punishment with which God threatened our 
first parents was death to both body and soul. He said 
to Adam, In what day soever thou shall eat of it, thou 
shall die the death. They were guilty of revolt like the 
angels, and like them they deserved to be treated ; 
if God did not execute his threat, it is owing entirely 
*o his great mercy. 

Q. How did our first parents fall ? 

A. The devil in the shape of a serpent deceived the 


woman by saying to her that if they ate of the forbid 
den fruit they should become gods. The woman 
being deceived, ate of it and then offered it to her hus 
band. Adam was not deceived, but to please his wife 
he also ate of the forbidden fruit. 

Q. In what condition did they find themselves after 
their fall? 

A. After their fall, remorse and shame seized upon 
their conscience, and they sought to hide themselves 
among the trees of the garden. The Lord called them 
before him and pronounced upon them a just con 

Q. What punishment did he pronounce upon the 
serpent ? 

A. He condemned the serpent to crawl upon the 
earth and to eat the dust. God wished to show how 
hateful the devil was to him, by punishing the reptile 
which had been the instrument of his crime. He 
moreover said to it : / will put enmities between thee 
and the woman, and thy seed and her seed : she shall 
crush thy head. These words announced a Redeemer 
to come 

Q. What punishment did he pronounce upon our 
first parents? 

A. He condemned the woman to bring forth with 
pain, and to be subject to her husband ; he condemned 
man to gain his bread by the sweat of his brow, and 
to undergo all the miseries of nature and death. He 
also deprived him of all his supernatural privileges. 

Q. What do you remark on this punishment? 

A. In this punishment I remark a great mercy of 
God. He had the right to execute the sentence of 
ileath on our first parents the moment they sinned, 
yet he did not do it ; he granted them time for repent- 
unce. He did more, he gave them the means ; he 
announced to them a Redeemer, and thus left them the 
.iope of being one day restored to his favor. 

Q What did God then do? 


A. Touched with compassion for our first parents, 
he gave them clothes to cover themselves. After this 
they "went forth from the terrestrial Paradise, and a 
cherub, armed with a flaming sword, was placed at the 
entrance to prevent their return. 

Q. Did Adam do penance? 

A. Adam did penance for his sin during nine hun 
dred and thirty years, and had the happiness to recover 
the favor of God arid to die in his love. 


Justice reconciled with divine mercy in the punish 
ment of original sin. 

Q. What was the justice of God in the punishment 
of original sin ? 

A. The justice of God in the punishment of original 
sin was perfect and free from all reproach. 1 st. The 
command which God had given to our first parents was 
easy to keep. 2d. It was all-important ; it was the 
exterior mark of the fidelity which God required of 
them in gratitude for the great blessings heaped upon 
them, and to which he had attached their happiness. 
3d. It was perfectly -just, for it was God himself 
vvho had given it, and God is surely free to confer his 
favors on such conditions as he pleases. 

Q. What are the effects of original sin? 

A. The effects of original sin are, 1st. Privation of 
sanctifying grace. 2d. Ignorance, concupiscence, suf 
ferings and death. 

Q. How did God show his mercy in the punishment 
of original sin ? 

A. The mercy of God in the punishment of original 
sin, was as perfect as his justice Instead of punish 
ing our first parents with death the moment they 
sinned, as he had a right to do, God granted them time 


for repentance and gave them the means of repenting, 
by promising them a Saviour, who would restore to 
them all the blessings they had lost, and confer even 
greater ones. 

Q. What was the cause of this mercy ? 

A. The cause of this great mercy was the Eternal 
Word, the only Son of God, who offered himself to 
his Father to expiate the sins of our first parents. 

Q. How did God reconcile the rights of his justice 
with those of his mercy, in the punishment of original 
sin V 

A. To reconcile the claims of his justice, which re 
quired the punishment of man, with those of mercy, 
which called aloud for his pardon, God accepted the 
death of one man in the place of all men, and in con 
sideration of this Man, a victim for all, he forgives all 
other men. 

Q. What will this man be ? 

A. He will be the object of all the rigor of God s 
justice, since he will be loaded with the sins of all 
men. He will also be infinitely loved by God, since 
in consideration of him, God will pardon all men. 
This mediator will be a Man-God. Man, that he 
may be capable of suffering ; God, in order to give in 
finite merit to his sufferings. 

Q. Could man have been saved except through this 
mediator ? 

A. No man could have been saved except through 
this mediator, because he alone, being a Man-God,could 
expiate sin, and re-establish between God and man the 
supernatural union which sin had destroyed. 

Q. How were those saved who lived before the 
coming of the mediator ? 

A. They who lived before the coming of the 
mediator were saved also by the merits of t > is mediator. 
In order thereto, they had to believe in him. This 
faith in a mediator his always IHVH necessary, at all 
times, before as well as since his coming. 



Necessity and perpetuity of faith in the mystery of 
the Redemption. History of Job. 

Q. Was our Saviour born for all men without ex 
ception ? 

A. Our Saviour was born for all men without ex 
ception. He is the Saviour of all, says the apostle, but 
more so of the faithful. 

Q. What must we conclude from this ? 

A . From this we must conclude that God has given 
to all men, at all times, the necessary graces to acquire 
a sufficient knowledge of the mystery of redemption, and 
to work out their salvation. 

Q. Explain this truth ? 

A . It is certain that the Jews have always expected 
a Redeemer. This expectation was the first article of 
their creed. As to the pagans, they like the Jews 
were children of Adam and Noah. In wandering 
from the parent home, they carried with them the 
tradition of the fall of man, and the first promise of a 

Q Were not these traditions altered ? 

A. Yes, these traditions were altered by gross fables. 
But we find portions of them sufficiently marked in the 
history of all pagan peoples. Moreover St. Thomas 
says that the revelation of the Redeemer was made to 
a great number of gentiles. Finally there were among 
the gentiles persons who foretold the birth of the Re 
deemer, and were as prophets for the gentiles. 

Q. Which of them was most celebrated ? 

A. The most celebrated of these prophets among the 
gentiles was the holy man Job. He was an eastern 
prince ; he feared God and served him in all the up 
rightness of his heart ; he was extremely rich. God 
permitted the devil to put his virtue to the test. In a 
single day the devil took from Job all his riches, and 


caused the death of all his ten children. On hearing 
this afflicting news, Job contented himself by saying, 
with great resignation, The Lord gave and the Lord 
hath taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord. 

Q. Continue the history of Job ? 

A. The devil, exasperated at not being able to make 
Job murmur against God, demanded permission to 
afflict his person ; he obtained permission, and Job was 
im mediately covered from head to foot with a most of 
fensive, horrible leprosy. Poor, sick and disgusting, 
he was obliged to sit down on a dunghill, and with 
pieces of broken pot-sherds scrape off the matter run 
ning from his ulcers. 

Q. What other trial had Job to undergo ? 

A. Another very painful trial was, that his wife 
upbraided him in his misery, and told him to curse 
God. Job replied to her : Thou haul spoken like one 
of the foolish women ; if we have received good things 
at the hand of God, why should we not receive evil f 

Q. What else happened ? 

A . Three princes, friends of Job, having learned his 
misfortunes, came to visit him. They maintained that 
Job had been guilty of some sin, since God punished 
him thus. Job replied that he was innocent ; his friends 
would not believe him. It was then that Job pro 
nounced this beautiful prophecy of the Redeemer : / 
know that, my Redeemer liveth ; and in the last day I 
shall rise out of the earth. And I shall be clothed again 
with my skin, and in my flesh / shall see my God, 
the witness of my innocence. 

Q. Did God abandon the holy man Job ? 

A . God did not abandon the holy man Job. He 
vindicated his innocence, and required his friends to 
offer up a sacrifice of expiation. Job prayed for them, 
and God forgave them the pain they had caused that 
holy man. Afterwards God gave* to Job again as 
many children as he had before, two-fold greater riches, 
and a long life and holy death. 


Knowledge of Religion ; it is a great grace. 

Q. How must we consider religion ? 

A. We must consider religion as a great favor, con 
ferred upon us by God. 

Q. Explain this truth ? 

A. By a goodness altogether gratuitous, God has 
destined man to a supernatural happiness, and has 
given him all the means to attain it. Religion, which 
is the assemblage of all these means, is therefore a 
great favor and a great grace. 

Q. What is grace ? 

A. Grace is a supernatural aid which God, in virtue 
of the merits of Jesus Christ, gratuitously gives to 
men, whereby they may work out their salvation. 

Q. How many kinds of grace are there V 

A. There are two kinds of grace ; exterior and in 
terior. Exterior graces are the sensible aids which 
God, in virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, gives us to 
work out our salvation. 

Q. Illustrate this answer ? 

A. In the Old Testament, the promises, figures, and 
predictions regarding the Messiah, the law given on 
Mount Sinai, the Decalogue, the sacrifices, the teach 
ings of the prophets, the examples of the just in a 
word, the whole Jewish religion was a great grace, an 
exterior grace. The same may be said of the Christian 
religion, with all its miracles, the discourses and ex 
amples of our Saviour, the apostles, the saints, arid all 
the teachings of the church. 

Q. What is interior grace ? 

A. Interior grace is whatever touches our heart in 
teriorly, enlightens our understanding, strengthens our 
will, inducing us to work out our salvation. Interior 
graces, like the exterior, are innumerable. 

Q. What ought we to know respecting grace ? 


A. We must know respecting grace, 1st, that it is 
gratuitous, that is, we are indebted for it solely to the 
merits of Jesus Christ; 2d, that he who profits well by 
the graces received, acquires, in virtue of the promises 
of God, a right to new graces ; 3d, that grace is abso 
lutely necessary for us, that without it we can do noth 
ing ; with it we can do all things in order to salvation ; 
4th, that grace, far from trammeling our liberty, per 
fects it ; 5th, that grace is more precious than all 
natural goods, since it conducts us to eternal happiness. 

What is Religion? 

Q. What is religion ? 

A. Religion, according to St. Augustin, is the bond 
which unites man to God ; in other words, religion is 
the society of man with God. 

Q. Explain this answer? 

A. Between parents and children there exist ties, or 
natural and sacred relations. In the same manner 
there exist relations between God, the creator and 
father of man, and man, who is the creature and child 
of God. The ties which exist between God and man 
are even more sacred than those which unite the son 
to his father. 

Q. Why so? 

A. Because we owe more to God than a son owes to 
his father ; God is our creator and our last end, which 
cannot be said of our earthly fathers. From which 
we must conclude that our obligations to God are 
much more holy than are the obligations of children 
to their parents. 

Q. What does the word religion signify? 

A. The word religion signifies the tie by excellence, 
or th ^ re-tieing. The tie by excellence, because re- 


ligion unites us in a supernatural manner to God, who 
is the most perfect of beings ; the re-tieing, because our 
Lord, by offering himself up to his father as a victim 
for us, has re-established the supernatural union which 
existed between God and man previous to original sin. 

Q. Is there any other religion than the religion of 
Jesus Christ? 

A . No, there is no other religion than the religion 
of Jesus Christ, because Jesus Christ alone, as both 
God and man, could expiate sin, reconcile man to God, 
and re-establish the supernatural tie which united them. 

Q. Is the true religion, or religion of Jesus Christ, 
of ancient date? 

A. The religion of Jesus Christ is as ancient as the 
world. For it goes back to the time when the Son of 
God offered himself to his Father to redeem man, and 
has always had as the object of its faith and its hope 
this same Mediator and the same rewards. 

Q. Has religion been at all times as fully taught as 
it is at the present day? 

A. No, religion has not been at all times as fully 
taught as it is at the present day. But it has not on 
that account ceased to be the same religion, any more 
than man, by passing through the different stages of 
life, ceases to be the same man. 

Q. What difference is there between the faithful who 
preceded and those who have come after the Messiah ? 

A . The difference is that the ancient just believed in 
Jesus Christ to come, whilst we believe in Jesus Christ 
already come. Our faith, our hope, our religion is the 
same as that of the patriarchs and prophets. 

Q. Why did God delay so long the coming of the 
Messiah ? 

A. He delayed the coming of the Messiah so long, 
1 st, in order that man might know, by a long experience 
of his miseries, the need he had of a Redeemer, and 
that he might desire his coming more ardently. 2d, 
that he might recognise Jesus Christ as the Mes- 


siah, seeing that all the figures, promises and prophe 
cies were accomplished and verified in him. 

Q. What has been the object of all the designs of 
God since the commission of original sin ? 

A. The object of all the designs of God, since the 
commission of original sin, has been to save man. Be 
fore the coming of the Messiah, all his designs had for 
their end to prepare man s redemption, and since the 
coining, to maintain and extend its blessings to all 

Q. What fruit do we derive from this truth ? 

A . The fruit we ought to derive from this truth is, 
to love God as he has loved us, constantly and solely. 

Q. Why did God make known the mystery of the 
redemption only by degrees ? 

A. God made known the mystery of the redemption 
only by degrees, in order to consult man s weakness. 
A great many previous miracles were necessary to dis 
pose him to believe this greatest of all miracles. 


The Messiah promised and prefigured. First Prom 
ise. Adam and Abel the first and second figures 
or types o: the Messiah. 

Q. How did God make known the Redeemer to 
come V 

A. God made known the Redeemer to come, 1st, 
by promises, 2d, b} figures, and 3d, by prophecies. 

Q. What do you understand by figures of the Mes 
siah ? 

A. By figures of the Messiah, I understand certain 
actions, certain events, certain personages, that repre 
sented .beforehand the characteristics and actions of 
the Messiah. 


Q. How do we know that the patriarchs, the sacri 
fices, and the whole Jewish people were a figure of the 
Messiah ? 

A. We know that the patriarchs, the sacrifices and 
the whole Jewish people were a figure of the Messiah, 
1st, on the authority of our Lord himself, and that of 
the apostles and evangelists. St. Paul in particular 
says that Jesus Christ is the end of the Mosaic law, 
and that whatever happened to the Jews was a figure 
of what was accomplished among Christians. 2d, on 
the authority of the fathers of the church ; St. Augus 
tine says that the whole Jewish people were only a 
grand figure of the Messiah. 3d, by the conformity 
or resemblance of the figures to our Lord, for in look 
ing at several portraits of the same person, drawn by 
different artists, no one would say that all these por 
traits resemble the person merely by chance. 

Q. Did the patriarchs and ancient Jews know, in 
general, the sense of the promises, figures, and prophe 
cies of the Redeemer ? 

A. The patriarchs and ancient Jews knew, in gen 
eral, the sense of the promises, figures, and prophecies 
of the Redeemer : the better instructed among them 
had a clear knowledge of it, the rest had what was 
necessary for their salvation. 

Q. Which was the first promise of a Messiah? 

A . The first promise of the Messiah was that made 
by God to our first parents in the terrestrial paradise ; 
lie said to the serpent, the woman shall crush thy head. 

Q. What was the first figure of the Messiah V 

A . The first figure of the Messiah was Adam. Adam 
is the father of all men according to the flesh ; our 
Lord is the father of all men according to the spirit 
Adam sleeps, and out of one of his ribs God forms for 
him a companion, who is to be always united to him 
and to give him a numerous posterity ; our Lord dies on 
the cross, and from his opened side God raises up the 
church with which our Lord will be united till the end 


of ages, and which will give him a great number of 

Q. Continue the same figure. 

A. Adam, a sinner, is driven from paradise, and is 
condemned to labor, sufferings, and death ; our Lord, 
loaded with the sins of the world, descends from heaven, 
is condemned to labor, sufferings and death. He 
saves all men by his obedience as Adam lost all by 
his disobedience. 

Q. What was the second figure of the Messiah ? 

A . The second figure of the Messiah was Abel. Abel 
offers a sacrifice which is agreeable to God. Our Lord 
offers a sacrifice which is infinitely more agreeable to 
God, his Father. The innocent Abel is conducted into 
the field and put to death by Cain his brother ; our 
Lord, innocence itself, is led out of Jerusalem and put 
to death by the Jews, his brethren. The blood of Abel 
cries to heaven for vengeance ; the blood of our Lord 
cries for mercy in our behalf. Cain, the murderer of 
Abel, is condemned to wander a vagabond on the face 
of the earth ; the Jews, the murderers of our Lord, are 
condemned to wander over the earth without priest, 
without king, without sacrifice. 


The Messiah promised and prefigured. Noah the 
third figure, A. C. 2348. 

Q. What is the name of the son whom God gave to 
our first parents in place of Abel ? 

A . The son whom God gave to our first parents to 
replace Abel, was named Seth. He it was that pre- 
eerved the true worship of God on earth. 

Q. How were the descendants of Seth called ? 

A . The descendants of Seth were called the children 
of God, because they lived according to the spirit of 


religion the descendants of Cain, on the contrary, 
were called the children of men, because they aban 
doned themselves to all the corrupt propensities of the 

Q. Did God send any one to recall the children of 
men to repentance ? 

A . To recall the children of men to repentance God 
sent Enoch. He never ceased to exhort them to be 
converted to God. God afterwards took him up to 
heaven alive, whence he will return before the end of 
the world to exhort sinners to repentance. 

Q. Did the children of God remain always faithful 
to the Lord ? 

A. The children of God did not remain always 
faithful to the Lord. They formed alliances with the 
children of men who corrupted them, and the earth 
was soon sullied with crimes. 

Q. How did God punish mankind ? 

A. God punished mankind by the deluge. The 
earth and the highest mountains were covered with 
water during one hundred and forty days. 

Q. Did all men perish in the deluge t 

A. Noah and his family, in all eight persons, were 
saved in the ark, together with animals of each kind, 
to re-people the earth. 

Q. What was the ark ? 

A. The ark was a large vessel which Noah con 
structed by the order of God, and which he entered at 
the moment of the deluge. He was one hundred and 
twenty years building it ; God wishing thereby to give 
sinners time for repentance. 

Q. What did Noah do on leaving the ark ? 

A. Noah on leaving the ark testified his gratitude 
to the Lord by offering up a sacrifice to him. The 
Lord promised him never again to destroy the world 
by a deluge. 

Q. Was Noah a figure of our Lord ? 

A. Noah was the third figure of our Lord. Noah 


signifies Consoler ; Jesus signifies Saviour. Noah 
alone finds grace before God ; our Lord alone finds 
grace before his Father. Noah builds an ark which 
saves him and his family from the universal deluge. 
Our Lord builds his church to save from eternal death 
all who are willing to enter it. The higher the waters 
rose, the nearer to heaven the ark mounted ; the 
more the church experiences tribulations, the more she 
elevates herself to God. Noah was chosen to be the 
father of a new world ; our Lord was chosen to people 
the earth with the just and heaven with saints. 


The Messiah promised and prefigured Second prom 
ise and fourth figure of the Messiah. Melchisedech. 
A. C. 2247-1921. 

Q. What happened after the deluge ? 

A. After the deluge the life of man was perceptibly 
shortened. The long stay of the waters on the earth 
enfeebled the strength of the plants, corrupted the air, 
and caused nature to lose her primitive vigor. 

Q. Who were the sons of Noah ? 

A . The sons of Noah were Sem, Cham and Japhet ; 
and from them have sprung all the people of the earth. 

Q. Were they all three blessed by their father ? 

A. Cham, having been wanting in respect for his 
father, the holy patriarch cursed him in the person of 
Chanaan, and his malediction produced its effect. 

Q. What did the descendants of Noah do before 
separating ? 

A. Before separating, the descendants of Noah un 
dertook to build a city and a tower whose summit 
should reach the heavens, in order to immortalise their 
name and secure them against a future deluge. Thi? 
wa* an evil purpose and God did not bless it. 


Q How did God prevent the execution of their pur* 
pose ? 

A. God prevented its execution by confounding the 
language of men. Being no longer able to understand 
one another, they were compelled to abandon the work. 
For this reason the tower was called Babel, that is, 

Q. What became of men after the confusion of lan 
guage ? 

A. They separated in large families, and removing 
farther and farther, by degrees they peopled the whole 
earth. They carried with them the knowledge of the 
principal truths of religion and the remembrance of the 
great events which had happened after the deluge. 
Hence it is that we find amongst all the people of the 
earth, traditions of those memorable events. 

Q. Did the people long preserve the true religion ? 

A. They did not preserve the true religion long. 
Blinded by their passions they disowned the true God, 
and in his place, adored creatures then commenced 

Q. What did the Lord do to preserve on the earth 
the knowledge of the true religion, and especially the 
memorv of the great promise of a Redeemer ? 

A. I D preserve the true religion, and especially the 
memory of the great promise of the Redeemer/ God 
chose a particular people to be the depositary of both. 
The Jews were this chosen people their father was 
Abraham, the son of Thare, a descendant of Sem. 

Q. What did God promise Abraham ? 

A. God promised Abraham that all nations should 
be blessed in him who should come out of him, that 
Is, God promised him that from him should be born 
the Messiah. This second promise excludes all other 
people, and shows us that we must look, for the future, 
among the posterity of Abraham for the Saviour. 

Q. What was the fourth figure of the Messiah ? 

A. The fourth figure of the Messiah was Melchise- 


dech. Melehisedech signifies King of Justice ; our 
Lord is justice itself. Melchisedech was priest of the 
Most High ; our Lord is the Priest by excellence. 
Melehisedech blessed Abraham ; our Lord blesses the 
church represented by Abraham. Melehisedech offers 
in sacrifice bread and wine ; our Lord offers himself 
a sacrifice under the appearance of bread and wine. 


The Messiah promised and prefigured Isaac the 
fifth figure of the Messiah, A. C. 1871-1836. 

Q. After Abraham had delivered Lot, his nephew, 
what promise did God make him ? 

A. After the deliverance of Lot, God promised 
Abraham a son. 

Q. What was the sign of the covenant which God 
made with Abraham? 

A. The sign of the covenant which God made with 
Abraham was the ceremony of circumcision. 

Q. On what occasion did God renew to Abraham 
the promise of a son ? 

A. God renewed to the holy patriarch the promise 
of a son, after he had given hospitality to three angels 
in the guise of travelers. 

Q. What are we taught by the interview between 
Abraham and God in the guise of three angels ? 

A . The interview between Abraham and &od teach 
es, 1 st, with what holy familiarity God permits us to 
address him in prayer ; 2d, that the prayers and mer 
its of a small number of the just may save a multitude 
of the guilty. For the sake of ten just, God would 
have spared five whole cities. 

Q. Was no one saved from the burning of Sodom ? 

A. Lot, his wife, and his two daughters alone were 
saved from the burning of Sodom ; but the wife of 


Lot, in punishment of her curiosity, was changed into 
a pillar of salt, which was still to be seen in the time 
of the apostles. 

Q. What order did God give to Abraham ? 

A. Many years after the burning of Sodom, God 
ordered Abraham to immolate Isaac. 

Q. How did Abraham obey the order of God ? 

A. Abraham obeyedthe order of God promptly and 
without a murmur. He himself conducted his son to 
the mountain which God had shown him ; he fastened 
Isaac to the pile and was about to strike this beloved 
victim, when God, satisfied with his obedience, direct 
ed him to spare him. 

Q. What does the sacrifice of Isaac represent ? 

A. The sacrifice of Isaac represents that of our 
Lord. 1st, Isaac is the well-beloved son of his father 
- our Lord is the object of the complaceny of God, 
his Father. Isaac, though innocent, is condemned to 
death ; our Lord, innocence itself, is condemned to die. 
It is the father of Isaac who must immolate him ; it is 
God the Father who, by the hands of the Jews, him 
self immolates our Lord. 2d, Isaac himself carries the 
wood which is to consume him ; our Lord himself car 
ries the wood of the cross on which he is to die. 
Isaac suffers himself to be tied to the pile without a 
murmur ; our Lord, like a tender lamb, suffers himself 
to be raised upon the cross. It is on Calvary that 
Isaac offers his sacrifice ; it is on Calvary also that our 
Lord offers his sacrifice. Isaac is blessed by God as a 
reward for his obedience ; our Lord, in recompense 
for his obedience, is blessed by God, and receives, for 
his inheritance, all the nations of the earth. 



The Messiah promised and prefigured Third and 
fourth promises Sixth figure of the Messiah- 
Jacob, (A. C. 1739.) 

Q. How did Abraham die? 

A. Abraham, full of days and merits, died a holy 
death at the age of 175. He was interred by his two 
sons, Isaac and Ismael. 

Q. To which of the sons of Abraham was the third 
promise of the Messiah made? 

A. The third promise of the Messiah was made to 
Isaac. The Lord said to him : / will multiply thy 
seed like the stars of heaven. . . . And in thy seed shall 
all the nations of the earth be blessed. This shows us 
much more than the preceding promises, that in the 
family of Isaac we must look for the Messiah. 

Q. How many children had Isaac? 

A. Isaac had two children, Esau and Jacob. God, 
who is the master of his gifts, chose Jacob, although 
the younger, to be the father of the Messiah. 

Q. On what occasion did God make to Jacob the 
promise of the Messiah? 

A. Jacob, on his way to Mesopotamia to seek a 
wife amongst his relations, was overtaken by night in 
the midst of the desert. In his sleep he had. a dream, 
in which the Lord appeared to him and said : / am the 
Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of 
Isaac ; the land wJ/erein thou steepest I will give to thee 
and thy seed, and in thee and in thy seed all the tribes 
of the earth shall be blessed. 

Q. What do you remark on this promise? 

A. On this promise I remark that it excludes Esau, 
and all the people descending from him, and that we 
must hereafter look for the Messiah among the poster 
ity of Jacob. 


Q. What did Jacob do on his arrival in Mesopcn 

A. On his arrival in Mesopotamia, Jacob demanded 
his cousin Rachel in marriage ; but it was not until 
after fourteen years of painful labor, that he obtained 
the consent of his uncle, Laban. lie afterwards set 
out with his family to return to his father, to whom 
he rendered the last rites. 

Q. Was Jacob a figure of our Lord? 

A . Yes, Jacob is the sixth figure of our Lord. Jacob, 
to obey his father, went into a far distant country to 
seek for a spouse ; our Lord, to obey his father, de 
scended from heaven on earth to unite himself to the 
church, his spouse. Jacob, although very rich, set 
out alone, and had for his pillow nothing but a stone, 
found in the desert ; our Lord, the master of all 
things, had not even a stone on which to lay his head. 
Jacob was obliged to labor a long time to obtain his 
spouse. Our Lord was obliged to undergo the most 
painful labors to form the church, his spouse. Jacob 
returned to his father, with his family ; our Lord as 
cended to his Father, with all the saints of the ancient 
law, and opened heaven to all Chri3+ians, his children. 


The Messiah promised and prefigured Seventh figure 
of the Messiah Joseph. (A. C. 1729-1689.) 

Q. Did the patriarchs possess great wealth ? 

A. The patriarchs possessed great wealth, which 
consisted chiefly of flocks and herds. They did not 
build houses; they dwelt in tents, and changed their 
places of dwelling according to the pastures. God 
thus wished to teach us that the life oi man here below 
is but a painful journey. 


Q. What were the principal virtues of the patri 
archs ? 

A. The principal virtues of the patriarchs were 
faith, which made them constantly sigh after a better 
country ; charity for their neighbor, which made them 
extend a generous hospitality to strangers ; and lastly, 
temperance and sobriety, which secured to them a long 
life, exempt from infirmities. 

Q. How many sons had the patriarch Jacob ? 

A. The patriarch Jacob had twelve sons, who are 
the fathers of the twelve tribes. The most celebrated 
is Joseph, who was one of the most beautiful figures of 
the Messiah. 1 st. Joseph was the well beloved son of 
Jacob, his father ; our Lord is also the well beloved 
son of God, his father. Joseph was mal-treated and sold 
by his brethren to strange merchants ; our Lord was 
mal-treated by the Jews, his brethren, betrayed by 
Judas, and delivered up to the Romans, who put him 
to death. 2d. Joseph is condemned for a crime of 
which he is innocent ; our Lord is condemned for 
crimes of which he is innocent. Joseph is found in 
prison with two criminals; he announces to one his 
pardon and to the other his punishment ; our Lord is 
placed on the cross, between two malefactors ; he 
promises heaven to one, and leaves the other to his 
perdition. 3d. Joseph passes from his prison to the 
throne itself of Pharao ; our Lord passes from the 
cross to the throne itself of God, his father. Joseph is 
obeyed by strangers, before he is obeyed by his own 
brethren ; our Lord is obeyed by infidel nations before 
he is obeyed by the Jews. Joseph saved his brethren 
from death when they came to him ; our Lord will save 
the Jews from error when they will have embraced 



The Messiah promised and prefigured Fifth promise. 
Eighth figure of the Messiah The Paschal Lamb. 
(A. C. 1491.) 

Q. Did Jacob live long in Egypt ? 

A . Jacob was one hundred and twenty years old 
when he went down into Egypt ; he lived there sev 
enteen years, honored and respected and tenderly cher 
ished by his son Joseph. 

Q. YVhat prophecy did Jacob make when dying ? 

A . Jacob, seeing his end approach, assembled 
around his bed his twelve sons, and announced to them 
what was to happen to their descendants. When he 
came to Juda, he spoke thus : Juda, ihee shall thy 
brethren praise : the sceptre .shall, not be taken away 
from Juda, nor a ruler from his thigh, till He come that 
is to be sent, and he shall be the expectation of all na 

Q. What was the meaning of this promise ? 

A. This promise announced that the sovereign au 
thority should reside in the tribe of Juda, until the 
coming of the Messiah, the expected of all nations. It 
was verified at the time of our Lord ; for Herod, an 
Idumean, was the first stranger who reigned in Judca. 
This promise teaches us, further, that it is in the tribe 
of Juda, to the exclusion of all others, we must for the 
future look for the Messiah. 

Q. What happened to the children of Jacob after 
his death ? 

A. After the death of Jacob, his children multiplied 
rapidly ; Joseph soon followed his father to the grave ; 
a new king ascended the throne of Egypt, and op 
pressed the Hebrews. 

Q. Whom did God make use of to deliver his peo 
ple ? 

A . To deliver his people from the bondage of Egypt, 


God made use of Moses, and Aaron his brother. They 
both went together into the presence af Pharao, whose 
obstinacy Moses subdued by striking Egypt with ten 
great calamities, which are called the ten plagues of 

Q. What did the Hebrew people do before setting 

A. Before setting oat, the Hebrew people immolated 
the Paschal Lamb, which is the eighth figure of the 
Messiah. This Paschal Lamb was to be without 
spot ; our Lord is the true Lamb without spot. 

Q. With what dispositions were they to eat the 
Paschal Lamb ? 

A. They who ate the Paschal Lamb were to have 
their loins girdled, a staff in their hands, and sandals on 
their feet, as travelers ready for the journey. Those 
who receive the holy communion must have their loins 
girdled, that is, must be chaste ; a staff in their hand, 
that is, they must resist all evil ; sandals on their feet, 
that is, they must be like travelers, ready to undertake 
any thing in order to reach heaven. 


The Messiah promised and prefigured Ninth figure 
of the Messiah The Manna Sixth promise. 
(A. C. 1491.) 

Q. What was the first miracle wrought by the Lord - 
in favor of his people, when he brought them out of 
Egypt ? 

A . The first miracle wrought by the Lord in favor 
of his people in bringing them out of Egypt, was the 
pillar of fire ; a luminous pillar by ninht, and a cloud 
by day, it directed the march of the people, and marked 
the places of their stopping. 

Q. Did this miracle continue a long time ? 


A. This miracle continued during forty years ; that 
is, as long as the Israelites were in the desert 

Q. What was the second miracle of the Lord in 
favor of his people ? 

A. The second miracle of the Lord in favor of his 
people, was the passage of the Red Sea. Pharao 
repented of having let tne Hebrews depart, and set out 
in pursuit of them with his arifly. At the command 
of Moses, the waters of the Red Sea divided, and left a 
dry passage for the children of Israel. The Egyptians 
followed them, but the waters, at the command of 
Moses, resumed their course, and swallowed up all the 

Q. What was the third miracle of the Lord in favor 
of his people ? 

A. The third miracle of the Lord in favor of his 
people was the manna. 

Q. What was the manna ? 

A. The manna was a miraculous food, which fell 
every morning around the camp of the Hebrews ; it 
consisted of small white particles, and very hard ; it was 
gathered each day, early in the morning, and had a 
delicious taste. 

Q. Why all these miracles ? 

A. All these miracles had for their object to show 
the Israelites and the heathen nations, that the Lord 
was the only true God and the sole master of na 

Q. Was the manna a figure of the Messiah ? 

A. The manna is the ninth figure of the Messiah. 
The manna was a food which fell from heaven ; our 
Lord, in the Holy Eucharist, is a living bread, descend 
ing from heaven. The manna, supplied the place of 
other food ; the Holy Eucharist is the bread by excel 
lence, and suffices for all the wants of our soul. The 
manna ceased when the Hebrews entered the land of 
promise ; the Holy Eucharist will cease when we shall 
nave entered into heaven ; that is, we shall see, face 


to face, God whom we now receive under the sacra 
mental veil. 

Q. What is the sixth promise of the Messiah ? 

A. The Israelites, trembling at the foot of Mount 
Sinai, implored Moses to speak to them, himself, in 
stead of the Lord, whose majesty they could not sus 
tain. The Lord then said to Moses, The// have spoken 
all things icell. / will raise them up a prophet out oj 
the. midst of their brethren, like to thee : and I will ]>nt 
my words in his mouth, and he shall speak all that I 
shall command him. This prophet, full of meekness, 
is the Messiah ; tis thus St. Peter explains this prom 
ise of God to Moses. 


The Messiah promised and prefigured. Tenth and 
eleventh figures of the Messiah. The sacrifice and 
brazen serpent. (A. C. 1451.) 

Q. Where did God give his law to the Israelites ? 

A. God gave his law to the Israelites on Mount 
Sinai. This law, given by the ministry of Moses, is 
called the written law. It was not new ; because the 
first men believed the truths it contained. 

Q. How did God give his law ? 

A. The ancient law was a law of fear; God gave 
it in the midst of an appalling spectacle ; all the 
mountain was covered with a thick cloud, from which 
issued forth thunder and lightning. 

Q. What did Moses do after he had given the Is 
raelites the law of the Lord ? 

A. After having given the law to the Israelites, 
Moses confirmed it by sacrifices. The sacrifices which 
Moses offered to confirm the law of the Lord, as well 
as all the other sacrifices of the ancient law, were 
figure s f * ne sacrifice of Christ. 


Q. How do you show this ? 

A . After having- published the law, Moses sprinkled 
blood over all the people ; our Lord, after having; 
preached the Gospel, gave his adorable blood to his 
apostles. Moses, in sprinkling the blood of the victim 
over the people, used these words : This is the blood 
of the covenant which the Lord has made with you. Our 
Lord, in giving his blood to his apostles, pronounced 
these words : This is my blood of the New Testament, 
which shall be shed for many. 

Q. Continue. 

A . The sacrifices of the ancient law were bloody and 
unbloody ; the sacrifice of our Lord was offered up in 
a bloody manner on the cross, and is still offered in an 
unbloody manner on the altar. The sacrifices of the 
ancient law were offered up for four ends, viz : to 
adore, to thank, to ask and to expiate ; the sacrifice of 
our Lord is offered up for the same four ends. Thus 
the sacrifices of the ancient law are truly the tenth 
figure of our Lord. 

Q. What is the eleventh ? 

A. The eleventh figure of our Lord is the brazen 
serpent. The guilty Hebrews were bitten* by serpents, 
which caused their death. The human race, guilty in 
the person of Adam, has been bitten by the infernal 
serpent, which produces death. The Lord caused a 
brazen serpent to be made and put in a conspicuous 
place ; our Lord became man, and was elevated on the 
cross. Those who looked on the brazen serpent were 
cured of their wounds ; they who look on our Lord 
with faith and love are cured of the wounds inflicted 
by the infernal serpent. Nothing but the sight of the 
brazen serpent could cure the bite of the serpents ; 
nothing but faith and lore of our Lord can cure the 
wounds which the devil inflicts on our souls. 



The Messiah promised and prefigured Twelfth 
figure of the Messiah Moses. (A. C. 1451.) 

Q. Why did not Moses and Aaron enter the 
promised land ? 

A . Because they had once entertained a slight hesi 
tation in their confidence in God. 

Q. What did Moses do previous to his death ? 

A. Previous to his death, Moses assembled the 
children of Israel, and made them renew the covenant 
with the Lord. He promised them, on the part of 
God, that if they would remain faithful to his law, 
they should be crowned with every blessing ; but if, 
on the contrary, they were unfaithful they should be 
visited with the greatest calamities. 

Q. Where did Moses die ? 

A. After having given his last words to the Israel 
ites, Moses ascended Mount Nebo, and the Lord said 
to him : Look on the land of promise, but you shall 
not enter it. At these words, the holy legislator, aged 
one hundred and twenty years, rendered up his soul 
to God. 

Q. Was Moses a figure of the Messiah ? 

A . Moses is the twelfth figure of the Messiah : 

1st. When Moses was born, a cruel king put to 
death the children of the Hebrews ; when our Lord 
was born, a cruel king put to death the children of 
Bethlehem and its environs. Moses escapes the fury 
of Pharao, and our Lord escapes the fury of Herod ; 
Moses is sent by God to deliver his people from the 
servitude of Ecypt ; our Lord is sent by God to de 
liver all men from the servitude of sin. 

2d. Moses performed great miracles, to prove that 
he was sent by God ; our Lord performed great mir 
acles, to prove that he was the Son of God. Moses 
fed his people with bread that fell from heaven ; our 


Lord feeds men with the living bread which came 
down from heaven. Moses gives a law to his people; 
our Lord, also, gives a law to his people. 

3d. Moses has not the consolation to introduce his 
people into the promised land ; our Lord, greater than 
Moses, has opened to all men the true land of promise, 
heaven ; carrying up with him all the just of the an 
cient law, and preparing a place for those o the new 


The Messiah promised and prefigured. Thirteenth 
figure of the Messiah. -Josue. (A. C. 1450-1426.) 

Q. Who was the successor of Moses? 

A. The successor of Moses was Josue, who led the 
Israelites into the land of promise. 

Q. What are the different names of the land of 
promise ? 

A. The promised land has borne different names. 
1 st. It was called the land of Chanaan, because it was 
inhabited by Chanaan, the grandson of Noe. 2d. The 
land of promise, because the Lord had promised it to 
Abraham, to Isaac, to Jacob, and to their posterity. 
3d. It was called Judea, because those who came to 
settle there after the captivity of Babylon were, for the 
most part, of the tribe of Juda. 4th. Palestine, from 
the Palestines or Philistines, who inhabited one of its 
provinces. 5th. The Holy Land, on account of the 
great miracles our Lord wrought there for our salvation. 

Q. Which was the first city taken by the Hebrew ? 

A. The first city taken by the Hebrews, after they 
had passed the Jordan, was Jericho. At the sound of 
the trumpets and the cries of the army of Israel, the 
walls fell, and all were put to the sword, except Hahab 
and her family. 


Q. What did Josue do after the taking of the city 
of Jericho ? 

A. After the taking of the city of Jericho, Josue 
renewed the covenant with the Lord. 

Q. What happened whilst Josue was combating the 
enemies of the Lord ? 

A. Josue, fearing that the day would close before 
the entire defeat of his enemies, addressed the Most 
High, and turning towards the heavens, said to the 
sun : Stand thou still ! and thfc sun stood still ; because 
nothing is difficult for God ; it costs him no more to 
stay the sun, than it does to put it in motion. 

Q. Was Josue a figure of the Messiah ? 

A. Yes, Josue was the thirteenth figure of the Mes 
siah ; Josue signifies Saviour ; Jesus signifies Saviour. 
Josue succeeded Moses, who was not permitted to 
bring the Hebrews into the land of promise ; our Lord 
succeeded Moses, whose law was not sufficient to 
bring men to heaven. Josue introduced the Hebrews 
into the land of promise ; our Lord introduces men 
into heaven. After ten years of combats and victories, 
Josue saw his people in full possession of the promised 
land ; after three hundred years of combats and vic 
tories, our Lord sees his church reigning on the earth. 
As long as the Hebrews were faithful to the advice of 
Josue, they were happy ; as long as Christians are 
faithful to the counsels of our Lord, they are happy. 


The Messiah promised and prefigured Fourteenth 
figure of the Messiah. Gideon. (A. C. 1405.) 

Q. By whom were the Hebrews governed after the 
death of Josue ? 

A. After the death of Josue the Hebrews were gov 
erned by judges. The judges were chosen by God ; 


they led the people to battle and administered justice; 
there was only one at a time. 

Q, Did the Hebrews long remain faithful to the 

A. The Hebrews soon forgot the promises they had 
made and so often renewed They went s-o far as to 
forget even God himself, and gave themselves ui> to 
idolatry ; it was a woman, and her son,, named Miehas, 
who first set the example. 

Q. How did God punish them ? 

A. God punished this crime, and all that followed 
from it, by sending against the Israelites the infidel 
nations, and amoagst others, the Madianites, who laid 
waste the country. 

Q. By whom were the Hebrews delivered from the 
Madianites ? 

A. The Hebrews were delivered from the Madian 
ites by Gideon. 

Q. What miracle did God grant Gideon ? 

A. Gideon, having assembled his army, asked of 
God two miracles, to accredit his mission ; the first 
was, that a fleece of wool, spread on the ground, dur 
ing the night, should be covered with dew, whilst the 
ground around it should remain dry ; the second was, 
that the fleece should remain dry, whilst the surround 
ing ground should be wet with dew. The two 
miracles took place. 

Q. What did the Lord then say to Gideon ? 

A . The Lord then said to Gideon, " the army is too 
numerous," although there were only thirty-two thous 
and, whilst the enemy had one hundred and thirty- 
five thousand men. I wish, said the Lord, that Israel 
may know that it is I alone who have delivered them. 
He ordered him to keep with him only three hundred 

Q. How did Gideon obtain the victory ? 

A. When night had come, Gideon and his three 
hundred men, armed only with trumpets, and lamps in 


empty pitchers, advanced to the lines of the enemies. 
Immediately they all beo;an to sound their trumpets, 
broke the pitchers and lifted up their lights ; their 
enemies, seized with fright, fled, overturning and kill 
ing one another Avithout knowing it. 

Q. Was Gideon a figure of the Messiah ? 

A. Gideon was the fourteenth fiium of the Messiah. 
Gideon was the last amongst his brothers ; our Lord 
deigned to appear as the last among men. Gideon, 
notwithstanding his weakness, is chosen to deliver his 
people from the tyranny of the Madianites ; our Lord, 
notwithstanding his apparent weakness, is chosen to 
deliver the people from the tyranny of the devil. Two 
great miracles prove that Gideon is chosen; the greatest 
miracles prove that our Lord is chosen the Liberator of 
men. Gideon, with only three him Ired men, marched 
against a whole host of enemies ; our Lord m arches *o 
the conquest of the universe with twelve fishermen. 
The soldiers of Gideon are without arms; the apostles 
of our Lord are without arms. The soldiers of Gideon 
take with them only trumpets and lamps ; the apostles 
of our Lord have only the preaching of the Gospel and 
the lamp of charity. Gideon and his soldiers triumph 
over the Madianites ; our Lord and his apostles triumph 
over the world. 


The Messiah promised and prefigured Fifteenth fig 
ure of the Messiah. Sampson. (A. C. 1245-1117.) 

Q. After the death of Gideon, did the Israelites long 
remain faithful to the Lord ? 

A. After the death of Gideon, the Israelites soon 
fell into idolatry ; but their infidelity brought upon 
them many and speedy calamities. They were op- 


pressed by the Philistine?, an idolatrous people, who 
inhabited one of the provinces of the land of promise. 

Q. By whom were they delivered from the servi 
tude of the Philistines ! 

A . They were delivered from the servitude of the 
Philistines by Sampson, whose birth was miraculous, 
and whose strength was extraordinary. He passed 
the first twenty years of his life with his parents, and 
married a wife among the Philistines. 

Q. What was his first exploit t 

A. His first exploit was to kill a young lion, which 
came at him to devour him. 

Q. What were his other exploits 1 

A. The other exploits of Sampson are not all known 
to us. We know only that to punish, the Philistines, 
he burnt their harvest-fields and vineyards, by letting 
loose in them three hundred foxes, tied two and two, 
with lighted torches fastened to their tails ; he after 
wards carried off, on his shoulders, the gates of the 
city of Gaza, in which city they had shut him up. 

Q. What was the end of Sampson 1 

A. Sampson was betrayed by a woman, named 
Dalila, who cut off his hair, in which his strength re 
sided, and then delivered him into the hands of the 
Philistines ; they put out his eyes and shut mm up in a 
prison, where they made him turn a mill. But on a 
day of festivity, Sampson shook down upon the Philis 
tines the temple in which they were assembled, by 
which he killed more than three thousand of them, and 
lost his own life. 

Q. Was Sampson a figure of the Messiah 1 

A . Sampson is the fifteenth figure of the Messiah : 
1st. Sampson was born in a miraculous manner ; our 
Lord was also born in a miraculous manner. Sampson 
took a spouse among the Philistines ; our Lord chose 
the Church, his spouse, among the Gentiles. Sampson 
killed a lion, which came to devour him ; our Lord 
overpowered the pagan world, which, like a lion, 


endeavored during three hundred years to devour his 
infant Church. 2d. Sampson was shut up, by his ene 
mies, in the city of Gaza ; our Lord was shut up, by 
liis enemies, in the tomb. Sampson rose in the middle 
of the night, pulled up the gates with their fasten 
ings, and, despite the guards, went forth from the city 
in which he had been shut up ; our Lord, after having 
descended into Limbo, where he broke asunder the 
gates of hell and death, went forth, full of life, from 
the tomb, in despite of his guards. 3d. Sampson was 
delivered up to his enemies ; our Lord also was deliv 
ered up to his enemies. Sampson, in dying, killed 
more Philistines than he had destroyed during the 
rest of his life ; our Lord, in dying, did more harm to 
the devil, and drew to himself more disciples, than he 
had done during his life. 


The Messiah promised and prefigured Seventh 
promise of the Messiah. (A. C. 1116-1048.) 

Q. Who was the judge in Israel, after Sampson? 

A. The judge in Israel, after Sampson, was the 
high Driest Ileli. lie was a man of irreproachable 
morals ; but his neglect to correct his sons brought, 
severe chastisements upon himself, his family, and the 
whole people. 

Q. Who succeeded the high priest Heli ? 

A . Samuel succeeded the high priest Ileli. This 
> great man restored religion and abolished idolatry; 
he was the last of the judges of Israel. After the 
judges, the Israelites were governed by kings, of 
whom the first was Saul. He disobeyed God, who 
chose in his stead a king after his own heart. 

Q. Who was the king after God s own heart? 

A. The king after God s own heart was David 


David was of the tribe of Juda, and of the city of 
Bethlehem ; he was the son of Jesse, artd was keep 
ing his father s flocks, when they sent for him to 
make him king. Samuel anointed him secretly, by 
the order of God. 

Q. What was the first exploit of David ? 

A. The first exploit of David was his victory over 
Goliah. Goliah was a Philistine, of prodigious size 
and strength ; he each day insulted the Israelites, and 
defied them to the combat. David, full of confidence 
in God, presented himself for the fight ; with a stone, 
thrown from his sling, he prostrated the giant, and 
running up to him cut off his head. 

Q. What effect had this victory on Saul ? 

A. This victory excited the jealousy of Saul, who 
several times attempted the life of David, but the 
Lord preserved him. Saul himself perished in battle, 
and David was recognized as king by all the people. 

Q. What were the other exploits of David ? 

A. David, having been recognized as king, defeated 
the enemies of his people, and took the citadel of Sion. 
This citadel was a small fortified city, built on the 
mountain, at the foot of which was situated Jerusalem. 
David established his residence in this citadel, which, 
for this reason, is called the city of David. 

Q. W hat promise did God make to David ? 

A. Whilst David was thinking of building a temple 
for the reception of the Ark of the Covenant, the 
Lord promised him that the Messiah should be born of 
his race, saying to him : I will raise up thy need after 
thee, and I will establish his kingdom. . . . / will es 
tablish the throne of his kingdom jorever. I will be to 
him a father, and he shall be to me a son. 

Q. W T hat do you remark on these words ? 

A. I remark on these words that they properly be 
long only to our Lord Jesus Christ, for he alone is 
both the Son of God* and the son of David : he alone 
has a throne established forever : neither of these 


things can be said of Solomon, the son and successor 
of David. 

Q. What does this seventh promise teach us? 

A. This seventh promise teaches us that the Re 
deemer shall be of the house of David ; that he shall 
be, at the same time, the Son of God and the son of 
David, that is, he shall be both God and man. 


Th 3 Messiah promised and prefigured Sixteenth fig~ 
ure of the Messiah David. (A. C. 1022-1015.) 

Q. Did David remain always faithful to the Lord? 

A. David did not remain always faithful to the 
Lord he committed two great sins. 

Q. Did David remain long estranged from God ? 

A. David remained in his sins, estranged from God, 
about one year, so great is the darkness which sin 
spreads over even the most holy souls. God, however, 
had pity on him, and sent the prophet Nathan to open 
his eyes to the miserable state in which he was living. 
David acknowledged his fault, and bewailed it the 
rest of his davs. 

Q. Did the Lord pardon David ? 

A . The Lord pardoned David ; but he sent him great 
afflictions in order to satisfy his justice. Absalom, 
his son, revolted against him. David was obliged 
to rty, and to leave Jerusalem weeping and on foot. 
Absalom was killed in battle, and was bitterly be 
wailed by David, who returned to Jerusalem. David 
afterwards lived many years and died full of days and 

Q. Was David a figure of the Messiah ? 

A. Yes, David was the sixteenth figure of the Mes 
siah. 1st. David was born at Bethlehem; our Lord 
\ras born at Bethlehem. David, armed only with a 



sling and shepherd s crook, slew the giant Goliah ; oui 
Lord, armed only with his cross, vanquished the devil. 
2d. David sinned, and to atone for his sins was obliged 
to go out of Jerusalem ; our Lord was innocent, but to 
atone for the sins of the world, which he had not com 
mitted, he was conducted out of Jerusalem. David 
crossed the torrent Cedron, weeping ; our Lord, pene 
trated with grief, passed over the ?ame Cedron. David 
went barefooted up to Mount Olivet ; our Lord also 
ascended Mount Olivet. 3d. David was accompanied 
by a small number of faithful servants ; our Lord was 
followed by his holy mother, St. John and a small 
number of pious souls. David, in his affliction was 
insulted by Semei, whom he forbade his followers to 
injure ; our Lord, on the cross, was insulted by the 
Jews, for whom he prayed, David returned in tri 
umph and received the homage of his subjects; our 
Lord rose in triumph from the tomb, and received the 
homage of the whole world. 


The Messiah promised and prefigured. Seventeenth 
figure of the Messiah. Solomon. (A. C. 1015-982.) 

Q. Who was the successor of David *? 

A. The successor of David was Solomon his son. 
Solomon was yet young when he ascended the throne. 
As a sole favor, he asked of God wisdom. It was 
granted. Having arrived at man s age, he married a 
foreign princess. 

Q. What was the great work of Solomon ? 

A. The great work of Solomon was Rebuilding of 
*"e temple of Jerusalem. 

Q. How lono; did the building of the temple last t 

A . The building of the temple lasted seven entire 


years, although more than one hundred thousand work 
men were constantly employed at it. 

Q. Give some account of this temple ? 

A. It was one of the wonders of the world; gold, 
silver, wood of Cedar, and the most precious stones 
were employed in its construction. It consisted of 
four principal parts. 

Q. What was the first part ? 

A. The first was the vestibule of Israel. It was a 
vast court surrounded with buildings and galleries, and 
could contain all the Israelites at once. 

Q. What was the second? 

A. The second was the interior vestibule. It was 
a smaller court than the first, but, like it, surrounded 
with buildings and galleries, and in the middle was the 
altar of holocausts. The priests only could ordinarily 
enter this court. 

Q. What was the third ? 

A. The third was the holy, or holy place. In it 
was the altar of perfumes, the ten candlesticks of gold, 
with many branches to which lighted lamps were sus 
pended night and day. Here also were the tables of 
gold for the reception of the loaves of proposition. 

Q. What was the fourth ? 

A. The fourth was the holy of holies. It was in 
this, the most retired part of the temple, that was kept 
the Ark of the Covenant. The high priest alone could 
enter it, and that but once a year. 

Q. Was the temple of Solomon acceptable to the 

A. The temple of Solomon was acceptable to the 
Lord. At the moment of the dedication fire from 
heaven consumed the victims, and a cloud of majesty 
filled every part of the edifice. 

Q. Did Solomon persevere in virtue to the 

A. Solomon did not persevere in virtue to the end : 
he gave himself up to his passions, and finally adored 


idols a terrible example which should make us trem 
ble for our own weakness. 

Q. Was Solomon a figure of the Messiah ? 

A . Solomon is the seventeenth figure of the Messiah, 
but of the Messiah triumphant and glorious. 1st. 
Solomon enjoying the fruits of the victories and labors 
of David, his father, ascends the throne, and reigns in 
peace over his conquered enemies; our Lord, rejoicing 
in his labors and victories, ascends the throne of his 
Father, in the highest heavens, and reigns in peace 
over his conquered enemies. Solomon takes for his 
spouse a foreign princess ; our Lord chooses the 
church, his spouse, among the Gentiles, who are 
strangers to the Jewish people and to the true religion. 
2d. Solomon builds a magnificent temple to the true 
God ; our Lord changes the world, which was a vast 
temple of idols, into a temple of the true God. On the 
report of the wisdom of Solomon, the Queen of Saba 
leaves her kingdom and is filled with admiration ; at 
the name of our Lord kings, queens, whole nations of 
idolaters, quit the worship of idols and admire the wis 
dom of the Christian law. The Queen of Saba offers 
rich presents to Solomon ; idolatrous nations have of 
fered their riches and their hearts to our Lord. 


The Messiah promised and prefigured Eighteenth 
figure of the Messiah Jonas. (A. C. 975-825.) 

Q What happened after the death of Solomon ? 

A. After the death of Solomon his kingdom was 
divided ; there remained to his son Roboam but two 
tribes, those of Juda and Benjamin. The ten other 
tribes chose for their king Jeroboam, and took tho 
name of the kingdom of Israel. The two former tribes 
remained faithful and were called the kingdom of Juda, 


Q. What was the capital of the kingdom of Israel? 

A . The capital of the kingdom of Israel was Sa 

Q. What was the capital of the kingdom of Juda? 

A . The capital of the kingdom of Juda was Jerusalem. 

Q. Did God abandon the ten tribes? 

A . The Lord did not abandon the ten tribes ; on the 
contrary he sent them a great many prophets to with 
draw them from idolatry into which Jeroboam had 
caused them to fall ; but they would not be converted. 
One of these prophets was Jonas. 

Q. What order did God give to Jonas? 

A. God ordered Jonas to go and announce to the 
city of Ninive that the iniquities of its citizens had 
reached their height, and that he was about to punish 

Q. Did Jonas obey the order of God? 

A . Jonas did not immediately obey the order of God. 
Knowing the great mercy of the Lord, he plainly fore 
saw that if the Ninivites would repent they would be 
pardoned, and his menaces would not be accomplished. 
He embarked, therefore, on a ship to go to the city of 

Q. What happened to Jonas whilst on board of the 

A . Scarcely was Jonas on the vessel when a violent 
storm arose, and the crew suspected that there was some 
great criminal on board who gave offence to heaven. 
They cast lots to ascertain who it was, and the lot fell 
upon Jonas. 

Q. What did thoy do with Jonas? 

A . They cast Jonas into the sea ; but the Lord 
caused a large whale to swallow him alive. Jonas 
lived miraculously three days and three nights in the 
whale, which afterwards threw him up on the shore. 
The prophet went to Ninive, and began to travel over 
the city, crying with a loud voice "Yet forty days, 
and Ninive shall be destroyed." 


Q. What did the people of Ninive do? 

A. At the voice of Jonas the people of Ninive re 
pented, and the Lord revoked the sentence he had pro 
nounced. Jonas complained of this to the Lord, and 
said to him that he had well foreseen what would 

Q. How did the Lord appease Jonas? 

A. Jonas had retired a short distance from the city. 
During the night the Lord caused an ivy to grow up 
the shade of which protected Jonas from the rays of 
the sun. On the day following, the ivy. by the order 
of God, was withered, and Jonas, being exposed to the 
rays of the sun, began to murmur. Then the Lord 
said to him, you complain of the loss of this ivy which 
cost you nothing, and you wish me to destroy a lame 
city which has done penance, and in which there is a 
multitude of innocent children ! 

Q. Was Jonas a figure of the Messiah? 

A. Jonas was the eighteenth figure of the Messiah. 
Jonas whom the Israelites, his brethren, would not 
hear, was sent to preach penance to the Ninivites who 
were idolaters ; our Lord, who was sent to preach the 
gospel to the Jews, his brethren, is not heard ; he then 
causes it to be preached to the Gentiles by his apostles. 
Jonas, by his disobedience, is the cause of a violent 
tempest, and is thrown into the sea ; our Lord, inno 
cent himself, but loaded with the sins of the world, ex* 
cites the anger of God against him, and is put to death. 
Jonas remains three days and three nights in the belly 
of a whale ; our Lord remains three days and three 
nights in the tomb. Jonas, being delivered, converts 
the Ninivites ; our Lord, after Ms resurrection, con- 
verts the infidel nations. 


Messiah foretold. Prophecies of David. 

Q. What is a prophet? 

A. A prophet is a man who foretells the future 
by the inspiration of God. Since God knows all 
things, he can reveal the future to whomsoever he 
pleases ; in the same mariner as he can give to whom 
soever he pleases the power of working miracles. 

Q. How many kinds of prophets are there ? 

A. There are two kinds of prophets ; those who 
have not written their prophecies, as Elias and 
Eliseus, and those who have written them. Amongst 
the latter, some are called the Great Prophets, because 
we have a greater number of their writings, such as 
David, Isaias, Jeremias, Ezekiel, and Daniel ; others 
are called the Minor prophets, because we have fewer 
of their writings ; they are twelve in number. 

Q. How did the prophets live? 

A . The prophets led a poor and mortified life ; they 
lived in community, like religious, occupied in study, 
labor and prayer. 

Q. Are prophecies a certain proof of the truth of the 
religion in favor of which they are made ? 

A. Yes, they are. For God alone can inspire pro 
phecy; and God, being truth itself, cannot inspire pro 
phecy to establish falsehood ; therefore the religion 
in favor of which God has inspired prophecy must be 

Q. Are the prophecies which announce the Messiah 
genuine ? 

A. The prophecies which announced the Messiah, 
and which have been accomplished in our Lord Jesus 
Christ, are genuine and true, since they have been 
preserved by the Jews, the mortal enemies of the 

Q. What do you remark of the prophecies ? 


A . I remark that the prophecies ordinarily announced 
two events ; one of which was to be accomplished in a 
short time, and the other at a later period. 

Q. Why do the prophecies announce two events? 

.-I. The prophecies announce two events, in order 
that one being accomplished, the fulfilment of the 
other may not be doubted. 

Q. What are the first minute prophecies regarding 
the Messiah ? 

A. The first prophecies, in detail, of the Messiah, 
are those of David; they are contained in his canticles, 
called the Psalms. David lived one thousand years 
before our Lord. 

Q. What did he foretell of the Messiah ? 

A. He foretold that the Messiah would be disowned 
by the Jews, and would convert all nations. Our Lord 
was disowned by the Jews, and he has converted all 
nations ; therefore, our Lord is the Messiah foretold 
by David. 

Q. What else did he announce ? 

A. He also announced that the Messiah would be 
betrayed by one of his disciples; that his enemies 
would spit upon his face ; that they would mock him 
in his agony ; that they would pierce his hands and 
feet ; that they would cast lots for his garment ; that 
they would give him vinegar to drink ; all this was 
done to our Lord, and done to no other but him ; 
therefore, the Lord is the Messiah foretold by David. 
Finally, David announced that the Messiah would rise 
from the tomb without seeing corruption ; our Lord 
rose from the tomb without seeing corruption, and to 
him alone is this prophecy applicable ; therefore, our 
Lord is the Messiah foretold by David. 


Messiah foretold Prophecies of Isaias. (A. C. 720.) 

Q. What became of the kingdom of Israel after the 
separation of the tribes ? 

A . After the separation, the kingdom of Israel fell 
into idolatry, with the exception of a small number of 
Israelites, who remained faithful to the Lord. It was 
destroyed by Salmanasar, king of Assyria, who car 
ried the ten tribes captives to Ninive". It had existed 
two hundred and fifty-four years. 

Q. What became of the kingdom of Juda ? 

A. The kingdom of Juda remained more faithful 
to the Lord ; it fell, however, into idolatry, but did 
not persevere in it. 

Q. What means did the Lord employ to preserve 
religion in these two kingdoms? 

A. The means which the Lord employed to preserve 
religion in these two kingdoms, was the ministry of 
the prophets. Elias and Eliseus, especially, neglected 
nothing to bring back the children of Israel to the true 
God. In the kingdom of Juda there appeared other 
great prophets, who never ceased to invite the people 
to repentance, and to announce the coming and the 
marks of the Messiah. 

Q. Who was the prophet Isaias? 

A. The prophet Isaias was of the royal race of 
David. The Lord purified him, and chose him from 
his infancy to announce the future. He lived about 
seven hundred years before our Lord. He was sawed 
in two by the order of Manasses, whom he had re 
proached for his impieties. 

Q. What events, near at hand, did he announce ? 

A. To prove to the Jews that his prophecies con 
cerning the Messiah would be accomplished, he an 
nounced to them three events, to happen nearer their 
time. 1st. The deliverance of Jerusalem, besieged by 


two kings ; 2d, the defeat of Sennacherib ; 3d, the de^ 
struction of Jerusalem by Nabuchadonosor. 

Q. What did he announce concerning the Messiah ? 

A. He announced that the Messiah would convert 
the idolatrous nations ; that he would be born of a 
mother ever virgin ; that he would be adored by kings 
in his cradle ; and that he would have a precursor, 
who would prepare the people to receive him. 

Q. What more did Isaias announce ? 

A . Isaias also announced that our Lord would be 
mildness itself ; that he would miraculously cure a 
number of sick ; that he would be a man of sorrows ; 
that he would die between two criminals ; that he 
would not open his mouth to complain ; and that he 
would give his life, because he willed it, to expiate our 

Q. What are the other prophecies of Isaias ? 

A. Isaias also foretold that, in recompense for his 
death, the Messiah would reign over the world ; that 
his sepulchre would be glorious ; and that the church, 
his spouse, would give him innumerable children. 
These characters of the Messiah, marked by Isaias, all 
accord with our Lord, and with no one else ; there 
fore, our Lord is the Messiah foretold by Isaias. 


Messiah foretold Prophecies of Osee, Micheas, Joel 
and Jeremias. (A. C. 600.) 

Q. Who was the third prophet of the Messiah ? 

A . The third prophet of the Messiah was Osee ; he 
lived in the time of Isaias ; that is, 700 years before 
our Lord. To prove to the Jews that his predictions 
concerning the Messiah would be accomplished, he 
foretold two events soon to happen, viz : the destruc 
tion of Samaria and of the kingdom of Juda. 


Q. What did he say of the Messiah ? 

A . He said of th" Messiah that whilst yet an in 
fant he would be conducted into Egypt, and would 
return thence by order of his father ; he adds, that he 
shall convert all nations; and that for refusing to re 
cognize him, the Jews shall be wanderers over the 
whole earth. All this is accomplished in our Lord, and 
in no one else ; our Lord, therefore, is the Messiah 
foretold by Osee. 

Q. Who is the fourth prophet of the Messiah ? 

A. The fourth prophet of the Messiah was Micheas. 
He was contemporary with Osee ; and to give authority 
to his mission, he announced, in detail, the misfortunes 
which were very shortly to befall the kingdoms of Is 
rael and Juda. 

Q. What did he announce of the Messiah ? 

A . He announced of the Messiah that he would be 
born in Bethlehem ; that he would be both God and 
man ; that he would convert all nations; that his reign 
would be eternal ; and he would be our reconciliation. 
All these characters united correspond with our Lord, 
and with no other ; our Lord, therefore, is the Messiah 
foretold by Micheas. 

Q. Who was the fifth prophet of the Messiah ? 

A. The fifth prophet of the Messiah was Joel. He 
lived at the same time as the prophets above men 
tioned. To prove that what he announced concerning 
the Messiah would be accomplished, he foretold an 
approaching event; it was a terrible famine, which 
desolated the whole country. 

Q. What did he announce of the Messiah? 

A. He announced that the Messiah would send 
down the Holy Ghost upon his church, and that the 
faithful would prophecy; that the Messiah would come 
to judge the world, in great power and majesty. Our 
Lord has sent down the Holy Ghost upon his church ; 
the apostles and a great number of Christians, during 
the first ages of the church, received the gift of pr<> 


phecy ; our Lord will come to judge the world, in creat 
power and majesty ; our Lord, therefore is the Messiah 
foretold by Joel. 

Q. Who was the sixth prophet of the Messiah ? 

A. The sixth prophet of the Messiah was Jeremias. 
God raised him up for a prophet, about fifty years after 
those whom we have just named. To pi-ove the truth 
of his predietions concerning the Messiah, he an 
nounced a great many events, of which the Jews were 
witnesses ; amongst others, the taking of Jerusalem 
and the captivity of Babylon. 

Q. What did he announce, of the Messiah ? 

A . He announced that at the birth of the Messiah 
ther little children of Bethlehem and its environs would 
be put to death, and their mothers would be inconsola 
ble ; that the Messiah would convert all nations, and 
establish a new covenant more perfect llgan the first. 
All this corresponds with our Lord, and with no other ; 
our Lord, therefore, is the Messiah foretold by Jere- 

Messiah foretold Prophecy of Ezechiel. (A. C. 580. \ 

Q. Who was the seventh prophet of the Messiah ? 

A . The seventh prophet of the Messiah was Ezechiel, 
All the predictions of the other prophets against Jeru 
salem had been accomplished. The city was de 
stroyed, and its inhabitants were captives in Babylon. 
At this time, God raised up Ezechiel to take charge 
once more of his people, to encourage and console them. 

Q. What approaching event did Ezechiel announce ? 

A. To prove the truth of his predictions concerning 
the Messiah, Ezechiel announced to the Jews that 
they would be delivered from captivity, and that the 
temple of Jerusalem would be rebuilt, which happened 
a few years after. 


Q. Did he not announce another event? 

A. He announced, also, tint conurin r from the time 
of his prediction, E jjypt would never have again a 
prince of her own blood ; and now, for more than two 
thousand three hundred years, Egypt has constantly 
bowed benef^h a foreign sceptre. The greatest infidels 
of our <lays have themselves acknowledged the fulfil 
ment of this prophecy. 

Q What did Ezechiel say concerning the Messiah ? 

A. Ezechiel said that the Messiah would be of the 
race of U.ivid ; that he would be the one pastor who 
would re-unite the Jews and the Gentiles into one 
sheepfold ; that he would establish a new law, more 
perfect than the old, and which would subsist for ever. 
Our Lord Jesus Christ alone ha* verified all these 
characters ; he is, therefore, the Messiah foretold by 

Q. Did any other prophet appear during the cap 
tivity of Babylon ? 

A. During the captivity of Babylon there appeared 
Daniel, another great prophet. 

Q. Where was D.iniel brought up ? 

A. Daniel, with three young Israelites, named An 
anias, Misael and Azarias, was brought up at the court 
of Nabuchadonosor, king of Babylon. In the midst of 
idolaters, they always remained faithful to their re 
ligion, refusing for conscience sake to eat of the food 
furnished them from the king s table. 

Q. How did the Lord reward their fidelity? 

A. The Lord rewarded their fidelity by granting th"m 
extraordinary knowledge and rendering them accept 
able to Nabuchadonosor. 

Q. What happened to this prince ? 

A. It happened that lie had a mysterious dream 
which troubled him greatly, and which he could not 
recall to mind. He required, nevertheless, an expla 
nation of the dream. Daniel, inspired by God, com 
plied with the wish of the king. The dream signified 


that fonr ore at kingdoms, that of the Babylonians, that 
of the Persians, that of the Greeks, and that of the 
Romans, were to succeed one another, and be followed 
by the kingdom of our Lord, viz : the church. 

Q What did Nabuchadonosor do after this ? 

A. Nabuchadonosor caused a great statue to be 
made, and ordered all to adore it. The young Israelites 
refused to obey. The king caused Ananias, Misael 
and Azarias to be thrown into a burning furnace, where 
the Lord miraculously preserved them. 


Messiah foretold Prophecies of Daniel. 
(A. C. 551-538.) 

Q. What did Daniel do after the miracle of the 
burning furnace ? 

A . After the miracle of the burning furnace, Daniel 
lived retired from the tumult of the court, praying with 
fervor for the deliverance of the Jews. 

Q. How did the Lord draw Daniel out of his ob 
scurity ? 

A . Balthazar, the grandson and successor of Nabu 
chadonosor, was profaning, during a feast, the sacred 
vessels of the temple of Jerusalem, when a hand ap 
peared on the wall, writing three mysterious words, 
which filled the king with terror. 

Q. What did Balthazar do ? 

A. Balthazar sent for Daniel, who explained the 
three words written on the wall. The first signified : 
God. hath numbered thy kingdom and hath finished it. 
The second : Thou art weighed in the balance and 
art found wanting. The third : Thy kingdom fx di 
vided and given to the Medea and Persians. That same 
niirht the sentence was executed. Cyrus took Babylon, 
and Balthazar was killed. 


Q. Did Daniel enjoy the favor of the new conquerors ? 

A. Daniel enjoyed the favor of the new conquerors, 
and on that account, became an object of jealousy 
among the nobles of the court. 

Q. What did they do in order to destroy him ? 

A. In order to destroy him, they persuaded the king 
to forbid all his subjects to offer up prayers to any deity 
whatever during the space of one month. Daniel did 
not, on this account, cease to offer up his prayers tc 
the Lord. His enemies denounced him to the king, 
who caused him to be thrown into the lion s den ; these 
wild beasts, however, did him no harm. 

Q. What were the prophecies of Daniel ? 

A. In proof of his predictions concerning the Mes 
siah, he announced : 1st, the succession of the four 
great empires ; 2d, the precise epoch at which the city 
of Jerusalem, destroyed by Nabuchadonosor, would be 

Q. What did he announce concerning the Messiah ? 

A. Daniel foretold that the Messiah would come in 
four hundred and ninety years ; that he would re-es 
tablish the reign of virtue on the earth ; would be de 
nied by the Jews ; would be put to death ; and after 
that, the temple and the city of Jerusalem would be 
destroyed, and the Jews would be in a state of deso 
lation, which would last till the end of time. 

Q. What does this prophecy prove ? 

A . This prophecy proves, 1 st, that the Messiah has 
come, since the ruin of Jerusalem and the temple, 
which was to follow the coming of the Messiah, took 
place more than eighteen hundred years ago ; 2d, that 
our Lord is truly the Messiah foretold bv Daniel, since 
he came at the precise moment foretold by the pro 
phets ; has brought back the reign of the true God 
upon the earth ; and was denied and put to death by 
the Jews, who have been dispersed since that time. 




Messiah foretold Prophecies of Aggens, Zacharias 
and Malachias. (A. C. 538-454.) 

Q. By whom were the Jews delivered from the cap 
tivity of Babylon ? 

A . The Jews were delivered from the captivity of 
Babylon by Cyrus. At the solicitation of Daniel, this 
great prince permitted the Jews to return to Jerusalem, 
and re-build the temple. 

Q. What was their first care on arriving in their 
country ? 

A. Their first care on arriving in their country was 
to labor at the construction of the new temple ; but" 
the old men, who, seventy years before, had seen the 
temple of Solomon, could not restrain their tears on 
seeing how inferior the new temple was to the old one. 

Q. What did the Lord do to console them ? 

A. To console them, the Lord sent the prophet 
Aggeus, who announced to them that the glory of the 
new temple would infinitely surpass that of the old ; 
because the Messiah would enter it in person, and 
there announce the reconciliation of man with God. 

Q. W^hat does this prophecy prove ? 

A . This prophecy proves that the Messiah has long 
since come ; for the prophet announced that the Mes 
siah "would enter the second temple, which was de 
stroyed in the seventieth year of the Christian era. 

Q. What does it further prove ? 

A. It proves that Christ is truly the Messiah, since 
the Messiah foretold by Aggeus was to be the minister 
of the reconciliation of man with God ; and Christ 
alone has reconciled man with God, by expiating his 
sins on the cross, and by drawing him out of idolatry. 
This is the ninth prophecy respecting the Redeemer, 

Q. What event, near at hand, did the prophet 
Aggeus announce ? 


A. To show the Jews that what he said of the Mes 
siah was true, the prophet Aggeus announced an event 
near at hand, viz : the sudden ceasing of the sterility 
which had lasted nearly ten years. 

Q. What is the tenth prophecy concerning the Re 
deemer ? 

A. It is that of Zacharias. This prophet was a con 
temporary of Aggeus. He announced that the Messiah 
would be a king, full of justice, mildness and humility ; 
that he would enter Jerusalem amidst acclamations, 
seated upon an ass, followed by its foal ; that he would 
be sold for thirty pieces of silver ; that this money would 
be brought back into the temple, and given to a potter ; 
that he would have his hands pierced, and mat he 
would convert the nations. In Christ alone are verified 
all these traits of this prophecy ; he is, therefore, the 
Messiah foretold by Zacharias. 

Q. What event, near at hand, did Zacharias foretell ? 

A. To give credit to his predictions concerning the 
Messiah, Zacharias foretold an event near at hand, but 
at that time very improbable, viz : that Jerusalem 
would become a very flourishing city. 

Q. What is the eleventh prophecy regarding the Re 

A. It is that of Malachias. A second colony of Jews 
had returned from Babylon, under the conduct of Es- 
dras, who put the finishing stroke to the building of the 
temple. It was at this time the Lord spoke byMalachias. 

Q. What did the prophet say? 

A . lie said to the Jews that the sacrifices they were 
beginning to offer again in the new temple, would 
cease to be acceptable to the Lord ; that these sacrifices 
would be replaced by a sacrifice, one, holy, offered 
throughout the world from the rising of the sun to the 
going down thereof, and which would render the name 
of the Lord great. He announced also that the Messiah 
would have a precursor, endowed witli the spirit and 
virtue of Elias, to recall the Jews to the faith of Abra- 


ham, Isaac and Jacob, and prepare them to hear the 
Desired of nations. 

Q. What does this prophecy prove? 

A . This prophecy proves, 1 st, that the sacrifice fore 
told by Malachias and destined to replace all the an 
cient sacrifices, is the sacrifice of our altars, since this 
sacrifice alone is holy, universal, and capable of honor 
ing the Lord, to whom a God is offered as the victim. 
2d, it proves that he who instituted this sacrifice, viz : 
the Messiah, is truly our Lord Jesus Christ, since it 
was he who established this august sacrifice, and was 
preceded by a precursor, John the Baptist, clothed 
with the spirit and virtue of Elias, in order to render 
the Jews mindful of his coming and docile to his in 


A general summary and application of the promises, 
figures and prophecies, to our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Q. Why did God from the beginning of the world 
promise a Redeemer to man? 

A . God promised a Redeemer to man from the be 
ginning of the world : 1 st, to prevent him from losing 
courage and yielding to despair ; 2d, to teach him to 
sanctify his actions and prayers, by uniting them to 
those of the Redeemer to come, and thereby secure his 

Q. To whom was the promise of the Redeemer first 

A. The promise of the Redeemer was first made to 
Adam, when the Lord said to the serpent : She shall 
crush thy head. 

Q. To whom was the second promise made? 

A. The second promise was made to Abraham. The 
Lord said to him : In thy seed all nation* shall IK 


blessed. This promise restricts his coming to the pos 
terity of Abraham. 

Q. To whom was the third promise made ? 

A. The third promise was made to Isaac ; this proa 
ise excludes all the other children of Abraham. 

Q. The fourth ? 

A. The fourth was made to Jacob ; this excludes 
Esau and his descendants. 

Q. The fifth? 

A. The fifth was made to Juda by his father when 
on his death-bed. Hence, it is only in the tribe of 
Juda we must look for the Messiah. 

Q. To whom was the last promise made ? 

A. The last promise was made to David ; and it 
shows us that the Redeemer of the world would be 
born in the family of this holy king. 

Q. Continue. 

A. After having conducted us, step by step, and, as 
it were, by the hand, down to the family of David, 
God ceases to give any further promise of a Redeemer. 
But he is not satisfied with simply promising a Re 
deemer ; he traces for us his likeness, by which we 
may know him among the many children of David. 

Q. Why was it necessary for God to trace for us, in 
advance, the likeness of the Redeemer ? 

A. It was necessary in order that men might be 
enabled to recognize him when he should come, and 
not be exposed to take for the Messiah the first im 
postor who would give himself out as such. 

Q. How has God given us the likeness or descrip 
tion of the Messiah ? 

A. God has given us the likeness or description of 
the Messiah, in two ways- 1st, by figures; 2d, by 
prophecies. By figures : in Adam the Messiah is re 
presented to us as the father of the new world ; in 
Abel, he is represented as put to death by his brethren ; 
in Isaac, as offered in sacrifice on Calvary, bv the 
hand of his own father : in the paschal lamb and the 


manna, as saving men from the exterminating angel, 
and nourishing them with food from heaven ; in the 
brazen serpent, as elevated on the cross, and healing 
our wounds received from the infernal serpent. 

Q. Continue. 

A. In David, overcoming a giant, notwithstanding 
the inequality of his strength ; persecuted by an un 
natural son, and ascending, barefooted and weeping, 
the mountain of Olives : in Jonas, preaching penance 
to the Jews, who refuse to hear him, remaining three 
days and nights in the depths of the sea, then coming 
forth full of life, and preaching to the Gentiles, who 
are converted. 

Q What is the second manner? 

A. The second manner in which God gives us the 
likeness or description of the Messiah, is the prophecies. 
They dissipate every cloud, and finish what the figures 
had but sketched. 

Q. What say the prophets ? 

A. The prophets, in speaking of the Messiah, desig 
nate him thus : " he will be born at Bethlehem, of a 
mother ever virgin, when the sceptre of David will 
have passed into the hands of a stranger prince ; he 
will be adored in his cradle by kings, who will offer 
him presents of gold and perfumes ; on the occasion of 
his birth, the little children of Bethlehem will be put to 
death ; he w r ill retire into Egypt , he will be mildness 
itself ; he will cure the sick, and raise the dead ; he 
will f^ter, in triumph, into Jerusalem, seated upon an 
ass, followed by its foal ; he will enter the second 
temple ; the Jews will deny him." 

Q. What further do they say ? 

A. They say, further, that "the Messiah will be 
betrayed by one of those who eat at his table ; he will 
be sold for thirty pieces of silver; this silver will be 
carried back into the temple, and given to a potter; he 
will be insulted, and covered with spittle ; his hands 
and feet will be pierced, and he will not as much as 


open his mouth to complain ; he will be placed be 
tween two malefactors ; he will have vinegar to drink ; 
his clothes will be divided, and lots cast for his robe." 

Q Continue. 

A. " He will be put to death ; and that, says Daniel, 
will happen in four hundred and ninety years ; he will 
remain three days in his sepulchre ; he will come 
forth from it, full of life, will ascend into heaven and 
will send down the Holy Ghost upon his disciples ; 
finally, he will convert all nations. To punish the 
Jews for having put him to death, their temple and 
their city will be destroyed, and they themselves shall 
be wanderers and vagabonds throughout the whole 
/arth, until towards the close of the world." 

Q. Who, therefore, is the Messiah ? 

A. The description given by the prophets leads us 
directly to Bethlehem, and we recognize, as the Mes 
siah, Jesus, the son of Mary to whom, and to whom 
alone, the description corresponds in every particular. 

Q. To whom did God entrust the safe-keeping of 
all these astonishing prophecies ? 

A It was to the very Jews themselves, the sworn 
enemies of Jesus Christ, that God entrusted the safe 
keeping of the prophecies, which prove that Jesus 
Christ is the Messiah whom they have rejected ; and 
by an unheard of prodigy, the Jews preserve most 
religiously these prophecies ; they, love them, they 
defend them, and carry them with them all over the 


Preparation for the Messiah Monarchy of the As 
syrians and Persians. (A. C. 900-460.) 

Q. What do you mean by preparation for the Messiah ? 

A. By preparation for the Messiah, we mean that 

Providence directed all the events of the world to the 


glory of the Messiah, and to the establishing of hi* 
reign, which is the gospel. 

Q. How do you prove this truth ? 

A. To prove this truth, we must bear in mind, thai 
from all eternity, God had resolved : 1 st, that the 
promise and the religion of the Messiah, that is to say, 
the true religion, should be preserved among the Jew 
ish people down to the coming of our Lord ; 2d, that 
the Messiah should be born of the Jewish people, of 
the tribe of Juda and of the family of David, in the lit 
tle city of Bethlehem ; 3d, that the reign of the Mes 
siah, that is, the gospel, should be established, with 
great rapidity, from one end of the world to the other. 

Q. What would you prove from this ? 

A . We prove that the events which happened among 
the Jewish people and among infidel nations, all con 
curred in the accomplishment of this great design. 

Q. How do you prove that the events which took 
place among the Jews and among infidel nations, con 
curred to preserve among the Jewish people the pro 
mise and religion of the Messiah ; that is to say, the 
true religion ? 

A. It was to preserve among the Jews the perpet 
ual remembrance of the Messiah, that God so often 
renewed the promises ; that he prefigured him in very 
many ways, and continued to announce his character 
istics by the voice of his prophets. 

Q. Continue.* 

A . It was to preserve the religion of the Messiah, 
that is to say, the worship of the true God among the 
Jews, that Moses established so many laws and cere 
monies, destined to prevent that people from falling 
into idolatry ; and that God, after they had fallen into 
idolatry, forced them by great calamities, to forsake 
idols and return to him. Finally, it was for this s;:ine 
end that God established, not far from Juda, the great 
monarchy of the Assyrians. 

Q. How do you prove that the great monarchy of 


the Assyrians, or Babylon, was established to preserve 
the worship of the true God among the Jews ? 

A. We prove that the great monarchy of the As 
syrians, or Babylon, was established to preserve the 
worship of the true God among the Jews, by the very 
words of Isaias the prophet. He says that " the As 
syrians are a rod, which God uses to correct his peo 
ple as often as they fall into idolatry, and to force them 
to return to the worship of the true God." 

Q. Was this prophecy accomplished ? 

A. Yes, this prophecy was perfectly accomplished. 
The Assyrians corrected the Jewish people so effec 
tually of their inclination for idolatry, that after the 
captivity of Babylon, they never fell into it again. 
Then the empire of Assyria, having fulfilled its mis 
sion, passed, by the order of God, into the hands of 
the Persians. 

Q. How do you show that the events which took 
place among the Jews and the infidel nations, con 
curred to cause the Messiah to be born of the tribe of 
Juda, and of the family of David, in the city of Beth 
lehem ? 

A. It was to cause the Messiah to be born at Beth 
lehem, that God, two thousand years before, called 
Abraham into the land of Judea ; that he promised to 
give that land to his descendants ; that he moved 
heaven and earth to bring the Jews out of Egypt, and 
conduct them to that country in which Bethlehem was 
situated, and that he kept them there, despite the 
neighboring nations. 

Q. Continue. 

A . It was for this that, amongst the many import 
ant cities burnt and destroyed, God always preserved 
the little city of Bethlehem ; that in the partition of 
the promised land this city fell to the tribe of Juda, 
and at a laber period became the inheritance and 
dwelling place of the family of David. Finally, it 
Tas for this he established the great monarchy of the 


Persians, the second of the four great empires, foretold 
by Daniel. 

Q. How do you prove that the great monarchy of 
the Persians was established to cause the Messiah to 
be born in JudaV 

A . It is proved by the very words of the prophet 
Isaias. He called Cyrus, by name, tAvo hundred years 
before the birth of that prince, and says that the Lord 
will make him victorious over his enemies, in order to 
free the Jewish people from the captivity of Babylon, 
to conduct them back into Judea, in which was -the 
little city of Bethlehem, the patrimony of the family 
of David. 

Q. Was this prophecy accomplished ? 

A. This prophecy was accomplished to the letter. 
Cyrus and his successors delivered the Jews from the 
captivity of Babylon ; gave them liberty to return to 
Judea, retained them there notwithstanding the ef 
forts of their enemies, and they remained there until 
after the birth of the Messiah. 


Preparation for the Messiah History of Judith, 
(A. C. 810.) 

Q. What does the history of Judith show us ? 

A. The history of Judith shows us that God al 
ways had in view the great promise of a Redeemer 
confided to the Jewish people. The Assyrians, who 
were destined to punish them whenever they fell into 
idolatry, endeavored several times to destroy them ; 
but the Sovereign Master who had sent them only to 
punish, took care to check their fury. 

Q. How do you show this ? 

A . Nabucliadonosor the 1 st, proud of lu s victories, 
undertook to subject to his dominion all the people of 


the East, and to destroy their religion, in order to 
cause himself alone to be adored. He sent, therefore, 
a formidable army, commanded by Holophernes, to 
subjugate all the nations. Holophernes obtained great 
victories, and arrived on the frontiers of Judea. 

Q. What did the Jews do ? 

A . The Jews had recourse to the Lord by prayer, 
repentance, and fasting. The small city of Bethulia 
was the first place attacked. 

Q. Who was Judith ? 

A. Judith was a holy widow, who passed her life 
in prayer, fasting, and good works. The inhabitants 
of Bethulia seeing themselves besieged, resolved to 
surrender at the end of five days, if they were not de 
livered by the Lord before that time. Judith induced 
them to redouble their prayers, and having gone forth 
from the city, repaired to the camp of the Assyrians. 

Q. Whither was she conducted? 

A . She was conducted by the soldiers to the tent of 
Holophernes. This general having interrogated her, 
assigned her a tent, and ordered every mark of respect 
to be shown to her. 

Q. What happened after? 
A. The fourth day 

day after the arrival of Judith, Holo 
phernes gave a great feast to all his officers. He 
drank to such an excess, that he was obliged to be 
placed on his couch, where he was soon buried in a 
deep sleep, Judith alone, with her maid, remaining in 
the tent. 

Q, What did Judith do? 

A. Judith, who alone had remained with her maid, 
recommended herself to God, approached the couch, 
and cut off his head. She gave the head to her maid, 
who concealed it in a sack, and they both regained the 
gates of Bethulia. Having entered the gates, she bade 
all the people to bless the Lord, and showed them the 
head of Ilolophernes. 

Q. AVhat did the Israelites do ? 


A. The Israelites made a sally, when the Assyrians, 
finding their general killed, fled in great confusion. A 
great slaughter ensued, and thirty days were occupied 
in collecting the spoils. Judith, a figure of the Blessed 
Virgin, resumed her life of prayer and penance. 


Preparation for the Messiah History of Tobias. 
(A. C. 611.) 

Q. What was the design of God in causing the 
Israelites to be transported to Ninive ? 

A . The design of God in causing the ten separated 
tribes to be transported to Ninive, was 1st, to punish 
their want of fidelity ; 2d, to spread among the infidels 
the knowledge of the true religion, and consequently, 
of the promise of the Messiah, which was its first arti 
cle of belief. 

Q. How do you show this truth ? 

A . The holy man Tobias, being led into captivity at 
Ninive, said by the inspiration of God : Give (/lory to 
(he Lord, ye children of Israel; because he has there 
fore scattered you among the Gentiles, that yon may de 
clare his wonderful works, and make them know that 
there is no other Almighty God beside him. 

Q. What is the history of Tobias ? 

A. Tobias, appointed like the other captives to 
spread the truth and prepare the way for the gospel, 
was of the tribe of Nephthali. He passed his child 
hood and youth in perfect innocence, and was carried 
captive to Ninive with his wife and son. 

Q. What was his occupation ? 

A. His constant occupation was to do good to the 
Israelites, his fellow-captives ; he shared with them 
what little remained of his means, and devoted his 
time to the burying of those whom the king of Ninive 


put to death. One day, having returned home from 
this work of charity, he fell asleep under the eaves of 
his house, where filth from the nests of some swallows 
fell upon his eyes and deprived him of sight. 

Q. What did he do then ? 

A. Thinking himself near his death, he called his 
son, the young Tobias, and, like a Christian father, 
recommended to him the fear of God and charity for 
the poor. 

Q. Whither did he send his son ? 

A. He sent his son to Rages, a city of Media, to re 
ceive a sum of money which he had lent to one of hi* 
relatives, named Gabelus. The young Tobias set out 
accompanied by an angel. He married Sara, the 
daughter of Raguel, a near relation of his father. 

Q. What did the young Tobias do afterwards? 

A. Still under the conduct of the angel, he returned 
with his wife and great riches to his father and mother. 
He restored his father to sight by rubbing his eyes with 
the gall of a fish. This holy old man had the consola 
tion to see his son prosper and follow the good exam 
ple and wise counsels which he had given him. His 
grand -children also walked in the way of virtue all 
their life. 


Preparation for the Messiah History of Esther. 
(A. C. 460.) 

Q. What does the history of Esther show us ? 

A . The history of Esther shows us that God chose 
the monarchy of the Persians to prepare the way for 
the Messiah, by protecting the Jews, conducting them 
back into Judea, and maintaining them there notwith 
standing all their enemies ; to the end that our Lord 
should be born in Bethlehem, according to the oraclei 
of the prophets. 


Q. How do you show this truth ? 

A. The Assyrians, having resolved to destroy ths 
Jewish people, whom they had been commissioned only 
to punish, lost all their power, and their empire passed 
into the hands of the Persians. The Persians were 
very favorable to the Jews, and all those who opposed 
the kind treatment of the Jews, fell victims to their 
own wickedness. Of this number was Am an. 

Q. What is the history of Aman ? 

A. Aman was the chief favorite of Assuerus, king 
of Persia. His pride was such that he wished every 
one to bend the knee in adoration to him whenever he 
passed. Mardochai, a Jew by birth, refused compli 
ance, because his conscience forbade him to render to 
man a homage due to God alone. Aman resolved to 
avenge himself and to destroy the whole Jewish peo 

Q. Who saved them ? 

A. Esther, the wife of Assuerus, saved them. She 
was the niece of Mardochai ; but Aman was not aware 
of this. She invited the king to come with Aman to 
a banquet which she had prepared. At the close of 
the banquet, the king demanded of the queen what it 
was she desired of him. Esther asked of him to come 
again the next day with Aman to her banquet. 

Q. What happened there ? 

A . The king at-ked Esther what it was she desired, 
and said to her, Although ihou ask tlte half of my king 
dom, thou shalt have it. Esther replied : Give me my 
life for which I axk, and my people for which Irujuesl, 
for we are given up, J and my people, to be destroyed, io 
be ft/ain and to perish. The king, astonished, demanded 
who had dared to do such a thing. Esther replied : 
It is this Aman. 

Q. What did Assuerus do? 

A. Assuerus ordered Aman to be hung on the very 
gibbet he had prepared for Mardochai. The order of 
the -king was executed. Mardochai became the prime 


minister of Assuerus, and all the Jews were saved. 
They celebrated ever afterwards the day of their deliv 
erance, by prayers, innocent festivities, and alms to the 
poor. It is thus our gratitude to God should be shown. 


Preparation for the Messiah Monarchy of the Greeks 
and Romans. (A. C. 336-170.) 

Q. How did the great monarchy of the Greeks con 
cur for the glory of the Messiah and the establishing 
of his reign, which is the gospel? 

A. God had resolved from all eternity that the reign 
of the Messiah, that is to say, the gospel, should be 
established with rapidity from one end of the earth to 
the other. The great monarchy of the Greeks, founded 
by Alexander, was established to contribute to this 
design, by preparing the way for the gospel. 

Q. In how many ways did the monarchy of the 
Greeks prepare for the introduction of the gospel ? 

A. The monarchy of the Greeks prepared for the 
o-ospel in three ways. 

Q. What is the first? 

A. First. By spreading over a large portion of the 
world, it rendered very common the Greek language in 
which the gospel was to be published, not only orally 
but particularly by written teachings. 

Q. What is the second ? 

A. Secondly. It attracted the Jews to nearly every 
part of the earth. These new missionaries made the 
true God known to the different nations, and by this 
means prepared them to receive the light of the gospel. 

Q. What was the third ? 

A . It procured for all these nations a knowledge of 
the sacred Scriptures. 

Q. How so? 


A . One of the successors of Alexander, named Ptol 
emy, king of Egypt, established at Alexandria, the 
capital of his kingdom, a valuable library which soon 
became the resort of the learned of all countries. This 
king, having learned that the Jews had a book contain 
ing the laws of Moses and the history of his people, 
had it translated from Hebrew into Greek, in order to 
enrich his library. 

Q. To whom did he apply ? 

A . He applied to the high priest Eleazar, who sent 
him a copy ef the Sacred Books, written in letters of 
gold, and seventy-two of the more learned ancients to 
make the translation. It was deposited in the library 
of Alexandria, and is called the Septuagint version. 

Q. HOAV did the fourth monarchy foretold by Daniel, 
that is, the monarchy of the Romans, contribute to the 
glory of the Messiah and the establishment of his 
reign, which is the gospel ? 

A. When the monarchy of the Greeks had accom 
plished its mission of preparing the minds of men for 
the preaching of the Gospel, God caused that monarchy 
to pass into the hands of the Romans. The Romans 
were destined by Providence to open and afford an 
easy communication, from one end of the world to the 
other, for those who were to preach the gospel. 

Q. What was necessary for this ? 

A. For this it was necessary to throw down all the 
walls of division which still separated the different peo 
ples, to reduce all nations to one single kingdom and 
establish a universal peace. This was the task as 
signed to the Roman empire. Daniel had predicted it 
in saying that this empire would be like a terrible beast, 
with teeth of iron of enormous size, which would de 
vour all, break all in pieces, and trample under foot all 
that it had not torn to pieces. * 

Q. How did the Roman empire contribute to the 
glory of the Messiah ? 

A. The empire of the Romans contributed to the 


glory of the Messiah by effecting the accomplishment 
of the celebrated prophecy of Jacob, who foretold that 
the Messiah would come when a stranger was seated 
on the throne of Juda. The Roman senate having ap 
pointed Herod, an Idumean, king of the Jews, the Mes 
siah came into the world. 

Q. To what reflection does the succession of the 
four great monarchies give rise ? 

A. The succession of the four great monarchies 
gives rise to the reflection that God from on high gov 
erns all the empires of the earth as well as all events ; 
and that before Jesus Christ he made them serve for 
the accomplishment of his grand design, the salvation 
of man through the establishment of the rei;n of the 
Messiah : and that since Jesus Christ, he still makes 
them serve for the accomplishment of that design, 
through the preservation and propagation of the reiga 
of the Messiah. 


Preparation for the Messiah History of the Macha- 
bees. (A. C. 170.) 

Q. What is the history of the Machabees ? 

A. The history of the Machabees is the history of 
the Jews during the latter period which preceded the 
Messiah. As the family of the Machabees acted the 
most conspicuous part during that period, it gave its 
name to the history of the whole people. 

Q. What does this history teach us ? 

A. This history teaches us that God did not, for a 
moment, cease to prepare the Gentiles and the Jews 
for the coming of the Redeemer. The dispersion of 
the Jews and meirlong sojourn atNinive and Babylon, 
with their voyages in the East and West after the 
conquests of Alexander, had every where spread UM 


knowledge of their religion, the fundamental article 
of which was the expectation of the Messiah. In order 
to maintain and strengthen this knowledge, Providence 
permitted, during the three last centuries which pre 
ceded the coming of the Messiah, that the Gentiles 
should have continued intercourse with the Jews, and 
that they should be witnesses of prodigies well calcu 
lated to make them know the true God. 

Q. Can you cite one of these prodigies ? 

A. Seleucus, king of Syria, wished to carry away 
the treasures of the temple of Jerusalem. He sent 
Heliodorus, superintendent of his treasure, to seize 
upon them. When Heliodorus entered the temple^two 
angels, in the guise of horsemen, overthrew his guards 
and compelled them to fly. 

Q. What happened to Heliodorus ? 

A. Heliodorus was stricken to the ground, and 
scourged with rods, and his life was spared through 
the prayers of the high priest Onias. 

Q. What was the effect of this miracle ? 

A . It made the God of Israel more than ever known 
and respected. Heliodorus, humbled and reformed, re 
turned from Jerusalem, publishing every where the 
power of the true God. 

Q. How did God prepare the Jews themselves for 
the near approach of the Messiah ? 

A. God prepared the Jews themselves for the near 
approach of the Messiah, by sending them constant 
trials ; for trials and sufferings serve to purify, humble 
and sanctify us, and then obtain for us the grace to 
know and love the truth. 

Q. What were these trials ? 

A. These trials were the continual wars waged 
against them by the kings of Syria, and by the Romans. 
The Jews, however, were more faithful than ever to 
God. There were even many martyrs among them. 
under Antiochus, who endeavored to destroy religion 
entirely in Judea. 


Q. Who were the principal martyrs ? 

A. The principal were Eleazar, and the seven broth 
ers, Machabees, with their mother. 

Q. What did the blood of the martyrs effect ? 

A. The blood of the martyrs caused the Jews to 
avoid the company of infidels, to love their own re 
ligion, and cherish their faith, which every day be 
came more lively. If the Pharisees had not deceive 1 
them, by teaching them to look for a Messiah who 
would be a great conqueror, they would have recog 
nized and received the true Messiah, and not drawn 
upon themselves the terrible chastisements with which 
they have been visited for more than eighteen hun 
dred years. 

Unity of Religion and of the Church. 

Q What conclusion must we draw from this first 
part of the Catechism ? 

,4. From this first part of the Catechism we must 
draw this conclusion : that religion, whose children we 
are, goes bick to th3 beginning of the world, and that 
it has always been one and the same, although not at 
all tims as fully taujjht as at later periods. 

Q. II >w do yo-.i show in a few words that religion 
has alw lys been one and the same ? 

A. Rjlijjion has always been one and the same in 
its Author, wh:3 is the Messiah. Whether expected, 
or alrea ly come, Jesus Christ has ever been the foun 
dation of religion; eternal salvation was never at any 
tini3 p^sible except through him. 

Q. Has religion been always one and the same in 
her doctrine ? 

.1. She has always been one and the same in her 
doctrine. With respect to Gnrf, she has always be 
lieved and taught from the beginning of the world, that 


there is but one only God, infinitely perfect, the Crea 
tor and Preserver of all things ; that a Redeemer would 
save the world, and that the Spirit of the Lord would 
sanctify us by his grace ; only these truths are more 
clearly known to Christians than they were to the 

Q. What has she always believed and taught con 
cerning man ? 

A . Concerning man, religion has always believed 
and taught that he was created to the likeness of God ; 
that he is composed of a body, and a soul which is 
spiritual, free and immortal ; that man is fallen, through 
his own fault ; that all men are born in a state of sin 
and degradation ; that they will all rise at the last day, 
and that there will be eternal rewards for the just, and 
eternal punishments for the wicked. 

Q. With regard to the world, what has she always 
believed and taught ? 

A. With regard to the world, she has always be 
lieved and. taught that it was created out of nothing ; 
that it is governed by a God all-powerful, infinitely 
wise, and infinitely good ; that it will be purified by 
fire, and that there will be a new heaven and a new 

Q. Has religion been always the same in her mor 
ality and in her worship ? 

A. Yes. Religion has always been the same in her 
morality, and in her worship. She has always ad 
mitted the same distinction between good and evil ; 
always commended the same virtues and condemned 
the same vices. In her worship she has never failed 
to practice the two essential acts of worship, viz : 
prayer and sacrifice. 

Q. And in her object ? 

.4. Her object has always been to destroy sin in the 
world, and to lead men to happiness. 

Q. In her means ? 

A. In her means she has always believed that man 


has need of grace, whereby to be saved ; she has al 
ways taught the manner and furnished the means of 
obtaining it. Only, the Christian religion, that is to 
say, religion as taught by Christ, is more perfect and 
is richer in graces, than it was before the coming of 
the Messiah. 

Q. Can it be said that the church has always been 
one and the same ? 

A. Yes, it can be said that the church has always 
been one and the same. In order to protect religion, 
and to teach it to mankind, an exterior, visible, and 
perpetual society was necessary ; this society il the 
church It, therefore, commenced with religion, and 
has always kept pace with it. 

Q How do you explain this truth ? 

A. We find the church existing at every period, 
from the beginning of the world. Under the Patriarch? 
it was restricted, like religion, to the family ; under 
Moses, it expanded, like religion, into a national state ; 
and finally, under the gospel, it extended, like religion, 
to all people, of whom it has made but one family. 

Q. How do you show that the church, like religion, 
is the same since Christ as it was before the coming 
of the Messiah ? 

A. The church, since Jesus Christ, is the same as 
before the coming of the Messiah ; first, in its founder, 
who is God ; and second, in her object, which has al 
ways been the preservation and teaching of religion ; 
she recognizes the same holy books ; she has a tribu 
nal to explain them ; a sovereign pontiff, and different 
orders of sacred ministers ; she has her day of rest, 
consecrated to the Lord ; she has her grand solemni 
ties and feasts. 

Q. Continue. 

A. Since Jesus Christ, as before him, the church 

has always been attacked, sometimes by strangers, 

sometimes by her own children ; she has had her great 

Bchism, which separated many of her children from 



her ; but all her afflictions redound to her glory. As 
formerly, all revolutions of empires and other events 
aided her to attain her end, the establishment of the 
gospel, so also do they now combine for its preserva 
tion and diffusion ; as formerly nothing could destroy 
her, so now neither hell nor the world shall prevail 
against her. 

Influence of Religion. 

Q. What were the effects of religion amongst the 
Israelites ? 

A. The effects of religion among the Israelites, were 
to make them more enlightened, more virtuous, and 
more happy than any of the ancient people. This is 
easy to be seen, in studying the condition of the family, 
of society, and of religion, amongst the people of God. 

Q. What was the family among the Jews? 

A . The family is the foundation of government ; 
and good order in a family depends on the authority 
of parents. This authority was very great, and much 
respected among the Jews. 

Q. What was their education ? 

A. Their education was simple, but solid. Parents 
taught their children what was necessary for life, and 
also the history of their nation. Each Israelite was 
obliged to commit to memory those passages in Moses 
and the Prophets, which reminded them of the won 
ders of the Lord. 

Q. What was society among the Jews ? 

A . Society amongst the Jews was far superior to 
that among the pagans. The Jews had admirable 
l;i .vs, which condemned every kind of disorder, which 
combated ambition, and which forbade them to enrich 
themselves at the expense of one another. There waa 
nothing of this kind among the pagaas. 

corns/: FIRST. 135 

Q. Cite one of these laws ? 

A . Among these laws was that of the Jubilee. In 
virtue of this law, every man at the end of every fifty 
years entered again into possession of the property 
he had sold, so that there existed great equality among 
all the families. 

Q. What was the state of religion ? 

A. The religion of the Jews being the true religion, 
was more perfect than that of the other nations. Its 
doctrine was true, its morality pure, and its worship 
holy and magnificent. 

Q. What were the principal feasts of the Jews? 

A. The principal feasts of the Jews, were the Pass 
over, Pentecost, and the feast of the Tabernacle. It 
was on the second day of the feast of the Passover 
that they offered to the Lord, as the sole Master of all 
things, the first fruits of the harvest. After the gath 
ering of the fruits, the Israelites went also to Jerusa 
lem "to offer the first fruits to the Lord in the temple. 

Q. What were their fasts ? 

A . The Jews had one day of general fast ; this was 
the festival of expiations. It was on this day only 
that the high priest entered the Holy of Holies. One 
he-goat was sacrificed, and another, after being loaded 
with the curse of all the sins of the people, was driven 
into the desert ; it was called the scape-goat, or emis 
sary goat. It represented our Lord loaded with the 
sins of the world, and led out of Jerusalem to be put 
to death. There were also extraordinary days of fast 
ing in times of public calamity or particular affliction. 

Q. What fruit do you derive from this first part of 
the Catechism? 

A. Much fruit may be derived from this first part 
of the Catechism ; 1st, to believe, firmly, that God has 
never ceased to work for our salvation ; 2d, to believe 
that religion is the greatest of all blessings ; 3d, to 
love God, as a dutiful child loves its mother ; 4th, to 
keep his commandments with courage and fidelity. 



State of the world at the coining of the Messiah. 

Q. What was the state of the world at the coming 
of the Messiah? 

A. The Roman empire, as foretold by Daniel, had 
subjected all nations to its sway. The world was in 
peace, under the reign of Augustus ; but all the na 
tions were buried in the darkest idolatry. 

Q. What is idolatry? 

A. Idolatry is the worship of false deities. The pa 
gans adored not only the sun, moon and the earth, but 
even the vilest creatures, and attributed to their gods 
all the passions of men. 

Q. What was the condition of the Jews ? 

A . Truth, which was expiring among pagan nations, 
bade fair to perish among the Jews also. There were 
in Judea four principal sects, who were altering the 
truth, and destroying its influence on the mind. 

Q. What were these different sects ? 

A . The different sects prevailing among the Jews at 
the coming of the Messiah, were the Pharisees, the 
Sadducees, the Essenians and the Herodians. 

Q Who were the Pharisees ? 

A. The Pharisees were a sect who had added to the 
law of Moses a number of traditions and superstitions, 
and ridiculous practices. They were proud, avaricious, 
ambitious hypocrites, and sworn enemies of Christ. 

Q. Who were the Sadducees ? 

A. The Sadducees were men who rejected the tra 
ditions of the ancients, the immortality of the soul and 
the resurrection of the body. Although not so numer 
ous as the Pharisees, they still had a great deal of in 
fluence, because they were the first men of the nation. 

Q. Who were the Essenians ? 


A. The Essenians were sectarians who rejected all 
traditions, and denied the resurrection of the body, and 
the spirituality of the soul. They lived at a distance 
from the large cities, and practised great austerities. 

Q. Who were the Herodians ? 

A. The Herodians were men attached to the court 
of Herod, and professed a very dangerous morality. 

Q. How was Palestine divided at the coming of the 
Messiah ? 

A . At the coming of the Messiah, Palestine was di 
vided into three parts. The first was Samaria, the in 
habitants of which were called Samaritans. They were 
converts to the Jewish religion, with which they had 
mingled many errors. 

Q. What were these errors ? 

A . 1 . Of all the Scriptures they recognized only the 
five books of Moses ; 2, they rejected the traditions of 
the Jewish doctors ; 3, they maintained that God was 
to be adored on Mount Garazine, and not at Jerusalem. 
The Jews held them in detestation. 

Q. Which was the second part of Palestine ? 

A. The second part of Palestine was Galilee, the in 
habitants of which were called Galileans. They were 
Israelites of the ten tribes, who after their return from 
captivity at Ninive, had rebuilt some of the cities of the 
ancient kingdom of Israel. They practised the same 
religion as the Jews. 

Q. Which was the third part? 

A . The third part was Judea, of which Jerusalem 
was the capital. This part of Palestine was occupied 
by the tribes of Judah arid Benjamin, who on their re 
turn from the captivity of Babylon, had rebuilt Jerusa 
lem and the temple. 

Q. To what nation were the Jews tributary at the 
birth of the Messiah ? 

A. At the birth of the Messiah, the Jews were tril>- 
utary to the Romans, who had imposed a tribute upor. 
them, and deprived them of the right of putting crimi- 


nals to death. This was a proof that the sovereign 
power was no longer in their hands, and that the Mes 
siah was at hand. 

Birth of the Messiah. 

Q. Were all nations expecting the Messiah when 
our Lord Jesus Christ came into the world ? 

A. Yes, when our Lord was born, all nations were 
expecting an extraordinary personage who would 
reign over the world, and establish in it the empire of 
justice and virtue. In the first place, the Jews knew, in 
accordance with the prophecies, that the Messiah was 
at hand; but, blinded by the Pharisees they expected, 
in the Messiah, a conqueror who would deliver them 
from the yoke of the nations. It was in this very hope 
they undertook, notwithstanding their weakness, to 
sustain a war against all the power of the Roman 

Q. And the pagans ? 

A . The pagans, also, relying upon their ancient tra 
ditions, were at that time expecting the coming of an 
extraordinary personage. "It was the general convic 
tion," says Tacitus, "that the ancient books of the 
priests announced that at this period the East would 
have the ascendency, and that from out of Judea should 
go forth the masters of the world." 

Q. Is this fact well attested ? 

A . This fact is so well attested, that even the great 
est enemies of religion are obliged to admit it. 

Q. What do you remark ? 

A . I remark that since the coming of Jesus Christ, 
all nations have ceased to look for the Messiah ; 
whence we must conclude either that all nations have 
been deceived in expecting the Messiah, and in recog- 


nizing Jesus Christ as such ; or that our Lord Jesus 
Christ is the Messiah promised by the prophets and 
expected by all nations. 

Q. What is the history of the birth of the Messiah ? 

A. When the time marked by the prophets was ac 
complished, God sent the angel Gabriel to the Blessed 
Virgin, who dwelt in the city of Nazareth. The angel 
said to her, Hail full of grace, ttie Lord is with thee. 
Behold, thou shall bring forth a son. He shall be 
great, and shall be called the Son of the Most High. 

Q. What reply did the Blessed Virgin make ? 

A. The Blessed Virgin replied, Behold the hand maid 
of the Lord, be it done unto me according to thy word. 
Then the angel disappeared, and the God-Man was 
formed by the power of the Holy Ghost in the chaste 
womb of Mary. An edict of the emperor Augustus 
obliged the Blessed Virgin and St. Joseph to repair to 
Bethlehem, where the Messiah was to be born. 

Q. How was his birth announced V 

A. His birth was announced by angels, who sang 
this canticle, which is the abridgment of all the works 
of the Messiah : Glory to God on high and peace on 
earth to men of good will. 

Q. By whom was the new-born Messiah adored V 

A. The new-born Messiah was adored, first by the 
Blessed Virgin and St. Joseph, and then by the shep 
herds, who hastened to publish every where the won 
derful mystery which they had witnessed. 

Q On what occasion did our Lord receive the name 
of Jesus ? 

A. Our Lord received the name of Jesus on the oc 
casion of his circumcision. 

Q. What does the word Jesus mean ? 

A. The word Jesus means Saviour. Our Lord is 
thus called, because he has saved all men from the 
slavery of their passions, of the devil, and of sin. 

Q. Did God make known the birth of the Messiah 
only to the Jews ? 


A . God made known the birth of the Messiah to the 
Gentiles also. A short time after his birth, a miracu 
lous star appeared in the heavens. The Magi, (that is, 
wise men of the East,) having seen it, came to adore 
the Lord and to offer him gifts of gold, frankincense 
and myrrh. 

Q. Why was the Messiah born in poverty, humilia 
tion and suffering ? 

A . He was born, and he lived and died in poverty, 
humiliation and suffering : 1. to expiate sin ; 2, to cure 
us of its consequences ; 3, to set us an example. 

Hidden Life of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Q. What did the Blessed Virgin and St. Joseph do 
after the circumcision ? 

A. After the circumcision the Blessed Virgin and St. 
Joseph remained in Bethlehem till the adoration of the 
Magi. They then went to Jerusalem to present the 
child Jesus in the temple. 

Q. Why did they present the child Jesus in the tem 
ple of Jerusalem ? 

A. They presented the child Jesus in the temple of 
Jerusalem, to comply with a command of the law of 
Moses, which ordered that every first born, if a male, 
should be presented in the temple, as belonging to the 

Q. Why did the Blessed Virgin present herself in 
the temple ? 

A. The Blessed Virgin presented herself in the tem 
ple to comply with the law which required that every 
woman who had iriven birth to a child, should come to 
purify herself before the Lord. The Blessed Virgin and 
our Lord, who were not bound to submit to these laws, 


wished to fulfil them, to teach us humility and obedi 

Q. What happened whilst they were in the temple ? 

A. Whilst they were in the temple, it happened 
that a holy old man, named Simeon, also came into the 
temple. Having received the infant Jesus in his arms, 
he announced the future greatness of the Messiah, and 
the sorrows of the Blessed Virgin. 

Q. Whither did the Blessed Virgin and St. Joseph 
then go ? 

A . The Blessed Virgin and St. Joseph then went 
into Egypt. Herod finding that the Magi did not re 
turn to Jerusalem, as he had directed them, ordered 
all the children in Bethlehem and around it, of the age 
of two years and under, to be put to death, thinking to 
include in this massacre the new King of the Jews; but 
St. Joseph, warned by an angel, had fled to Egypt 
with the infant and his mother. 

Q. What did St. Joseph do after the death of Herod? 

A . After the death of Herod St. Joseph returned to 
Palestine, and fixed his abode in Nazareth in Galilee. 
He did not venture to reside in Judea proper, because 
Arehilaus, the son of Herod, was reigning there. He 
went, nevertheless, every year to Jerusalem to cele 
brate the Passover. 

Q. What happened on one of these annual visits ? 

A. It happened that Christ, then twelve years of 
age, separated from St. Joseph and the Blessed Virgin. 
He remained in the temple in the midst of the doctors, 
whom he astonished by the wisdom of his questions 
and answers. It was there his parents found him on 
the third day. 

Q. What did the Blessed Virgin say to him ? 

A. The Blessed Virgin having asked him why he 
had quit them, he gave them this answer, replete with 
instruction : Did you not know that I must be about the 
things that are my Father s f By this he teaches us 
that we must prefer the will of God to all things. He 


returned then to Xazareth with St. Joseph and the 
Blessed Virgin, and icas subject to them. 

Q. What do you remark on these last words, and 
wax subject to them f 

A. I remark on these words, that they contain the 
whole life of our Lord till he was thirty years old. 
Our Lord wished to live in obedience to two of his crea 
tures, in order to teach us that virtue and confound for 
ever our pride. 

Public Life of our Lord First year. 

Q. What do you understand by the public life of 
Christ ? 

A. By the public life of Christ, we understand the 
time during which he preached his doctrine in Judea. 
It was about three years. 

Q. How did Christ commence his public life ? 

A. He commenced his public life by receiving bap 
tism at the hands of John the Baptist. This was not 
the sacrament of baptism, but only a symbol of pen 
ance, which the Precursor gave to those who repented, 
and who prepared for the reception of the Messiah. 

Q. What happened at the moment of Christ s bap 
tism ? 

A. At the moment of his baptism, the Holy Ghost, 
in the form of a dove, descended upon him, and there 
was heard a voice from heaven, saying, This is my 
beloved Son, in ichom I am well pleased. 

Q. What did Christ do afterwards ? 

A. Having received the baptism of John, which was 
a public profession of penance, he was pleased to prac 
tice it himself in all its rigor. He went into the desert 
and there spent forty days and forty nights without 


taking any food, and permitted himself to be tempted 
by the devil. 

Q. Why did he permit himself to be tempted by the 
devil ? 

A . Christ permitted himself to be tempted by the 
devil, in order to conquer him, and teach us the way 
to overcome temptations. 

Q. Where did Christ go on retiring from the des 
ert ? 

A. On retiring from the desert, he returned to the 
banks of the Jordan, where his first disciples were 
called. They were Andrew, and Simon Peter his bro 
ther, and Philip, all three of the city of Bethsaida. 
He repaired with them to Cana in Galilee. 

Q. What miracle did our Lord perform in that city ? 

A . On his arrival in the city of Cana, he was in 
vited to a wedding, together with the Blessed Virgin 
and his disciples. At the instance of his blessed 
mother, he changed water into wine, teaching us there 
by that the Blessed Virgin is all-powerful with him, 
and that he is not unmindful of our temporary wants. 

Q. What further was the effect of this miracle ? 

A . This miracle had the further effect to strengthen 
the faith of our Lord s disciples, and to attach others 
to him. James and John particularly, the sons of Zc- 
bedee, both fishermen by profession, followed the 
Saviour to Jerusalem, whither he went to celebrate 
the feast of the Passover. 

Q. What did he do at Jerusalem ? 

A. He repaired to the templt:, from which he drove 
the sellers. 

Q. In what manner ? 

A . He made a scourge, and overturning their tables, 
said to them, My house is a ho-se of prayer, and yan 
have made it a den of thieves. No one dared to oppose 
him, so deeply were the profaners impressed with ;\ 
sense of his divinity. St. Jerome considers this act 
one of the greatest miracles the Snviour had worked. 


Public Life of our Lord First Year. 

Q. Where did Jesus Christ go after having driven 
the sellers from the temple of Jerusalem ? 

A . After having driven the sellers out of the temple 
of Jerusalem, Jesus Christ set out for Galilee, passing 
by Samaria. 

Q. What happened on this journey? 

A. On this journey he converted the Samaritan wo 
man. The Saviour having revealed to this woman all 
that she had done, announced to her that he was the 
Messiah. She believed his words, and ran to the city 
to tell what had happened to her. The inhabitant s 
came also to see the Saviour, who entered their city 
and converted a great number. 

Q. What miracle did he work at Capharnaum ? 

A . The Saviour having gone to the city of Caphar 
naum, in Galilee, expelled the devil from a man, in the 
presence of a large concourse of people. Suddenly the 
devil, by the mouth of the possessed man, cried out, Let 
us ahne, Jesus of Nazareth, I know 1hee, who thou art, 
the Holy One of God. Jesus rebuked the evil spirit with 
authority, saying, Hold thy peace and go out of him. 

Q. What other miracle did he work ? 

A . The news of the deliverance of the possessed man 
soon spread through all the country. People came from 
every part to see and hear the great Prophet. One day 
so great a crowd had assembled around the house in 
which he was, that it was impossible to enter. Four 
men who were carrying a paralytic in his bed, mounted 
upon the top of the house, and having made a large 
opening, let down the sick man in his bed, at the feet 
of Jesus in the midst of the assembly. 

Q. How did the Saviour begin the cure ? 

A. The Saviour seeing the faith of the man, said to 
him : Son, be of good heart, thy xtm are forgiven thee. 


The Scribes and Pharisees who were in the assembly 
said among themselves : He blasphemeth, whocanfor- 
gice sins but God only? 

Q. What did the Saviour say to them ? 

A. The Saviour knowing their thoughts, said to 
them : Which is easier to say to the sick of the palsy. 
Thy sins are forgiven thee ; or to say, arise, take up thy 
bed and walk? But that you may know that the Son of 
man hath power on earth to forgive sins (he saith to the 
sick of the palsy,) I say to thee, arise, take up thy bed, 
and go into thy house. The paralytic arose, took up 
his bed and went his way, publishing the praises of 

Q. What did the Saviour do after this miracle ? 

A. After this miracle, which proved so clear ly his 
divinity, the Saviour went out of the city, and ascended 
a mountain where he spent the night in prayer. On 
the morrow, he chose twelve of his disciples whom he 
named apostles. The word apostle signifies sent. 

Q. What are the names of the twelve apostles ? 

A. The names of the twelve apostles, are Peter, 
James and John the sons of Zebedee, Andrew, Philip, 
Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James and Jude the 
sons of Alpheus, Simon, and Judas Iscariot who be 
trayed him. 

Public Life of our Lord First year. 

Q. What did the Saviour do after having chosen 
his twelve apostles ? 

A. After having chosen his apostles, he addressed 
to his disciples and a great multitude of the people, 
the admirable discourse which is called the Sermon on 
the mount. 

Q. How do you divide this discourse ? 


A. This discourse may be divided into two parts. 
The first is addressed particularly to the apostles ; the 
second regards all the faithful. 

Q. What does the Saviour teach in the first part ? 

A. In the first part the Saviour teaches in what 
happiness consists ; he corrects all the ideas which 
man since his fall had formed of happiness, saying 
that it is not in riches, or honors, or pleasures, that 
happiness consists, but on the contrary in a detach 
ment from these things, and in the ardent desire and 
faithful practice of the Christian virtues. 

Q. What further did he say ? 

A. He further said to his apostles, who were com 
missioned to preach one day all these truths, that they 
must be holy, because they were the light of the world, 
and the salt of the earth. 

Q. What does the Saviour teach in the second part? 

A. He teaches that the new law is much more per 
fect than the ancient, and therefore Christians should 
be more holy than the Jews, and after having recom 
mended the great precept of charity and the love of 
our enemies, he concludes with these words : Be yd, 
therefore perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. 

Q. What is the first means which the Saviour gives 
us to arrive at this perfection ? 

A. The first means which the Saviour gives us to 
arrive at this perfection is prayer. Ask, says he, and 
it shall be given you. !f yon 1/ien, being evil, know hoif 
to f/ive good gifts to your children, how much more wilt 
your Father who is in heaven give good things to therfi 
that ask him ? You therefore shall pray in this manner . 
Our Father, $c. 

Q. What is the second ? 

A. The second means is fasting. When thou fastest, 
says he, anoint thy head and wash thy face, that thou ap 
pear not fasting to men, but to thy Father who is in secret, 
and thy Father who is in secret will reward thee. 

Q. What is the third means ? 


A. The third means is alms-deeds. Lay not up for 
yourselves, says the Saviour, treasures on earth, where 
the rust and the moth consume, and where thieves dig 
through and steal ; but lay up for yourselves treasures 
in heaven, where neither the rust nor the moth doth con 
sume, and where thieve* do not dig through nor steal. 

Q. What do you remark on these three means ? 

A. I remark that they are opposed to the three great 
passions of the heart, which are the cause of all our 
sins and all the evils of the world. 

Q. What does the Saviour add ? 

A. The Saviour adds that we must not be too solicit 
ous for food and raiment. He commands us to labor, 
but requires that we should not want confidence in his 

Q What follows from this? 

A. It follows from this that our Lord positively 
condemns all immoderate love of riches, honors and 
pleasures, the bitter fruits of sin ; and that in recalling 
man to his primitive perfection, he assures him of hap 
piness even in this life, and shows himself to be truly 
his Saviour. 

Q. What did the Saviour do after the sermon on 
the mount? 

A. After the sermon on the mount, our Saviour was 
pleased to confirm his doctrine by miracles, and he 
cured a man of the leprosy, and also a servant of the 
centurion who had the palsy. 

Public Life of our Lord Second year. 

Q. What did the Saviour do after healing the servant 
of the centurion ? 

A. After healing the servant of the centurion, he 
performed many other miracles. He healed a wo- 


man afflicted for many years with an issue of blood ; 
he raised to life a young girl twelve years of age, and 
gave the people a great many wholesome instructions. 

Q. What further did he do? 

A. In order to lay the foundations of the ecclesiasti 
cal hierarchy, he associated to himself a certain num 
ber of disciples, who were afterwards under the apos 
tles to labor in preaching the gospel ; and in order to 
form them to their vocation, he chose to have them as 
his co-laborers, and witnesses of his miracles. 

Q. What miracles did he work in their presence ? 

A . He worked many miracles in their presence, and 
amongst others, that of raising to life the son of the 
widow of Nairn. The corpse was on the way to be in 
terred, when our Lord met it at the gate of the city. 
He approached the bier and said to the dead man, 
Young man, I say to tliee. arise. Instantly the man who 
had been dead, sat up and began to speak. Jesus de 
livered him to his mother, and all the people cried out, 
A great prophet is risen up among us, and God //as 
visited his people. These expressions meant that the 
Messiah had come. 

Q. To what did this miracle give occasion ? 

A . Our Saviour took occasion from this to prove his 
divinity to the disciples of John the Baptist, and to de 
liver the eulogy of his precursor. This great saint was 
at that time in prison, where he was put to death by 
the guilty Herod. 

Q. Whither did the Saviour then go ? 

A. He then went to Capharnaum, and afterwards 
retired to a desert in the vicinity of that city. 

Q. What miracle did he perform there ? 

A. He there fed miraculously five thousand people, 
with five small loaves and two fishes.- This miracle, 
great as it was, was but the announcement of one still 
more admirable. 

Q. What miracle is that? 

A. It is the multiplication of the body and blood 


of our Lord in the Holy Eucharist. On his return to 
Capharnaum, he announced to the people the institution 
of the august sacrament of the altar, saying : / am the 
living bread which came, down from heacen. My flesh 
is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed and 
the bread which I will give is my flesh for the life of the 

Q. What promise did the Saviour make to St. Peter? 

A . After his discourse on the Eucharist, the Saviour 
traversed the different parts of Galilee, and promised 
St. Peter to make him the head of his church, saying : 
Thou art Peter (that is to say, a rock,) and on this rock 
I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not 
prevail against it. 

Q. What did he afterwards announce to him? 

A . The Saviour afterwards announced to St. Peter 
and his other disciples, his passion and death, and 
guarded them against being scandalised at his humilia 

Q. What did he do for that purpose ? 

A. For that purpose he took with him Peter, and 
James and John the sons of Zebedee, who were to be 
witnesses of his agony. He ascended a high mountain 
with them, and was transfigured before them. His 
countenance shone as the sun, and his garments were 
whiter than the snow. Moses and Elias appeared and 
conversed with him they were surrounded by a bright 
light. The apostles, struck with fear, fell prostrate on 
the earth, and at the same time a voice from heaven 
was heard, saying : This is my beloved Son in whom I 
am well pleased, hear ye him. Afterwards the Saviour 
descended from the mountain. 



Public Life of our Lord Second year. 

Q. What miracle did the Saviour perform on de 
scending the mountain ? 

A. On descending the mountain, he cured a boy who 
was possessed by a devil. 

Q. What instruction did he give his apostles on this 
occasion ? 

A. On this occasion he instructed his apostles on the 
necessity and power of fasting and prayer. 

Q. What other instruction did he give them ? 

A. The Saviour, continuing his journey through 
Galilee, explained to his apostles and all his disci 
ples the necessity of pardoning injuries, and the sinful- 
ness of him who would refuse to forgive an injury. 

Q. What means did he employ for this purpose ? 

A. For this purpose he made use of a parable. A 
servant, said he, owed his master ten thousand talents. 
He had not wherewith to pay him. The master 
ordered him to be seized, and commanded him to be 
sold, with his wife and children, and all that he had, 
and payment to be made. The servant implored him 
for pity, and to have patience with him. The master, 
touched with compassion, remitted him the whole debt. 
The servant going put, met a fellow- servant who owed 
him the trifling sum of a hundred pence, and laying 
hold on him, he throttled him, saying, pay what thou 
owest. The unfortunate servant said, have patience, 
and I will pay thee all ; but he would not, and imme 
diately sent him to prison. When the master had 
learned this cruel conduct, he sent for the wicked ser 
vant, and said to him, I had pity on you, and forgave 
you your whole debt ; oughtest thou not also to have 
had pity on thy fellow servant ? and, being angry, he 
delivered him to the torturers, until he should pay the 
vhole debt ; and the Saviour said : So also shall my 


heavenly Father do to you, if you forgive not every one 
his brother , from your hearts, you whom he has par 
doned, and still daily pardons, so many sins. 

Q. What followed this instruction ? 

A. It was followed by an event which ^ave the Sa 
viour occasion to teach the spirit of meekness, which 
must animate his disciples. The inhabitants of a city 
in Samaria having refused to receive him, two of his 
apostles asked permission to call down fire from heaven 
to consume the guilty city. The Saviour replied, 
You know not of what spirit you are ; the Son of man 
came not to destroy souls but to save. He submitted 
to the affront without complaint, and went into anothei 

Q. What further occurred in this journey ? 

A. In this journey, the Saviour proclaimed ane* 
the great precept of the love of God and of our neigh 
bor, and coming to the little town of Bethania, hf 
lodged in the house .of Lazarus and his two sister* 
Martha and Mary. 

Q. Where did he go thence? 

A . He repaired to Jerusalem to celebrate the fea&L 
of the Tabernacles, where his enemies were forced ta 
say, with the rest of the people : Never man spake like 
thi* man. 

Q,. Were they converted? 

A. They were not converted. To touch their hearts, 
the Saviour worked one of his most brilliant miracles. 
lie restored sight to a man who had been blind from 
his birth ; a miracle which no prophet had ever 
wrought, and which had been unheard of from the 
beginning of the world. 


Public Life of our Lord Third year. 

Q. What was the end of all the words, miracles, 
and actions of the Saviour? 

A. The end of all the words, miracles and actions 
of the Saviour, was to save man. He had come on 
earth to take away sin, and weaken its consequences. 
By his words ignorance was dispelled ; by his miracles 
he confirmed his doctrine ; and all his actions tended 
to console man in his misery. 

Q. What other end did he propose to himself? 

A. The Saviour also proposed to himself to banish 
that excessive fear which man had of God. He wished 
that the law of grace and of love should take the 
place of the law of fear. He wished to prevent man 
from despairing after he had sinned. 

Q. What did he do for that purpose ? 

A. For that purpose, he ever showed himself kind, 
affable, and compassionate towards all ; and in order to 
give an idea of his goodness and mercy, he related 
many parables, and particularly that of the prodigal 
son, and of the lost sheep. 

Q- Relate the parable of the lost sheep ? 

A. A shepherd, said the Saviour, has a hundred 
sheep ; he loves them all, and watches them carefully. 
Notwithstanding all his care, one of them is lost. 
Does he not, as soon as he is aware of it, leave the 
ninety-nine and go in search of that which is lost: 
He seeks for it in every direction, and gives himself no 
rest until he has found it. When he has found it. he 
does not beat it, but kindly puts it upon his shoulders, 
in order to save it the fatigue of returning, and carries 
it back to the fold. Having arrived at his house, he 
assembles his friends and his neighbors, and says to 
them, rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep 
which was lost. This, concludes the Saviour, is a 


picture of your heavenly Father. / say to you, that 
even so there shall be joy in heaven upon one sinner that 
doeth penance, more than upon ninety-nine just, who 
need not penance. 

Q. What did the Saviour do after this touching 
parable ? 

A . After this touching parable the Saviour per 
formed an act which displays all the goodness of his 
divine heart. 

Q. What was it ? 

A. A great number of fathers and mothers came to 
present their little children to him, and implored his 
blessings on them. The Saviour received these little 
ones into his arms, loaded them with caresses, placed 
his hand upon them and blessed them. 

Q. What more did he do ? 

A . In order to protect their innocence and their life, 
he declared that it were better to have a mill-stone 
tied to one s neck and be thrown into the sea, than to 
scandalize a little child ; and that he would consider as 
done to himself, whatever should be done to the least 
of such little ones, who are his brethren. 

Q. What did he afterwards announce tohis apostles ? 

A. The Saviour afterwards announced to his apostles 
that his passion and death were near, but that he 
would raisvi himself to life again on the third day. He 
employed the little time which yet remained, in giving 
them instructions, and in working miracles more ex 
traordinary than ever. 

Q. What miracles were they ? 

A. The principal were the conversion of Zacheus, 
and the resurrection of Lazarus after he had been 
dead four days. This latter miracle was wrought at 
the very gates of Jerusalem, and in the presence of a 
great number of Jews. 

Q. What was the consequence ? 

A. The consequence was that a great number of 
Jews were converted, and believed in our Lord ; but 


the chief priests and Pharisees, being jealous, resolved 
to put him to death. 

Public Life of our Lord Third year. 

Q. Was the determination of the chief men of 
Jerusalem to put the Saviour to death, a sufficient rea 
son to prevent the people from recognizing him as the 
Son of God ? 

A. This determination was not a sufficient reason 
why the people should not recognize him as the Son 
of God. The miracles of Jesus spoke louder than the 
hatred of the synagogue. 

Q. Had the Saviour omitted anything requisite to 
show that he was truly the Messiah ? 

A . No ; he had come into the world at the precise 
time at which the Messiah was expected. He was 
born at Bethlehem, and of the race of David ; he had 
been adored by kings, as foretold by the prophets. For 
more than thirty-two years he employed himself in 
showing that he was the true Messiah, by his doctrine, 
his sanctity, his miracles, and by the literal accomplish 
ment of the prophecies which referred to him. 

Q. What yet remained for him to do? 

A. It remained for him to complete the proof of his 
divine mission. 

Q. How? 

A . By dying ; for the finishing trait of the Messiah 
was his death on the cross, ordered by the Jews ; 
caused by the hand of strangers ; followed after three 
d:iys by his glorious resurrection, and crowned by his 
ascension into heaven. 

Q. Was the Saviour dismayed at the schemes of 
*lie synagogue ? 

A. Our Saviour was not dismayed at the soltemea 


of the synagogue ; he was pleased even to show that if 
he one day would deliver himself into their hands, it 
would be a free act on his part. 

Q. How did he do this ? 

A. He went up to Jerusalem publicly, seated on the 
colt of an ass, followed by its mother ; for the prophel 
Zachary had foretold that the Messiah should entei 
Jerusalem in this manner. All the people came out to 
meet him, carrying olive branches in their hands and 
crying : Hoxanna to the Son of David, blessed is hi 
that cometh in the name of the Lord. 

Q. What did the Saviour do in the midst of his tri 
umph ? 

A . In the midst of his triumph the Saviour wept 
over Jerusalem, and predicted the calamities which 
were soon to befall it. He went to the temple, where 
a voice was heard saying that God should be glorified 
by Jesus. 

Q. What happened whilst he was in the temple ? 

A. Whilst he was in the temple a poor widow put 
a farthing into the treasury, and the Saviour said of 
her, that she had put in more than the rich, in order 
to show us the merit of purity of intention. 

Q. Whither did the Saviour go on leaving the tem 
ple ? 

A. On leaving the temple he retired to Mount 
Olivet, where he announced to his apostles the destruc 
tion of Jerusalem and the temple, also the end of the 
world and the circumstances attendant on the last 

Q. What did he do after? 

A . He returned to Bethania, and staid with Simon 
the leper, where a woman poured precious ointment on 
his head. This act so irritated the avaricious Judas 
that lie formed the design of selling his master. He 
went out to find the chief priests and said to them : 
What will you give me, and I will deliver him to you 
They promised him thirty pieces of silver this was 


the price of a slave. Judas returned to the company 
of the Saviour to seek an opportunity of delivering 
him up. 

Public Life of our Lord Third year. 

Q. What did the Saviour do during the few hours 
before he was betrayed ? 

A. He celebrated the Passover with his disciples. 
About three o clock in the afternoon he sent two of them 
to Jerusalem to prepare whatever was necessary for the 
Passover. He said to them : Behold, as you go into 
the city there shall meet you a man carrying a pitcher 
of water ; follow him into the house which he enterelh 
into. And you shall say to the matter of the house: 
TliC Master saith to thee Where is the guest chamber 
where I may eat the pasch with my disciples ? and he 
will show you a large dining-room furnished, and there 

Q. What do these words show us ? 

A . These words show us that our Lord knew the 
future, and was master of the heart. 

Q. What did the apostles do? 

A . The apostles did as the Saviour directed them, 
and found all things as he had said. The Saviour 
arrived when the hour had come, and sat at table with 
his twelve apostles, to eat the paschal lamb. Then it 
was that he said to them : Amen, I say to you, that o"C 
of you is about to betray me. ... TJte Son of Man in 
deed goeth, as it is written of him ; but wo to that man 
by whom the Son of Man shall be betrayed. It icere 
better for that man if he had not been born. The apos 
tles thought that the Saviour was going to take pos 
session of an earthly kingdom, and they began to dis- 


pute amongst themselves who of them should hold the 
first places. 

Q. What did the Saviour do? 

A . The Saviour had pity on their weakness, and said 
to them that the kingdom whither he was going, and 
whither they also would go, was not like the kingdoms 
of this earth, and that humility and purity of heart 
alone could conduct them thither. Then, rising from 
the table, he washed their feet, and said to them : You 
call me Master and Lord: and you say well* for so I am. 
If /, then, being Lord and Master, hare washed your 
feet, you also ought to wash one another s feet. For I 
have given an example that as I have done to you so you 
do also. 

Q. What followed the washing of feet ? 

A. The washing of feet was followed by the insti 
tution of the Holy Eucharist, which was to take the 
place of all the sacrifices of the old law. 

Q. How was the Holy Eucharist instituted? 

A. Our Saviour took bread, broke it and gave it to 
his apostles, saying : Take and eat. This is my body 
which is giren for you. He then took a cup of wine, 
blessed it and presented it to his apostles, saying : 
Drink ye all of this. This is the chalice of the New 
Testament in my blood which shall be shed for you. 
lie then gave them also the power to consecrate Ins 
body and blood, by saying to them : Do this in cwn- 
mernoration of me. 

Q. What did the Saviour say to Judas? 

A. After the communion, the Saviour, looking at 
Judas, was troubled in spirit, and wishing to give him 
a last warning, said to him : That which thou doest, do 
quickly. Judas remained insensible to the warning 
and went out. 

Q. What did the Saviour do after Judas had gone out? 

A. After Judas had gone out the Saviour gave ex 
pression to his tender affection, in the words which he 
addressed to his apostles. He then returned thanks 


after supper, and repaired with his disciples to the 
mountain of Olives. 

Passion of our Lord. 

Q. Relate the passion of our Lord. 

A. The Saviour, accompanied by his disciples, had 
retired to the garden of Gethsemani. Now Judas 
knew that that was the place whither Jesus was ac 
customed to retire for prayer. The Saviour said to his 
apostles, remain here, whilst I go yonder and pray ; 
pray ye, also, lest ye enter into temptation. Then leav 
ing the others, he took with him Peter, James and 
John, and said to them : My soul is sorrowful even 
unto death ; wait ye here, and watch with me ; and 
having gone a little further, about the distance of a 
stone s throw from them, he knelt down and made this 
prayer : My Father, if thou wilt, take away this chal 
ice from me ; yet not my will, but thine be done. 

After this prayer he rose and came to his disciples, 
and found them all three asleep. He said to Peter : 
Simon, sleept-st thou? wast thou not able to watch 
one hour with me ? Watch and pray, lest ye enter 
into temptation ; for the spirit indeed is willing, but 
the flesh is weak. He retired a second time, and 
made the same prayer. He then returned to his dis 
ciples, and again he found them sleeping ; he retired 
again, and again made the same prayer. He then was 
in an agony, and the sweat as drops of blood came 
trickling to the ground, and an angel descended from 
heaven to strengthen him. He arose from prayer, and 
coming to his disciples said to them : Sleep ye now, 
and take rest. Behold, he that will betray me is at 
hand ; rise up, let us go to meet him. And while he 
was yet speaking, came Judas, and with him a great 


multitude, with swords and staves and lights, from 
the chief priests, and the scribes and the ancients. 
Now all this was to accomplish the words of the 
prophet, saying of the Messiah, he shall be reputed 
amongst the wicked and robbers. Judas had given 
them this sign, saying, whomsoever I shall kiss, he it 
is lay hold on him and lead him away cautiously. 
Having arrived, he advanced toward Jesus and said to 
him: liabbi, hail! and he kissed him. Jesus said to 
him, my friend, wherefore hast thou come ? Judas, is 
it by a kiss thou betrayest the Son of Man ? Jesus 
then advanced towards the multitude and said to them : 
Whom seek ye V They replied : Jesus of Nazareth. 
Jesus said to them : T am he. Immediately they were 
cast to the earth. Jesus, who had cast them down, 
suffered them to rise, and they seize*d him. 

Then Simon, who had a sword, drew it, and striking 
a servant of the high priest, cut off his right ear ; but 
Jesus said to him : Put up again thy sword ; and he 
cured him who had been wounded. Then all the dis 
ciples, leaving him, fled away. But they, holding 
Jesus, led him first to Annas, the father-in-law of 
Caiphas, the high priest, and thence to the house of 
Caiphas, where the priests and the scribes and the an 
cients were assembled. But Peter followed Jesus afar 
off, and entered the palace of the high priest. 

Caiphas interrogated Jesus concerning his disciples 
and his doctrine. Jesus answered him : I have always 
spoken openly to the world, ask those who have heard 
me ; then a servant gave Jesus a blow, saying, An- 
swerest thou the high priest so ? They then suborned 
two false witnesses ; but their testimony did not agree. 
When the high priest said to Jesus, I adjure thee by 
the living God, tell us if thou be the Christ, Jesus 
answered, I am. Then the high priest rent his gar 
ments and said : He has blasphemed ; what further 
need have we of witnesses ? what think ye ? All re 
plied, He is worthy of death. And going away, they 


left Jesus to the band of soldiers and the serv ants, who 
made him undergo every species of outrage. 

In the meantime, a servant maid of the high priest 
perceived Peter, who was warming himself ; she looked 
at him and said : You also were with Jesus of Naza 
reth Peter denied it three times in presence of the 
whole multitude. Jesus then looked on him, and the 
cock crowed the second time. Peter remembered 
what Jesus had said to him. Before the cock crows 
twice, you will deny me three times ; he went forth 
and wept bitterly. 

In the morning, the priests, the scribes, and the an 
cients assembled again, and again demanded of Jesus : 
Art thou the Christ ? He replied, Yes, I am. They 
then condemned him to die, and led him to Pontius 
Pilate, to obtain permission to execute their sentence. 
Then Judas, seeing that Jems was condemned, repent 
ed of what he had done ; he went to the temple and 
carried back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief 
priests and ancients, and said to them : I have sinned 
in betraying the blood of the Just. They said to him : 
What is that to us ? look thou to it. He went forth 
and hanged himself. With the money they bought 
the field of a potter, for the burial of strangers. All 
this happened to accomplish the words of the prophet, 
who had foretold of the Messiah, that he should be sold 
for thirty pieces of silver with which a potter s field 
would be bought. 

Passion of our Lord Continued. 

Q. Continue the history of the passion ? 

A. The Jews having arrived with Jesus before the 
house of Pilate, would not enter the judgment hall 
lest they should be defiled and not be able to eat of the 
Pasch. Pilate, therefore, came out to them and said 


Of what do you accuse this man ? They replied : If 
he had not been a malefactor we would not have de 
livered him up to you. Pilate said to them : Take him 
vourselves, and judge him according to your law. 
They answered, It is not permitted us to put any one 
to death. 

Pilate then interrogated Jesus, and said to him : Are 
you the king of the Jews ? Jesus replied that he was 
a king, but that his kingdom was not of this earth. 
Pilate" said to the Jews, I find no cause for condemna 
tion in this man. They then be^an to cry aloud : He 
stirreth up the people. Pilate said to Christ : Do you 
not hear of how mauy crimes they accuse you ? But 
he answered not. Pilate, learning that Jesus was of 
Galilee, sent him aw*y to Herod. Herod desired much 
to see Jesus Christ, hoping that he would perform some 
miracle in his presence. His vain curiosity was dis 
appointed. He with all his court despised the Sa 
viour, and having dressed him as a fool, in a white 
robe, he sent him back to Pilate. 

Pilate said to the Jews : You have brought me this 
man as one stirring up the people ; I have interrogated 
him in your presence and find nothing worthy of con 
demnation. Neither has Herod. I will, therefore, 
scourge him and let him go. Fearing, however, that 
he would not succeed in saving Jesus, he had recourse 
to another means. It was the custom, that at the 
Paschal time the governor should grant to the people 
the release of one prisoner. There was at that time 
confined in the prisons a notorious criminal, named 
Barabbas. He was a seditious robber and a murderer. 
Pilate said to the people, which of the two shall I re 
lease unto vou, Barabbas or Jesus, who is called the 
Christ ? "fhe priests persuaded the people to choose 
Barabbas and to have Christ put to death. For this 
reason, when Pilate asked them which of die two shall 
I release unto you, they all cried aloud, Give us Ba 
rabbas and awa with J> tam. Filate then said to them, 


What will you that I do to Jesus, the king of the Jews ? 
They replied Crucify him ! He said to them again : 
But what evil has he done ? I do not find any cause 
of death in him. I will scourge him and set him at 

But they cried aloud still more, Crucify him ! Then 
Pilate, taking water, washed his hands in presence of 
the people, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this 
just man. Look ye to it. They all cried out, His 
blood be upon us and upon our children. Then Pilate 
caused the Saviour to be scourged ; and the soldiers, 
having taken off his garments, placed a purple man 
tle on his shoulders, a crown of thorns on his head, 
and a reed in his hand ; and approaching him, they 
bent their knee in derision, and said : Hail ! King of 
the Jews ! at the same time they forced the thorns 
into his head, spat in his face and loaded him with 

In this condition Pilate caused the Saviour to be 
brought forth, and showing him to the people, said to 
them : Behold the man ! Immediately the chief priests 
cried out, Crucify him ! Crucify him ! If you release 
him, you are no friend of Cassar s. At this name, 
Pilate being intimidated abandoned Jesus to them, to 
do with him as they wished. 

Scarcely was he condemned, when the soldiers 
seized him, tore off the purple robe, put on his gar 
ments again and led him out of the city to crucify him. 
Jesus went forth carrying his cross, and ascended to 
wards Calvary. He soon fell under the weight, when 
they compelled a stranger, named Simon the Cyrenean, 
to carry the cross after him. The Saviour was fol 
lowed by a great number of people, and women who 
were weeping. He turned to the women and said : 
Daughters of Jerusalem ! weep not for me ; but for 
yourselves and your children ! Being arrived at Cal 
vary, they crucified him between two thieves. The 
Saviour, being raised up on the cross, asked for the 


pardon of his murderers. My Father, said he, forgive 
them ; for they know not what they do. 

The soldiers divided his garments amongst them, 
casting lots for his robe, whose it should be. The 
Jews blasphemed, saying, If he be the King of Israel, 
let him descend from the cross, and we will believe in 
him. If the Saviour had descended from his cross, he 
would not have been the Messiah ; for the prophets 
had foretold that the Messiah should die on the cross. 
The Saviour converted the good thief. Perceiving his 
Blessed Mother and his well-beloved disciple, he said 
to the Blessed Virgin : Woman, behold thy son, and 
to John, Behold thy mother. Mary adopted John as 
her son, and in his person all Christians as her chil 
dren. Then darkness covered the whole earth, and 
the sun was obscured. The Saviour cried out with a 
loud voice : My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken 
me ? He afterwards said : I thirst. Then they gave 
him vinegar to drink, fastening a sponge to the end of 
a reed, and presenting it to him. Now, this happened 
in order that the prophecy of David might be accom 
plished, saying : In mi/ thirst they have given me vinegar 
to drink. Jesus, having tasted of the vinegar, and 
being satisfied that there was nothing wanting to his 
sacrifice, nor to the accomplishment of all the prophe 
cies, nor to his love for man, cried out with a loud 
voice : Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit, 
and saying this, he bowed his head and gave up the 

The Burial and Resurrection of our Lord. 

Q. What miracles were wrought at the death of the 
Saviour ? 

A. At the moment the Saviour expired, the darkness 


which had covered the whole earth since the sixth how 
was dispelled. The veil of the temple was rent from 
top to bottom ; the earth shook ; rocks were torn 
asunder ; the tombs opened, and the dead rose to life. 

Q. What effect did fhese miracles produce ? 

A . The centurion who guarded the Saviour s tomb 
was converted, and cried aloud : This man teas truly 
the Son of God. The soldiers who had crucified him, 
also cried out : Thin man was truly the Son of God. 
Finally, a great number of other persons, having wit 
nessed so many prodigies, returned, striking their 

Q. What did the chiefs of the synagogue do ? 

A. The chiefs of the synagogue went to Pilate, to 
have the legs of the three who had been crucified 
broken. Pilate sent soldiers to do what the Jews had 

Q. What did the soldiers do ? 

A . The soldiers broke the legs of the two thieves ; 
but peeing that Jesus was already dead, they broke not 
his legs. One of the soldiers opened his side with a 
lance, and immediately there issued forth blood and 

Q. What do you remark on the above ? 

A . I remark that each of those circumstances was 
the result of a special providence. For although the 
Saviour was already dead, still the soldiers could have 
broken his legs. But it was necessary that the Scrip 
tures should be fulfilled. God had said, in speaking 
of the paschal lamb, a bone of him you shall not break. 
The figure was to be realized in the Saviour, the true 
paschal lamb. Again, it was contrary to orders, or at 
least without the order of their officers, that one of the 
soldiers pierced the side of Jesus with a lance. But it 
was necessary that this other prophecy should also be 
accomplished : They looked on him whom they had 

Q. Who were they who buried the Saviour ? 


A . Joseph, of Arimathea, and Nieodemus buried the 
Saviour. They wrapped him up in fine linen and per 
fumes, and placed him in a new sepulchre, hewn out 
of a rock, and where, as yet, no body had been laid ; 
then having closed the entrance with a large stone, 
they departed. 

Q,. What precaution did the chiefs of the syna 
gogue take ? 

A . They obtained of Pilate guards whom they 
placed over the sepulchre ; they sealed with the public 
seal the stone which closed the entrance ; but all this 
tended the more to prove their weakness, and the truth 
of the resurrection of our Lord. 

Q. When did he rise again ? 

A . He rose again on the morning of the third day. 
Soon after, Mary Magdalene and other holy women, 
carrying with them perfumes and spices, arrived at the 
sepulchre. They entered, but did not find there the 

Q. To whom did the Saviour first show himself ? 

A. He first showed himself to Mary Magdalene and 
then to the other holy women, and he told them to 
announce his resurrection to Peter, and to his disciples. 

Q. What did the guards do ? 

A. The guards went into the city and told the chiefs 
of the synagogue all that had happened. Immediately 
the chief priests and ancients assembled, and gave the 
guards a large sum of money, telling them : You will 
say that his disciples came and stole him, under the 
cover of night, whilst you were asleep. 

Q. What do you remark upon this ? 

A . All this was a gross deceit, for the purpose of 
deceiving the people ; for the chiefs of the synagogue 
did not themselves believe it ; neither did they perse 
cute and put to death the apostles for stealing the body 
of their Master and falsely preaching his resurrection, 
but only for preaching contrary to their orders. 


The glorious life of our Lord. 

Q. How did our Lord prove to the Jews his resur 
rection ? 

A. The Lord proved to the Jews his resurrection 
by taking his body out of their hands. Thu Jews 
were masters both of the sepulchre and of the body of 
Dur Lord. They were bound, therefore, either to 
bring forward his body on the third day or admit that 
he had risen again. 

Q. Why did not the Saviour show himself to the 
Jews after his resurrection ? 

A. The Saviour did not show himself to the Jews 
after his resurrection, 1st, because it was a grace he 
did not owe them ; 2d, because, says St. Chrysostom, 
they would have abused this grace as they had 
abused others. 

Q. Why should we think this? 

A. Their conduct should lead us to think it. They 
had not been converted by the raising of Lazarus to 
life ; nor were they by the miracles wrought by the 
apostles to prove the resurrection of their Master ; on 
the contrary, they became more hardened. It was not 
proofs, but good will on their part, that was wanting. 

Q. How did the Saviour prove his resurrection to 
his disciples? 

A. The Saviour proved his resurrection to his dis 
ciples by showing himself to them, speaking to them, 
eating with them, and permitting them to touch him. 

Q. Did he show himself to them man) times after 
his resurrection ? 

A. The Saviour often showed himself to them after 
his resurrection ; first to St. Peter, then to St. James ; 
again to the two apostles going to Emmaus, and to the 
assembled apostles ; and, finally, to more than five 
hundred of his disciples at one time. 


Q. Did the apostles easily believe the resurrection 
of. the Saviour ? 

A. The apostles did not easily believe the resurrec 
tion of the Saviour. St. Thomas went so far as to 
say that he would not believe it until he had put his 
finders in the place of the nails, and his hand in the 
side of the Saviour. Eight days after the resurrec 
tion, the disciples being all assembled, the Saviour 
appeared, and said to Thomas : Put in thy jinger 
hither, and see my hands, and bring hither thy hand 
and put it into my side : and be not incredulous, but 
faithful. Thomas answered, and said to him : My 
Lord and my God. 

Q. What was the occupation of the Saviour during 
the forty days he remained on earth after his resur 
rection ? 

A . The occupation of the Saviour during the forty 
days he remained on earth after his resurrection, was 
thoroughly to convince his apostles that he was really 
risen, and to instruct them perfectly in his doctrine. 
He wished to teach us in what manner we ought to 
live, after having had the happiness of a resurrection 
to the state of grace. 

Q. Why did the Saviour take so much care to prove 
his resurrection ? 

A . The Saviour took so much care to prove his 
resurrection, because this miracle is the foundation of 
all religion. 

Q. What is a miracle ? 

A . A miracle is a fact contrary to the laws of na 
ture, and which God alone can perform ; for example, 
by a single word, or by a single touch to give sight to 
the blind or life to the dead. 

Q. Can God work miracles? 

A. That would be the same as to ask if God can 
suspend the laws which he himself has established. 
To reply, says an impious writer, to him who should 
assert that God cannot work miracles, would be hon- 


oring him too far ; he ought to be shut up, as a fool, 
in a house for the insane. 

Q. Has God wrought any miracles in favor of tlu 
Christian religion ? 

A. Yes, God has wrought miracles in favor of 
the Christian religion ; of which we are better as- 
sured than we are of any of the most celebrated facts 
of antiquity, of which no one doubts ; such, for in 
stance, as the existence of Alexander and of Csesar. 
Millions of martyrs have died to attest the truth of the 
miracles of our Lord and of his apostles. 

Q. Do miracles prove the truth of religion ? 

A. Yes, miracles prove the truth of religion. God 
alone can work miracles ; and God, being truth itself, 
cannot work miracles to authorize falsehood ; there 
fore, the Christian religion, in favor of which God has 
wrought so many miracles, is the true and the only 
true religion ; and in order to be saved, we must be 
lieve in it and practice it. 

Our Lord restorer of the world. 

Q. Why was the Messiah to come on earth ? 

A. According to the prophets, the Messiah was to 
come on earth to take away the sins of the world. 

Q. What does that mean ? 

A. It means, 1st, to expiate sin ; 2d, to repair its 
consequences ; 3d, to furnish us the means to avoid 
sin and attain eternal happiness. 

Q. Has our Lord expiated sin with respect to God 1 

A. Yes, our Lord has expiated sin with respect to 
God ; by sin, man had revolted against God, and our 
Lord humbled himself before God, even unto death. 
By sin, man had offended infinite justice ; our Lord 


suffered all that a man can suffer, and in a manner 
infinitely meritorious, since he was God and man. 

Q. Has our Lord repaired the consequences of 

A. Yes, our Lord has repaired the consequences of 
sin ? 

(I. What are the consequences of sin ? 

A. The first consequence of sin with respect to 
man, is ignorance. Before sinning, man knew God, 
knew himself, and knew creatures, as far as he 
should know them ; by sin, he lost in a great measure 
this precious knowledge. Hence sprang idolatry, and 
all the errors which have appeared on the earth. In 
the person of our Lord man has recovered all his 

Q. How so ? 

.4. Our Lord, in his capacity as man, had all the 
knowledge of the first Adam, and even more. 

Q. What is the second consequence of sin? 

A . The second consequence of sin is concupiscence, 
or propensity to evil ; the love of ourselves and the 
love of creatures. Before he had sinned, man loved 
all that he ought to love, and nothing which he ought 
not to love. Sin has rendered all his affections in 

Q. Has our Lord repaired this second consequence 
of sin ? 

A. Our Lord has repaired this second consequence 
of sin ; that is, he was, as man, perfectly free from all 

Q. What is the third consequence of sin ? 

A. The third consequence of sin, are death, sick 
ness, and all temporal evils. In the person of our 
Lord, man has been freed from them ; that is, our 
Lord, after having borne our infirmities and suffered 
death in order to expiate sin, has become, as far as he 
is man, immortal, impassible, glorious and triumphant 
in heaven for all eternity. 


O t . Has our Lord taken away sin, with respect to 
God and man, conjointly considered? 

A. Yes, our Lord has taken away sin, with respect 
to God and man, conjointly considered ; for God and 
man having been separated by sin, are re-united in the 
person of our Lord in the most intimate manner. 

Q. Has our Lord taken away sin with respect to 
creatures ? 

.1. Our Lord has taken away sin with respect to 
creatures. By sinning, man turned away creatures 
from their end to make them subservient to iniquity. 
In the person of our Lord all creatures have been re 
directed to their end ; for our Lord has made them 
subservient to the glory of God. 

Q. How can we profit by the means afforded us by 
the Saviour to participate in the benefits of redemp 
tion ? 

A. The condition on which we may profit by the 
means of salvation afforded by the Saviour, and par 
ticipate in the benefits of redemption, is to unite our 
selves to him. 

Q. How do you explain this ? 

A. As it is our union with the first Adam that 
renders us guilty and unhappy, so it is our union with 
our Lord, the second Adam, that will render us just 
and happy. 

Q. Can we enjoy perfectly this justice and happi 
ness in this world V 

A. We cannot enjoy perfectly this justice and hap 
piness in this world, because it is only in heaven that 
the redemption of our Lord will bring forth all its 

Q. What must we conclude from all this? 

A. We must conclude from all this: 1st, that our 
Lord has done all that the Messiah was to do, which 
was to take away the sins of the world ; 2d, that we 
ought to use all our efforts to unite ourselves to the 
new Adam in order to become just and happy, as we 


were sinful and unhappy by our union with the first 

Q. Has our Lord obtained for us the means of 
avoiding sin and attaining to eternal happiness ? 

A . Yes, he has ; as is proved by the example of the 
saints of all times, of all conditions, and of all countries. 

Our Lord, the new Adam. 

Q. What is the end of our union with our Lord, the 
new Adam? 

A . The end of our union with our Lord, the new 
Adam, is deliverance from sin, our happiness, and the 
glory of God in time and eternity. 

Q How is this union effected ? 

A. This union is effected by faith, by charity, and 
above all, by the holy communion ; to re-unite our 
selves to our Lord is the end of all religion. 

Q. Why are these three kinds of union necessary ? 

A. These three kinds of union are necessary, be 
cause our Lord has said : Whoever will not believe, 
shall be condemned. He who lovest not, dwelleth in 
death. Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Alan and 
drink his blood, you shall not have life in you. 

Q. How are we united to the second Adam ? 

A. We are united to the second Adam by faith. 

Q. What is faith ? 

A . Faith is a supernatural gift whereby we believe 
firmly all that God has revealed to his church, because 
he is truth itself. He who believes, submits his 
reason, unites himself to our Lord, and frees himself 
from ignorance. 

Q. Is our faith in Jesus Christ reasonable ? 

A. Yes, our faith in Jesus Christ is reasonable, 
Bince it is based on a sure foundation. This founda- 


tion is the word of God, attested by indubitable 
miracles, which have been sealed with the blood of 
many millions of martyrs, and admitted by the entire 
world from the beginning of ages. 

Q. What are the principal characters of faith ? 

A. The principal characters of faith, are : 1st, Uni 
versality ; that is, our faith, must extend to all truths 
revealed by God and taught by the church. 2d. Sim 
plicity ; we must believe without reasoning, without 
questioning ; when God has spoken, our reason must 
be silent and must submit. 

Q. What are the advantages of faith ? 

A . The advantages of faith, are : 1 st, to unite us 
with the new Adam and make us participate in his 
redemption ; 2d, to dispel the darkness and ignorance 
into which the first Adam had plunged us ; 3d, to cure 
our reason of its pride. 

Q. What are the objects of faith or the things we 
are to believe? 

A. The objects of faith are the truths revealed by 
God and defined by the church. Amongst these truths 
there are some above our reason arid which we cannot 
comprehend ; they are called mysteries. 

Q Why is it reasonable to believe mysteries ? 

A. It is reasonable to believe mysteries : 1st, because 
our reason itself compels us to admit a great number 
of truths which we cannot comprehend, but of the 
existence of which we are perfectly sure ; 2d, if there 
were no mysteries in religion, it would not be of God ; 
it would be false. 

Q. What are the principal advantages of the mys 
teries of religion ? 

A. The principal advantages of the mysteries of 
religion, are : 1st, They put a restraint on the curi 
osity of our mind, and shield from attack those truths 
which are the basis of religion and society. 2d. They 
are the foundation of all the virtues ; there is not a 
single one that does not suggest motives of gratitude 


to God, love for our neighbor, and sanctity for our 

Q,. What are the sins opposed to faith ? 

A . The sins opposed to faith, that is, which prevent 
or sever our union with the new Adam, are: infidelity, 
apostacy, heresy, voluntary doubting, and ignorance. 


Union of our intellect with our Lord, the new Adam, 
by faith. First and second articles of the Symbol. 

Q. Where shall we find the truths which are the 
object of our faith ? 

A . They are contained in an abridged form in the 
symbol of the apostles. Before separating to preach 
the gospel, the apostles made an abridgment of the 
doctrine of their Master, in order that Christians 
might have but one and the same faith, and might first 
learn the most important truths of religion. This 
abridgment is called the apostles creed. 

Q. What does the creed teach us? 

A . The creed teaches us in an abridged form all 
that we are to believe of God, of man, and of the 

Q. What are we to believe of God ? 

A. We are to believe that there is one God, and but 
one only ; that there is one God in three distinct per 
sons, who are equally God, but who are only one God, 
because they have the same nature. 

Q. What further are we to believe ? 

A . We are further to believe that the Father begat 
his Son equal to himself from all eternity ; that the 
Son became man, for our redemption ; that in the Son 
of God, made man and called Jesus Christ, there are 
two natures, the divine and the human nature ; and 
consequently two wills, the human and the divine; 


but that there is only one person, namely, the divine ; 
finally, we are to believe that the Holy Ghost, equal 
in all things to the Father and to the Son, proceeds 
from them both. 

Q. What are we to believe of man ? 

A. We are to believe of man, that he has been cre 
ated by God ; that he has a soul, spiritual, free, and 
immortal ; that he has sinned, and has been redeemed ; 
that he will one day be raised from the dead, in order 
to be judged, and to receive according to his works 
either eternal happiness or eternal misery. 

Q. What are we to believe of the world? 

A. We are to believe of the world that it has been 
created ; that it is preserved and governed by a 
universal providence, and that it shall -have an 

Q. Into how many parts is the creed divided ? 

A. The creed is divided into three parts; the first 
refers to the Father, and treats of the creation ; the 
second refers to the Son, and treats of the redemption ; 
the third refers to the Holy Ghost, and treats of sane- 
tification. These three parts are divided into twelve 

Q. Which is the first ? 

A. The first article of the creed is, 7 believe in 
God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and 

Q. What do the words, 7 believe in God, mean ? 

A . They mean that we hold as true, certain and 
beyond the possibility of doubt, the existence of one 
only God ; his goodness, his wisdom, his truth, and 
all his perfections, because he has revealed them to 
us ; moreover, that we fully, and in all things, confide 
in him. 

Q. Why is God called Father f 

A. He is called Father ; 1st, because from all eter 
nity he begat his Son, and because he is the principle 
of all that exists ; 2d, because he has created us ; 3d, 


because lie has adopted us, in our Lord, as his chil 

Q. Why do we call him Almighty ? 

A. We call him Almighty, because nothing is inv 
possible to God. This first truth produces in us con^ 
fidence, humility and gratitude. 

Q. Why is he, called Creator of heaven and ear h f 

A. lie is called Creator of heaven and earth because 
God is the first principle of all things ; - but although 
we say the Father created heaven and earth, we must 
understand that the work of the creation was common 
to the three persons of the holy and indivisible 

Q. Which is the second article of the creed ? 

A. The second article is: And in Jesus Christ, hi* 
only Son, our Lord. 

Q. What does the name Jesus signify ? 

A. The name Jesus signifies Saviour; for the Sou 
of God, made man, has saved us from sin and from 
eternal death. 

Q. What does the word Christ signify ? 

A. The word Christ signifies anointed. Our Lord 
is called the anointed ; because among the Hebrews, 
they consecrated priests, kings and prophets, by 
anointing them with holy oil ; and our Lord is king, 

friest and prophet. The anointing, by which our 
<ord was consecrated, is not a simple participation in 
divine grace, but the plenitude of the divinity which 
dwells in him. 

Q. What do the words, only Son, our Lord, signify ? 
A. The words, only Son, our Lord, signify : 1st, 
that our Lord is the only Son of God, by nature, 
whilst we are the sons of God by adoption ; 2d, that 
our Lord Jesus Christ is our Lord or Master, because 
he has created us and redeemed us. 



Union of our intellect with our Lord, the new Adam, by 
faith. Third, fourth and fifth articles of the Symbol. 

Q. What is the third article of the creed ? 

At Who was conceived by the Holy Ghoxt, born of 
the Virgin Mary. This article teaches us that Jesus 
Christ, the only Son of God from all eternity, became 
in time the Son of Mary. 

Q. What is the mystery of the Son of God made 
man, called? 

A. The mystery of the Son of God made man, is 
called the incarnation. The body of our Lord was 
formed of the most pure blood of the Virgin by the 
power of the Holy Ghost, whilst Mary preserved a 
perpetual and unalterable virginity. 

Q. Which is the fourth article of the creed ? 

A. Suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, 
dead and buried. It was for very wise reasons that 
the apostles named the Roman governor who con 
demned the Saviour to death. 

Q. What are they ? 

A . The first was to afford a proof of their sincerity. 
Had they been guilty of imposition, they would there 
by have given to the whole world the means of de 
tecting their imposture. To expose it, it would only be 
necessary to show that Pontius Pilate, governor of 
Judea, did not put to death any man named Jesus of 

The second was to give the whole world a certain 
assurance of the death of the Saviour by pointing out 
the means of proving it ; for Pontius Pilate sent to 
the emperor Tiberius an account of the life and death 
of our Lord, and it was preserved in the archives of 
the empire. 

Q. How do you know this ? 

A. We know, 1st, from Tacitus, a pagan historian, 


that our Lord was put to death in the reign of Tibe 
rius, whilst Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, 
who, by the laws of the empire was obliged to send 
to the emperor an account of the transactions of the 
province. 2d. We know it from St. Justin, martyr, 
who lived one hundred years after the event; and 
from Tertullian, Eusebius, and other authors, who re 
ferred the Romans to their archives for the truth of 
what they advanced on the subject of the life, death 
and resurrection of the Saviour. 

Q. For whom did our Lord die? 

A . Our Lord died for all men, without exception ; 
he has merited for all, without exception, the graces 
necessary to work out their salvation ; but in order to 
profit by these graces, we must be united to the new 

Q. Which is the fifth article of the creed? 

A. He descended into hell, the third day he arose 
again from the dead. Christ having died for all men, 
wished that all should feel the effects of his redemp 
tion ; therefore he descended into hell. Although the 
soul of the Saviour was during this time really sepa 
rated from his body, his divinity was never separated 
from his body, nor from his soul. 

Q. What do you mean by the word hell? 

A. The word hell has several significations; 1st, it 
designates that dark and gloomy prison where the 
souls of the reprobate are forever tormented with the 
devils, night and day, by a fire which is never extin 
guished ; 2d, it designates purgatory ; 3d, the place 
where the souls of the saints were before the coming 
of our Lord. 

4^. What is this place called ? 

A . It is commonly called limbo ; and in the Scrip 
tures it is called the bosom of Abraham. It was the 
souls resting in this place that our Lord went to visit, 
to make known to them the gospel, and conduct them 
to heaven. 


Q. What do you remark on the resurrection of our 

A. I remark that it differs from the resurrection of 
others, in this: 1st, that our Lord raised himself to 
life by his own inherent power ; 2d, that being once 
raised to life, he was never more subject to death as 
others who had been raised from the dead ; 3d, that 
he is the cause and the principle of the resurrection 
of all men. 


Of union with our Lord, the new Adam, by faith. 

Q. What is purgatory ? 

A. Purgatory is a place or state of being in which 
the souls of the just, who have departed this life with 
out fully satisfying the divine justice for their sins, 
are finally purified before being admitted into heaven. 

Q. What are we to believe respecting purgatory ? 

A. We are to believe: 1st, that there is such a 
place ; 2d, that souls suffer there ; 3d, that the holy 
sacrifice of the mass, the prayers and good works of 
the living, will help them. 

Q. What proofs have you of the existence of pur 
gatory ? 

A. We have many proofs of the existence of pur 
gatory. The first is drawn from the Old Testament. 
It is written that Judas Machabeus sent to Jerusalem 
a sum of money to have prayers said for the souls of 
those who had fallen in battle, that they might be de 
livered from their sins. For, adds the Scripture, it is 
a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead. 

Q. What is the second proof of purgatory ? 

A . The second proof of purgatory is taken from the 
New Testament, Our Lord says in the gospel, Ht 


that shall speak anainst the Holy Ghost, it shall not be 
forgiven him, neither in this world nor in the world to 
come. There are, therefore, sins forgiven in the next 
world, in a place which is neither heaven nor hell, 
and which we call purgatory. 

Q. What is the third? 

A. The third proof of purgatory is the tradition of 
the Catholic Church. From the time of the apostles 
the Church has not ceased to pray and to offer up the 
holy sacrifice for her deceased children. Tertullian, 
St. Justin, St. Augustine, and all the other fathers of 
the Church, testify to this usage, and assure us that it 
was derived from the apostles, and, consequently, from 
our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Q. What is the fourth ? 

A . The fourth proof of purgatory is the tradition of 
the ancient sects separated from the Church. These 
sects, spread throughout the East, still preserve the 
custom of praying for the dead. They have not bor 
rowed it from the Church since their separation ; they 
received it, therefore, from the apostles, and conse 
quently from our Lord. 

Q. What is the fifth? 

A. The fifth proof of purgatory is the tradition of 
the pagans themselves. We see in their history that 
they offered sacrifices for the dead, and that they 
prayed for them ; this usage is found even among sav 
age nations. 

Q. What motives have we to pray for the dead ? 

A We have four principal motives to pray for the 
dead. 1 st. The glory of God, for whom we procure 
perfect adorers, by aiding the souls in purgatory to 
enter heaven. 2d. Charity ; the souls in purgatory 
have a claim on our charity, because they are our 
brethren in Jesus Christ, and our relations and friends, 
according to the flesh. 3d. Justice; because some of 
them may be suffering on our account. 4th. Our own 
interest ; becauw these *onls, when delivered bv our 


prayers, will intercede for us before God and aid us to 
get out of purgatory. 


Of union with our Lord, the new Adam, by faith. 
Sixth and seventh articles of the Creed. 

Q. Which is the sixth article of the creed ? 

A. He ascended into heaven ; sitfeth al the right hand 
of God, the Father A Imighty. This article teaches us 
that our Lord, as man, ascended, body and soul, into 
heaven ; as God, he has never ceased to be there, since 
his divinity is every where and fills all places. 

Q. What do the words sitteth at the right hand of 
God the Father Almighty, mean? 

A. They mean that our Lord is in heaven, as in the 
place of his rest, and that he enjoys the same glory as 
the Father and the Holy Ghost. 

Q. Why do you use the words at the right hand of 
God, the Father Almighty? 

A . As it is the custom among men to place at the 
right those whom they wish to honor, we say that 
Jesus Christ sits at the right hand of God, the Father 
Almighty, in order to show the infinite glory he has 
acquired for himself, and which has elevated him, as 
man, above all creatures. 

Q. Why did our Lord ascend into heaven ? 

A. Our Lord ascended into heaven to open it for 
as, and to take possession of it for himself and for us. 

Q. What follows from this ? 

A. It follows that our nature is re-established in its 
rights ; since, in the person of the Saviour, it is in 
possession of heaven. 

Q. For what other reason did our Lord ascend into 
heaven ? 

A . Our Lord ascended into heaven also to secure 


a place for us, by pleading our cause ; to excite in us 
a desire to follow him thither ; for it is natural that 
dutiful children should desire to be united to their 
father : finally, our Lord ascended into heaven, be 
cause his body, rendered immortal and glorious by his 
resurrection, demands a more fitting place for its dwell 
ing than this earth of misery and exile. 

Q. Which is the seventh article of the creed ? 

A. Thence he shall come to judge the living and the 
dead. All men must be judged ; that is, must render 
to God an account of the life and graces he has given 
them. If it were otherwise, God would not be just, 
since in that case he would treat the good and the bad 

Q. How many judgments are there ? 

A. There are two. The first which takes place at 
the moment of death, called the particular judgment. 
The second, which will take place at the end of the 
world ; this is called the last or general judgment, be 
cause it will confirm the first and take place in the 
presence of the assembled nations of the earth. 

Q. Why should there be a general judgment ? 

A. A general judgment is necessary to repair the 
injury done to the glory of God ; to vindicate the just, 
to cover with public confusion the wicked, ard to 
avenge the providence of God. 

Q. What do the words the living and the dead, 
signify ? . 

A. By the words the living and the dead, is under 
stood : first, all men ; secondly, the living signifies 
those who have departed this life in the grace of God ; 
whilst the dead signifies those who have died in 
mortal sin. 



Of union with our Lord, the new Adam, by faith, 
Eighth, ninth, tenth and eleventh articles of the 

Q. Which is the eighth article of the creed ? 

A. I believe in the Holy Ghost. Thus far we have 
seen what we are to believe in order to unite ourselves 
by faith to the two first persons of the Holy Trinity. 
The eighth article contains what we are to believe to 
unite us to the third person. 

Q. What does the eighth article of the creed teach 

A. The eighth article of the creed teaches us what 
we are to believe of the Holy Ghost, and what he does 
for our sanctification. The Holy Ghost is the third 
person of the Holy Trinity ; he proceeds from the 
Father and the Son, and is the same Lord and God as 
they are ; that is, he has the same nature, the same 
eternity, the same power. 

Q. Why is he called the Holy Ghost ? 

A. He is called the Holy Ghost because he is holi 
ness itself, and the source of all holiness. 

Q. What work is attributed to the Holy Ghost ? 

A. To the Holy Ghost is attributed the work of 
sanc/ification, because he is essentially the love of the 
Father and the Son ; and all the graces and gifts we 
receive from God are an effect of his love. 

Q. What do you understand by the gifts of the 
Holy Ghost ? 

A. By the gifts of the Holy Ghost we understand 
certain supernatural endowments which he commu 
nicates to our souls, to aid us in securing our salvation. 

Q. How many are there ? 

A. There are seven, which are thus designated 
by the prophet Isaias : Wisdom, which makes us 


relish God, and the things of God ; understanding, 
which makes us believe and comprehend the truths of 
religion as far as a limited intellect can understand 
them ; counsel, which makes us in all cases choose 
that which will most contribute to our salvation ; 
fortitude, which makes us overcome the obstacles op 
posed to our sanctification ; knowledge, which makes 
us discern between good and evil, and gives us an ex 
alted idea of God and of our souls ; piety , which makes 
us fulfil cheerfully and from a sense of religion, all our 
duties ; fear of the Lord, which imprints on our soul a 
great and salutary respect for God.* 

Q. What is the eleventh article of the creed ? 

A. The resurrection of the body. This article 
teaches us that we shall all rise again. 

Q. Can God raise us to life again ? 

A. Yes, he can raise us to life again, because he 
can do all things. It will not be more difficult for him 
to restore our life than it was to give it to us in the 
first instance. 

Q. Is it the will of God that we should rise again? 

A. It certainly is his will, since he has promised it, 
and since man is to be judged, and rewarded or pun 
ished according to his works. But man is neither the 
soul separated from the body, nor the body separated 
from the soul, but is tbe union of both body and soul 
together ; therefore, the justice of God requires that 
man should rise again. 

Q. In what state shall we rise again ? 

A. We shall rise a;am with the^same bodies we 
have on earth ; some for glory, others for ignominy ; 
but all, both good and bad, shall rise to die no more. 

Q. What are the qualities of the body glorious ? 

A . The bodies of the saints after the resurrection 
will have four principal qualities ; impassibility, by 
which they will be incapable of feeling any inconve- 

* Ninth and tenth articles of the Creed; see article on th 


r.ience or suffering ; brightness, which will render 
them more brilliant than the sun, and which will be 
greater or less, in proportion to the merit of the saint , 
ocfility, which will free the body from the wei-j lit 
which bears it down, and will permit the soul to carry 
the body whithersoever it chooses with facility and 
speed ; lastly, sublilty, which will render the body 
entirely subject to the soul. 


Of union with our Lord, the new Adam, by faith. 
Twelfth article of the Creed Sign of the Cross. 

Q. Which is the twelfth article of the creed ? 

A. Life everlasting. These words signify that after 
the general resurrection, men shall die no more ; that 
the wicked shall be punished with eternal punishment, 
whilst the good shall enjoy everlasting happiness. 

Q. How do you call that eternal punishment ? 

A. It is called hell. Hell is the place where God 
punishes, and will punish for all eternity those who 
die in the state of mortal sin. 

Q. What does faith teach us with respect to this 
truth ? 

A . With respect to this truth faith teaches us, 1 st, 
that there is a hell ; 2d, that hell is eternal ; 3d, that 
the wicked will there be punished with the devils. 

Q. What are the principal torments of the repro 

A. The principal torments of the reprobate are the 
pain of loss and the pain of sense. The pain of loss 
is regret at having lost God. It is the greatest pain 
that a rational creature can experience. 

Q. Did the Saviour ever speak of this pain ? 

A . The Saviour spoke of this pain when he said in 
the Gospel : The worm dieth not ; this worm is con- 


science, and the conscience of the reprobate is their 
remembrance, consisting of these four reflections, ever 
present to their mind : / have lost God ; I have lost him 
through my own fault ; I have lost him for a mere 
trifle ; I have lost him forever. 

Q. What is the second pain of the reprobate ? 

A. The second pain of the reprobate is the pain of 
sense ; it is a suffering produced by a fire which will 
burn the body without consuming it, and will never be 

Q. Did the Saviour speak of this fire ? 

A. The Saviour spoke of it plainly, when he said : 
Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire. These 
two pains, of loss and of sense, are perfectly just; be 
cause they correspond to the two faults contained in sin, 
viz : the contempt of God and the inordinate love of 
creatures. The existence of an eternal hell has been 
believed amongst all nations ; but the passions of the 
human heart had obscured the belief. Therefore it is 
that our Lord proclaimed and confirmed it anew. 

Q. What is the happy eternity ? 

A. The happy eternity is heaven, which is also 
called eternal life. 

Q. Why so ? 

A. To teach us not only the eternity of the saints, 
but also the greatness and eternity of their happiness. 

Q. Why did the apostles place this article at the end 
of the creed? 

A. The apostles placed this article, life everlasting^ 
at the end of the creed, because the happiness of 
heaven is to be the recompense of all our good works 
in this life and should be the object of all our desires. 

Q. Is it sufficient to believe interiorly, in order to be 
saved ? 

A. No; it is not sufficient to believe interiorly in 
order to be saved. We must make an exterior profes 
sion of faith. 

Q. By what sign do we manifest our faitfr ? 


A . We manifest our faith by the sign of the cross. 
In making it, we profess the three principal mysteries 
of Christianity, viz : the mysteries of the Trinity, the 
Incarnation, and the Redemption. 

Q. Is the sign of the cross very ancient in the 
church ? 

A . The sign of the cross is as ancient as the church 
itself. The custom of making it dates back to the 
apostles and our Lord. The first Christians used it 
on every occasion. 

Q. Is it very powerful ? 

A. The sign of the cross is all-powerful in putting 
the devil to flight, banishing temptations, and doliv 
ering us from the dangers of soul and body. As the 
devil makes use of creatures to tempt man, the first 
Christians never failed to make the sign of the cross 
when about to use them for any purpose. They were 
particularly faithful in making the sign of the crpss 
before and after meals. 


Of union with our Lord, the new Adam, by charity. 
Hope and Charity. 

Q. Is it sufficient to unite ourselves to our Lord b} 
faith, in order to be saved ? 

A. No, it is not sufficient to unite ourselves to our 
Lord by faith, in order to be saved ; for by faith 
alone our union with the new Adam is not complete. 

Q. What is the second means by which we are to 
unite ourselves to our Lord? 

A. The second means is charity ; that is, we must 
unite our will to the will of our Lord,, by obeying all 
his commandments ; but in order to unite faith with 
charity, we must make use of hope. 

Q. What is hope? 


A. Hope is a gift of God; a supernatural virtue 
by which wn expect, with confidence, all that God has 
promised us. 

Q. What is the foundation of our hope ? 

A. The foundation of our hope, is : 1st, the power, 
fidelity, and goodness of God ; 2d, the infinite merits 
of our Lord. 

Q. What are the objects of hope ? 

A. The objects of our hope, are : first, God himself, 
since he has promised to give us himself for all 
eternity ; secondly, all those spiritual and temporal 
means necessary to gain heaven ; in a word, the grace 
of God in this world and his glory in the next, are the 
objects of Christian hope. 

Q. What are the sins opposed to hope ? 

A. The sins opposed to hope are presumption and 
despair. We sin by presumption, when we flatter 
ourselves that we can reach heaven without using 
the necessary means; for instance, without observing 
faithfully all the commandments of God and the 

Q. How do we sin by despair? 

A . We sin by despair when we think our faults too 
great for pardon ; our passions too strong to be over 
come ; and lastly, when we suffer ourselves to indulge 
in too great anxiety for the necessaries of life. 

Q. What is charity ? 

A . Charity is a gift of God ; a supernatural virtue 
by which we love God above all things, because he is 
infinitely amiable ; and our neighbor as ourselves, for 
the love of God. It is by charity that our heart is 
united to that of the new Adam, and is freed from 

Q. What are the three virtues, faith, hope and 
charity, called? 

A. They are called the three theological virtues ; 
because they have God for their object. They are 
opposed to the three great passions of our heart ; faith 


is opposed to pride ; hope to avarice ; and charity to 

Q. What is the principal object of charity ? 

A. The first and principal object of charity is, God ; 
the second, is the love of our neighbor. In presenting 
to our heart this two-fold nourishment, our Lord ele 
vates and disengages it from those gross affections 
with which it was filled after the fall of the first 

Q. How must we love God ? 

A. We must love God above all things ; since he i 
infinitely amiable, it is just that we love him above all 
things, and refer all our affections to him. 

Q. What are the motives for which we must love 

A . The motives for loving God are : 1st, his infinite 
perfections; 2d, his benefits ; 3d, his promises ; 4th, his 

Q. What should be the qualities of our love for 

A. We should love God as he loves us; with a 
generous, constant, and holy or supernatural love. 


Of union with our Lord, the new Adam, by charity. 
Charity. The Decalogue. 

Q What is the second object of charity ? 

A . The second object of charity, is our neighbor, 
that is, all men, without exception ; Christians, Jews, 
idolaters, and even our enemies. 

Q. Why must we love our neighbor ? 

A. We must love our neighbor because God wills 
it ; 1 st, because all men are, like ourselves, created to 
his image ; 2d, because all men are our brothers in the 
first and second Adam ; 3d, because all men have been 


redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ, and are all 
destined for the same happiness ; 4th, because the end 
of religion is to destroy self-love, which had seized 
upon the heart of man since the commission of origi 
nal sin, and to substitute universal charity which should 
make mankind one family of brothers. 

Q. How should we love our neighbor ? 

A. We should love him as God loves him ; with a 
universal, generous, constant, and holy or supernatural 

Q. What is meant by the words to love our neigh 
bor for God s sake f 

A. It means that we must love, our neighbor with 
a view to his eternal salvation, and also to please and 
obey God. 

Q. What do you observe on this subject? 

A. I observe that it is impossible to give our charity 
a more solid foundation. Since God is infinitely 
amiable, our love for our neighbor should never be false 
to itself, whatever the injuries we may receive. 

Q. What is the end proposed by the decalogue ? 

A. The end proposed by the decalogue, is to aid us 
in keeping the great commandment of the love of God 
and of our neighbor ; for our Lord has said that in this 
commandment all the rest are contained. 

Q. Should we truly love the decalogue ? 

A. Yes, we should truly love it, because it is one 
of the greatest works of love that God could give us, 
and because it is only by observing it faithfully that we 
can find peace for our souls. 

Q. How so ? 

A . Because we are made to love God ; and our heart 
will never find peace or truce until it refers all its 
affections to God. Moreover, the decalogue does not 
infringe upon our liberty, but only restrains it within 
its proper limits. 

Q How do you explain this ? 

A. Suppose a traveler going towards a magnificent 


city where his family and a brilliant fortune await 
him. Between him and the city there is a fathomless 
abyss, and impervious darkness covers his way. This 
traveler has neither guide nor light ; over this abyss 
there is only a small plank, narrow and very unsteady, 
and there is no other way by which he can reach the 
city. Now, if some charitable guide should take the 
traveler by the hand, if he should place a strong pro 
tection on both sides of the plank, and arrange many 
lights along, so that the traveler could not possibly 
fall, without wilfully extinguishing the lights or 
breaking down the protection, no one surely would 
consider this charitable guide as a tyrant, nor the pro 
tection at the sides of the plank as restricting the 
liberty of the traveler. Every body, on the contrary, 
would bless this kind-hearted guide, and would con 
sider the barriers he placed on the plank, as the 
greatest service he could have rendered the traveler. 
Such should be our sentiments towards God and to 
wards his law. 

Q. Why so ? 

A. Because we are this traveler; the charitable 
guide is God ; the barriers are the decalogue, which 
prevents us from wandering either to the right or to 
the left on our road to heaven. Therefore should we 
frequently thank God for having given us the deca 


Of union with our Lord, the new Adam, by cnarity. 
First Commandment. 

Q. Why is it necessary to observe the decalogue? 

A. It is necessary because it is the great law given 
by God to men, and is the principle and sanction of ali 
other laws. 


Q. Is the decalogue very old ? 

A. The decalogue is as old as the world. God, in 
giving it to Moses, only wrote a law which was 
already existing : and our Lord came on earth to recall 
man to the observance of the decalogue, and set him 
the example. 

Q. Which is the first commandment ? 

A. " / am the Lord thy God who brought thee out of 
the land of Egypt, and out of the house of bondage. 
Thou shall not have strange god* before me. Thou 
shall not make to thyself any graven thing, nor the like 
ness of any thing that is in the heaven above, or in the 
earth, or in the waters under the earth ; thou shall not 
adore them nor serve them" 

Q. To what are we obliged by the first command 

A. To adore God, and love him with all our heart. 
To adore God, is to acknowledge him to be the crea 
tor, preserver, and sovereign master of all things, and 
a being infinitely perfect. 

Q. How do we adore God ? 

A. We adore God by faith, whereby we acknowl 
edge him to be truth itself; by hope, whereby we 
acknowledge him to be goodness itself ; by charity, 
whereby we acknowledge him to be the infinite good ; 
by the virtue of religion, whereby we manifest our 
faith, our hope, our charity, and our absolute depen 
dence on him. 

Q. When are we obliged to make acts of faith, hope 
and charity ? 

A. We are obliged to make acts of faith, hope and 
charity ; 1st, when we have attained the age of 
reason ; 2d, when we are pressed by temptation ; 3d, 
from time to time during life ; 4th, at the hour of death. 

Q. What is the virtue of religion ? 

A . The virtue of religion is a habit by which we 
render to God the worship which is due to him. Man, 
jclng composed of a lody and soul, owes to God the 


homage of his whole being ; hence the necessity of 
exterior as well as interior worship. 

Q. What are the sins opposed to the virtue of religion ? 

A . They are irreligion, superstition, and unlawful 
worship. We sin by irreligion, when we are wanting 
in respect for persons, places, or things consecrated to 
God. We, sin by superstition, when we render to 
things the worship due only to God ; this is called 
idolatry ; or when we have recourse to the devil, which 
latter is superstition properly so termed. 

Q. Which are the principal ways by which recourse 
is had to the devil ? 

A . The principal ways by which recourse is had to 
the devil, are magic, divination, sorcery, and heathenish 
observations of omens, dreams, and ?uch like fooleries. 

Q. What is unlawful worship ? 

A. Unlawful worship consists in worshiping God 
in a manner different from what he prescribes. Un 
lawful worship and superstition are artifices of the 
devil, by which he would disfigure religion, detach 
men from God, draw them to himself, and finally 
destroy them. 

Q. Is it lawful to honor or pay reverence to the 
ungels and saints, to the crucifix and images ? 

A. Yes, it is lawful to pay reverence to angels, for 
ihey are the ministers of God and are our friends ; to 
the saints, for they are our protectors, and their bodies 
were the living temples of the Holy Ghost ; to the 
cross and to images, for they recall to mind our Lord 
and his saints ; and the reverence we pay them is 
referred to the objects they represent. 

Q. Is the honor we pay to angels and saints the 
same as we pay to God ? 

A . No ; the honor we pay to angels and saints is 
not the same as we pay to God ; we adore God, but 
we do not adore the angels and saints ; we pray to 
God to hear our prayer, and to the angels and saints to 
intercede for us. 



Of union with our Lord, the new Adam, by charity. 
First Commandment continued Second Command* 

Q. What are the principal works by which we tes 
tify our charity for our neighbor? 

A. The principal works by which we testify our 
charity towards our neighbor, are such as refer to his 
soul and to his body. The first are called spiritual 
Vorks of charity ; the second, corporal works of 

Q. How many are the spiritual works of charity ? 

A. There are seven : 1st, to instruct the ignorant; 
?d, to admonish the sinner ; 3d, to counsel the doubt 
ful ; 4th, to comfort the sorrowful ; 5th, to bear 
wrongs patiently; 6th, to forgive all injuries; 7th, to 
pray for the living and the dead, and for those who 
persecute us. 

Q. In what consists the pardon of injuries ? 

A. The pardon of injuries consists: 1st, in not 
keeping in our heart any feeling of hatred, any desire 
of revenge, any spite against him who has offended 
us ; but loving him as our brother, for the love of 
God ; 2d, in extending to him exteriorly the usual 
marks of friendship and charity, and rendering him as 
sistance if lie needs it. To perform this duty proper 
ly, we must bear in mind that God forgives us, as we 
forgive others. 

Q,. What is fraternal correction ? 

A. Fraternal correction is an act of charity, by 
which we admonish those who do wrong. 

Q. How should we give or receive fraternal correc 
tion ? 

A. We should admonish our neighbor as we would 
wish to be admonished : that is, with prudence and 


charity ; we should receive admonitions with humil 
ity and gratitude : for they are the best proof of friend 
ship that can be given us. 

Q. What are the corporal works of charity ? 

A . There are seven corporal works of charity ; 1 st, 
to feed the hungry ; 2d, to give drink to the thirsty ; 
3d, to clothe the naked ; 4th, to visit and ransom cap 
tives ; 5th, to harbor the harborless ; 6th, to visit the 
sick ; 7th, to bury the dead. 

Q. Are we obliged to give alms ? 

A. Yes, we are obliged to give alms. God com 
mands it ; and our alms should be proportioned to our 
means and the wants of the poor. 

Q. How must we give alms ? 

A. To be useful and meritorious, alms must be 
given from a supernatural motive ; must be given 
cheerfully and without ostentation. 

Q. What are the advantages of the first command 
ment ? 

A. The following are some of the advantages of 
the first commandment : 1 st, it has delivered the 
world from idolatry; 2d, it infuses into our heart 
sentiments worthy of us ; 3d, it inspires those beauti 
ful sacrifices by which we solace human misery. 

Q. What is the second commandment ? 

A . Thou shall not take the name of the Lord thy God 
in vain. 

Q. How do we take the name of God in vain ? 

A . We take the name of God in vain when we use 
it without respect, when we dishonor it by perjury or 
blasphemy ; on the contrary, we honor the name of 
God when we bless it in our prayers and thanksgiv 
ings ; when we take an oath with truth, judgment and 

Q. What do you mean by taking an oath ? 

A. To take an oath, is to call upon God to witness 
what we assert. 

Q. What is blasphemy ? 


A. Blasphemy is any word injurious to God, to the 
saints, or to religion. Blasphemy and perjury are two 
very great sins, of which we should have the greatest 
horror. Whenever we hear any one blaspheme, we 
should interiorly bless the name of God and pray for 
the blasphemer. 

Q. What are imprecations ? 

A. Imprecations are words by which we wish evil 
to ourselves or to others. 

Q. What are the advantages of the second com 
mandment ? 

A. Among others are the following : 1st, it obliges 
us to respect God, and thereby preserve our love for 
him ; for we soon cease to love what we may despise 
with impunity ; 2d, it guarantees contracts and good 
faith among men, which are the basis of society. 


Of union with our Lord, the new Adam, by charity. 
Second Commandment continued Third Com 

Q. What is a vow ? 

A. A vow is a promise made to God, by which we 
bind ourselves, under pain of sin, to do a certain good 
work. We are obliged to keep our vows, and fulfil 
them at the time and in the manner promised. It is 
prudent not to make vows without the advice of our 

Q. What is the third commandment ? 

A. Remember thou keep holy the Sabbath day. 

Q. To what does the third commandment oblige us ? 

A. The third commandment obliges us to render to 
God an external worship, as the first obliges us to 
render him an interior worship. Our body and our 
soul being both the work of God. they must both 


render honor to their Creator, each in the manner 
suited to it. 

Q. Why has God chosen one day in seven for us to 
render him our homage ? 

A. 1st, to establish order and unity in our worship ; 
2d, to remind us of the obligation to worship him ; 3d, 
to preserve exterior worship. Among Christians this 
day is Sunday. 

Q. Why Sunday ? 

A, For very wise reasons : 1st, to show that all the 
Jewish ceremonies are abolished ; 2d, to honor the 
greatest mysteries of religion ; for the Sunday cor 
responds to the first day of the world, to the day of 
the resurrection of our Lord, and to the day of the 
descent of the Holy Ghost on the apostles. 

Q. What does the third commandment forbid ? 

A. It forbids whatever prevents us from sanctifying 
this day, consecrated to the Lord ; that is, all those 
works which are called servile, which require labor 
of body rather than of mind, such as cultivating the 
earth, exercising a trade, &c. 

Q. Why are they called servile ? 

A. They are called servile because servants are 
generally employed to perform them. We cannot law 
fully perform such works on Sunday, although we 
should not intend to gain money thereby. 

Q. What are we commanded by the third command 
ment V 

A. We are commanded the performance of good 
works in general in order to sanctify the Sunday ; but 
the Church prescribes one in particular, under the pain 
of mortal sin ; that is, to assist at mass. 

Q. What are the conditions necessary in order to 
hear mass well ? 

A . They are : to hear the whole mass ; and to hear 
it with respect, attention, and devotion. 

Q. In what does respect consist ? 

A. It consists in a becoming posture ; in being 


decently dressed ; in not looking about ; in abstaining 
from conversation, and whatever may scandalize the 

Q. In what does attention consist? 

A. It consists in occupying ourselves with what is 
passing at the altar. To secure attention, we should 
select a place favorable to recollection ; make use of a 
prayer-book, and follow the priest. 

Q. In what does devotion consist? 

A. It consists in offering ourselves with our Lord ; 
having a sincere desire to imitate his example, and to 
live according to the gospel. 

Q. What are the advantages of the third command 
ment ? 

A. The third commandment secures the greatest 
advantages to us ; 1st, it prevents us from forgetting 
our last end, and from degrading our hearts by the 
exclusive love of earthly goods ; 2d, it affords the poor 
and those who labor, an opportunity to recruit their 
strength by a cessation from toil, and the powers of 
their soul by prayer, the word of God, and the fre- 
quentation of the sacraments. 


Of union with our Lord, the new Adam, by charity. 
The Fourth Commandment. 

Q. Which is the fourth commandment ? 

A. Honor thy father and thy mother. 

Q. What are the objects of the fourth command 
ment ? 

A. The fourth commandment has for its objects the 
duties of children to their parents, and of parents to 
their children. It regulates the duties also of other 
superiors and inferiors. This commandment is the 
first having reference to our neighbor. 


Q. What are we commanded by the fourth com 
mandment V 

A, We are commanded to honor our father, mother, 
and other superiors. This honor supposes respect, 
love, obedience and service. 

Q. In what consists the respect which children owe 
their parents ? 

A. It consists in following humbly their advice, in 
speaking to them with deference and submission, and 
evincing towards them, both in public and private, all 
those marks of affection which are due them. 

Q. In what consists the love which children owe 
their parents ? 

A. The love which children owe their parents con 
sists in desiring and doing for them all the spiritual 
and temporal good which God requires ; this love 
should be supernatural and constant. 

Q. What ought to be the obedience of children to 
their parents ? 

A . The obedience of children to their parents should 
be simple, prompt, universal. Children must obey 
their parents in all that is not contrary to the laws of 
God and the Church. 

Q. What assistance do children owe their parents ? 

A. Children owe their parents both corporal and 
spiritual assistance. Corporal, they are bound to 
succor their parents in poverty, sickness and old age ; 
spiritual, they are bound to pray for them ; to obtain 
for them the benefits of the sacraments when sick ; and 
when they are dead, to pray for them, and have 
prayers offered up for the repose of their souls. 

Q. What recompense has God promised to those 
who fulfil this commandment ? 

A . God has promised those who fulfil this command 
ment a long and happy life. 

Q. What are the duties of parents to their children ? 

A . Parents are bound to provide their children with 
food and raiment ; to instruct them ; to correct them j 


to give them good example, and watch over them with 
vigilance. They cannot unjustly oppose their voca 
tion, because their children owe a higher obligation to 
God than they do to their parents. 

Q. Who are our other superiors ? 

A. Our other superiors are the pope, the bishops, 
and priests of the Church ; our god-fathers and god 
mothers ; magistrates, masters, mistresses, and the 
aged. We should respect them, love them, obey them, 
for they are appointed by God to command and guide 

Q. W r hat are the duties of superiors in general ? 

A. Superiors having received their authority from 
God, are bound to devote themselves entirely to the 
spiritual and temporal welfare of their inferiors. 

Q. To what are masters and mistresses in particular 
obliged ? 

A . Masters and mistresses in particular are obliged 
to instruct their domestics, or have them instructed ; 
to see that they observe the commandments of God 
and of the Church ; to watch over their conduct ; to 
admonish and correct them ; to furnish them suitable 
and sufficient food and clothing, and faithfully pay 
them their wages, when hired. 

Q. What are the advantages of the fourth com 
mandment ? 

A . The advantages of the fourth commandment 
are : 1st, to secure the peace of states and families, by 
causing superiors to be respected ; 2d, to make author 
ity wise and paternal ; 3d, to render obedience pleas 
ant, filial and constant, by teaching the inferior that it 
is God whom he obeys in obeying his superiors ; 4th, 
to make us all live for one another. 



Of union with our Lord, the new Adam, by charity. 
Fifth, sixth and ninth Commandments. 

Q. Which is the fifth commandment? 

A. Thou shall not kill. After having provided for 
the happiness of the world in the fourth command 
ment by obliging all men to live for one another, God, 
in the fifth, forbids whatever can disturb that happiness. 

Q. What are we forbidden by the fifth command 
ment ? 

A. We are forbidden by the fifth commandment to 
injure our neighbor, either in body or soul. Not only 
is murder forbidden, but whatever may lead to it ; as 
hatred, anger, injurious words, &c. 

Q. What else is forbidden by this commandment? 

A. It forbids also duelling and suicide; duelling, 
because it does not belong to individuals to take justice 
into their own hands ; suicide, because we are not the 
masters of our life ; it belongs to God. 

Q. What is scandal ? 

A. Scandal is any word or action not strictly cor 
rect, by which we give occasion to others to offend 
God. Scandal is a still greater sin than the mere kill 
ing of the body, because it kills the soul. 

Q. How must we confess the sin of scandal ? 

A . We must confess how many persons were scan 
dalized, and what was the scandal given. We must 
also repair the scandal. 

Q. What are the advantages of the fifth command 

A . The following are some : 1 st, it protects the first 
of natural goods, which is the life of the body ; 2d, 
it protects the most precious of supernatural goods, 
which is the life of the soul. 

Q. Which are the sixth and ninth commandments 


A. Thou shall not commit adultery. Thou shall not 
covet thy neighbor s wife. 

Q. What are we forbidden by the sixth and ninth 
commandments ? 

A. We are forbidden all thoughts, desires, looks, 
words and actions, contrary to holy purity. When 
we confess, we must be very careful to tell whatever 
we have done contrary to these two command 

Q. What must we do to avoid the sins forbidden by 
the sixth and ninth commandments ? 

A. In order to avoid those sins, we must imme 
diately fly all the occasions of it ; such as bad books, 
improper songs, dances, balls, theatres, too frequent 
intercourse with persons of a different sex, idleness, 
curiosity and dress. 

Q. In cases of doubt what must we do? 

A. In cases of doubt, respecting parties or the read 
ing of books, we must consult our confessor, who will 
guide us, not according to the maxims of the world, 
but according to the gospel. It is according to the 
gospel that we will be judged. 

Q. What must we do when we find ourselves in 
the occasion of such sins ? 

A. When we find ourselves in the occasion of such 
sins, we must fly immediately. 

Q. What are the remedies against this sin ? 

A. They are of two sorts, interior and exterior. 

Q. Which are the interior V 

A. The interior remedies are : 1st, to reflect on the 
enormity and baseness of this sin, which degrades us 
to the level of the brute : 2d, to think of the chastise 
ments with which God has punished it : as the del 
uge, burning of Sodom, &c. ; 3d, humility, vigilance 
and prayer. 

Q. AY Inch are the exterior remedies ? 

A. They are : 1st, to avoid every thing that flatters 
our senses too much ; 2d, mortification ; 3d, devotion 


to tlie most Blessed Virgin : 4th, frequentation of the 

Q. What are we commanded by the sixth and ninth 
commandments ? 

A. We are commanded to keep our souls and bodies 
pure. The virtue of purity is the most amiable of all 
virtues and renders man like unto the angels. 

Q. What are the advantages of the sixth and ninth 
commandments ? 

A . 1 st, they protect the quiet and honor of families ; 
2d, they shield our health and innocence from the pas 
sions of others and from our own passions : 3d, they 
procure for us a delicious peace during life, and great 
confidence at the hour of death. 


Of union with our Lord, the new Adam, by charity. 
Seventh and tenth Commandments. 

Q. What are the seventh and tenth commandments ? 

A. Thou shall not steal, Thou shall not cocet thy 
neighbor s goods. 

Q. What are we forbidden by the seventh com 
mandment ? 

A. By the seventh commandment we are forbidden 
to take our neighbor s goods, or to cause him any dam 
age. To steal, is to take or retain unjustly the goods 
or property of our neighbor. 

Q. What are the principal kinds of stealing ? 

A . The principal kinds of stealing are theft, robbery 
and fraud. 

Q. What is theft? 

A. Theft is an act by which we take what belongs 
to another without his knowledge. Laborers who do 
not work faithfully, and vet exact their full wages ; 


*ailor, who retain a part of the things given to them 
to make into clothes ; domestics, who take from their 
masters, to compensate for the smallness of their wa- 
jges, &e., are guilty of theft. 

Q. Y/hat is robbery ? 

A. By robbery is meant the taking of what belongs 
*-o another, openly and by violence. Masters who do 
not pay their laborers and hired domestics the wages 
agreed upon, are guilty of robbery. 

Q, What is fraud ? 

A. We are guilty of fraud when we deceive our 
neighbor in buying or selling ; in selling as good, ar 
ticles which are damaged; in making use of false 
weights and false measures ; in making usurious bar 
gains, &c. 

Q. When ^e have in any of these ways taken 
what belongs to rur neighbor, is it sufficient to repent, 
in 01 der to be saved ? 

A. No, it is not sufficient to repent in order to be 
saved ; we must also make restitution. 

Q. Who are obliged to restitution ? 

A. 1st, the one who steals ; 2d, he who commands 
the stealing ; 3d, he who counsels it ; 4th, he who by 
hi* flatteries induces the act ; 5th, he who gives his 
consent when, without it, the act would not be com 
mitted ; 6th, the receiver of stolen goods ; 7th, they 
who participate in the fruits of the things stolen ; 8th, 
they who, being in justice obliged to prevent the steal 
ing or damage, do not prevent it. 

Q. To wfyom must restitution be made ? 

A . The restitution must be made to those to whom 
injury is done, or to their heirs ; and it must be done 
as soon as possible. 

Q. What are we forbidden by the tenth command 
ment ? 

A. All desire to appropriate to ourselves unjustly 
the goods and profits of another ; and in general, all 
inordinate attachment to riches. 


Q. What are the principal advantages of the sev* 
enth and tenth commandments ? 

A. The principal advantages are : 1 st, to protect our 
property against the injustice of the wicked ; 2d, to 
extinguish in our heart the inordinate desire of the 
things of this earth, the fruitful source of injustice and 
disorders ; 3d, to show us the infinite goodness of God 
and the holiness of relio-ion. 


Of union with our Lord, the new Adam, by charity. 
Eighth Commandment. 

Q. What is the eighth commandment, and what 
does it forbid ? 

A. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy 
neighbor. It forbids all false testimony, lies, detrac 
tion, calumny, rash judgments, and reporting to others 
what we have heard spoken against them, i. e. carry 
ing tales. 

Q. What is false testimony ? 

A . False testimony is a deposition contrary to truth, 
in a court of justice, after taking the oatji usually ad 
ministered to witnesses. He who is guilty of it is 
obliged to repair the injury thereby done to his neighbor. 

Q. What is a lie ? 

A. He is guilty of a lie who speaks the contrary of 
what he thinks, with the intention of deceiving his 

Q. How many kinds of lies are there ? 

A. There are three kinds of lies ; the playful lie, 
when told for amusement ; the officious, when told to 
render a service, and the pernicious lie, which injure* 
our neighbor. All three kinds are sins, because all ly 
ing is opposed not only to- God, who is truth itself, but 
to the end for which speech has been given us. We 


received speech in order to communicate our 
thoughts to one another, and not to deceive. 

Q. What is detraction ? 

A. It is an unjust defamation of our neighbor by 
revealing his faults. 

Q. How are we guilty of detraction ? 

A. \Ve are guilty of detraction: 1st, by words, 
when we make known, without a just and necessary 
cause, the secret vices or faults of any o\ie to those who 
are ignorant of them ; 2d, by silence, in not praising 
the good actions of our neighbor when we ought to 
4o it ; 3d, by signs, when we show impatience on 
hearing any one praised, or when we smile sig 
nificantly, or do any other act by which we show our 

Q. What is calumny ? 

A. Calumny is a sin by which we impute to our 
neighbor a fault of which he is innocent. 

Q. To whac is he obliged who has been guilty of 
detraction or calumny? 

A. If he has been guilty of detraction, he must do 
all in his power to remove the bad opinion he has 
caused. If guilty of calumny, he must recall what he 
has said ; moreover, he must repair any other damage 
caused by the detraction or the calumny. 

Q. What must we do when we hear detraction or 

A . We must stop it, or change the conversation ; or 
defend our neighbor ; or at least show by our manner 
that the detraction or calumny is displeasing to us. 

Q. What do you mean by carrying tales, and by 
rash judgments? 

A. By carrying tales, I mean injurious reports, by 
which we cause discord among others ; by rash judg 
ment is meant a judgment injurious to our neighbor, 
which is not founded on a lawful and sufficient reason. 

Q. What are the principal advantages of the eighth 


A. The principal advantages of the eighth com 
mandment are, 1 st, to protect our reputation ; 2d, to 
preserve peace and mutual confidence among men. 

Q. Can you give a summary of the principal advan 
tages of the decalogue ? 

A . 1 st. The first three commandments, which estab- 
blish our duties towards God, have delivered the world 
from idolatry, and they preserve it from irreligion, the 
source of all temporal evils. 2d. The fourth estab 
lishes the duties of superiors and inferiors on the prin 
ciple of mutual charity ; it is the foundation of the family 
and of society. 3d. All the others protect our goods, 
as life, virtue, fortune and reputation, against the pas 
sions of the wicked. The decalogue then is truly a 
great blessing ; nothing could replace it, and pitiable 
would be our lot, if God had not given it to us. 


Of union with our Lord the new Adam, by Commu 
nion. The Sacraments. 

Q. How is our union with the new Adam com 
pleted or perfected ? 

A. Our union with the new Adam commenced by 
faith, increased by charity, is completed or perfected 
by communion. 

Q. To what do all the sacraments have reference ? 

A . All the sacraments, like all religion, have refer 
ence to the holy communion. 

Q. How do all the sacraments refer to communion ? 

A. They all refer to communion, each in its appro 
priate manner ; baptism renders us capable of the 
union which takes place in the Eucharist ; confirmation 
maintains this union, or renders us more worthy of it ; 
penance disposes us for the establishment of it when it 
has been destroyed by sin ; extreme unction aids us to 


consummate it at the hour of death ; holy orders and 
matrimony perpetuate it, in perpetuating the Church. 

Q. What are the sacraments? 

A. The sacraments are sensible signs, instituted by 
our Lord Jesus Christ, for our sanctification. 

Q. Who has instituted the sacraments ? 

A. Our Lord Jesus Christ has instituted all the 
sacraments. No other could institute them ; because 
God alone can attach to sensible things the power of 
conferring grace. 

Q. Why has our Lord instituted the sacraments ? 

A . Our Lord has instituted the sacraments : 1 st, to 
communicate his graces to us ; 2d, to aid us by the 
means of sensible things to comprehend spiritual 
things ; 3d, in order to show us his infinite power, in 
making use of little things to produce great effects ; 4th; 
to teach us continually that we are all brothers. 

Q. What is the effect of the sacraments ? 

A. The effect of the sacraments is to sanctify us ; 
either by giving us grace or by augmenting it. 

Q. Which are the sacraments that give grace? 

A. The sacraments which give grace, that is, tr 
those who have it not, are baptism and penance ; for 
this reason they are called the sacraments of the dtad. 

Q. Which are the sacraments that augment grace in 
us ? 

A. A\\ the other sacraments augment in us the 
grace already received ; they, are, therefore, called the 
tocrtunents of the living. 

Q. What else do baptism, confirmation, and holy 
orders effect ? 

A. Baptism, confirmation, and holy orders also 
imprint on us an indelible character, which renders ur 
competent to perform or receive certain things in the 
order of religion. They can be received but once ; all 
the sacraments produce their effects by their proper 

Q. What are the elements of the sacraments ? 


A . The elements of the sacraments are the things of 
which they are composed. These are three in number ; 
the matter, the form, and the minister. 

Q. How do we know that our Lord has instituted 
the seven sacraments ? 

A. We know that our Lord has instituted the seven 
sacraments from the Scriptures and from tradition. 


Of union with our Lord, the new Adam, by Commu 
nion. Of Baptism. 

Q. How many sacraments are there ? 

A. There are seven sacraments ; baptism, confirma 
tion, holy eucharist, penance, extreme unction, holy 
orders and matrimony ; our Lord has instituted seven 
sacraments, because they are necessary for our spiritual 

Q. How so ? 

A . Baptism causes us to be born in Jesus Christ ; 
confirmation fortifies us ; the* eucharist nourishes us ; 
penance heals us ; extreme unction renews our strength 
at the hour of death ; holy orders perpetuate the min 
isters of the sacraments, and matrimony perpetuates 
the faithful who are to receive them. 

Q. What is baptism? 

A. Baptism is a sacrament instituted by our Lord 
Jesus Christ to remit original sin, and to make u 
children of God and of the church. 

Q. What is the matter of the sacrament of baptism ? 

A. The matter of the sacrament of baptism is 
water; sea water, river water, marsh water, every 
kind of natural water. 

Q. What is the form of the sacrament of baptism ? 

A. The form of the sacrament of baptism are the 
words which the priest pronounces whilst pouring the 


water on the head of the person baptized. They are : 
/ baptize thee in the name of the Father, and of the 
Son, and of the Holy Ghost. These words must be 
pronounced, not before or after the pouring, but whilst 
the water is poured, and by him who pours it. 

Q. In how many ways can baptism be given ? 

A. Baptism can be given in three different ways; 
by immersion, by infusion, and by aspersion. 

Q. How many kinds of baptism are there ? 

A . We distinguish three kinds of baptism ; the 
baptism of water, which is the sacrament of baptism ; 
the baptism of blood, which is martyrdom ; and the 
baptism of fire, which is the desire to receive bap 
tism. The second and third are not sacraments ; but 
they supply the place of baptism when it cannot be 

Q. Who are the ministers of the sacrament of 
baptism ? 

A. The ministers of the sacrament of baptism are 
bishops and priests. In case of necessity, any person 
can baptize ; but without the ceremonies. For this 
reason, every person should know how to baptize. 

Q. When did our Lord institute baptism ? 

A. Our Lord instituted baptism when he himself 
was baptized by St. John in the Jordan. 

Q. When did it become obligatory to receive bap 
tism in order to be saved ? 

A. It became obligatory to receive baptism in order 
to be saved when our Lord said to his apostles : Go 
teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the 
Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. 

Q. Is it obligatory to baptize children as soon as 
they are born ? 

A. Yes, it is obligatory to baptize children as soon 
as they are born ; with good reason does the church 
command it. 

Q. What are the obligations of god-fathers and 
god-mothers ? 


A. God-fathers and crod-mothers are obliged to set 
that their god-children faithfully fulfil the promises o) 

Q. What are the effects of baptism ? 

A. 1st, baptism effaces original sin, and actual sin, 
if we are guilty of any previous to our baptism ; 2d, it 
remits all the punishment due to sin ; 3d, it makes us 
children of God and heirs of heaven ; 4th, it makes 
us children of the church, and gives us a right to all 
her goods ; 5th, it imprints up >n our soul an indelible 
character, which distinguishes us from those who are 
not Christians. 

Q. What are the obligations of baptism ? 

A. Baptism obliges us, 1st, to remain always at 
tached to Jesus Christ ; 2d, to continue in union with 
the church ; 3d, to renounce whatever is contrary to the 
life which, as children of God, we are bound to lead. 

Q. Why is baptism the most necessary of all the 
sacraments ? 

A. Baptism is the most necessary of all the sacra 
ments because it is impossible to be saved without it. 


Of union with our Lord, the new Adam, by Commu 
nion. Baptism continued. 

Q. What is the history of baptism ? 

A. In the first ages of the church, those who asked 
for baptism were not immediately permitted to receive 
it. They were instructed, and underwent a trial or 
dinarily for two years ; they were called catechumens, 
that is, catechised. When the time for their baptism 
approached, they were examined in assemblies, called 
assemblies of scrutiny. 

Q. When was the baptism given ? 

A . Baptism was given during the night previous to 


Easter and Pentecost ; because the first of these feasts 
recalled to mind the passage of the Red Sea by the 
Jews ; and the second, the passage from the old to the 
new law. 

Q. What was done after the baptism? 

A. After the baptism, the newly baptized were 
dressed in white, to signify the innocence and spiritual 
liberty which they had recovered. They then received 
confirmation and communion ; after which milk and 
honey were presented to them to eat, to signify that 
they had entered into the true land of promise. 

Q. HDW Ion* did the newly baptized wear their 
white garments ? 

A. The newly baptized wore their white garments 
during eight days ; which were days of joy, prayer, 
instruction, an 1 all kinds of good works. 

Q. Did the first Christians preserve faithfully the 
remembrance of their baptism ? 

A. They did preserve it faithfully ; each year they 
celebrated the anniversary with new fervor. This 
f j:ist was called the annotine (that is annual) Pasch. 

Q. When did confirmation and communion cease to 
be given to tLe newly baptized? 

A. Confirmation ceased to be given to the newV 
baptized when it was no longer possible for biclicps 
themselves to administer the baptism ; and the con- 
niunion ceased to be given to the newly baptized when 
the church for very wise reasons forbade the giving of 
communion, in both kinds, to the laity. This pro 
hibition was made about the beginning of the fifteenth 
century by the council of Constance. 

Q. Are the ceremonies which accompany the ad 
ministration of baptism worthy of our respect? 

A. There is nothing more venerable than the cere- 
raonies which accompany the administration of bap 
tism ; they date back to the first ages of the church, 
and represent perfectly the dignity and effects of tho 
sacrament, of baptism. 


Q. What are the temporal advantages of baptism ? 

A. The temporal advantages of baptism are : 1st, to 
protect the life of the child ; 2d, to protect its inno 
cence ; 3d, to inspire parents with a great respect and 
care for their children ; 4th, to make them bear cheer 
fully the trouble and pain inseparable from their early 


Of union with our Lord, the new Adam, by Commu 
nion. Of Confirmation. 

Q. What is confirmation ? 

A. Confirmation is a sacrament by which we re 
ceive the Holy Ghost, with all his gifts, and are made 
perfect Christians. 

Q. What is the matter of the sacrament of confir 
mation ? 

A . The matter of the sacrament of confirmation is 
the holy chrism. The holy chrisnr is a compound of 
olive oil and balsam, consecrated by the bishop on 
Holy Thursday. The oil signifies the sweetness and 
force communicated to us by the Holy Ghost ; and the 
balsam signifies the sweet odor of virtue which they 
who have received confirmation should spread around 

Q. What is the form of the sacrament of confirma 
tion ? 

A. The form of the sacrament of confirmation con- 
gists in these words, which the bishop pronounces 
whilst he performs the sacred unction ; J sign thee 
tcith the sign of the cross, and I confirm thee with the 
chrism of salvation, in the name of the Father, and of 
the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. The imposition of the 
bishop s hands, and the accompanying prayer, are also 
r.n essential rite, which dates back to our Lord Jesus 


Q. Who js the minister of confirmation? 

A . The minister of confirmation is the bishop, a 
successor of the apostles ; the bishop alone possesses 
this right, as it belonged to the apostles. 

Q. Why does the bishop make the unction of the 
holy chrism on the forehead? 

A. To teach us not to be ashamed of our faith. 

Q. Why does he give a slight blow on the cheek of 
the person confirmed ? 

A . To teach him that he must be ready to suffer al" 
kinds of contradictions for Jesus Christ. 

Q. What are the dispositions for receiving confir 
mation ? 

A. The dispositions for receiving confirmation are 
two- fold ; those of the body and those of the soul. 
Those of the body are : 1 st, to be fasting, if we can ; 
2d, to be modest in our dress and all our exterior 
deportment ; 3d, to have the face clean, especially the 
forehead, where the bishop performs the sacred unction. 
Those of the soul are: 1st, to be baptized; 2d, to 
know the chief articles of faith, and what concerns 
the sacrament of confirmation ; 3d, to be in a state of 

Q. Why is it necessary to receive confirmation ? 

A. It is necessary to receive confirmation because 
we need strength to faithfully practise our religion. 
He who, through neglect or contempt, fails to receive 
confirmation, renders himself guilty of a great sin be 
fore God. 

Q. What are the effects of confirmation ? 

A. 1st, confirmation perfects in us the grace of 
bnptism ; 2d, it gives us the courage to confess our 
faith in the time of persecution ; 3d, it imprints on us 
an indelible character. During the first as;es of the 
church it communicated also the gifts of miracles, of 
tongues, and of prophecy. These extraordinary gifts 
continued only while they were necessary for the es 
tablishment of the church. 


Q. Mention some of the advantages of confirmation ? 

A . 1 st, this sacrament inspires us with an exalted 
idea of our dignity ; 2d, it teaches us the true nature of 
life ; 3d, it furnishes us with the arms necessary to 
tight valiantly, and to avoid those shameful defeats 
which would render us miserable even in this world. 


Of union with our Lord, the new Adam, by Commu 
nion. The Eucharist. 

Q. What is the Eucharist ? 

A. The Eucharist is a sacrament which contains 
truly, really and substantially, the body, the blood, the 
soul, and the divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, under 
the species or forms of bread and wine. The fathers 
of the church called the Eucharist also the continua 
tion of the mystery of the incarnation, because our 
Lord in it renews in some manner for each of us the 
wonders of his incarnation. 

Q. What is the name given to this adorable sacra- 
merit ? 

A. From the first ages several names have been 
given to this adorable sacrament, such as the Breaking 
of bread ; the Eucharist or thanksgiving ; Communion^ 
because therein we are intimately united to our Lord ; 
Viaticum, because it is the food of man traveling to 

Q. What is the matter of the Eucharist ? 

A. Bread and wine are the matter of the Eucharist ; 
because our Lord, for the consecration of his body and 
blood, took bread and blessed it, saying, This is my 
body, and then he took wine, and blessed it, saying, 
Thix is my blood. 

Q. Why has our Lord chosen bread and wine for 
the matter of the Eucharist ? 

cnr/ix/-; SECOND. 215 

A. Our Lord has chosen bread and wine for the 
matter of the Eucharist, to teach us, 1st, that his 
body and blood must be the food of our soul, as bread 
and wine are the food of our body ; 2d, that the end of 
the sacrament is to unite us intimately with him and 
with our brethren. 

Q. What is the form of the Eucharist ? 

A. The form of the Eucharist are the words of con 
secration which the priest pronounces at mass. 

Q. What takes place at the moment of consecration ? 

A. At the moment of consecration the bread and 
wine are really and entirely changed into the body 
and blood of our Lord. This change is called Tran- 
subatantiation. That which afterwards appears to our 
senses, as the color, the figure, and the taste, is but the 
form and appearance. 

Q. Is our Lord whole and entire in the Eucharist 
under each form ? 

A. Yes, our Lord is whole and entire in the Eucha 
rist under each form, both as God and man ; for our 
Lord is so under the forms of the Eucharist that he 
cannot be divided. 

Q. What are the effects of the holy communion ? 

A. 1st, the communion gives us the life of the new 
Adam. He, says the Saviour, that eateth my flesh and 
drinketh my blood hath eternal life ; 2d, it unites us 
corporally and spiritually to our Lord, in a union so 
intimate that a father of the church compares it to 
two pieces of wax melted together ; 3d, it weakens 
the ardor of concupiscence, strengthens the soul, and 
communicates to our body the principle of a glorious 

Q. What are the dispositions for communion ? 

A. The dispositions for communion are two-fold, 
those of the body and those of the soul. The dispo 
sitions of the body are fasting and modest deportment. 
Those of the soul are, to be in a state of grace, which 
is necessary to avoid sacrilege, and, in order to com- 


municate with more fruit we must have a lively faith, 
and a great desire of onr spiritual improvement. 

Q. What sin would he commit who would commu 
nicate with a mortal sin on his conscience ? 

A. He would commit a horrid sacrilege. The means 
to avoid this misfortune is to make a good confession ; 
and the means to communicate piously, is to meditate 
on these three questions : Who is it that comes to us ? 
Who are we to whom he comes ? Why does he come 
to us ? And after communion to make our thanksgiv 
ing with great recollection. 

Q. Is it necessary to receive communion ? 

A. It is necessary to receive communion, for our 
Lord and the church make it an obligation. 


Of union with our Lord, the new Adam, by Commu 
nion. The Eucharist continued. 

Q. By whom were formerly offered the bread and 
wine which were consecrated on the altar ? 

A. Formerly the bread and wine consecrated on 
the altar, were offered by the faithful, who themselves 
made the bread for the communion. The emperors 
and empresses conformed to this usage. 

Q. How did the first Christians communicate ? 

A. The first Christians communicated standing, in 
imitation of the children of Israel who had eaten thus 
the paschal lamb, the figure of the Eucharist. 

Q. Did they communicate under both forms ? 

A. They communicated under both forms. This 
usage ceased on account of the danger of spilling the 
sacred blood, and the difficulty of procuring wine in 
the north, whose inhabitants at a later period were 
converted to the faith. 

Q. How did they receive under the form of bread ? 


A. They received under the form of bread, the men 
in their naked hand, and the women in their right hand 
which was covered with a fine white linen. They 
then administered to themselves the sacred body of 
the Saviour, and drank his precious blood from a chal 
ice common to all and presented by the priests. 

Q. Did they sometimes communicate under one form 

A. Yes, they communicated sometimes under one 
form only, for instance on Good Friday. 

Q. Was communion given to those who could not 
assist at the holy sacrifice ? 

A . To those who could not assist at the holy sacri 
fice, communion was carried by the deacons ; for the 
early Christians did not imagine that they could 
sustain themselves in virtue without this bread of the 

Q. Were they permitted to carry the Eucharist to 
their homes ? 

A. Yes, they were permitted to carry the Eucharist 
to their own houses, and administer communion to 
themselves. It was particularly at the approach of 
persecution that they secured a provision of this life^ 
giving food. 

Q. Were they permitted to carry it with them when 
traveling ? 

A. They were permitted to carry it with them when 
traveling, as a guide and a sure preservative against all 
dangers of body and soul. So great was their piety 
that there was no danger that the Saviour, become the 
companion of their journey, would suffer any irrever 
ence from them. 

Q. How was the Eucharist preserved in the church- 

A. The Eucharist was preserved in tabernacles made 
in the form of a tower or a dove, suspended above the 
altars. The tower is emblematic of the strength of the 
sacrament, and the, dove emblematic of the mildness, 


innocence and ingenuousness which the sacrament 
communicates to our souls. 

Q. What are the temporal advantages of the hoi} 
communion ? 

A. These are some of the temporal advantages of the 
holy communion : 1st, it preserves sanctity and pre 
vents a host of disorders which would render us unhap 
py ; 2d, it makes us practise many virtues from which 
we derive temporal advantages ; 3d, of itself it inspires 
works of charity and devotedness so useful to society. 


Of union with our Lord, the new Adam, by Com 
munion. Penance. 

Q. What is the sacrament of penance ? 

A . Penance is a sacrament instituted by our Lorct 
Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins committed aftei 
baptism. There is no sin, how great soever, that may 
not be forgiven by the sacrament of penance, are well 

Q. What is the matter of the sacrament of penance? 

A. The matter of the sacrament of penance is con 
trition, confession, and satisfaction ; but in order to re 
pent of our sins we must know them, and therefore ex 
amine our consciences. 

Q. In what does the examen of conscience consist ? 

A . The examen of conscience consists in diligently 
trying to find" out what sins we have committed since 
our last good confession. 

Q. What are the qualities of the examen of con 
science ? 

A. The examen of conscience should be : 1st, exact, 
that is, we must examine ourselves on all the sins of 
thought, word, action, and omission which we may 


have committed ; 2d, impartial, that is, we must ex 
amine ourselves without favor, as we would examine 
a stranger. 

Q. What are the means to make a good examen of 

A. The means to make a good examen of conscience 
are prayer, a lively faith, recollection, and the habit of 
self-examination every evening. 

Q. What is contrition ? 

A. Contrition is a sorrow of soul and detestation of 
the sins which we have committed, with the firm pur 
pose of never committing them again. There are two 
kinds of contrition ; perfect contrition and imperfect 
contrition which latter is called attrition. 

Q. What is perfect contrition ? 

A . Perfect contrition is sorrow for having offended 
God, because he is infinitely good and because sin dis 
pleases him. Perfect contrition, joined with the resolve 
to have recourse to the sacrament of penance as soon 
as it is in our power, is sufficient to remit sins. 

Q. What is imperfect contrition ? 

A. Imperfect contrition is sorrow for having offended 
God, because sin merits hell, deprives us of heaven, 
and is so odious in itself ; it implies a commencement 
of the love of God, and in order to remit sin it must be 
joined to the sacrament of penance. 

Q. What are the qualities of contrition ? 

A. Contrition must be interior, sovereign, supernat 
ural, universal ; interior, that is, it must be in the heart 
and not merely upon the lips or in the imagination ; 
sovereign, mortal sin should displease us more than all 
other evils, because it deprives us of God, the greatest 
of all goods ; supernatural, it must be produced in us 
by the "race of the Holy Ghost, and founded upon mo- 
tivcs of faith ; universal, it must extend to all mortal 
sins without exception. 

Q. What is firm purpose ? 

A . Firm purpose is a determined, efficacious resolu- 


tion never to offend God again ; it must have the same 
qualities as contrition. 

Q. What is confession ? 

A. Confession is the accusation of our sins to an au 
thorized priest, for the purpose of obtaining absolution. 

Q. What are the qualities of confession ? 

A. Confession must be : 1st, simple, that is, we must 
say clearly whatever is necessary, that our confessor 
may know the state of our consciences ; 2d, humble, 
because it is an accusation against ourselves ; 3d, pure, 
that is, we must confess with the intention of becoming 
better ; 4th, sincere, we must confess our sins, such as 
they are, without diminution, disguise, or concealment ; 
5th, entire, we must confess all the mortal sins we re 
member, after due examination, as also the circum 
stances which change the nature of the sin. 


Of union with our Lord, the new Adam, by Com 
munion. Penance continued. 

Q. What do you remark on these words of our Lord : 
Receive ye the Holy Ghost ; whose sins you shall for 
give they are forgiven them ; and whose sins you shall 
retain they are retained ? 

A . I remark on these words that a two-fold power 
is given to the apostles and their successors : the power 
to forgive sins and the power to retain them. But 
they cannot forgive nor retain them if they do not 
know them, and they cannot know them unless the 
penitent confess them. 

Q. What follows from this ? 

A . It follows from this that confession is absolutely 
necessary and its institution. divine. 

Q. Is confession the only means established by Jesu 
Christ for the remission of sins ? 


A. Confession is the only means established by 
Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; for, 1st, our 
Lord does not point out any other ; 2d, the Church 
knows of no other ; 3d, if there were any other, the 
power to forgive and retain sins confided to the apos 
tles, would be vain and useless. 

Q. How so? 

A. No one would confess ; every one would choose 
in preference the easiest means of obtaining pardon for 
his sins. 

Q. Has confession always been practised from the 
time of the apostles down to the present time V 

A. Yes, confession has always been practised from 
the time of the apostles down to the present time. In 
the first ages of the Church there were even two kinds 
of confession ; auricular or private confession, and pub 
lic confession. The first is the sacramental confession 
established by our Lord ; whereas public confession 
was established by the church. 

Q. Were both equally necessary ? 

A . Both were not equally necessary. Sacramental 
confession has always been necessary; but this was not 
the case with public confession, which was not in use 
more than five or six centuries. 

Q. Will you show that auricular confession dates 
back to the apostles ? 

A. It has been impiously asserted that confession 
does not date further back than the thirteenth century. 
But this is an error ; we have witnesses for confession 
from the thirteenth century up to the apostles. For 
the twelfth, we have St. Bernard ; for the eleventh, 
St. Peter Damian ; for the tenth, Reginon, Abbot of 
the diocess of Trtjves ; for the ninth^ the council of 
Paris ; for the eighth, St. Boniface, Archbishop of 
Mayence ; for the seventh, St. Gregory the Great ; for 
the sixth, St. Leo ; for the fifth, St. Augustin ; for the 
fourth, St. Chrysostom ; for the third, St. Basil ; for 
tin 1 second, Origen : for the firnt, St. Clement, disciple 


of St. Peter ; and among the apostles, we have St. 
John, St. James and St. Luke ; and finally, our Lord 
Jesus Christ, who has said: And I will give, to tlee 
the key* of the kingdom of heaven ; and wluittoerer ihou 
shall bind upon earth it shall be bound also in heaven ; 
and whatsoever thou shatt loose upon earth, it shall be 
loosed also in heaven. 

Q. What is the third part of the sacrament of pen 

A. The third part of the sacrament of penance is 
satisfaction. After the remission of the eternal punish 
ment, there ordinarily remains a temporal punishment 
to be undergone, and penance is a part of it. 

Q. What is the form of the sacrament of penance ? 

A. The form of the sacrament of penance are the 
words of the absolution. In order that the absolution 
may be valid, it must be given by a priest, approved by 
a lawful bishop. 

Q. Who are the ministers of the sacrament of 
penance ? 

A. The ministers of the sacrament of penance are 
bishops and priests. 

Q. Who has instituted the sacrament of penance ? 

A. Our Lord instituted the sacrament of penance 
when, breathing upon his apostles, he said to them : 
Receive ye the Holy Ghost, ivhose sins you shall forgive, 
they are forgiven them, and whose sins you shall retain 
they are retained. 


Of union with our Lord, the new Adam, by Commu 
nion. Penance continued. 

Q. What are the effects of the sacrament of penance ? 

A . These are the effects of the sacrament of penance : 
1st, it remits all the sins committed after baptism ; 2d, 
it remits the eternal punishment due to sin and some- 


times even the temporal punishment ; 3d, it restores 
the merit of good works. 

Q. What are the essential dispositions for receiving 
the sacrament of penance ? 

A. The essential dispositions for receiving the sac 
rament of penance, are instructions and the acts of the 
penitent, contrition, confession and satisfaction. In 
order to receive this sacrament with more fruit, we 
must have a lively faith, a great confidence, a profound 
humility and a sincere gratitude. 

Q. Is the sacrament of penance necessary ? 

A. The sacrament of penance is necessary for those 
who fall into mortal sin after baptism, as baptism is 
for those who have not received it. 

Q. What are the prayers and ceremonies that ac 
company confession ? 

A . On entering the confessional, the penitent kneels 
down, makes the sign of the cross, to remind him that 
the Son of God has died for him, and then he says : 
Bless me, father, for I have sinned. 

Q. Why does the penitent call his confessor father ? 

A. The penitent calls his confessor father, 1st, be 
cause it is he who is to restore him to the life of grace ; 
2d, to excite in him those sentiments of compassion 
and charity which he hopes to find in him ; 3d, to show 
his confidence and obedience. 

Q. What does the confessor do ? 

A . The confessor asks of God to grant the penitent 
the grace to make a sincere and good confession. 

Q. What does the penitent do then ? 

A. The penitent says the Confiteor, as far as the 
words, throunh my fault. The Confiteor is a confes 
sion by which the penitent calls upon God and the 
saints to hear the acknowledgment of his faults, in 
order to humble himself and render them propitious. 

Q. By what is the Confiteor followed ? 

A . The Confiteor is followed by an exact confession 
or all fault*. After this the penitent strikes his breast 


in sio;n of grief and says : Through my fault, through 
my fault, through my most grievous fault ! 

Q. What prayers does the confessor say ? 

A. The confessor says two prayers to obtain pardon 
for the sins of the penitent. He then points out the 
means of avoiding sin for the future, imposes the pen 
ance, and if he finds him properly disposed gives him 

Q. Is the sacrament of penance very beneficial to 
man and to society ? 

A. The sacrament of penance is very beneficial to 
man ; it instructs, encourages, consoles, and restores 
him to peace ; and to society, by preventing many 
crimes and repairing many disorders. 


Of union with our Lord, the new Adam, by Commu 
nion. Indulgence The Jubilee. 

Q What are indulgences ? 

A. An indulgence is the remission of the temporal 
punishment due to sin ; and which the church grants us 
through the merits of Jesus Christ and the saints, 
apart from the sacrament of penance. 

Q. Has the church power to grant indulgences ? 

A. Jesus Christ gave the church power to grant in 
dulgences when he said to his apostles : Whatsoever 
i/on shall bind upon earth, shall be bound also in 
hearen ; and whatsoever you shall loose upon earth, shall 
be loosed also in heaven. These words give to the 
church the power to forgive sins ; and consequently 
the power to remit the temporal punishment due to 

Q. Has the church always exercised this power? 

A. The church has always exercised this power. 
St. Pa,ul used it in the case of the scandalous Christian, 


in consideration of the faithful of Corinth. In times 
of persecution, the church often abridged the penance 
of sinners at the instance of the confessors and the 
martyrs. God himself has pardoned us on account of 
the merits of our Lord ; so that all Christianity is but 
a great indulgence. 

Q. What is the source of indulgences ? 

A. The source of indulgences are the superabundant 
merits of our Lord, of the Virgin Mary and the saints. 

Q. What is necessary to gain indulgences ? 

A. In order to gain indulgences, we must, 1st, per 
form the works or prayers prescribed by the sovereign 
pontiff, according to his intention ; it is sufficient, if 
the last of the acts prescribed be performed in a state 
of grace ; 2d, in order to gain a plenary indulgence it 
is necessary to detest every sin, without exception, even 
venial sins. 

Q. What do you mean by plenary indulgence ? 

A. By plenary indulgence is meant the full remis 
sion of all the canonical punishments which the 
church formerly imposed upon every kind of sin. 

Q. What is meant by an indulgence of seven years, 
of forty days, &c. ? 

A. By an indulgence of seven years, and forty days, 
&c., is meant the remission of the penance of seven 
years, &c., formerly imposed by the church upon pub 
lic penitents. 

Q. Does a plenary indulgence remit all the pains of 
purgatory ? 

A. We are free to believe so ; but the church has 
not define:! it. It is sufficient for us to know that he 
who gains an indulgence obtains a remission of the 
pains of purgatory proportioned to his fervor. 

Q. What is the jubilee ? 

A. The great jubilee is that which is granted every 
twenty-fifth year. It commences at Rome on the eve 
of Christmas, where it lasts one year, and then ex 
tends to the whole of Christendom. 



Of union with our Lord, the new Adam, by Commu 
nion. Extreme Unction. 

Q. What is extreme unction ? 

A. Extreme unction is a sacrament instituted by 
our Lord for the spiritual and corporal consolation of 
the sick. 

Q. What is the matter of extreme unction ? 

A. The matter of extreme unction is the oil blessed 
by the Bishop on Holy Thursday. The oil is blessed 
to show that it operates in the sacrament, not by its 
own virtue, but by the power of God. 

Q. What is the form of the sacrament ? 

A. The form of the sacrament are these words, pro 
nounced by the priest whilst he anoints the different 
senses : Through this holy unction and his own most 
tender mercy, may the Lord pardon thee whatever sins 
thou hast committed by thy sight, thy hearing thy 
smell, fyc. 

Q. Why are the different senses anointed ? 

A. The different senses are anointed to purify them 
and expiate the sins of which they have been the. in 

Q. Who is the minister of this sacrament ? 

A . The minister of this sacrament is the priest. 

Q. What are the effects of extreme unction ? 

A. The effects of extreme unction are: 1st, to 
restore health, when useful for the salvation of the 
soul ; 2d, to efface unknown or forgotten sins ; 3d, to 
take away the effects of sin, such as heaviness, which 
prevents the soul from raising itself up to God ; 4th, 
to comfort and fortify the sick, so as to enable them 
to bear with patience the pains of sickness. 

Q. What are the dispositions for receiving this sac 
rament ? 

A . The dispositions for receiving this sacrament, are 


1st, to be in a state of grace ; 2d, to make, whilst re 
ceiving it, acts of faith, love and contrition ; 3d, to re 
ceive it whilst in our senses ; for this, it is well to get 
some one to promise to let us know when we are in 
dan ^er. 

Q. Of what sin would he be guilty, who, through 
contempt, should neglect to receive extreme unction? 

A . He who, through contempt, should neglect to re 
ceive extreme unction would be guilty of a great sin. 

Q. How was this sacrament formerly received ? 

A. This sacrament was formerly received in the 
Church or at home, the sick person being on his knees : 
which shows that it was not deferred till the last mo 
ment. The sick was then placed upon sackcloth and 
ashes, in order that he might, in some measure, imitate 
our Lord dying on the cross. 

Q. How should the sick chamber be arranged ? 

A . The sick chamber should be clean, the bed should 
have a white cover ; there should be a table covered 
with a white cloth, and on it a crucifix, two lighted 
candles, holy water, and a plate with some cotton and 
apiece of bread to cleanse the fingers of the priest, and 
also water to wash them. 

Q. What end is proposed in the prayers said by the 
.priest in the administration of this sacrament? 

A. The end proposed in these prayers is to obtain 
for the sick person the divine mercy, health, and con 
formity to the will of God. 

Q. What end is proposed in the prayers for the de 

A . The end proposed, is to aid the sick person to die 
well ; and after death, to obtain his deliverance from 

Q. What are the other advantages of extreme unc 
tion ? 

A. The other advantages of the sacrament of ex 
treme unction are ; 1st, to console us for the loss of our 
relations and friends, by the hope of seeing them again 


in a better life ; 2d, to proclaim aloud the dogma of im 
mortality, the great restraint upon the passions which 
desolate the world. 


Of union with our Lord, the new Adam, by Com 
munion. Sacrament of Holy Orders. 

Q. Why did our Lord institute the first five sac 
raments ? 

A. Our Lord instituted the first five sacraments to 
prepare, consummate, repair and strengthen our union 
with him in the holy communion. 

Q. Why did he institute the sacrament of holy 
orders ? 

A . He instituted the sacrament of holy orders in 
order that men might receive communion till the end 
of the world ; and also to secure a succession of minis 
ters to continue and direct his church. 

Q. What is holy orders ? 

A. Holy orders is a sacrament instituted by our 
Lord Jesus Christ, which gives power to perform 
ecclesiastical functions and the grace to exercise them 
m a holy manner. 

Q. What is the matter of the sacrament of holy 
orders ? 

A. The matter of the sacrament of holy orders is 
the imposition of hands and the touching of the sacred 
vessels ; it signifies the power given to priests over 
sacred things. 

Q. What is the form and who the minister of the 
sacrament of holy orders? 

A . The form of this sacrament are the words spoken 
by the bishop who makes the ordination ; the minister . 
is the bishop himself. 

Q. When did our Lord institute this sacrament ? 


A. Our Lord instituted this sacrament when at the 
close of the last supper, he said to his apostles : Do 
this in commemoration of me. 

Q. What are the effects of the sacrament of holy 
orders ? 

A. The effects of the sacrament of holy orders are 
the grace which it communicates ; the indelible char 
acter which it imprints, and the power which it con 
fers to exercise the ecclesiastical functions. 

Q. What are these functions ? 

A. Of these functions, some regard the natural body 
of our Lord, the others his mystical body, which is the 
Church. Holy orders gives to priests the power to 
consecrate the body of our Lord, and to distribute it to 
the faithful ; also to baptize, preach, and forgive sins. 

Q. Why are we obliged to respect priests V 

A. We are obliged to respect priests : 1st, because 
their dignity surpasses that of angels and of men ; 2d, 
because Jesus Christ has said to priests : He that 
hears you, hears me; and he that despises you, despises 

Q. Why do we owe gratitude to priests? 

A. We owe gratitude to priests because they are 
the benefactors of men They pray for us ; they in 
struct us ; they sanctify us ; they have drawn the 
world out of barbarism, and they prevent it from re 
lapsing into the same condition ; they solace us in al) 
our misfortunes. 

Q. What are the principal dispositions for receiv 
ing the sacrament of holy orders ? 

A. The principal dispositions are knowledge, virtue, 
age and vocation. 

Q. What is the ceremony of the tonsure ? 

A. The ceremony of the tonsure has been estab 
lished by the church, to separate from the world those 
who are preparing for holy orders, and to inspire them 
to practise the virtue of their vocation. It dates back 
to the first ages. 


Q. How do the candidates for tonsure present them 
selves before the altar ? 

A . They present themselves before the altar, with a 
surplice on their arm and a candle in their hand. The 
surplice with which the bishop clothes them signifies 
that they clothe themselves with Jesus Christ, and the 
candle the charity which induces them to consecrate 
themselves to God and expend their life in his service- 

Q. How many orders are there ? 

A. There are seven orders the priesthood, the dea- 
conship and subdeaconship, which are properly called 
the holy orders ; and the four orders of the acolyte, the 
reader, the exorcist and door-keeper, which are called 
the minor orders. All these orders have reference to 
the Eucharist. 


Of union with our Lord, the new Adam, by Commu 
nion Sacrament of Holy Orders continued. 

Q. Which is the first of the minor orders ? 

A. The first of the minor orders, which is given 
after the ceremony of tonsure, is the order of door 
keeper, or porter. 

Q. What are its duties ? 

A. In the first ages it was the duty of the door 
keeper to open the church, keep it clean, maintain or 
der and announce the hours of prayer and the offices. 
All the ceremonies at the ordination of door-keeper are 
indicative of his several duties. 

Q- Which is the second of the minor orders ? 
I The second of the minor orders is that of lector, 
G! ender. It was the duty of the lector to read the 
Scripture to the people in the church. For this rea- 
soji, the bishop, in ordaining lectors, puts in their hand 
the book of the Epistles. 


Q. Which is the third? 

A. The third of the minor orders is that of exorcist, 
who is appointed to exorcise the catechumens, and de 
liver the possessed who were very numerous when the 
church commenced, as we learn from the gospel and 
from the fathers. In their ordination the bishop makes 
the exorcists touch the missal, as it is by the word of 
God that they are enabled to cast out devils. 

Q. Which is the fourth ? 

A . The fourth of the minor orders is that of acolyte, 
which signifies one who follows or accompanies, be 
cause it was the duty of the acolyte always to ac 
company the bishop and serve him at the altar. For 
this reason, in the ordination of acolytes, the bishop 
makes them touch an empty cruet, and hold in their 
hand a candlestick with a lighted candle. 

Q. Which is the first of the holy orders ? 

A. The first of the holy orders is that of subdeacon. 
Subdeacons, formerly, were the secretaries of the bish 
ops, who employed them in their negotiations, in dis 
tributing alms, and in the care of their temporalities. 

Q. What are their duties at the present day ? 

A. Their duties are now reduced to waiting on the 
deacon at the altar. Before their ordination the sub- 
deacons prostrate themselves in front of the altar, in 
order to show that they renounce the world for ever 
and consecrate themselves to the service of God and 
the church. 

Q. Which is the second of the holy orders ? 

A. The second of the holy orders is the deaconship. 
The deacons were ordained by the apostles themselves 
to watch over the wants of the poor, to baptize, preach, 
and administer the Eucharist to the faithful. During 
the time of persecution they were charged to visit the 
confessors and martyrs in their prisons, and provide for 
their wants. 

Q IVhat are their duties now ? 

A The deacons now wait on the priest and the 


bishop at the altar, sing the gospel, and present the 
bread and wine for consecration. Before their ordi 
nation, they prostrate themselves, as the subdeaeons. 
to show anew their renunciation of the world. 

Q. Which is the third of the holy orders ? 

A. The third of the holy orders is the priesthood. 
The duties of the priest have always been and still are 
to offer the holy sacrifice, to preside at the meetings of 
the faithful, to preach the word of God, to bless the 
people, to baptize and to administer the sacraments. 

Q. What act do they perform before their ordination ? 

A. Before their ordination, priests, like deacons and 
subdeacons, prostrate themselves before the altar. 
Before we are made Christians we three times renounce 
the devil ; before they are ordained, priests three times 
renounce the world, to show that they are perfectly 
consecrated to the service of Jesus Christ and the 

Q. W 7 hat are the social advantages of the sacrament 
of holy orders ? 

A. Society owes every thing to the sacrament of 
holy orders ; for there is no society without religion, 
no religion without priests, and no priests without the 
sacrament of holy orders. 


Of union with our Lord, the new Adam, by Commu 
nion. Sacrament of Matrimony. 

Q. What is matrimony ? 

A. Matrimony is a sacrament instituted by our Lord 
Jesus Christ, which gives to those who receive it the 
grace to sanctify their state, and to bring up their chil 
dren in a Christian manner ; it represents the union 
of Jesus Christ with the church. 

Q. What effect does this sacrament produce ? 


A. This sacrament produces three effects. It gives 
to those who receive it worthily the grace, 1st, to 
sanctify themselves ; 2d, to bring up their children in 
a Christian manner ; 3d, to represent the union ot 
Jesus Christ with the church. 

Q. How do the married couple represent this union ? 

A . They represent this union by their holiness, their 
mutual love, ; nd their fidelity till death. 

Q. What are the dispositions for receiving the sac 
rament of matrimony? 

A. The principal dispositions for receiving the sac 
rament of matrimony in a Christian manner, are a state 
of grace, instruction, vocation and purity of intention. 

Q. What are the bans ? 

A. The bans are the publication of a marriage about 
to take place. This publication is made on Sundays, 
or festivals of obligation. 

Q. Why so ? 

A. For two reasons principally 1st, to ask the 
prayers of the faithful, that God may bless the parties 
about to be married ; 2d, to ascertain if there be any 
impediment to the marriage. We are obliged, under 
pain of a very grave fault, to make known any impedi 
ments which we may be aware of. 

Q. What are impediments to marriage ? 

A. Impediments to marriage are obstacles which 
prevent it. There are some which render the mar 
riage null, and others which render it only illicit. 

Q. What are the chief impediments which render 
marriage null ? 

A. The chief impediments which render marriage 
null, are, 1st, error of person ; 2d, solemn vow of chas 
tity ; 3d, relationship; 4th, difference of religion ; 5th, 
rape ; 6th, public infamy ; 7th, aflinity ; 8th, abduction ; 
9th, clandestine performance of the marriage. 

Q. What are the impediments that render marriage 

A. The impediments which render marriage illicit, 


are, 1st, simple vow of chastity ; 2d, previous promise 
of marriage to another ; 3d, the prohibition of the 

Q. What must be done when there is an impediment 
to marriage ? 

A. When there is an impediment to marriage, a 
dispensation must be asked of the Pope or the bishop. 
The money received on the occasion of i uch dispensa 
tions is applied to charitable purposes. 

Q. What are some of the ceremonies accompanying 
the celebration of marriage ? 

A . On the day of her marriage the woman is dressed 
in white, as an emblem of her virtue. A ring is blessed 
as a pledge of her fidelity and obedience, and in some 
countries a piece of money is also blessed to signify a 
community of goods. These ceremonies date back to 
the first ages of the church. 

Q. What are the advantages which society derives 
from the sacrament of matrimony ? 

A. Society derives great advantages from the sacra 
ment of matrimony ; 1st, the good conduct of the mar 
ried couple ; 2d, the peace of families ; 3d, the exclu 
sion of a host of disorders prevalent among the pa 
gans ; 4th, the proper education of children. 


Conditions of union with our Lord, the new Adam. 
Grace and Prayer. 

Q. What is the end of the sacraments and of aL 
reli- ion ? 

. Tin end of the sacraments and of all religion is 
to unite us to Jesus Christ. 

Q. Can we by our own power, unite ourselves to 
Jesus Christ V 

A. No, we cannot : we must have grace to do it. 


Q. Can we have grace of ourselves ? 

A. We cannot have grace of ourselves ; God wishes 
as to ask it of him, and he even gives us the grace to 
ask it. 

Q. What is the ordinary means of obtaining grace V 

A. The ordinary means of obtaining grace is prayer. 
Prayer is absolutely necessary. Our Lord has given 
us both the precept and example. He has said : Pray 
always, pray without ceasing ; he himself prayed 
much, and at all times the saints have been devoted 
to prayer. 

Q. What is the object of prayer or the things for 
which we are to pray ? 

A . The things for which we are to pray, are spirit 
ual and corporal, temporal and eternal goods, for our 
selves and our neighbor ; for Christ has told us to ask 
for whatever we want, and it shall be granted to us. 

Q. At what time should we pray ? 

A. We should pray especially in the morning and 
evening, before and after our meals and principal ac 
tions, and also, whenever we are tempted. 

Q. What are the qualities of prayer ? 

A. The qualities of prayer, are faith, humility, de 
votion, perseverance and union with our Lord. 

Q. What are the obstacles to the success of prayer ? 

A. The obstacles to the success of prayer, are want 
of proper dispositions, asking badly, asking things bad 
in themselves. 

Q. How many kinds of prayers are there ? 

A. There are two kinds of prayer, vocal prayer, and 
mental prayer or meditation ; both are necessary. In 
order to render vocal prayer more easy, our Lord 
deigned to compose one, himself, for our use, namely, 
the Our Father, which is called also the Lord s 

Q How many parts has the Our Father f 

A. The Our Father has three parts: the preparation, 
the body of the prayer, and the conclusion. The pre- 


paration is contained in these words, Our Father who- 
art in heaven. 

Q. How do you explain them ? 

A. We call God our Father in order to propitiate 
his favor, by declaring that we are his children : we 
say to him that he is in heaven, to acknowledge that 
he is happy, rich and all-powerful, whilst we, who are 
his children, are on earth, exiles, poor, suffering, nd 
exposed to a thousand dangers. 

Q. For how many things do we ask in the Our 
Father ? 

A. We ask for seven things in the Our Fa/her : the 
three first refer to God and his glory ; and the four 
others regard man and his wants. These seven things, 
which constitute the second part of the Our Father, 
compose the body of the Lord s Prayer. 

Q. What do we ask of God in the three first ? 

A. In the three first we ,ask of God : 1st, that his 
name shall no longer be unknown and blasphemed, 
but, that it may be known and glorified by all men ; 
2d, that he reign absolutely and fully over us, instead 
of the devil and our passions, that the church may be 
extended over the whole earth, that the last judgment 
may come, and that heaven may be our portion ; 3d, 
that his will may be done by men on earth as the 
blessed do it in heaven. 

Q. For what do we ask in the four last ? 

A . In the four last we ask : 1 st, for whatever is 
necessary to our body, as food and raiment, and 
whatever is necessary for the soul, as grace and the 
holy communion ; 2d, a full pardon of all our offences; 
3d, deliverance from temptation or victory over then! ; 
4th, deliverance from all temporal and eternal evils, 
which are the consequences of sin. 

Q. What is the conclusion of the Our Father ? 

A. The conclusion of the Our Father is the Amen, 
which signifies ?o be it ; I desire the accomplishment of 
all I have asked. It is a brief repetition of the entire 


prayer, and should be pronounced with great faith and 

Q. What is mental prayer ? 

A. Mental prayer consists in meditating on some 
truth of salvation in order to make it the rule of our 
conduct. Meditation is very necessary, for salvation 
is impossible without it. Meditation is very easy ; all 
that is necessary is to love, for we easily think of what 
we love. 

Q. Of how many parts does meditation consist ? 

A. Meditation consists of three parts ; 1st, the pre 
paration, that is, an act of belief in the presence of 
God, an act of humility and invocation of the Holy 
Ghost ; 2d, the meditation, properly so called, or think 
ing on the subject chosen for the meditation. 

Q. How is this second part performed ? 

A. We perform the second part of meditation, by 
reflecting on and seriously considering some one of the 
truths of faith, by examining what our Lord and the 
saints have taught with respect to that truth, and how 
they practised it. We then compare our conduct with 
theirs, and make a resolution to correct ourselves and 
become more like them. 

Q. What is the third part of meditation or mental 
prayer ? 

A. The third part of meditation or mental prayer 
is the conclusion, which is composed of an act of 
thanksgiving and offering. We then close the whole, 
by recommending to God the wants of the souls in 
purgatory, and those of the Church. 


End of our union with Christ, the new Adam. 

Q. What is the end of our union with Christ, the 
new Adam ? 

A. The end of this union is, to make us live of his 
life in time, by an imitation of his virtues, and in eter 
nity, by a participation in his glory. 

Q. Why are we obliged to imitate our Lord ? 

A . We are obliged to imitate him : 1 st, because he 
descended from heaven to make us live of his life, by 
giving himself as our model, for he has said : I have 
given you an example, that as I have done to you, so 
you do also ; 2d, because none shall be saved but 
those who will have imitated his example ; 3d, because 
we are Christians, and a Christian should be another 
Christ. . . 

Q. In what is Christ our model ? 

A. He is our model in every thing. In the first 
place, he is the model of the interior life, that is, of our 
thoughts and our affections. 

Q. In what should we conform our thoughts to those 
of our Lord ? 

A. We should conform our thoughts in all things 
to his, think as he does with respect to God, to our 
selves, and to creatures. 

Q. What are the thoughts of Christ with respect to 
God, his father ? 

A. He looks upon God the Father as an infinite 
being to whom we should refer all things, and whom 
we should love above all things, by always doing his 
will ; this our Lord has taught us by his example dur 
ing his mortal life and in the Eucharist. 

Q. What are the thoughts of our Lord with respect 
to man ? 

A . In the eyes of our Lord, man is the most precious 
of creatures, since to redeem him he descended from 


heaven, gave his blood on the cross, and still gives it 
In the Eucharist. 

Q. And with respect to creatures? 

A. Tn the eyes of our Lord, creatures are the means 
of raising us up to God. Riches, honors and pleasures 
are very dangerous, which he has shown by his, ex 
ample, during his mortal life, and in the Eucharist. 

Q. What are the affections of our Lord ? 

A. Our Lord has but two affections, the love of his 
father, and the love of men. He died for the glory of 
his father, and for the salvation of men ; he renews 
each day in the Eucharist, the sacrifice of his life, for 
the glory of his father and the salvation of men. 

Q. How has our Lord loved creatures ? 

A. Our Lord has loved creatures, as the work of his 
hands ; he has made all of them subservient to the 
glory of his father, and the salvation of men. He 
preaches the same to us in the Eucharist. 


End of our union with Christ, the new Adam, con 

Q. Is Christ the model of the exterior life also ? 

A. He is the model of the exterior life also ; our ac 
tions, no less than our thoughts and affections, should 
be conformable to his, in order that everything in us 
may bear the image of the heavenly man, as all have 
borne the image of the terrestrial man. 

Q. Why are all men obliged to conform their con 
duct to that of Christ ? 

A. All men are obliged to conform their conduct to 
his, because he is the model of all men, of whom some 
command and others obey. 

Q. Ts our Lord the model of superiors ? 

A. He is the model of superiors, and his mortal and 


eucharistic life is comprised in these few words : He 
went about doing good. 

Q. Is our Lord the model of inferiors ? 

A. He is also the model of inferiors, and his mortal 
and eucharistic life is comprised in these three words : 
He ivas obedient. 

Q. Is our Lord also the model of men in the fulfil 
ment of their duties to God ? 

A. He is the model also of men in the fulfilment of 
their duties to God, and his whole life is comprised in 
these words : He loved God, his Father, and ivas obe 
dient unto him, even to the death of the cross. 

Q. Is our Lord the model of men in the discharge 
of their duties towards their fellow-men? 

A. Our Lord is the model of men in the discharge 
of their duties towards their fellow-men, and his whole 
life is comprised in these words : He hath loved us and 
delivered himself up for us. 

Q. Is Christ our model in the accomplishment of our 
duties to ourselves ? 

A . He is our model in the accomplishment of our 
duties to ourselves. He has given us during his mor 
tal life, and still gives us in the Eucharist, an example 
of humility, purity, and detachment. 

Q. Is our Lord the model of persons in every age ? 

A. He is the model of all ages. In his early infancy 
he consecrates himself to God, his father, in the temple 
of Jerusalem ; in his youth he labors and is obedient ; 
in his mature age he occupies himself in prayer and 
for the glory of his father ; before dying he gives his 
last instructions to his apostles, and yields his soul into 
the hands of his father. 

Q. Is our Lord the model of different states and con 

A. He is the model of the different states and con 
ditions. As each creature represents some one of the 
perfections of God, it is his wish that each state shail 
represent some of his qualities and virtues. 


Q. How do you explain this by examples ? 

A. He wishes that priests should represent his holi 
ness, rulers his authority, the married couple his love 
for his church, parents his divine paternity, the poor 
his poverty, virgins his virginity, and those who suf 
fer his virtues in the midst of the persecutions he en 

Q. Is our Lord the model of all our actions ? 

A . He is the model of all our actions, and his life is 
comprised in these words, which ought to be applicable 
to each one of us : He did all things well. 

Obstacles to union with our Lord, the new Adam. 

Q. What is it that prevents our union with the new 

A. One only thing can prevent our union with the 
new Adam sin. 

Q. What is sin and how many kinds are there ? 

A. Sin is a wilful disobedience to the law of God. 
Disobedience to our lawful superiors, when their com 
mand is just, is also a sin, for God wills that we obey 
them. There are two kinds of sin, original sin, in 
which we are born, and actual sin, which we commit 

Q. How is actual sin divided ? 

A. Actual sin is divided into mortal and venial. 
Mortal sin is that which kills the soul, by depriving it 
of the grace of God. 

Q. Is mortal sin a great evil? 

A. Mortal sin is the greatest of evils or rather the 
only evil, since it is a revolt against and a monstrous 
ingratitude towards God, and prevents us from attain 
ing our last end. 

Q. What ar the consequences of mortal sin ? 


A. The consequences of mortal sin are: on earth, 
the loss of grace, loss of all past merits, and remorse ; 
and in eternity the loss of heaven. 

Q. What are its punishments ? 

A. The punishments of mortal sin are, in this world, 
all the evils that desolate the earth ; and in eternity, 

Q. What is venial sin ? 

A. Venial sin is that which does not kill the soul, 
nor deserve hell. It is called Denial, that is, pardona 
ble, because it is less unworthy of pardon than mortal 

Q. What are the consequences of venial sin ? 

A . The consequences of venial sin are, that it weak 
ens grace in us, saddens the Holy Ghost, deprives us 
of certain special aids, leads to mortal sin, brings down 
severe chastisements, as we see by the sacred writings. 

Q. W T hat are capital sins ? 

A. Capital sins are those which give rise to many 
others. There are seven : pride, covetousness, lust, 
anger, gluttony, envy and sloth. 

Q. What are the remedies for these sins ? 

A. The principal remedies for the capital sins are : 
for pride, humility and prayer ; for covetousness, alms 
giving ; for lust, confession and communion ; for glut 
tony, mortification ; for envy, disinterestedness ; for 
anger, meditation on the passion of our Lord ; for 
sloth, to think on the shortness of time. 

Q. Whence come all our sins ? 

A. All our sins come from our ungoverned passions. 
They are the tree, and sin is the fruit. There are 
three chief passions, love of honor, love of riches, and 
love of pleasures. 

Q. Is it necessary to combat our passions ? 

A . It is as necessary as it is to be saved. It is in 
the time of youth especially that we must make war 
against our passions. 



Perpetuation of our union with the new Adam. The 

Q. What did our Lord do before ascending into 
heaven ? 

.1 . Before ascending into heaven, our Lord thor 
oughly instructed his apostles in the truths of religion, 
the continuance of which on earth to the end of the 
world he guaranteed, by founding a church for which 
his first act was to appoint a head. 

Q. Which of the apostles did our Lord choose for 
the head of the church ? 

A. Our Lord chose St. Peter as the head of the 
church. Before conferring on him this honor, he ex 
acted a pledge from him. 

Q. What? 

A. A pledge of his love. He asked of him three 
times, if he loved him more than the others did ; that 
is, if he was ready to sacrifice himself for the salva 
tion of his flock. St. Peter replied to him : Yes, Lord, 
thou knowest that I lone thee. Then our Lord said to 
him, Feed my lambs, feed my sheep. 

Q What is the meaning of these words ? 

A . By the words lambs are understood the faithful ; 
and by the word sheep all the pastors of the church. 
St. Peter was elevated above the apostles. The sov 
ereign pontiffs, successors of St. Peter, are above the 
bishops, and have full power to teach and govern all 
the church. 

Q. What power did our Lord give to the other 
apostles ? 

A. Our Lord associated the other apostles in the 
government of the church, and gave thorn power to 
teach, baptize and forgive sins. lie had already given 
them power to consecrate his body and blood. 

Q. What is meant bv the teachin^ of Christ? 



A . By the teaching church are meant the first pas 
tors, St. Peter and "the apostles, the pope and the 
bishops, their successors. They alone are the judges 
of faith, and are clothed with the power to make all 
laws necessary for the good of the faithful. 

Q. What are the principal taws or commandments 
of the church ? 

A. They are chiefly six : 1st, to hear mass and rest 
from servile works on Sundays and holy days of obli 
gation ; 2d, to keep fast in lent, the ember days, the 
Fridays* in advent, and eves of certain festivals ; to 
abstain from flesh on Fridays and other appointed 
days of abstinence ; 3d, to confess our sins to our pas 
tor or other priest duly authorized at least once a 
year ; 4th, to receive the blessed sacrament at Easter 
or thereabout ; 5th, to pay tithes to our pastors, and, 
Gth, not to marry within certain degrees of kindred ; 
nor privately without witnesses ; nor to solemnize 
marriage at certain prohibited times. 

Q. Explain the third commandment of the church? 

A. In establishing the sacrament of penance, our 
Lord has obliged us to confess ; our necessities make 
it a duty to frequent the confessional. But in order 
to guard us against our own negligence, the church 
has fixed a time beyond which we must not defer our 

Q. Is it sufficient to confess once a year ? 

A. To avoid excommunication, it is sufficient to 
confess once a year : but to profit by the sacraments 
and lead a stainless life, it is not sufficient. 

Q. Explain the 4th ? 

A . In instituting the Eucharist, our Lord has obliged 
us to communicate, for he said : Unless you eat the 
jleli of the Son of Man, and drink his blood you shall 
not have life in you. And to put a barrier to our too 
great neglect, the church has commanded us under pain 
of mortal sin, to receive communion at least once a 
year, at Easter. She says, at least once a year, to 


show that she desires us to receive oftener. (The 
other commandments of the church are explained else 
where ) 

Q. What do you remark on the commandments of 
the church ? 

A. I remark on the commandments of the church ; 
1st, that they are a proof of the great wisdom of the 
church and of her tender solicitude for her children ; 
2d, they are very advantageous to society, because 
they help us to keep the commandments of God, and 
oblige us every year to begin a new life ; 3d, they are 
very advantageous to each of us, because they oblige 
us to mortify our passions and quit the state of sin. 

Q. Is the church teaching infallible ? 

A . Yes, she is infallible, that is, she can neither be 
deceived herself, nor deceive us, whilst she is teaching 
us the truths of religion. 

Q. How do you prove it ? 

A . It is proved specially by the words of our Lord, 
who has promised to be with the church all days, even 
to the end of the world, and to teach her all truth. 

Q. With what sentiments should the infallibility of 
the church inspire us ? 

A. The infallibility of the church ought to inspire 
us with : 1st, great confidence, since in hearing the 
church we are sure that we cannot be deceived ; 2d, 
great gratitude, which should make us thank God 
for having given infallibility to the church ; 3d, great 
docility, we should obey the church as our Lord 



Perpetuation of our union with the new Adam. The 
Church continued. 

Q. What is the church ? 

A. The church is the society of all the faithful, 
united by the profession of the one same faith, the 
participation in the same sacraments and by submis 
sion to the same lawful pastors, chiefly to our holy 
father the pope. 

Q. Who are they who are not members of the church ? 

A. Infidels, heretics, schismatics, and rebellious 
Christians, whom the church cuts off from her body, 
by excommunication. 

Q. How many ways are there of belonging to the 
church ? 

A. There are two ways in which we can belong to 
the church, actually and virtually. We belong actually 
to the church when we exteriorly profess the faith of 
the church and submit to its pastors. A person be 
longs virtually to the church and can be saved, when, 
without any fault of his, he belongs to a society differ 
ent from the true religion, provided he has true charity, 
desires to know the true religion, and does good ac 
cording to his knowledge. 

Q. What are the marks of the true church V 

A. There are four marks of the true church, pointed 
out by our Lord himself, unity, sanctity, catholicity 
and apostolicity. 

Q. What is meant by the unity of the Church ? 

A . By the unity of the church is meant, that she 
has always taught the same faith, commanded the 
same duties, and held the same sacraments. 

Q. What is meant by the sanctity of the church? 

A. We mean that Jesus Christ, its head, is holy, its 
founders are holy, that she teaches truths and dutiei 


calculated to make us holy, and that God has wrought 
miracles to prove the holiness of the church. 
Q. How is the church catholic ? 
A. Because she teaches all the truths revealed by 
our Lord, without retrenching or altering any of them, 
and because she exists in all times and in all places. 
Q. How is the church apostolic ? 
A. Because she comes down from the apostles ; be 
cause the doctrine which she teaches has been re 
ceived from the apostles ; because it is the apostles who 
founded the church, and who commissioned the bishops 
and pastors who govern it. . 
Q. Which is the true church ? 

A. The Roman Catholic Church is the true church, 
because she alone is one, holy, catholic and apostolic. All 
the sects have sprung up since the time of the apostles, 
and have separated from the Roman Catholic Church. 
Q. Can you name two other great advantages to be 
found in the church ? 

A. Two other great advantages to be found in the 
church, are, the communion of saints and the forgive 
ness of sins. 

Q. What is the communion of saints ? 
A. The communion of saints is the union which ex 
ists among the members of the church, who are on 
earth, in purgatory and in heaven ; so that all the 
spiritual goods of the church benefit each of the f aitlif ul. 
Q. What is the remission of sins ? 
A. The remission of sins is the power given to the 
church to forgive sins. This power is found only in 
the church, for it is only in the church that our Lord 
has said, Whatsoever you shall loose on earth, shall be 
loosed also in heaven. 

Q. What did our Lord do after having founded the 
church V 

A. After having founded the church, our Lord as 
cended into heaven, to send the Holy Ghost who was to 
enlighten and jjuide the church till the end of the world. 




Christianity established First Preaching of the 
Apostles. First Century. 

Q. What did the apostles do after the ascension of 
our Saviour? 

A. After the ascension of our Saviour, the apostles 
returned to Jerusalem with the Blessed Virgin ; they 
entered into an upper chamber, to await in prayer and 
meditation the descent of the Holy Ghost, whom they 
received on the day of Pentecost. 

Q. Relate the history of this miracle ? 

A. About the ninth hour of the morning: a great 
sound, as of a mighty wind, was heard throughout the 
whole house where the apostles were assembled ; at the 
same time there appeared tongues, as of fire, which 
rested on the head of each of the apostles ; imme 
diately they began to speak divers tongues ; and being- 
changed into new men, full of zeal and courage, they 
went forth to preach Jesus crucified. A multitude of 
people having learned what had happened, came to 
gether into the upper chamber ; there were among 
them men of all nations, who all understood the apos 
tles, each one hearing his own native tongue; this 
miracle, with the discourse of St. Peter, converted on 
the spot three thousand persons. 

Q. What did the apostles then do ? 
A. The apostles baptized the new converts; and 
Peter and John went up to the temple, where they 
found a man, about forty years of age, lame from his 
birth, who asked of them alms. 

Q. What was St. Peter s reply ? 

A. St. Peter said to him : Gold or silver I have none, 
but what I have I give unto thee ; in the name of Jesus 


of Nazareth, arise and walk. And the lame man 
looked up, and was healed ; and he entered, full of 
joy, into the temple with the apostles. St. Peter 
again preached, and this second discourse converted 
five thousand persons. 

Q. What did the chief priests do ? 

A. The chief priests and all the synagogue, alarmed 
at the progress of the gospel, caused the apostles to be 
apprehended and beaten with rods ; forbidding them to 
preach in the name of Jesus of Nazareth. The apos 
tles answered that they ought to obey God rather than 
man, and continued their mission ; this so exasperated 
the Jews, that they stoned St. Stephen to death. 

Q. What was the consequence of this persecu 
tion ? 

A. It caused the gospel to be carried into other 
countries ; for some of the disciples went into Samaria, 
and some into Judea, where they made a great nurnbef 
of conversions. 

Q. What were the conversions by the deacon St. 
Philip ? 

A. The principal were those of Simon, the ma 
gician, whom he converted in Samaria ; and of tli6 
minister of the queen of Ethiopia, who had gone uj/ 
to Jerusalem to worship the true God. 

Q. What did Simon, the magician, do ? 

A. St. Peter and St. John having gone down to 
Samaria to give confirmation to the new converts, 
Simon, the magician, wished to purchase from them 
the power of giving the Holy Ghost. For this he 
was reproved by St. Peter, but instead of repenting, 
lie became a special enemy of the apostles. 

Q,. Who was the most ardent persecutor of the 
church at this time ? 

A. The most ardent persecutor of the church was a 
young man named Saul. Having learned that there 
were many Christians at Damascus, he obtained of the 
high priests power to have them arrested, and brought 


in chains to Jerusalem ; and be set out for that pur 
pose with a number of officers under his orders. 

Q. What happened to him on the way ? 

A. On the way he was suddenly surrounded by a 
bright light from heaven, and was cast prostrate on the 
ground, when a voice was heard, that said to him ; 
Saul, Saul, why persecufcst thou me ? Saul, being 
much frightened, said : Who art thou, Lord ? and the 
voice said : 1 am Jesus of Nazareth whom thou per- 
secufest. Saul said : What wilt thou have me do, Lord ? 
and the voice answered : Go to Damascus, and there it 
shall be told thee what thou must do. He arose, went 
to Damascus, and was there baptized. 


Christianity established. Lives of St. Peter and 
St. Paul First Century. 

Q. What did the apostles do after having preached 
the gospel in Judea V 

A. The apostles, after having preached the gospel 
in Judea, divided the whole world among themselves, 
in order to convert it to Jesus Christ. 

Q. Give some account of St. Peter. 

A. St. Peter was at Joppa when the Lord maxki 
known to him that the Gentiles also were called to the 
gospel, and that it was himself, who, as chief head of 
the church, was to open the way to them. 

Q. Who was the first convert among the Gentiles? 

A. The first convert amono; the Gentiles was a 
Roman officer, named Cornelius, who was then at 
Csesarea. He was a man fearing God, and doing 
much charity : he pent for St. Peter, who came and 
baptized him and his whole house. 

Q. Where did St. Peter go when he left Caeearea ? 

A. He went to Antioch, the capital of Syria, and 


there established his see ; lie afterwards traveled over 
a great portion of Asia and came to Rome, where he 
contended against Simon, the magician, whom the 
devil had instigated to go to Rome to oppose the 
preaching of the gospel; he succeeded in putting 
down the magician ; converted many persons, and 
then returned to the east. 

Q. What did he do at Jerusalem ? 

A. He presided over the council at Jerusalem, at 
which all the apostles attended. This was the first 
council, and the model on which have been formed all 
the councils that have been held in the church. It 
was decided in this council that the Gentile converts 
should not be forced to observe the laws of Moses, 
commanding circumcision. 

Q. How many epistles did St. Peter write ? 

A. St. Peter wrote to the faithful, who were scat 
tered through the different provinces of the Roman 
empire, two letters, which breathe the tenderness of a 
father and the dignity of the head of the church ; he 
afterwards went to Rome, where the crown of martyr 
dom awaited him ; an honor shared with him by St. 
Paul, who had also shared with him the labor of 
preaching the gospel. 

Q. Who was St. Paul ? 

A. St. Paul, whose name was Saul, was of Jewish 
origin; born at Tarsus, a city of Cilicia, and a Roman 
citizen by birth. After having persecuted the Chris 
tians, he became the nnst zealous of the apostles, and 
preached the gospel first at Damascus, whence he was 
obliged to fly, to escape the fury of the Jews who had 
resolved to kill him. 

Q. Whither did he go ? 

A. He repaired to Jerusalem, where he saw St. 
Peter ; thence he went to Antioch, where he remained 
one year in company with St. Barnabas. These two 
apostles made so many conversions at Antioch, that 
the faithful there received the name of Christians. 


From Antioch, they went to the isle of Cyprus, where 
the governor, Sergius Paulus, having been converted 
by St. Paul, this apostle, in memory thereof, took the 
name of Paul. 

Q. What else? 

A. Accompanied by St Barnabas, he traveled all 
through Asia Minor, and arrived at Lystra where he 
cured a man who had been lame from his birth. The 
inhabitants who were pagans, seeing this miracle, 
thought the apostles were gods, and wished to offer 
sacrifices to them. 

Q. What happened to St. Paul in the city of 

A. Having arrived at Philippi, a city of Macedonia, 
in company with a disciple named Silas, he drove the 
devil out of a female slave who was possessed. The 
masters of the slave were much exasperated ; for she, 
by pretending to be a fortune-teller, was a source of 
great gain to them. They caused Paul and Silas to be 
beaten with rods, and then thrown into prison, under 
the pretext that they were disturbers of the public peace. 
During the night the foundations cf the prison were 
shaken ; the gates thrown open, and the chains of the 
prisoners fell from their limbs. The jailer, thinking 
that the prisoners had all escaped, was about to kill 
himself, but St. Paul prevented him, saying : We are 
all here. The jailer and his whole family were con 
verted ; and the next day, St. Paul and Silas were pet 
at liberty, having converted a great number of persons 
in the city. 



rlstianity established. Life of St. Paul continued, 
First Century. 

Q. Continue the history of St. Paul ? 

A. On quitting the city of Philippi, St. Paul went to 
Thessalonica, where he established a congregation of 
Christians, to whom, some time after, he wrote one of 
his epistles. He thence came to Athens ; appeared 
before the senate called the Areopagus, refuted the 
false principles of the philosophers ; confounded idol 
atry ; and shortly after started for Corinth. 

Q Did he remain long at Corinth ? 

A. He remained there eighteen months, gathering 
to the true faith a large number of Christians, to whom 
he wrote two epistles, replete with all that zeal, charity, 
and prudence which so characterized that great apos 
tle. From Corinth he passed to Ephesus. 

Q. What happened to him at Ephesus ? 

A. At Ephesus he was the object of a violent 
sedition, excited by a goldsmith who made statues of 
Diana ; previous to his leaving the city, however, 
St. Paul wrote his admirable letter to the faithful at 
Rome. Quitting Ephesus, he directed his course to 
Jerusalem, carrying with him to the faithful of that 
city the charitable contributions of their brethren dis 
persed through Asia. On his way he passed through 

Q. What miracle did he perform at Troas? 

A. Whilst preaching at this place, a young man, 
who was seated in a window, fell asleep, and fell from 
the third story and was killed. St. Paul restored him 
to life, and then started for Miletus. 

Q. What did he do at Miletus ? 

A. He there assembled the bishops and pastors of 
the church of Ephesus, to whom he bade farewell ; tell 
ing them they should see him no more. All melted 


into tears, and conducted him to the vessel on which 
he embarked for Jerusalem. 

Q. What happened to him at Jerusalem ? 

A. He was apprehended in the temple by the Jews, 
and delivered up to the Roman governor, who sent 
him to Rome to be judged at the tribunal of Nero. At 
Rome, St. Paul remained two years in prison, preach 
ing the gospel to all who visited him. 

Q. Did he obtain his liberty ? 

A . He finally obtained his liberty, went back to the 
east, wrote to the churches and to his disciples, Titus 
and Timothy, and then returned with St. Peter to 
Rome. These two apostles filled the city with Chris 
tians, and even the palace of Nero, who could not 
endure a religion so holy as that of Christianity. 

Q. What did Nero do? 

A. He condemned to death the tw r o apostles, who 
received the crown of martyrdom a short distance from 
the city. St. Peter was crucified with his head down ; 
but St. Paul, being a Roman citizen, was beheaded. 
This glorious martyrdom occurred on the 29th of 
June, in the year 66 after Christ. 


Christianity established. Lives of the other Apos 
tles. First Century. 

Q. Who was St. Andrew ? 

A. St. Andrew was the brother of St. Peter; he 
was received into the number of the apostles by our 
Saviour himself. After Pentecost he carried the gos 
pel into Asia Minor and the country of the Scythians, 
and was afterwards crucified in the city of Patros. 

Q. Who was St. James the greater ? 

A. St. James, surnamed the greater, was brother to 
St. John the Evangelist, and son of Salome, the first 


cousin of the Blessed Virgin. After Pentecost, he 
preached the gospel to the twelve tribes dispersed in 
different countries, and penetrated as far as Spain. 
He then returned to Jerusalem, where he was be 
headed by order of Herod Agrippa, whose crime did 
not remain long unpunished, for he soon after died, 
devoured by worms. 

Q Who was St. John? 

A. St. John was the youngest of the apostles, and 
especially beloved by our Saviour. After Pentecost, 
he preached the gospel to the Parthians, a warlike 
nation, which alone disputed with the Romans the 
empire of the world. The saint returned into Asia 
Minor, and fixed his residence in the city of Ephesus. 

Q. What happened to him there ? 

A. The emperor Domitian had him apprehended 
and conducted to Rome, where he was thrown into a 
caldron of boiling oil, from which he escaped unhurt. 
The tyrant then banished him to the isle of Patmos, 
where he wrote his Apocalypse or revelation of the 
things to come in the course of ages. He afterwards 
returned to Ephesus and wrote his Gospel, for the 
purpose of showing the divinity of our Saviour. He 
also wrote three letters to the faithful, and finally 
died, aged about one hundred years. 

Q. Who was St. Jamep the less ? 

A. St. James the less was the son of Alpheus and 
of Mary, a near relative of the Blessed Virgin. Be 
fore the ascension, our Saviour commended to him 
the church of Jerusalem. He was afterwards the first 
bishop of that church. He wrote a letter to all the 
churches, and was finally thrown from the top of the 
temple by the Jews, in hatred of Christianity. 

Q. Who was St. Philip? 

A St. Philip was of Bethsadia, in Galilee ; he was 
one of the first disciples of our Lord. After Pentecost, 
he set out for Phrygia, where he established Chris- 
tiAnity, and where h* died at an advanced old age. 


Q. Who was St. Bartholomew ? 

A . St. Bartholomew was also of Galilee. After 
Pentecost, he directed his course towards the most 
barbarous countries of the east, and penetrated to the 
farthest extremities of India. He then returned to 
Armenia, where he received the crown of martyrdom. 

Q. Who was St. Matthew ? 

A . St. Matthew was a publican, and a collector of 
the revenues. He was converted by our Lord himself, 
and received into the number of the apostles. After 
Pentecost, he started for Africa, where he died. 

Q. Who was St. Simon ? 

A. St. Simon was of Cana, in Galilee. After Pen 
tecost, he set out for Persia, where he was martyred 
by order of the idolatrous priests. 

Q. Who was St. Jude ? 

A . St. Jude, also called Thaddeus, was the brother 
of St. James the less. After Pentecost, 1^ went into 
Africa, and planted the faith in Lybia. He returned 
to Jerusalem, and afterwards died in Armenia. He 
wrote a letter, addressed to all the churches, to guard 
them against the heresies of the Nicolites and Gnos 
tics, then beginning to spring up. 

Q. Who was St. Thomas ? 

A. St. Thomas was also of Jewish origin. After 
the resurrection, he was permitted by our Lord to put 
his hand into his sacred wounds. He started after 
Pentecost for the east, and carried the gospel into 
Persia, Ethiopia and India, in which last he sealed 
with his blood the doctrine he had preached. 

Q. Who was St. Mathias ? 

A . St. Mathias was a disciple of our Lord, and was 
chosen by lot to replace Judas. History says nothing 
of his evangelical labors, nor of the manner of his 

Q. How many evangelists are there ? 

A. There are four evangelists ; St. Matthew, St. 
Mark, St. Luke and St. John. They are called evan- 


gelists, because they wrote the four Gospel*, or life of 
our Lord. 


Christianity established. Manners of the Pagans. 
First Century. 

Q. What was the state of the world at the death of 
the apostles ? 

A. At the death of the apostles two great societies 
existed, watching each other, and on the eve of a 
mortal struggle ; one was the pagan, steeped in crime 
and profligacy ; the other was the Christian, youthful 
and brilliant with virtues. Rome was at that time the 
capital of the world and the centre of idolatry. 

Q,. What do you say of Rome ? 

A. Rome was an immense city, containing nearly 
three millions of inhabitants ; each house was a mag 
nificent palace, surrounded with porticos and spacious 
gardens ; there were in the city eight hundred baths 
and four hundred and twenty temples, in which thirty 
thousand gods were adored. One of the amphitheatres 
could contain eighty-seven thousand spectators. There 
were twenty-nine highways leading from the city to 
the provinces ; all of them paved with slabs, and 
adorned on either side with tombs of marble, richly 
wrought with gold and bronze. Her riches could not 
be estimated. 

Q. What were the religion and morals of the 
Komans ? 

A. The Romans having adopted the religions of the 
various countries they conquered, all the gross super 
stitions and. hideous divinities of the whole earth were 
found congregated in the city. Their morals were too 
shameful for description. Suffice it to say, that crimes 
the most revolting were authorized by religion, th 


silence of the law, or by custom, and were openly 
committed in the presence of every body, young or 
old, rich or poor. 

Q. What were their laws ? 

A. They were laws of hatred and cruelty ; the most 
grievous oppression was inflicted on all whom they 
could oppress. 1 st. On woman -. she was the slave of 
her father, who could either kill her or sell her ; in 
marrying, she became the slave of her husband, who 
could sell or discard her at his pleasure. 2d. On 
children : the laws permitted their destruction before 
birth, and in certain cases, even ordered it ; after their 
birth, it was lawful to expose them, kill them, or sell 
them ; they were chosen as the most acceptable vic 
tims to be sacrificed to the false gods. 3d. On the 
slave : slaves were sold like animals ; were marked 
with red hot irons on their forehead ; during the day 
they were hurried on by the lash ; and during the 
night they were chained under ground ; for the slight 
est fault, or even carelessness, they were put to death. 
4th. On prisoners of war ; sometimes they were 
butchered on the tombs of the conquerors ; sometimes 
they were forced to slaughter one another in the am 
phitheatres to amuse the people; in every instance they 
were reduced to slavery. 5th. On debtors : it was 
lawful for creditors to cut to pieces their insolvent 
debtors. 6th. On the poor : they were called impure 
animals, and their poverty insulted on every occasion. 
One of the emperors, to relieve the city of its poor, 
caused three vessels, crowded with them, to be sunk 
in the sea. Such was pagan Rome on St. Peter s ar- 



Christianity established. Manners of the Christians. 
First Century. 

Q. Was there not another Rome besides pagan 
Rome ? 

A. Besides pagan Rome there was another, a sub 
terranean Rome, inhabited by the first Christians. 
This subterranean Rome was the catacombs, which 
formed a city of many miles in extent, in which was 
a great number of streets, crossing each other in 
various directions ; a number of open squares, and a 
multitude of tombs. 

Q. What is the origin of the catacombs ? 

A. The word catacomb signifies underground or 
cemetery. This name was given to those vast excava 
tions, from which the Romans obtained materials for 
building and other purposes. They served as a retreat 
for the first Christians in times of persecution ; here 
they concealed therm elves, prayed, and offered up the 
holy mysteries, either to prepare themselves for mar 
tyrdom or to obtain the salvation of their persecutors. 
To encourage themselves to patience and confidence in 
God, they painted or engraved the principal traits of 
the Scriptures analogous to their position, such as 
Daniel in the lion s den; the three youths in the jierq 
furnace ; our Saviour raising Lazarus to life, fyc. ; also 
stags, doves and vines, as symbols of ardent desire, 
innocence and charity. 

Q. Did the Christians remain long in the catacombs ? 

A. The catacombs served as a place of refuge for 
the first Christians during the persecution which 
lasted almost without intermission for three hundred 
years. When the persecution ceased, they came up 
from their place of retreat and lived among the pagans. 
Here the life of our fathers was similar to that in the 
catacomb? ; a life of sanctity and innocence. To the 


pride of the pagan, they opposed humility, desiring 
neithe-r riches nor change of condition. To the ex 
travagance of the pagan, they opposed modesty and 
simplicity ; especially in their dress and their furni 
ture. To the profligacy of the pagans, they opposed 
temperance and fasting, observing frugality and mod 
eration, not only at their ordinary meals, but even in 
their innocent festivities which they called agapes. 

Q. What were the agapes ? 

A. The agapes were feasts of brotherly charitv, 
given by the first Christians among themselves. The 
rich defrayed the expense ; the poor were invited, and 
all, without distinction, sat down and partook of the 
feast as children of the same family. The repast 
commenced and finished with prayer. 

Q. What were their fasts ? 

A. Our fathers fasted not only in Lent, but on every 
Wednesday and Friday of each week. The church 
of Rome fasted on Saturday also, in commemoration 
of the triumph of St. Peter over Simon the magician. 

Christianity established. Manners of the Christians. 

Q. What did our fathers in the faith oppose to the 
shameful vices of the pagans ? 

A . To the shameful vices of the pagans they op 
posed angelic purity of life, a fact which even their 
enemies were forced to admit. 

Q. What virtue did they oppose to the excessive 
love of gold which engrossed the hearts of the pagan? ? 

A. To the excessive love of gold among the pagans, 
our fathers opposed detachment from earthly things 
and voluntary poverty. Satisfied with the necessaries 
of life, they gave up the surplus to comfort and sup 
port the poor, the orphan and the widow, and looked 

COURSE TlllRb. 2G1 

apon riches as an obstacle to the true liberty of the 

Q. What did they oppose to all crimes in general ? 

A . To all the crimes of the pagans they opposed a 
life of prayer and holiness. They rose at day-li<rkt, 
their first act was the sign of the cross, and having 
dressed themselves with modesty, the whole family 
repaired to the room allotted for prayer, when the 
father said the prayers aloud. 

Q. In what manner did they pray ? 

A. They prayed on their knees, with the head un 
covered, their eyes raised to heaven, their arms ex 
tended and their faces turned towards the east 

Q. Where did they go after prayers ? 

A. After prayers they went to the church to hear 
mass, at which they received communion every day 
they left the church with mo lesty and returned to their 
houses or went to their work ? 

Q. By what act did they commence their work ? 

A. They commenced their work with the sign of 
th j cross ; at nine o clock they prayed again, and then 
continued their work till dinner, which they took at 
mid-day. Before fee ling their bodies, they gave food 
to their souls by reading some passages from the Holy 
Scriptures, they then blessed the food they were about 
to take. During their meals sacred hymns were sung, 
a practice also observed whilst at their work ; after 
dinner they again read from the Bible and returned 
cheerfully to their labor. 

Q. What good works did they perform after dinner ? 

A. After dinner those who could do it, occupied 
themselves in different works of charity, such as visit 
ing the poor an;l those of the brerhren who were in 
prison for the faith. At three, they prayed again. 

Q. What did th y do in the evening ? 

A. In the evening the family beinj assembled, the 
parents instructed their chiLlreii ; th.>y then took sup 
per, sang sacrel hymns, read the Scriptures and said 


public prayers, after which each one retired to rest, 
having first made the sign of the cross on his rd. 

Q. Did they pray during the night V 

A. They rose at mid-night to pray. Such was the 
l?fe led by our fathers ; by imitating them, we also 
would become saints and cause our religion to be 
respected by bad Christians, as they caused it to be 
respected by the pagans. 


Christianity established. Manners of the Christians, 
continued. First Century. 

Q. What did our fathers oppose to the laws of ha 
tred and cruelty which prevailed among the pagans ? 

A. To the law of hatred and cruelty which pre 
vailed among the pagans, our fathers opposed the law 
of universal charity ; they fulfilled to the letter the 
command of our Saviour ; Thou shall love thy neighbor 
.s thyself. 

Q. Explain this answer? 

A. In the first place, fathers and mothers loved their 
children ; instead of destroying them either before or 
after their birth, they took the greatest care to preserve 
them ; they considered them as a sacred trust, and used 
every means to instruct them and form them to virtue. 

Q. What was their greatest care V 

A. Their greatest care was to keep their children 
from evil company and dangerous books ; the Gospel 
was the only book they placed in their hands ; they 
wished their children to be neat in their dress, but free 
from all extravagance and vanity. 

Q. Did fathers and mothers love each other also ? 

A. Fathers and mothers loved each other with a 
Christian love, which was manifested by a constant 
affability, affectionate kindness, unremitting attention 


and above all, by frequent and unceasing prayers for 
the one who had not the happiness of being a Chris 
tian. The children imitated the example of their 
parents, they loved one another with the most sincere 
affection, they prayed together, and died side by side 
in the amphitheatres. 

Q. Did the first Christians all love one another ? 
A. The first Christians so loved one another, that 
the astonished pagans exclaimed, " See how they love 
one another, and how ready they are to die one for 

Q. By what names did they call one another ? 
A. To show the tenderness of their charity, they 
called one another father, mother, brother, sister, son, 
daughter, showing thereby that they all constituted but 
one family. This spirit of charity was evinced even 
towards the most distant churches. 

Q. Who were the particular objects of their charity ? 

A. The particular objects of their charity were the 

ministers of the Lord, the poor, and above all, the 

Christians condemned to the mines on account of the 


Q. Did our fathers in the faith love all men ? 
A. Our fathers in the faith loved all men, even the 
pagans their persecutors ; they extended to them all 
kinds of good offices, prayed for them, paid faithfully 
their taxes and acquitted themselves of all the duties 
of goo:l soldiers and good citizens. They also extended 
their charity to the dead, to the burial of whom they 
paid a special attention they washed the dead bodies, 
embalmed them and wrapped them up in fine linen and 
cloth of silk they prayed for them and gave alms for 
the repose of their souls. 


Christianity established. First Century. 

Q. How did our fathers in the faith arrive at so high 
a degree of sanctity ? 

A. Our fathers in the faith arrived at so high a de- 
gree of sanctity, by endeavoring to perform well the 
actions of each day, by dividing their time between 
prayer, labor and works of charity, but especially by 
flying all the occasions of sin. 

Q. What were those occasions ? 

A. They were principally shows, dances and public 
festivals. Our fathers abstained from such places for 
the same reasons that made them keep their children 
away from them. 

Q. What were those reasons ? 

A. 1st, the first Christians considered, and with good 
reason, theatrical exhibitions as a school of vice ; 
they believed that Christians ought not to witness 
what they were forbidden to imitate, as it is difficult 
not to be carried away by our passions, when every 
thing around us contributes to inflame them ; 2d, they 
said that age was no excuse, because all are human 
and liable to fall at any age ; that custom was no au 
thority, because the customs of the world are no law 
for a Christian ; 3d, that by going to theatres we 
rcandalize our neighbor ; and lastly, that if there were 
no spectators there would be no actors. 

Q. What did they say of balls and public festivals ? 

A. They said the same ; and when the pagans re 
proached them for not attending, they replied by ask 
ing, if the masters of the earth could not be honored 
except by excess of intemperance and offences against 
the Master of heaven. 

Q. Was this virtuous conduct pleasing to the pa 
gans ? 

A. This virtuous conduct was not more pleasing to 


the pagans than is the conduct of the good to the bad 
Christians of the present day. The Jews and idola 
ters spread abroad many calumnies against our fathers 
and against religion. 

Q. Who refuted them? 

A. The apologists of religion refuted them with 
eloquence, whilst the virtuous lives of the Christians 
refuted them still more effectually ; but instead of 
yielding to conviction, their enemies began to perse 
cute the Christians, and millions of victims were 
sacrificed through hatred for their religion. 

Q. What were these victims called ( 

A. They were called martyrs, that is, witnesses. 
This name is given to Christians who die for the faith ; 
the number of martyrs during the first four ages is 

Q. What do you say of martyrdom ? 

A. It is a two-fold proof of the truth of religion. 
1 st. It is a proof of the truth of religion, because it is 
the accomplishment of a prophecy of our Saviour, 
who had announced to his disciples that they would 
be put to death on account of his doctrine. 2d. Mar 
tyrdom affords another proof of the truth of religion in 
the constancy with which the martyrs endured their 
torments ; for it is surely a miracle, that millions of 
virtuous persons, of every age, sex, condition and 
country, should without complaint or murmur, calmly 
suffer every species of torment for three hundred 

Q. What do you mean by the acts of the martyrs ? 

A. I mean the accounts of their trial before the 
judges ; the questions put to them; their condemna 
tion, punishment and death. 

Q. How did the Christians procure the acts o^ \e 
martyrs ? 

A. They obtained them in two ways : 1st, by pay 
ing the clerks of the courts for permission to transcribe 
them ; 2d, by mingling, without being known, among 



the pagans, whenever a martyr was on his trial, and 
afterwards writing down whatever passed. 

Q. What care did the Christians take of the martyrs ? 

A . They took the most sedulous care of them while 
in prison ; and after their death, they buried them with 
great respect, and offered up on their tombs the holy 
sacrifice, not indeed to the martyrs, but to God who 
had so gloriously crowned them. 


Christianity established. First and second Persecu 
tions. First Century. 

Q. How many general persecutions of the Chris 
tians were there ? 

A. There were ten general persecutions of the 
Christians. They are called general persecutions be 
cause ordered by the Roman emperors, then masters of 
the greatest part of the world. 

Q. Who was the first Roman emperor who perse 
cuted the Christians ? 

A. The first Roman emperor who persecuted the 
Christians was Nero, in the 64th year after Christ. 
Nero having set fire to, and burnt the city of Rome, 
that he might witness a great conflagration, accused 
the Christians of having done it, and on that account 
put a great number of them to death. 

Q. What kind of punishments did he make them 
endure ? 

A. Some were covered with the skins of wild 
beasts, and dogs were set on them to worry them and 
tear them to pieces ; others were enveloped in a cov 
ering of pitch and wax, they were then set on fire and 
stationed through the city in the place of lamps, to 
light it up during the night. It was during this per 
secution that St. Peter and St. Paul suffered martyr- 


dom, as also one of Nero s principal officers, named 

Q. Did God leave the cruelty of Nero unpunished ? 

A. God did not leave the cruelty of Nero unpun 
ished ; the Romans revolted against him, and he was 
obliged to hide himself in a marsh, where he prevailed 
on one of his men to put him to death. This tragical 
end, and that of all the persecutors, show us how con 
tinually God watches over his church. 

Q. What other example have you V 

A . Another proof of God s constant watching over 
his church, is the ruin of Jerusalem ; which after 
having crucified the Saviour, never ceased to persecute 
his disciples. It was besieged by Titus, the son of the 
emperor Vespasian, in the 70th year after Christ. 

Q. What signs preceded the destruction of Jerusa 

A . The most terrible signs preceded the destruction 
of Jerusalem. A comet in the form of a sword, re 
mained suspended during a whole year over this un 
fortunate city ; and a roan, named Jesus, never ceased, 
during four years, to traverse the city, crying, night 
and day, through every street, " Wo to Jerusalem ! " 
" Wo to the Temple ! " " Wo to the people ! " 

Q. Why were all these signs ? 

A . God caused these signs to appear in order to ac 
complish the predictions of our Saviour, and to warn 
the Christians to leave Jerusalem. 

Q. What happened to the Jews ? 

A. During the siege, Jerusalem was divided into dif 
ferent opposing parties ; the Jews butchered one an 
other ; the city presented a picture of hell itself ; 
famine raged to such an extent, that a mother ate the 
flesh of her "own son. 

Q. How was the city taken ? 

A. On the 10th of August Titus advanced as far as 
the front of the temple, the burning of which he had 
forbidden ; but a brand, thrown by a soldier, set it on 


fire and reduced it to ashes ; after which the conquerot 
leveled the city and passed a plough over it. 

Q. Who was the second Roman emperor who per^ 
secuted the Christians V 

A. The second Roman emperor who persecuted the 
Christians was Domitian, brother of Titus, whom he 
succeeded in the 81 st year of Christ. He put his own 
relations to death for being Christians, and caused St. 
John the Evangelist to be thrown into a caldron of 
boiling oil. God punished the tyrant. Tormented 
day and night by remorse, he was assassinated in the 
86th year after Christ ; deprived of every mark of 
honor, and even of burial. 


Christianity established. Third and fourth Perseciu 
tions. First and second Centuries. 

Q. How was the church attacked after the persecu 
tion of Domitian ? 

A. After the persecution of Domitian, the church 
was attacked by the spirit of party ; the devil, seeing 
that he could not conquer the church by causing her 
children to be put to death, endeavored to divide them ; 
a contest arose among the faithful at Corinth ; but the 
Pope, St. Clement, wrote them a letter, which restored 
union, at that time so necessary to the church, as 
another persecution was approaching. 

Q. What persecution ? 

A. The persecution of Trajan. This emperor, <riven 
;ip to the most shameful vices, hated the Christians, 
whose holy lives were a constant censure upon his 
own. Having arrived at Antioch, he ordered all the 
Christians to sacrifice to the gods, under pain of death, 
and caused St. Ignatius to be apprehended. 

Q. Who was St. Ignatius ? 


A. St. Ignatius, disciple of St. John, was bishop of 
Antioch for forty years ; he was carried before the 
emperor, who ordered him to be transported to Rome, 
to be devoured by wild beasts at the public shows, for 
the amusement of the people. 

Q. What did he do during his voyage ? 

A. On his voyage, he saw at Smyrna, St. Polycarp, 
who was also a disciple of St. John ; he saw, also, 
many other bishops, who had come to tender him the 
good wishes of their churches. From Smyrna, he 
wrote to the faithful at Rome, to entreat them not to 
ask for his life, neither from men nor by their prayers 
from God. 

Q. What kind of martyrdom did he suffer ? 

A. Having arrived at Rome on the 20th of Decem 
ber, the saint was immediately conducted to the am 
phitheatre, where two lions rushing upon him devoured 
him in an instant : his bones were gathered up in 
great respect, and carried back to Antioch in triumph. 

Q. What was the end of Trajan V 

A. Trajan died miserably at a premature age, worn 
out by his shameful vices. Thus perished all the 
persecutors of the Christians ; their deplorable end. 
which shows us that men cannot, with impunity, rebel, 
against Jesus Christ, contributed to the establishment 
of his church, by teaching men to fear him. 

Q. Who was the fourth persecutor of the Christians? 

A The fourth persecutor of the Christians was 
Adrian; he had succeeded Trajan in the 114th year 
after Christ ; he was a cruel, superstitious, and profli 
gate prince ; having consulted the demons, they re 
plied that a certain widow, named Symphorosa, was 
tormenting them unceasingly? 

Q. What did the tyrant do ? 

A. The tyrant caused Symphorosa to appear before 

him. She had seven sons, Christians, like herself ; her 

husband, and her brother-in-law, officers in the army 

of the emperor, had already suffered aiartyrdam. 



Adrian ordered her to sacrifice to the gods ; she refused, 
and the tyrant put her and her seven sons to death. 

Q. Did any one undertake the dei ence of the 
Christians ? 

A . Quadratus, bishop of Athens, and Aristides, an 
Athenian philosopher, presented to the emperor, a 
defence of the Christians. Adrian was convinced of 
the injustice of his course, and the persecution ceased. 
Nevertheless, the wrath of God fell heavily upon 
him; a prey to grievous melancholy, he caused him 
self to be put to death. 


Christianity established. Fifth and sixth Persecu 
tions. Second Century. 

Q. Which was the fifth general persecution ? 

A. The fifth general persecution was that of An 
toninus : this prince, given up to shameful vices, per 
mitted a great number of Christians to be put to death, 
although he issued no new edicts against them. The 
principal victim of this persecution was a Roman 
matron, named Felicitas, together with her seven sons. 
Publius, the Roman prefect, caused this virtuous fam 
ily to be apprehended; and not succeeding in making 
them renounce the faith, he put them to death by the 
most horrible torments. 

Q. What defender of the church did God raise up 
at this time ? 

A. God, who never fails to/-watch over his church, 
raised up for her a glorious defender. This was St. 
Justin, who refuted so effectually all the calumnies of 
the Jews and pagans against our holy religion, that 
the emperor put a stop to the persecution ; but he died 
shortly after, and his successor renewed the war 
against the Christians. 


Q Which was the sixth general persecution ? 

A. The sixth general persecution was that of Mar- 
zus Aurelius. The pride and craftiness of this prince 
were well fitted to make him an enemy of the truth. 
St. Justin, although he foresaw that it would cost him 
his life, addressed to the emperor a second apology ; 
the saint was not mistaken, he was immediately be 

Q. Who were the other victims of this persecu 
tion ? 

A. There were a great many. The first was St. 
Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna. He was a disciple of 
St. John, with whom he had lived a long time ; when 
the persecution commenced, his friends advised him to 
quit the city ; he yielded to their counsel, and retired 
to a house a short distance in the country. 

Q. What happened to him ? 

A. He was soon discovered and apprehended ; to the 
officers who came to seize him, he gave both food and 
drink ; they carried him to Smyrna, and conducted 
him to the amphitheatre into the presence of the pro 

Q. What did the pro-consul say to him ? 

A. The pro-consul said to him, "Blaspheme Jesus 
Christ." Polycarp made this beautiful reply : "It is 
now eighty-six years that I serve him, he has never 
done me any harm ; on the contrary, he ^has loaded 
me with favors; how can I blaspheme my King ana 
my Saviour V " 

Q. What did the pro-consul then do ? 

A. The pro-consul ordered him to be burnt alive ; 
but the flames did him no harm ; on the contrary, they 
separated, forming a bow, and resembling the sail of a 
vessel distended by the wind, they extended over his 
head a beautiful arch which protected him. The pro 
consul seeing this miracle, ordered him to be struck 
with a dagger ; the blood gushed out in such a quan- 
titv, that it extinguished the fire. It was thus St. 


Polycarp crowned his sacrifice on the 25th of April, 
it 2 o clock in the evening, in the 166th year pfter 


Christianity established. Sixth Persecution. 
Second Century. 

Q. On what occasion did Marcus Aurelius give the 
Christians some respite ? 

A. Marcus Aurelius gave the Christians some res 
pite on ihe occasion of the miracle of the thundering 
legion. He was waging war against the people of 
Germany ; his army was caught -in a defile, and 
hemmed in on every side by the enemy ; the heat was 
excessive, and the Roman army on the point of 
perishing with thirst. 

Q. How were they saved ? 

A. The thundering legion, composed of Christian?, 
fell upon their knees, and by their fervent prayers 
obtained an abundant rain, sufficient for the whole 
army and for their beasts ; at the same time hail, ac 
companied with thunder, fell in torrents upon the ene 
my, who fled in disorder, throwing away their arms. 

Q. Did Marcus Aurelius show his gratitude for 

A . Marcus Aurelius, to testify his gratitude, put a 
stop to the persecution ; and to perpetuate the remem 
brance of this miracle, raised at Rome a monument 
which still exists. But shortly after, instigated by the 
devil,he renewed the persecution against the Christians 

Q. Where was this new persecution the most vio 
lent ? 

A. This new persecution was the most violent in 
Gaul. The city of Lyons was flooded with the blood 
of the martyrs. The principal martyrs were, 8t, 


Pothin, bishop of Lyons, who over ninety years of age, 
was seized, mal-treated, and thrust into a narrow 
prison, where he died two days after ; and Maturus 
and Sanctus, who, after having been exposed to the 
fury of the beasts for the amusement of the people, 
were placed in a chair of iron heated red hot, and 
beheaded. The other principal martyrs were Attala, 
Alexander, Blandina, and Ponticus, a youth of fifteen. 

Q. Who was Blandina ? 

A. Blandina was a female slave, very timid, and of 
a delicate constitution ; but the Saviour endowed her 
with such fortitude, that she fatigued her very execu 
tioners. To every question put to her, she simply 
replied : " / am a Christian ; no crime is committed 
amongst us." 

Q. In what manner did she finally receive the 
crown of martyrdom ? 

A . She was exposed in a sack of net- work to a 
furious cow, which tossed her in the air, and greatly 
mangled her whole body ; after which she was put to 
death. Ponticus, encouraged by St. Blandina, bravely 
underwent the various degrees of martyrdom, and 
consummated his sacrifice by the sword. 

Q,. Were there other martyrs in Gaul ? 

A. Yes, there were. The city of Autun witnessed 
the death of St. Symphorian, a young man distin 
guished not less by his birth than by his learning and 
excellent qualities. Heraclius, the governor of the 
province, had him apprehended, and demanded of him 
what was his profession and his name. He replied : 
" I am a Christian." The governor employed cares 
ses, promises and threats, by turns, to make him sac 
rifice to the gods ; but finding all his efforts useless, he 
commanded his head to be struck off. 

Q. What happened to the saint whilst he was con 
ducted to execution V 

A. Whilst he was conducted to execution, his 
mother, more venerable for her virtue than for her age, 


cried aloud to him from the walls of the city : " Sym- 
phorian, my son, look up to heaven, have courage, 
and fear not death, which is the way to eternal life." 

Q. Had religion to encounter other enemies ? 

A. Religion had other enemies to encounter. The 
philosophers and heretics were leagued together against 
her. But God was her support ; she spread over the 
whole earth, notwithstanding all the obstacles opposed 
to her progress. 


Christianity established. Seventh Persecution. 
Third Century. 

Q. How did the third century commence ? 

A. The third century commenced with a still more 
violent and general war against the church. The 
philosophers and heretics united with the executioners 
for its destruction. But God provided for its defence ; 
to the philosophers and heretics he opposed two able 
apologists ; to the persecutors, a multitude of martyrs. 
The two great apologists were Tertullian and Origeri. 

Q. Who was Tertullian? 

A . Tertullian was a priest of Carthage ; he was 
born in that city in the year 1 60 after our Saviour ; he 
Avas the son of a centurion. On his arrival at Rome, 
he published his Apologetic, that is, a defence of the 
Christians ; and laid it before the magistrates of the 
empire. This work gave the death blow to paganism. 

Q. What work did he publish against heretics ? 

A. After having confounded the pagans, Tertullian 
turned his pen against heretics, and refuted all heresies, 
past, present and future, in a work entitled Prescrip 

Q. By what reasoning ? 

A. By this simple reasoning : The true church must 


ascend without interruption up to Jesus Christ : but the 
Catholic church alone does ascend wiiliout interruption 
to Jesus Christ : therefore the Catholic Church alone is 
the true church. 

Q. Did Tcrtullian persevere ? 

A. Tertullian had the misfortune finally to fall into 
considerable errors ; but this does not detract from the 
truth and merit of his works written before his fall. 

Q. Who was Origen? 

A. Origen was born at Alexandria, in the year 185 
of our Saviour ; he was the son of the holy martyr 
Leon Idas. Devoted early to study, and gifted with a 
powerful genius, he became one of the most brilliant 
lights of the church ; he triumphantly refuted Celsus, 
one of the most dangerous enemies of religion. Ori 
gen also fell into some errors, but it appears that he 
did not continue in them. 

Q. Which was the seventh general persecution ? 

A. The seventh general persecution was that of Sep- 
timius Severus. From the beginning of the year 200, 
this cruel prince published an edict of proscription, and 
blood flowed freely in every part of the empire. 

Q. Who were the first martyrs of this persecution ? 

A. The first martyrs of this persecution were St. 
Perpetua and St. Felicitas, and their companions. 
These saints were of Carthage. Perpetua, aged 22, 
was of a noble family, married, and mother of an in 
fant which she herself nursed at the time. Felicitas 
was a slave and also married ; they were apprehended 
by order of the pro-consul Hilarian. 

Q. What did the father of St. Perpetua do? 

A. The father of St. Perpetua, who was a heathen, 
went immediately and implored her to renounce her 
faith and not cause him to die of grief; the pro-consul 
also joined in his entreaties; her only answer was, "1 
am a Christian." 

Q. What happened then ? 

A. The martyrs were conducted to prison, where the 


jailer, touched by their virtues, was converted. The 
eve of their death they were allowed a free xupper 
this was a repast given to the martyrs in a hall open 
to the public. A great number of persons assembled 
in the hall, where the martyrs addressed them with 
great piety and firmness, and many were converted. 

Q. What punishment did these martyrs suffer ? 

A. On the morrow the holy martyrs were conducted 
to the amphitheatre, where three of them were ex 
posed to wild beasts; St Perpetua and St. Felicitas 
were enclosed in sacks of net- work and exposed to a 
furious cow, which tossed and bruised them horribly ; 
but the people, wishing to enjoy the death of the mar 
tyrs, demanded that they should be put to death in the 
amphitheatre. The martyrs received the blow of 
death without a murmur, and without the slightest 


Christianity established. Eighth and ninth perse 
cutions. -Third Century. 

Q. Who was the author of the eighth general per 
secution ? 

A . The author of the eighth general persecution was 
Decius. The most illustrious martyr during this per 
secution was St. Pionius of Smyrna ; he was a priest, 
and a disciple of St. Polycarp. To all the questions 
of the judge he simply replied : " I am a Christian and 
a child of the Catholic Church." 

Q. What torments had he to suffer ? 

A. After suffering all kinds of torments, he was 
condemned to be burnt alive ; but having prayed, he 
quietly expired without a single hair of his head being 

Q. Who were some of the other martyrs ? 


A. During this persecution occurred the martyrdom 
of a child named Cyril, who in ascending the pile on 
which he was to be burnt, asked the attendants to join 
with him in singing canticles at his happiness. In 
Sicily St. Agatha was also martyred, who, although 
young, of a noble family, and the heiress of a great 
fortune, preferred to renounce all rather than her 

Q. Who was the author of the ninth general perse 
cution ? 

A. The author of the ninth general persecution was 
Valerian. He put to death a great number of Chris 
tians, and among others the Pope St. Sixtus II. On 
his way to martyrdom, St. Lawrence, a deacon of the 
church of Rome, asked him with many tears, whither 
he was going without him. The Pope replied, " You 
shall follow me in three days." The prediction was 

Q. What did the prefect of Rome demand of him ? 

A . The prefect of Rome having arrested St. Law 
rence, demanded of him the treasures of the church. 
The saint assembled all the poor whom the church 
supported, and said to the prefect : " These are the 
treasures of Christians." The judge, being furious, 
caused Lawrence to be placed on a gridiron over a 
slow fire. The saint appeared as easy as on his bed ; 
he prayed for the conversion of Rome and sweetly ex 
pired. He was soon followed by St. Cyprian. 

Q. Who was St. Cyprian ? 

A. St. Cyprian was bishop of Carthage and son of 
one of the first senators of that city. After having 
succored the pagans, who were visited by the plague, 
he was apprehended and condemned to lose his head. 
The saint on hearing his sentence replied : " God be 
praised." And after having prayed for his church he 
received the fatal blow. 




Christianity established. Tenth persecution. 
Third and fourth Centuries. 

Q. How did God punish the emperor Valerian ? 

A. Like all the other persecutors, the emperor Va 
lerian was punished in a very striking manner ; he was 
made prisoner by Sapor, king of Persia, who obliged 
him to stoop down and serve as a foot-stool for him 
whenever he mounted his horse ; he afterwards caused 
him to be skinned alive, painted the skin red and hung 
it up in one of the temples of his gods. 

Q. Which was the tenth general persecution ? 

A. The tenth general persecution was that of Dio 
cletian. This cruel prince associated with himself in 
the government of the empire, Maximian, Galerius and 
Constantius Chlorus. All of them except the last, 
were bitter enemies of the Christians. 

Q. What was the martyrdom of the Theban Legion V 

A. Maximian had in his army a legion composed 
entirely of Christians. They were all veterans, and 
came from the east and the neighborhood of Thebes in 
Egypt for this reason they were called the Theban 
Legion, and consisted of about ten thousand men. 
Maximian having arrived near Geneva in Switzerland, 
ordered them to sacrifice to the gods upon their refu 
sal he caused them all to be massacred. 

Q. In what manner did God come to the assistance 
of his church? 

A . At the moment when the Christians were going to 
be attacked more violently than ever, God sent into the 
desert holy men to pray, like Moses, and obtain victo 
ry for the" Christians. These holy men were St. Paul 
the first hermit, and St. Anthony and his disciples. 

Q. Who was St. Paul ? 

A. St. Paul, the first hermit, was born in Egypt in 


229. At the age of twenty-two he retired into the 
desert, where he used a cave for a dwelling, the palm 
leaves for clothing and the fruit of the palm for food. 
At the age of forty-three the Lord fed him miraculous 
ly as he formerly fed Elias ; he lived in the exercise 
of prayer and penance to the age of 113. When he died 
two lions came and sci-atched a hole, in which St. An 
thony buried him with the hymns and prayers of the 
church. St. Anthony kept the habit of the saint, 
which was made of palm leaves, and wore it only on 
the solemn festivals of Easter and Pentecost. 


Christianity established. Tenth persecution con 
tinued. Fourth Century. 

Q. Who was St. Anthony ? 

A. St. Anthony was the father of the Ce-nobites. 
Cenobites are those religious who live in community, 
and Anchorites are those who live separately in cells. 
St. Anthony was born in Egypt in 251. After the 
death of his parents, lie gave all his goods to the poor 
and retired within the desert of Thebais, where he lived 
during forty years ; after which he consented to re 
ceive disciples ; the number of them became so great 
that he built monasteries to receive them. 

Q. When did this happen ? 

A. This happened about the year 303, when the 
emperor Diocletian published his most furious edict 
of persecution against the Church. St. Anthony had 
much to suffer in the desert from the devil, who made 
violent assaults upon him ; but the saint put him to 
flight, simply by the si";n of the cross. He often re 
commended to his disciples the use of this wholesome 
sign, and also watchfulness over themselves, prayer 
and the thought of eternity. 


Q. To what age did St. Anthony attain ? 

A. St. Anthony attained the age of 105 without hav 
ing any infirmity. When dying he gave to St. Allia- 
nasius his cloak and one of his sheep skins ; the other 
sheep skin he gave to the Bishop Serapion, and his 
chalice to his disciples ; this was all his property. He 
went sweetly to sleep in the Lord. 

Q. Who was St. Syncletica V 

A. St. Syncletica was descended of a noble and vir 
tuous family ; she possessed a great fortune, but after 
the death of her parents she distributed it all to the 
poor, and retired into a solitude not far from Alexan 
dria, where she first established monasteries for women 
in the East. The saint, after suffering from a severe 
malady, died, aged eighty-seven years. 

Q. Why has God established religious orders? 

A. God has established religious orders to preserve 
and propagate Christianity. The contemplative or 
ders whom we see shut up in monasteries, devoted to 
the exercises of prayer, fasting and mortification, have 
for their object : 1st, to pray for Christians who live 
in the world, and to expiate the sins of the world ; 
2d, to preserve the practice of the gospel in its primi 
tive purity. 

Q. What remark do you make on the establishment 
of religious orders ? 

A. I remark that they were founded at the moment 
when Christians began to relax in piety, and depart 
from the practice of the primitive virtues. Providence 
wished to preserve in the world models of the ex 
emplary life led by our fathers in the faith. For this 
reason, the life and even the dress of religious remind 
us of the life, manners and customs of the first Chris 



Christianity established. Tenth persecution con 
tinued. Fourth Century. 

Q. What service do the contemplative orders render 
to society ? 

A. The first service they render to society, is to 
preserve in its purity the practice of the Gospel to 
which the world is indebted for its happiness ; the 
second is to offer an asylum to many persons who do 
not wish to live in the world, or who could not remain 
in the world without becoming a shame and a disgrace 
to society ; the third is to give to the world an example 
of eonte.npt for riches an 1 pleasures, the irregular love 
of which is the source of all evil. The example of the 
religious orders affords the best means of undeceiving 
m inland and procuring happiness for the world ; the 
fourth is to prevent a great number of persons from be- 
in^ a charge to society, to dispense abundant alms, and 
afford an unfailing source of relief during times of pub 
lic distress. 

Q. What happened after the foundation of the first 
contemplative orders? 

A. After the foundation of the first contemplative 
orders, destined to obtain victory for the church, Dio 
cletian sent forth his eJicts of persecution, which com 
menced in 303. The first to suffer in this persecution 
were the principal officers of the imperial palace. One 
of them, named Peter, was frightfully beaten and then 
roaste;! on a gridiron over a slow fire. Blood flowed 
in torrents through all the provinces. 

Q. What was the intention of Diocletian in this? 

A. It was the intention of Diocletian to annihilate 
the very name of Christianity. To find out the Chris 
tians, he placed idols in the streets, near the fountains, 
in thf. public squares and market places, and all wlu, 



passed through the streets, wlio came for water or to 

Sirchase in the market, were obliged to offer sacrifice, 
ouses inhabited by Christians were set on fire, and 
all perished in the flames. 

Q. What is the history of St. Cyr and St. Julitta ? 

A. One of the first victims of the persecution of 
Diocletian, was St. Julitta with her son St. Cyr. St. 
Julitta was of the city of Iconium, and of the royal 
race. She fled to the city of Tarsus in Cilicia, with 
two servants and her son St. Cyr, at that time about 
three years of age. 

Q. What happened to her ? 

A . The governor, named Alexander, caused her to 
be apprehended and beaten severely with the sinews of 
an ox ; at the same time he took her son in his arms 
and tried to caress him, but the young martyr scratched, 
his face with his little hands, and as often as St. Julitta 
said, " I am a Christian," he replied, I am a Christian. 

Q. What did the judge do ? 

A. The barbarous judge threw down from the tribu 
nal the innocent victim, whose head was broken by th 
fall, and who died bathed in his own blood. St. 
Julitta thanked God for the victory granted her son, 
and was herself beheaded. 


Christianity established. Tenth persecution con 
tinued. Fourth Century. 

Q. What is the history of St. Phocas ? 

A. St. Phocas was a gardener, and his simplicity 
and innocence of manners were truly patriarchal. His 
garden and his thatched cabin afforded him the means 
of doing charity and exercising hospitality. The gov 
ernor of the province sent some soldiers to put him to 
death. Having arrived without knowing it at the 


house of Phocas, who entertained them for the night, 
they asked him where they could find Phocas, whom 
they had orders to kill. In the morning he said to 
them, " I have found Phocas ; I am he ; I do not fear 
death." They killed him. 

Q. What was the martyrdom of St. Taracus, St. 
Probus and St. Andronicus ? 

A. St. Taracus was an old soldier, and sixty-five 
years of age when he was apprehended. St. Probus 
was very rich, but he renounced all in order the better 
to serve GJ 1. St. Andronicus was a young man of 
one of the first families in Ephesus. They were all 
three carried before Miximus the governor of Cilicia, 
who asked their names and their professions. They 
replied, " We are Christians ; that is our name and 
our profession." 

Q. What punishment did he make them suffer ? 

A. He caused their teeth to be broken out, theif 
sides to be torn with iron points, their hands to be 
pierced with i*ed-hot nails and the skin to be torn from 
their heads, on which were placed burning coals. 
Finding that he co-il 1 not conquer them, he condemned 
them to be exposed to wild beasts. 

Q. How did they die ? 

A. The day of the show or spectacle a bear and a 
lioness of enormous size were loosed against them. The 
roaring of the beasts made the very spectators tremble, 
but the two beasts gently approached the martyrs and 
crouching down before them, licked their feet. The 
tyrant, being confounded, ordered their heads to be 
struck off. The Christians carried away the bodies 
during the. night and interred them. 

Q, What was the martyrdom of St. Agnes and St. 
Eulalia ? 

A. Whilst the blood of the martyrs was flowing in 
ihe east, it also bedewed the provinces of the west. 
Two young virgins of illustrious birth and heiresses 
to large fortunas, obtained a glorious victory. The 


first was St. Agnes, who was scarcely thirteen. The 
governor of Rome having demanded her in marriage 
for his son, she replied that she was already promised 
to a heavenly spouse. By this it was known she was 
a Christian ; and, without being at all moved by the 
appalling sight of the instruments of death, she tran 
quilly received the blow amidst the tears of the spec 

Q. Who was St. Eulalia ? 

A. St. Eulalia was born at Merida in Spain. Aged 
about thirteen, she presented herself of her own 
accord before Dacian the governor of the province, 
and reproached him for the impiety that made him 
wish to destroy the true religion. Dacian caused her 
to be torn in the side with red-hot hooks. The saint 
counted her wounds and said tranquilly, " They write 
your name upon me, Lord ; they engrave your victo 
ries upon my body. How I love to read such writing ! " 
She was burnt alive. 


Christianity established. Divinity of Religion. 
Fourth Century. 

Q. What remark do you make on the history of the 
martyrs ? 

A. I remark that God chose the martyrs from all the 
different countries of the world, in order to show the 
unity and catholicity of the faith in all ages and 
conditions of life, thereby teaching us that every age 
and condition has given saints to heaven, and can still 
give them. 

Q. What do you observe respecting the death of the 
persecutors ? 

A. Their death is a visible proof of the justice of 
God. The punishment they received whilst yet on 


earth teaches us to fear God ; and this fear helps to 
strengthen religion. Thus martyrs and tyrants con 
tribute, each in their way, to the glory of Jesus 

Q, Who gave peace to the Church ? 

A. It was Constantine, son of Constantius Chlorus, 
that o-ave peace to the Church. On the eve of a bat 
tle a luminous cross appeared in the heavens to Con 
stantine and his whole army. On the middle of the 
cross there appeared these words : " In this sign shalt 
thou conquer." On the following night our Lord ap 
peared to Constantine and ordered him to make a stand 
ard similar to that he had seen in the heavens, and pro 
mised him he should obtain the victory. Constantine 
obeyed and was victorious. He entered Rome and 
declared himself the protector of the Christian relig 
ion, to which he granted peace and liberty in 313. 

Q. What does the establishment of the Church 
prove ? 

A. The establishment of the Church proves the 
divinity of religion ; it was established despite all hu 
man power ; therefore God is its author. 

Q. How could we reason with the impious ? 

A. We could reason with the impious thus : The 
Christian religion was established by miracles, or with 
out them ; which do you choose ? If you say it was 
established by miracles, then it is divine, it is true 
because God cannot work nmracles to authorize false 
hood. If, on the contrary, you say that the Church 
was established without miracles, you admit the great 
est of all miracles ; for the universe converted by a 
dozen fishermen is the greatest of miracles. 

Q. What has the Church effected in becoming free ? 

A. The Church in becoming free has changed legis 
lation so as to render it mild and equitable ; she has 
abolished the severity of slavery, polygamy, divorce, 
the right to sell or destroy children ; in a word, she 
hag ameliorated the whole condition of man. 



Christianity preserved and propagated. Arius 
St. Athanasius. Fourth Century. 

Q. By what means does our Lord preserve and pro 
pagate religion ? 

A Our Lord preserves and propagates religion, 1st, 
by the priesthood ; 2d, by the saints ; 3d, by religious 
orders ; 4th, by the missions. 

Q. Who are the first defenders of religion ? 

A . The first defenders of religion are priests. For 
this reason the priest is charged to preach the truth, in 
order to oppose it to error ; to give good example, in 
order to oppose it to scandal ; to console man in his 
misfortunes, and thereby to prevent him from becoming 
miserable, as he was under paganism. 

Q. Who are the next defenders of religion ? 

A . The second defenders of religion are the great 
saints who have appeared from time to time, when the 
Church was threatened with the greatest evils and 
dangers. They are charged to defend the truth, give 
good example and solace the miserable. Hence there 
are three kinds of saints, the apologists, the contem- 
platives and those devoted to the sick. They always 
appear when their presence is most needed by the 

Q. Who are the third ? . 

A. The third defenders of religion are the religious 
orders. They are also of three kinds. The learned 
orders for the defence of the truth ; tjie contemplative, 
for good example and prayer ; and the charitable, to 
succor the afflicted. All these various means of de 
fence are reducible to one, that is. the Church ; for it is 
in the Church and by the Church that priests are con 
secrated and the saints and religious are formed. 

Q. What are the means established by our Lord for 
the propagation of religion ? 


A. The means established by our Lord for the pro 
pagation of religion are the missions, the effect of 
which is seen more especially when a nation or people 
have rendered themselves worthy to receive the faith, 
thereby winning new children to the Church and com 
pensating for those she has lost. 

Q. Did the Church enjoy peace after the persecu 
tions V 

A. After the persecutions the Church did not enjoy 
peace : for, like our Saviour, she must ever be exposed 
to new attacks. The first who rose up against the 
Church was Arius, who dared to deny the divinity of 
our Lord. He was condemned in the general council 
of Nice arid sent into exile, whence he returned only 
to die a cruel and shameful death. 

Q. Who was at that time the defender of the truth ? 

A. The greatest defender of the truth against the 
Arians was St. Athanasius bishop of Alexandria in 
Egypt. Ha had much to suffer for the good cause 
during his life, which was very long ; he died in the 
midst of his people, regretted by all, in the year 373 
ifter Christ. 

Q. How did our Lord repair the losses of his 

A . The Church had seen a great number of her chil 
dren drawn into heresy. Our Lord consoled her by 
the conversion of new people. St. Frumentius car 
ried the light of the faith into Abyssinia, which em 
braced religion with great ardor. At the same time a 
Christian slave converted the nation of the Iberians. 



Christianity preserved and propagated St. Hilary . 
St. Martin St. Gregory Nazianzen St. Basil. 
Fourth Century. 

Q. Who was St. Hilary ? 

A . St. Hilary, bishop of Poictiers, was raised up by 
God to defend the Western church against Arianism 
at the same time that St. Athanasius defended the 
Eastern church against the same heresy. 

Q. Who was the most illustrious disciple of St. 

A. The most illustrious disciple of St. Hilary was 
the great St. Martin, son of a military tribune. St. 
Martin was obliged to embrace the profession of a sol 
dier, but even there he failed not to practise every 
virtue, especially charity towards the poor. He after 
wards attached himself to St Hilary, founded the first 
monastery known in Gaul, was consecrated bishop of 
Tours, and converted a great number of pagans, which 
compensated the church for the children she had lost 
by Arianism. 

Q. What was passing in the east at that time? 

A. Whilst St. Hilary was defending religion, and 
St. Martin propagating it in the west, the emperor 
Julian the apostate endeavored to re-establish pagan 
ism in the east. 

Q. By what means? 

A . In order to destroy religion by a single blow, he 
undertook to give the lie to our Lord by rebuilding the 
temple of Jerusalem. He destroyed what remained of 
the old foundations, but in the act of placing the first 
stone of the new temple, a whirlwind of flames burst 
out of the earth and forced the workmen to fly. He 
renewed the attempt several times, but each time new 


flames bursting forth prevented the work, and he was 
obliged to abandon it. 

Q. What effect had this miracle ? 

A This miracle, attested by a pagan author, filled 
the Catholics with joy, and enraged the apostate who 
swore to avenge himself on Jesus Christ ; but he was 
mortally wounded in a battle, when, foaming with 
rage, he took with his hand the Wood from his wound 
and threw it towards the heavens, crying, " Thou hast 
conquered, Galilean." It was thus he called our 
Lord. These words were the last cry of expiring pa 

Q. How did God sustain his church ? 

A . God sustained his church thus : he himself con 
founded Julian the apostate, and then he raised up 
learned doctors who wrote against him as well as 
ugainst Arianism, which from day to day was extend 
ing its ravages. Amongst these great doctors were St. 
Gregory Nazianzen and St, Basil the Great. 

Q-. Who was St. Gregory Nazianzen ? 

A. St, Gregory was born at Nazianzen, a city of Cap- 
padocia* He was trained to virtue by his parents and 
sent to Athens to study, where he formed an intimate 
friendship with St. Basil. The fruit of this friendship, 
which should serve us as a model, was to guard them 
from bad example and aid tiieir progress in virtue and 

Q. What was the eulogium passed upon them ? 

A. The eulogium passed on them was, that they 
knew only two streets, the one that led to the church, 
and the other to the public schools, Gregory was 
elected archbishop of Constantinople, where he had 
much to suffer from the heretics ; he retired into soli 
tude where he composed his beautiful work?, which 
an*, the glory and treasure of the church, 

Q. Who was St. Basil ? 

A . St. Basil was of Cesarea in Cappadocia, of a 
family not less illustrious for its sanctity than for it* 


nobility. Having reached a mature age, he retired into 
solitude and founded many monasteries both of men 
and women, for whom he drew up a code of wise regu 
lations. It is for this reason he is regarded as one of 
the four patriarchs of the religious life. 

Q. Did he remain always in his solitude ? 

A. He did not remain always in his solitude. Be 
ing, entirely against his wish, made bishop of Cesarea, 
he was one of the pillars of the church against Arian- 
ism ; he made the emperor Valens tremble, and died at 
the age of fifty-one, so poor that he did not leave 
wherewith to erect a tomb-stone over his grave. 


Ceristianity preserved and propagated. St. Hila- 
rion, St. Ambrose, St. Augustin. Second General 
Council. Fourth and fifth Centuries. 

Q. What happened about the close of the fourth 
century ? 

A. About the close of the fourth century schism 
and heresy caused a number of disorders. Great saints 
retired into the desert, there to do penance for the sins 
of the world, and obtain a victory for the church ; of 
this number was St. Hilarion. 

Q. Who was St. Hilarion ? 

A. St. Hilarion was born in Palestine, of idolatrous 
and rich parents. At the age of fifteen he retired into 
the desert, where he lived to the age of eighty-four, 
practising the most incredible austerities. Perceiving 
that his death was near, he said : " What dost thou 
fear, my soul ; it is now seventy years that thou ser- 
vest Jesus Christ, why shouldst thou fear ? " 

Q, What new heresy arose at this time ? 

A. At this time arose the heresy of Macedonius, 


who denied the divinity of the Holy Ghost. Our 
Lord came to the aid of his church, by means of the 
council of Constantinople, which condemned the here 
tic, and added some words to the symbol of Nice, the 
better to explain the faith touching the Holy Ghost. 
This is the symbol sung at mass. 

Q, Was the church in peace after the condemnation 
of Macedonius ? 

A. She was not. The followers of this heretic, as 
well as the Arians, troubled the church by spreading 
their errors. But God raised up, to oppose them, a 
great doctor, named St. Ambrose. St. Ambrose was 
the son of the prefect of Gaul, and was made bishop of 
Milan, notwithstanding his tears and his opposition 
He extinguished the heresy of the Arians in his dio- 
cess, and showed himself always firm in defending the 
cause of God. 

Q. On what occasion did his firmness show itself in 
a special manner? 

A. His firmness was specially shown in his conduct 
towards Theodosius the great. This emperor, having 
massacred seven thousand inhabitants of the city of 
Thessalonica, dared immediately after to enter the 
church. St. Ambrose stopped him at the door, and 
made him do penance. The emperor submitted with 

Q. Who was St. Augustin ? 

A. St. Augustin was born at Tagaste, in Africa. 
His mother was St. Monica, and his father Patrick, a 
pagan, but he was converted by the prayers and pa 
tience of his virtuous wife. In his youth, St. Augustin 
fell into every disorder, from which he was withdrawn 
by St. Ambrose, and St. Monica his mother. 

Q. What did he do after his conversion ? 

A. After his conversion, he retired into the coun 
try; became the bishop of Hippo, and confounded the 
heretics, schismatics and pagans, who united their 
attackg against the church. Like St. Ambrose, he 


sold the sacred vessels to redeem captives, and died 
so poor as to render it unnecessary for him to make a 


Christianity preserved and propagated. St. Chry- 
sostom, St. J erome, St. Arsenius. Third and fourth 
General Councils. Fifth Century continued. 

Q. Who were the other doctors raised up by God 
to defend religion during the fifth century ? 

A. During the fifth century God raised up a great 
number of other doctors to defend religion ; such as St. 
Cyril of Alexandria, St. Is-idore of Pelusium, St. 
Epiphanius, and above all St. Chrysostom, patriarch 
of Constantinople, and St. Jerome. 

Q. Who was St. Chrysostom ? 

A . St. Chrysostom was son of one of the generals in 
the Roman army; he was born at Antioch, and raised 
in piety by a virtuous mother ; he became so skilled in 
eloquence, that he changed the whole face of the city 
of Antioch. 

Q. How did he become the patriarch of Constanti 
nople ? 

A. The emperor Arcadius had him carried off and 
consecrated archbishop of Constantinople. The saint 
there displayed the same zeal as at Antioch, and with 
the same success. But the heretics and the evil dis 
posed caused him to be sent into exile, where he died 
in 407. 

Q. Who was St. Jerome ? 

A. St. Jerome, born in Pannonia, was sent to Rome 
to perfect himself in the sciences. He there forgot, for 
a time, the good principles received from his family ; 
but entering into himself, he was baptized, and conse 
crated himself entirely to prayer and study. He re- 


tired to Bethlehem, and spent the rest oi* his life in 
great austerities. It was from the depth of his solitude 
that he refuted the schismatics and heretics, and en 
lightened the church by a great number of learned 

Q. Who were the principal solitaries of the fifth 
century ? 

A. The principal solitaries of the fifth century wem 
St. Nilus, St. Simon Stylites, St. Arsenius and St. 
Gerasimus. Whilst great doctors were doing battle 
for the church, great saints were praying in the desert 
for the triumph of the church and to stay the justice 
of God. 

Q. Who was St. Arsenius ? 

A. St. Arsenius was first the preceptor of the chil 
dren of the emperor Theodosius. After having passed 
eleven years at court, he retired into the desert, where, 
till the age of ninety-five, he led a life wholly angelic, 
after saying to himself : " Arsenius, why did you quit 
the world ? why have you come hither ? " 

Q. Who was St. Gerasimus ? 

A . St. Gerasimus fixed his habitation in Palestine, 
on the banks of the Jordan, and founded there a very 
celebrated laura. A laura signifies a habitation of 
solitaries, whose cells are ranged in a circle, separated 
from one another, but all opening into the church, 
which is built in the centre of the circle. These 
saints all lived in perpetual silence ; each in his own 
cell occupied in prayer and manual labor. On Sunday 
they all assembled in the church, to participate in the 
holy mysteries. 

Q. How did God punish the sins of the heretics and 
pagans ? 

A. During the fifth century God punished the sins 
of the heretics and pagans by bringing down upon the 
Roman empire hordes of barbarians, led on by the re 
doubtable chiefs, Attila, king of the Huns, and Alaric, 



king of the Visigoths. The pope St. Leo twice saved 
Koine from their fury. 

Q. Were there not two general councils held in the 
fifth century ? 

A. There were two general councils held in the fifth 
century; one at Ephesus in 431, which condemned 
Nestorius ; the other at Chalcedon, in 451, in which 
Eutyches was condemned. 


Dhristianity preserved and propagated. St. Patrick, 
St. Clotilda, St. Benedict. Fifth General Council. 
Fifth and sixth Centuries. 

Q. What do you further remark of the fifth century ? 

A . Whilst heresies afflicted the church in the east, 
new nations were converted to the faith in the west. 

Q. Who were these nations? 

A . The Irish and the French. 

Q. Who was the apostle of Ireland ? 

A. The apostle of Ireland was St. Patrick. He 
was born in England,* and carried off by a gang of 
barbarians, who took him to Ireland, where he was 
reduced to the condition of a swineherd. God deliv 
ered him ; but from the moment he returned to his 
own country, he resolved to go back to Ireland, to 
preach there the faith. Pope Celestine made him 
bishop and sent him to Ireland, which he had the 
happiness to convert to Christianity. 

Q. Who was the apostle of the French ? 

A . It may be said that St. Clotilda was the apostle 
of the French. This princess was a Catholic, and 
was given in marriage to Clovis, king of the French. 
She endeavored by the practice of every virtue to gain 

* Alvan Butler places his birth in Scotland, others in Brittany. 

CO u its/: THIRD. 295 

die heart of her husband, in order to gain him to Jesus 
Christ ; Clovis postponed his conversion from day to 
day ; at length the moment of grace arrived. 

Q. On what/ occasion ? 

A. In a battle against the Germans, Clovis saw his 
army in confusion, and himself exposed to fall into 
the hands of his enemies. He invoked the God of 
Clotilda, and promised to adore him if he should be 
victorious. His prayer was heard ; on his return to 
Rheims, he was baptized by St. Remigius, bishop of 
that city, together with a great number of his officers. 

Q. What was the end of St. Clotilda? 

A . St. Clotilda, having obtained the great wish of 
her heart, retired after the death of her husband, in the 
city of Tours, near the tomb of St Martin, where she 
died full of days and merit on the 3d of June, in the 
year 545. She and St. Monica are the models of 
mothers and wives. 

Q. Who was St. Benedict ? 

A. St. Benedict was born in Italy. His parents 
sent him to Rome to study ; but fearing to lose his 
innocence there, he left the city and retired to the 
desert of Subiaco, and afterwards to Mount Cassino, 
where he founded the celebrated monastery which 
bears that name. He soon after founded twelve 
others, for which he wrote a code of rules full of 
wisdom. St. Benedict is the first patriarch of the re- 
igious orders in the west. By the first article of his 
rule, persons of every description are admitted. This 
was intended to open an asylum to all those who were 
compelled to fly from the barbarians. 

Q. What service have the Benedictines rendered ? 

A. The Benedictines have rendered the greatest ser 
vices to the Avorld. They have cleared vast provinces ; 
preserved the works of the ancient writers ; edified 
the church, and carried the faith to whole nations. 

Q. Was there not a general council held in the 
sixth century? 


A . In the sixth century there was a general council 
held at Constantinople in 553, in which many errors 
-were condemned. 


- Christianity preserved and propagated. St. Austin, 
apostle of England, and St. John the Almoner. 
Sixth and seventh Centuries. 

Q. How was England converted ? 

A. A young deacon, named Gregory, was one day 
passing through the market at Rome, and there saw 
some slaves of remarkably fine appearance exposed to 
sale. He learned that they were from Great Britain, 
and were pagans. " What a pity," said he, " that 
such beautiful creatures should be slaves to the devil " 

Q. What did he do afterwards ? 

A. Having become pope, with the title of Gregory, 
he sent into England St. Austin, prior of one of the 
Benedictine convents at Rome. The saint set out 
with forty missioners ; they arrived safely in England, 
and penetrated as far as Canterbury, of which place 
Austin became bishop. 

Q. Did they make many converts ? 

A . The pagans, struck by the brilliant virtues and 
miracles of the apostles, were converted in great num 
bers. The king himself demanded baptism ; and in a 
short time all Great Britain became Christian. It is 
thus our Lord compensated the church for the losses 
which heresies caused her to sustain in the east. 

Q. What happened in the commencement of the 
seventh century V 

A. In the commencement of the seventh century 
the vengeance of God fell upon the empire of the 
Persians, who, from the birth of Christianity, had 
never ceased to persecute the Christians. 


Q. How did the Persians at last bring the ven 
geance of God upon their empire ? 

A. The Parthians and Persians, led on by their 
king Chosroes, made a descent upon Syria and Pales 
tine ; took Jerusalem, delivered it up to fire and sword, 
and possessed themselves of the true cross, which they 
carried into Armenia, after having massacred a great 
number of Christians, and reduced the rest to the 
most abject misery. 

Q. How did our Lord come to the relief of his 
afflicted children? 

A. Our Lord came to the relief of his afflicted 
children by raising up for them a man who sympa 
thized deeply with them in their afflictions, consoled 
them, fed them, and aided them greatly to re-build 
Jerusalem. This man, who may be called the St. 
Vincent de Paul of the east, was St. John, patriarch 
of Alexandria, in Egypt. He was so charitable, that 
he received the name of the Almoner- 


Christianity preserved and propagated. St. John 
the Almoner continued. Tne true Cross restored. 
Seventh Century. 

Q. Continue the life of St. John the Almoner. 

A. St. John was as ready to forgive injuries as to 
distribute alms. One day, a senator named Nicetas 
wished to take possession of a piece of property which 
belonged to the church and to the poor of Alexandria. 
The saint opposed it, which made the senator very 
angry. The saint had no sooner returned home, than 
he sent two ecclesiastics to say to Nicetas : My 
brother, the sun is about to set." The senator under 
stood, and went immediately to the holy patriarch. 
both knelt down and prayed together, they ein- 


braced each other, and thenceforward they remained 
ever united in sincere friendship. 

Q. What was the resignation of the holy patriarch ? 

A. At the moment when he most needed all his 
resources, he learned that thirteen vessels, laden with 
corn and valuable merchandise, belonging to the 
church of Alexandria, had been shipwrecked. He 
received this dispensation of Providence with all the 
resignation of the holy man Job, and like him was he 

Q, What was his spirit of poverty ? 

A. He occupied a small cell, and slept on a poor 
bed, which had but a single cover, made of wool, old 
and torn in many places. A rich citizen of Alexan 
dria purchased a new one, and begged him to make 
use of it, for his sake. The saint with much reluct 
ance consented to use it. 

Q. What happened afterwards ? 

A. He was unable to sleep the whole night. He 
was heard constantly saying : " Who would think that 
the humble John has on him a covering that cost thirty- 
six pieces of silver ? How many poor are there who 
have only a reed-mat to lie on ? God be praised, it is 
the first and last time I use this covering." Early in 
the morning he had it sold. 

Q. Where did St. John the Almoner die ? 

A. St. John the Almoner, having lived to a very 
old age, died in the island of Cyprus, leaving the fol 
lowing will : " I, John, who am only a poor sinner, 
return thanks to God. that at the hour of death my 
whole wealth consists of but a single piece of money. 
As I have heretofore given all I had to God, so I now 
give him this also, by giving it to the poor." 

Q. How did God punish the Persians for having 
laid waste Jerusalem V 

A. God, who had raised up St. John the Almoner 
to succor the Christians of Palestine and Syria, did not 
tail to punish the Persians for the crimes and profa- 


nations which they had committed. The emperor 
He/aclius gave the first death blow to their empire, by 
a ujreat victory obtained over them ; after which their 
king Chosroes, who had taken Jerusalem and carried 
away the true cross, was assassinated by his own son. 

Q. What became of the true cross? 

A. The true cross was restored, still enclosed in its 
case and sealed with the seal of the patriarch of Jeru 
salem and was carried back in triumph to the holy 


Christianity preserved and propagated. St. Sophro- 
nius. Sixth General Council. St. Willibrod. 
Seventh and eighth Centuries. 

Q. Who gave the last blow to the empire of the 
Persians ? 

A. Mahomet gave the finishing blow to the empire 
of the Persians. He was born at Mecca, a small town 
in Arabia, of obscure parents. Crime cost him 
nothing, if by it he could attain his wishes. In order 
to hold a more sure and unlimited sway over the 
Arabs, a great number of whom were still idolaters, he 
determined to form a religion for them. 

Q. What was his religion ? 

A. The religion of Mahomet was an absurd mixture 
of Christianity, Judaism and idolatry- He admits the 
existence of one God, but denies the free will of man ; 
he prescribes different acts of religion, but sanctions 
the most shameful sins, and promises his followers 
sensual pleasures in eternity, as their reward. 

Q. What were the effects of this religion ? 

A. It produced debasement, corruption, slavery and 
barbarism ; whereas Christianity has purified morals, 
Abolished slavery and civilized nations. 


Q. Did Mahomet succeed in establishing his religion ? 

A. He succeeded by means of the sword. His law 
was : Believe or die ! The Mahometans owe their 
success to force and the love of pleasures; whereas 
the apostles established the Christian religion by plac 
ing a restraint upon all the passions of man, and by 
suffering martyrdom themselves. 

Q. Is the religion of Mahomet one ? 

A. Whilst the Christian religion is one and undi 
vided, Mahometanism is divided into a multitude of 
sects. There are more than sixty of these sects. 

Q. What was the end of Mahomet ? 

A. A Jewish woman, washing to ascertain if Ma 
homet was really a prophet, as he pretended, poisoned 
u shoulder of mutton, and gave it to him to eat. The 
pretended prophet did not discover it until after he 
had eaten of it, and died miserably. 

Q. How did the empire of the Persians terminate? 

A. Omar, one of the lieutenants of Mahomet, was 
appointed by Providence to punish the Persians. He 
declared war against them, killed their last king and 
destroyed their empire. The Mahometans, called by 
God to chastise the guilty nations, reduced to servi 
tude all the provinces of the east which embraced 

Q What other calamity afflicted the church ? 

A. The heresy of the Monothelites These heretics 
pretended that there was but one will, although there 
were two natures in our Lord. They were condemned 
in the sixth general council, held at Constantinople 
in 680. 

Q. How did God console the church? 

A. God consoled the church by the evangelical life 
of a great number of saints, who repaired the scandals 
and crimes caused by heresy. Of this number was St. 
Anastasius, solitary of Mt. Sinai. 

Q. How did God repair the losses sustained by the 
church ? 


A. God repaired the losses which the church had 
sustained from heresy and Mahometanism, by the con 
version of new nations. These were the Frisons, the 
Hollanders, and a portion of the Danes. The mis 
sionary who carried the gospel to them was St. Willi- 
brol, a Benedictine religious of England. He was 
sent by Pope Sergius. 


Christianity preserved and propagated.St.Boniface. 
Martyrdom of the Religious of Lerins and of St. 
Stephen, a solitary. -Eighth Century. 

Q. Did the church make other conquests ? 

A. The Church made other conquests still more ex 
tensive : all Germany was converted by the preaching 
of St. Boniface, an English Benedictine, whom the 
Sovereign Pontiff, Gregory II., sent to preach the 
gospel to all the north of Europe. 

Q. What did St. Boniface do after receiving his 


A. After receiving his mission, the saint departed 
for the scene of his future labors, converted the Bava 
rians, the rest of the Frisons, and of Saxon v. In order 
to secure the fruit of his labors, he founded the cele 
brated abbey of Fulde, which became a nursery of 
saints and great men, who civilized the Germans, after 
having made them Christians. 

Q. How did St. Boniface die ? 

A. St. Boniface, having been consecrated arch 
bishop of Mayence, pushed his apostolic labors to the 
most distant portions of Friselanrl on the seaboard. 
He had already converted a great number of idolaters, 
when he was set upon by the barbarians, who procured 
for him the crown of martyrdom which he had long 



Q. From whom had the church to suffer ? 

A. The church whilst rejoicing in the conversion of 
Germany, had much to suffer from the Saracens or 
Mahometans. They crossed from Africa into Spain, 
and thence passed into France, burning and slaughter 
ing all in their way. 

Q. By whom was their course arrested ? 

A . Their course was arrested by Charles Martel, a 
French prince, who defeated them in a bloody battle 
near Poietiers. Before and during this invasion great 
disorders had taken place ; the sins of Christians were 
great, and victims were required to expiate them. 

Q. Who were these victims ? 

A. These victims were a great many holy bishops 
and religious living at that time, and especially the 
glorious martyrs whose blood was shed in torrents by 
the sword of the Saracens, particularly the religious 
of Luxeuil in Franche-Compte, and the religious of 

Q. What else had the church to suffer during this 
century V 

A . The church had also to suffer during this century 
from the impieties of the Iconoclasts or image-break 
ers They were heretics, and regarding as idolatrous 
the honor paid to the images of our Lord, the B. Vir 
gin and the saints, went about destroying them. 

Q. Who was the author of this heresy ? 

A. The author of this heresy was Leo the Isaurian, 
who sustained it by the sword. His son Constantine 
endeavored to support it also, by argument, but he 
was confounded in a public disputation, by a holy soli 
tary named Stephen. This prince, a persecutor of the 
church, died miserably, stricken by the hand of God. 



Christianity preserved and propagated. St. John 
Damascen. Seventh General Council. St. Ansca- 
rius, St. Eulogius, St. Methodius. Eighth and 
ninth Centuries. 

Q. Who was the principal defender of holy images ? 

A. The principal defender of holy images was St. 
John, surnamed Damascen from Damascus the place 
of his birth. His father had him instructed with great 
care by a holy religious, whom he had redeemed from 
the slavery of the Saracens. 

Q. What did St. John do after the death of his 

A. After the death of his father, he was appointed 
governor of Damascus ; but fearing lest he should lose 
his soul, amidst the honors and riches of his station, 
he quit it, and retired to seek solitude in the laura of 
St. Sabas near Jerusalem. By his writings he gave 
the death blow to the heresy of the Iconoclasts, which 
was condemned by the seventh general council, held 
at Nice in 787. 

Q. In what manner did God punish the emperors 
of Constantinople? 

A. To punish the emperors of Constantinople, God 
took from them the empire of the west, and gave it to 
a prince more worthy. This prince was Charlemagne, 
under whose auspices religion and the sciences flour 
ished again, and the conversion of the Saxons was 

Q. What other people were afterwards converted ? 

A. The conversion of the Saxons was followed by 
that of the Danes and Swedes. The church thus re 
paired the losses she had sustained by the Mahome 
tans and heretics. 

Q. Who was the apostle of these nations? 


A. The apostle of the Danes and Swedes was St. 
Anscarius, a Benedictine religious, of the abbey of 

Q. Were there no martyrs during this period V 

A. During this period there were martyrs in Spain, 
where the Saracens had resolved to extinguish the 
faith. Abderam their king commenced a violent per 
secution, in which many victims were sacrificed, and 
amongst them St. Eulogius. 

Q. Who was St. Eulogius ? 

A . St. Eulogius was a holy priest, full of faith, and 
well versed in science. He had advised a Christian, 
whose father and mother were Mahometans, to quit 
the parental roof, fearing lest she t-hould lose her faith. 
This so exasperated the Saracens, that they seized 
the saint and put him to death. The young Christian 
suffered martyrdom four days after. 

Q. Was the blood of these martyrs the seed of 
Christians ? 

A. The blood of these martyrs was the seed of 
Christians ; for shortly after their death the Bulgari 
ans embraced Christianity. The sight of a painting, 
representing the last judgment, struck the king with 
such terror, that he demanded baptism and became a 
fervent Christian. 


Christianity preserved and propagated. Eighth Gen 
eral Council. Conversion of the Russians and 
Normans Foundation of the Abbey of Cluni. 
Ninth and tenth Centuries. 

Q. What afflicted the church towards the close of 
the nintn century ? 

A. Towards the close of the ninth century tho 
church was afflicted bv the schism of Photius. Ph>- 


tius was a man of great influence and full of pride ; 
he drove St. Ignatius, patriarch of Constantinople, from 
liis see, and usurped it himself, although only a simple 

Q. What did the sovereign pontiffs do? 

A . The sovereign pontiffs wrote to the emperor in 
order to put an end to this scandal. The eighth gene 
ral council was assembled at Constantinople. Photius 
was condemned, and Ignatius recognized as the sole 
lawful pastor. Order was again established ; but in 
the minds of some turbulent spirits there remained a 
discontent, which at a later period gave rise to the 
schism of the Greeks. 

Q. How was the church consoled ? 

A. The church was consoled by the conversion of 
the Russians, a barbarous people, who appeared in 
the north of Europe, and who were already menacing 
the provinces of the empire. A holy bishop set out 
to preach the gospel to them, but the Russians de 
manded a miracle before they would be converted. 

Q. What was the miracle V 

A. They required of him to throw the book of Gos 
pels into a large fire which themselves had made, 
promising to become Christians if the book was not 
consumed. The holy missionary raised his eyes to 
heaven and implored the Lord to have pity on that 
people. The miracle took place, and the whole people 
demanded baptism. 

Q. What people was converted during the tenth 
century ? 

A. The Normans were converted during the tenth 
century. They were barbarians from the north, who 
ravaged Europe for more than a century. 

Q. Who preached the faith to them V 

A. It was particularly the archbishop of Rouen who 
preached the faith to them. Rolla, their chief, con 
sented to receive instruction in the Christian religion, 
which he embraced with sincerity, and established 


himself in the country now called Normandy. After 
his baptism he labored with zeal for the conversion of 
his followers, and his efforts were crowned with suc 

Q. What new enemy had the church to combat ? 

A. Scandal was the new enemy which the church 
had now to combat. During the continued wars of the 
Normans great irregularities had crept in among the 
Christians and reached even the monasteries. The 
church wept, and God raised up great saints who 
again revived the spirit of virtue. 

Q. Who was the first ? 

A. The first was St. Odon, abbot of Cluni. Cluni 
was an abbey of the order of St; Benedict, situated near 
Macon. The saint established perfect regularity in 
the abbey, whence went forth the happy reform which 
restored the religious orders to their primitive holiness. 


Christianity preserved and propagated. St. Gerard, 
St. Odon, St. Adelaide. Conversion of the Poles. 
Tenth Century. 

Q. By whom was the reform of morals continued ? 

A. The reform of morals, commenced at Cluni, 
was continued in Belgium by St. Gerard. This young 
nobleman, engaged from his infancy in the career of 
arms, had preserved his soul in all its purity. One 
day whilst returning from a hunt he entered a solitary 
chapel to pray, and there resolved to quit the world. 

Q. Whither did he retire? 

A. He retired to the abbey of St. Denis near Paris, 
where he was ordained priest, and sent back to Belgium 
to establish discipline. 

Q. Who reformed England ? 

A. St. Odon, and after him St. Dunstan, both of 


whom were archbishops of Canterbury. Their efforts 
were crowned with great success, and, despite the 
wiles of the devil, religion every where triumphed. 

Q. Show this more clearly V 

A. Whilst virtue was flourishing in the convents 
and among the clergy, God was pleased that it should 
shine brilliantly in the courts of kings. We behold 
during this period St. Wenceslas, duke of Bohemia, 
St. Edward, king of England, St. Matilda, queen of 
Germany, and St. Adelaide, empress, reforming by 
their example the people whom they governed. 

Q. What were the other triumphs of the church ? 

A. The other triumphs of the church were : 1st, 
the conversion of the Basques, a people inhabiting the 
frontiers of France and Spain : 2d, the conversion of 
the Poles, who owe the light of the gospel, in a great 
measure, to a pious princess, the wife of the duke of 

Q. What were the other consolations of the church ? 

A. The extraordinary virtues of St. Paul of Latra, 
an eastern anchorite, also consoled the church. Dur 
ing a long life he expiated the sins of the world by 
austerities similar to those practised by the most fa 
mous solitaries. His reputation spread throughout 
the whole Christian world, so that emperors, popes and 
bishops consulted him, being persuaded that God spoke 
by the mouth of this great saint. 


Christianity preserved and propagated. St. Bruno, 
St. William, St. Peter Damian, St. Gregory VII, 
Eleventh Century. 

Q. AVho reformed the morals of Germany ? 
A. St. Bruno and St. William reformed the morals 
of Germany. St. Bruno was the brother of the ern- 


peror Otho and archbishop of Mayence. God seconded 
his efforts, and the love of science and the practice of 
virtue which prevailed, consoled the church no less 
than the previous scandal had afflicted her. 

Q. Who was St. William ? 

A. St. William, who aided in reforming the morals 
of Germany, was abbot of Ilirsaug ; he revived piety 
in this celebrated abbey, and reformed more than a 
hundred monasteries. 

Q. Who were the first to reform the clergy ? 

A. The sovereign pontiffs were the first to reform 
the clergy. It was proper that they should be the 
first, as they were established by our Lord to watch 
not only over the faithful, but over the pastors also. 

Q. By whom were they seconded ? 

A. They were powerfully seconded by St. Peter 
Damian. Born at Ravenna in Italy, and during his 
youth employed as a swineherd, he became afterwards 
a celebrated professor ; but fearing to lose his soul in 
the world, he retired to a hermit s cell, where he prac 
tised all the austerities of penance. 

Q. What did the sovereign pontiffs do ? 

A. The sovereign pontiffs called him from his ob 
scurity ; he was made bishop and cardinal ; he con 
secrated his whole life to the reform of the clergy, 
and had the consolation to see his labors crowned with 

Q. What was the principal cause of the scandals of 
that period ? 

A. The principal cause of the scandals of that pe 
riod was the assumption by princes, irrespective of 
the ecclesiastical authority, of the right of investiture, 
that is, the right of nominating to dignities in the 
I hurch. 

Q. Who made head against this abuse ? 

A. The great St. Gregory VII, a religious, and 
ifterwards prior of Cluni. He was during twenty 
years archdeacon of the Roman church, and employed 


in the most important affairs of the holy see. At the 
ape of sixty he was elected pope, and spent the rest of 
his life in rescuing the church from the temporal 
powers, who were dishonoring it by the appointment 
of ministers unworthy of their holy station. The 
whole world owes a debt of such profound gratitude to 
this holy pope, who by saving the church saved society 
itself, that even Protestants revere his character. 


Christianity preserved and propagated. Founding of 
the great St. Bernard. The Camaldulenses estab 
lished. Lanfranc, Archbishop of Canterbury. 
Eleventh Century. 

Q. Who were the principal saints of the eleventh 
century ? 

A. Besides those whose history we have already 
given, the principal saints of the eleventh century 
were St. Henry, emperor of Germany ; St. Stephen, 
king of Hungary, and St. Emeric his son ; St. Glaus, 
king of Norway ; who show us the effect produced by 
the reform of morals, and teach us that the church has 
at all times been full of vigor and of life. 

Q. What else teaches this beautiful truth ? 

A. The institution of the religious of the great St. 
Bernard also teaches us that the church has ever been 
full of strength and life. 

Q. Who was the founder of the great St. Bernard 
or Mount St. Bernard ? 

A. The founder was St. Bernard of Menthon, arch 
deacon of Aosta in Piedmont. Having learnt that on 
the summit of the Alps there was adored a famous 
statue of Jupiter, he went to the place, overturned the 
statae and built near the spot an establishment for the 


reception of travelers who crossed those dangerous 
mountains. This establishment was called the hospice 
of the great St. Bernard. 

Q. What were the occupations of the religious who 
inhabited this convent V 

A . The religious who inhabited it were constantly 
occupied in rendering aid to travelers ; they sought for 
them under the snow, carried them to the convent, and 
bestowed upon them all the care and attention neces 
sary to restore them to life. These religious led a verj 
austere life, and shortened their days by breathing the 
too keen atmosphere of these mountains.* 

Q. What other institution was founded about this 

A. Another institution destined to give an example 
to the world and to expiate the sins of men, arose at 
this time in the order of the Camaldulenses. St. Ro- 
muald, its founder, was an Italian noble, whose youth 
was not the most regular ; but, touched by the grace 
of God, he was converted, and practised in the desert 
the greatest austerities. 

Q. What was the effect of his sanctity ? 

A. The effect of his sanctity was to draw around 
him as his disciples, a number of princes and young 
noblemen and a great many of inferior rank. 

Q. What was their mode of life ? 

A.. They lived by the labor of their hands. Fast 
ing, silence, prayer, all the virtues of the ancient soli 
taries were practised by St. Romuald and his disciples. 
This order has given to the church a great number of 
saints and illustrious personages, amongst others the 
late pope Gregory XVI. 

Q. What were the afflictions of the church during 
this century ? 

A. The principal afflictions of the church during 

* This property was recently confiscated by the radical and 
barbarous government of Switzerland. 

tiX THIRD. 31 1 

this century were : 1st, the heresy of Berengarius, 
archdeacon of the church of Anders, who dared deny 
the real presence of our Lord in the blessed sacrament, 
but he was refuted by the celebrated Lanfranc, arch 
bishop of Canterbury ; 2d, the schism of Michael 
Cerularius, patriarch of Constantinople, who fostered 
the seeds of dissension left by Photius in the minds of 
some of his followers. The Greeks did not, however, 
separate entirely from the church at this time ; 3d, the 
persecutions of the Mahometans, who, becoming more 
formidable than ever, harassed the Christians of 
Egypt and Palestine. 


Christianity preserved and propagated. Conversion 
of the Hungarians. - Truce of God. Foundation 
of the Chartreux. Eleventh Century continued. 

Q. How did God console the church ? 

A. During the eleventh century God consoled the 
church by the conversion of the Hungarians, a barbar 
ous and very cruel people, who had ravaged Germany, 
Italy, and many other countries. 

Q. How was their conversion effected ? 

A . One of their kings received baptism and induced 
his subjects to follow his example. He educated in 
the Christian religion his son Stephen, who became 
the apostle of Hungary, and was a great saint. 

Q. What other consolation did God give the church? 

A . Another consolation- given by God to the church 
Vrts the establishment of God s truce of the truce of 
God, by which every kind of combat was prohibited, 
from the evening of Wednesday till the morning of 
Monday of each week. This cessation from strife 
was the more necessary, as the Christians were called 
<m to unite in the crusades against the Saracens. 


Q. What were the crusades ? 

A . The crusades were the wars undertaken by the 
Christians to deliver the Holy Land from the yoke of 
the Saracens, who had possessed themselves* of the 
greatest part of Asia and Africa. Jerusalem had fallen 
into their power ; they had exercised the most frightful 
cruelties in that city, and were menacing the whole 

Q. Who was the first apostle of the crusades ? 

A. The first apostle of the crusades was a holy 
hermit named Peter, of the diocess of Amiens, whom 
the sovereign pontiff engaged to traverse Europe, in 
order to induce the kings and lords of the country to 
inarch against the Saracens. 

Q. What name was taken by those who engaged in 
these expeditions ? 

A . Those who engaged in these expeditions wore 
as their distinct mark a cross of red stuff on the 
shoulder ; for this reason they were called crossed, and 
the wars called crusades. The crossed or crusaders 
set out and took Jerusalem, and elected Godfrey of 
Bouillon king of the holy city. There were six prin 
cipal crusades. 

Q. What were the advantages of the crusades ? 

A. The principal advantages of the crusades were : 
I st, to relieve the Christians who had become slaves to 
the infidels ; 2d, to prevent the Saracens from getting 
possession of Europe and introducing there what they 
had introduced every where else, slavery, conniption 
and barbarism ; 3d, to develop the arts and sciences. 

Q. What religious order was established at this 
time ? 

A . The religious order established at this time was 
that of the Chartreux or Carthusians. Whilst the cru 
saders were marching to combat, holy solitaries started 
for the desert, there to implore the aid of God, expiate 
the scandals of the world, and secure victory for their 


Q. Who was the founder of the Chartreux or Car 
thusians V 

A. The founder of the Carthusians was St. Bruno, 
chancellor of the church of Rheims, who retired to a 
frightful desert, called Chartreuse in the diocess of 
Grenoble, where he and his companions led the life of 
angels. St. Bruno died in 1101. 


Christianity preserved and propagated. Founding 
of the Order of St. Anthony. Of the Knights or 
St. John, and Knights of St. Lazarus. Order of St. 
Bernard. Eleventh and twelftii Centuries. 

Q. What is the order of St. Anthony of Vienne ? 

A. The order of St. Anthony of Vienne was an 
order instituted to relieve the sick suffering from St. 
Anthony s fire. This was an unknown and terrible 
disease, which ravaged Europe during the eleventh, 
twelfth and thirteenth centuries. 

Q. What other religious order was established at 
this time ? 

A . At this time, also, was established the order of 
the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem. 

Q. What were their duties ? 

A. Their duties were two-fold, to take care of the 
sick, and to combat the Saracens. They made the 
vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, and took an 
oath never to count the enemy ; they performed prodi- 
gies of valor. 

Q. Were they the only order devoted to the two 
fold duty of nursing the sick and combating the infi 
dels ? 

A. They were not the only order devoted to this 
two-fold duty. The Knights of St. Lazarus did the 



same thing ; but they were specially devoted to th 
care of lepers. 

Q What was the condition of the lepers ? 

A . The lepers, driven out of the cities and from the 
habitations of men, wandered about the country wherts 
the greatest part of them died of want and destitution. 
The Knights of St. Lazarus came to their succor, and, 
in order to secure to them better and more faithful 
attention, no one but an actual leper could be grand 
master of the order. This admirable charity recalls to 
our mind that of our Lord, who took upon himself 
our infirmities, in order to compassionate them the 

Q. What saint was raised up to relieve the spiritual 
wants of the Christians ? 

A . St. Bernard was raised up for the spiritual suc 
cor of the Christians. He banished scandal, con 
founded heretics and consoled the church. 

Q. Where was he born ? 

A. He was born at Chateau de Fontaines, near Dijoi , 
and at the age of twenty-three entered the order of 
Citeaux (the Cistercians,) with his brothers and thirty 
young noblemen, whom he had gained to Jesus Christ. 

Q. What did Bernard become at Citeaux ? 

A. Bernard soon became the model of the whole 
community. In order to excite himself to the practice 
of virtue, he was accustomed to say to himself : Ber 
nard, why hast thou come hither? St. Stephen, abbot 
of Citeaux, sent him with twelve other religious to 
found the celebrated abbey of Clairvaux. 

Q. Where is Clairvaux ? 

A. Clairvaux is in the diocess of Langres. It 
was the haunt of brigands. St. Bernard established 
himself there, built cells, and soon saw around him 
five hundred religious, animated with the greatest 

Q. What were the principal virtues of St. Bernard ? 

A. The principal virtues of St. Bernard were, mild- 


ness towards others, severity towards himself and 
devotion to the Blessed Virgin. He died at Clairvaux, 
at the age of sixty-three, the 20th of August, 1153. 


Christianity preserved and propagated. Founding 
of the Contemplative orders. Founding of the 
Teutonic Knights and Religious of the Holy Ghost. 
Twelfth Century continued. 

Q. How did God remedy the scandals which af 
flicted the church during the twelfth century? 

A. By the establishment of the contemplative or 
ders, by the example of many great saints, and by the 
conversion of a large province in the north called Po- 

Q. How did God defend the church ? 

A. He defended the church by the religious mili 
tary orders ; in the north, by the Teutonic Knights ; 
in the east, by the Knights of the order of St. John 
of Jerusalem and of the order of St. Lazarus ; in 
the south by those of St. John of the sword, those of 
Calatrava, of Alcantara and of Avis. 

Q. What vows did these latter orders make ? 

A. They made a vow to defend the immaculate 
conception of the Blessed Virgin. During many cen 
turies they were the rampart of the Christians, and the 
terror of the Saracens, who, notwithstanding theii 
efforts, made many captives. 

Q. How were these captives comforted ? 

A. They were comforted and redeemed by the order 
of the Holy Trinity, founded by St. John of Matha. 
He was born in the south of France, passed his youth 
in the practice of virtue, and having completed his 
studies at Paris with great success, entered the eccle 
siastical state. The day he said his first mass in the 


presence of the bishop of Paris and many great person 
ages, God wrought a miracle to make known to him 
his vocation. 

Q. What was this miracle ? 

A. At the elevation of the sacred host, an angel 
appeared in the shape of a young man he was dressed 
in a white robe with a cross of red and blue on the 
breast, and his hand resting on two captives. The 
bishop of Paris sent St. John of Matha to Rome, to 
ask of the sovereign pontiff what was the will of God 
in the matter. 

Q. What did the sovereign pontiff do ? 

A. The sovereign pontiff ordered fasting and prayers 
and he himself celebrated the holy mysteries. At the 
elevation the same miraculous vision appeared, and 
the pope directed St. John of Matha to establish an 
order for the redemption of captives who were groan 
ing under the yoke of the infidels. 

Q. Did the saint remain at Rome ? 

A. He did not remain at Rome he returned to 
France, built a monastery, collected alms, and sent 
two of his religious to Africa to ransom the slaves 
they brought back one hundred and eighty. The saint 
went thither himself, and ransomed a great number. 


Christianity preserved and propagated. Founding 
of the order of the Holy Ghost. -Council of Lat- 
eran. Conversion of the Rugians. Twelfth and 
thirteenth Centuries. 

Q. What orders of the Knights Hospitalers were 
established during the twelfth century? 

A. The orders of the Knights Hospitalers of the 
twelfth century were the orders of the Holy Ghost, of 
Albrac, and of the Bridge brothers. 


Q. What is the order of the Holy Ghost ? 

A. The order of the Holy Ghost is an order destined 
to comfort and relieve the sick. The most celebrated 
hospital of this order is that of the Holy Ghost, at 
Rome, in which many thousands of sick persons and 
exposed infants are provided for. 

Q. What is there remarkable near this monastery ? 

A . Near this monastery there is a small open tower 
for the reception of the exposed infant. It is forbid 
den under the severest penalties to ask the name or 
make any inquiry about the person who deposits the 
infant there, or even to follow with the eye the per 
son Avhen leaving the place. 

Q. What is the order of Albrac? 

A. The order of Albrac was established for the bene 
fit of pilgrims. It was founded in the south of France 
on a high mountain, and was composed of religious 
devoted to the care of sick pilgrims; of knights to 
escort and defend the pilgrims from robbers ; and last 
ly of religious women, all ladies of distinction, whose 
duty it was to wash the feet of the pilgrims, clean 
their clothes and make their beds. 

Q. What was the order of the Bridge brothers ? 

A. The end for which the order of Bridge brothers 
was established, was: 1st, to build bridges over the 
rivers ; 2d, to pass the travelers over in boats, which 
were always ready ; 3d, to receive, feed, and conduct 
them on their journey. 

Q. What heretics appeared in the twelfth century ? 

A. In the twelfth century several kinds of heretics 
appeared, amongst others, the Vaudois who sprang up 
at Lyons. They renounced their worldly goods, led 
a life apparently austere, said they were forbidden to 
possess property, and pretended that every Christian 
was a priest. 

Q. In what council were they condemned? 

A. They were condemned in the eleventh general 
council, held at Rome in the church of St. John of 


Lateran. But as the people were deceived by their 
apparent holiness, God raised up from among the peo 
ple true saints, to show which was the true church. 
Of this number was St. Isidore the patron of laborers, 
and St. Drogon the patron of shepherds. The church 
was also consoled by the conversion of the Kngians, 
a people of the north 

Q. What do you remark on the thirteenth century ? 

A. I remark that hell attacked the church with un 
heard of fury ; but God came to her aid. 

Q. In what manner ? 

A. He raised up great saints, and caused the estab 
lishment of many religious orders, especially the four 
mendicant orders, namely, the Carmelites, the Fran 
ciscans, the Dominicans and the Augustinians. They 
are called mendicant, because they are supported by 


Christianity preserved and propagated. Establish 
ment of the four Mendicant Orders, Carmelites, 
Franciscans, Dominicans, Augustinians. St. 
Thomas. Thirteenth Century continued. 

Q. What is the order of the Carmelites ? 

A. The order of Carmelites, composed of hermits 
living in cells under the conduct of a superior, was 
first established in the east, whence it passed into the 
west, about the beginning of the thirteenth century. 
At the same time God raised up another defender of 
the church. 

Q. Who was he ? 

A. It was St. Francis of Assisium, founder of the 
Franciscans. He was born in Italy, gave all his goods 
to the poor, became poor himself, and established an 
order, the object of which was to preach to the peo- 


pie, both by word and example, the three great vir* 
tues of Christianity, detachment, mortification and 

Q. What are the names given to the religious of St. 
Francis ? 

A. The religious of St. Francis are called, accord- 
i lg to the different countries, Minor Fria?\s, that is, 
leaser Friars, through humility ; Kecollects, on account 
of the solitude and recollection in which they live ; 
Cordeliers or Gray Friars, from the cord which they 
wear around them; Capuchins, on account of the 
peculiar form of their habit or dress. 

Q. Who was St. Dominic ? 

A. St. Dominic was born in Spain of an illustrious 
fnmily, and came to France to combat the heretical 
Albigenses. In order to succeed he founded a reli 
gious order, the purpose of which was to preach the 
gospel, convert heretics, and announce religion to th. 
infidels. The religious of this order are, on this ac 
count, called preaching friars or Dominicans. 

Q. What was the fourth order that God sent to 
the aid of the church? 

A. It was the order of the Augustinians, thus called, 
because the different congregations, which united to 
constitute the order, adopted tho rule of St. Augustin. 

Q. Who was St. Thomas ? 

A. St. Thomas, sent by God to defend the truth, 
was born in Italy, and entered tae order of the Domin 
icans, where his reputation for science and sanctity 
was soon the object of general admiration. He taught 
theology a long Urn* at Paris, composed man)- works 
on theology and piety, amongst others the office of 
the Blessed Sacrament, and died at the age of forty - 
eight years. 



Christianity preserved and propagated. St. Louis, 
St. Ferdinand. General Councils of Lateran and 
Lyons. Religious of Mercy. Thirteenth Century, 

Q. Who was St. Louis? 

A . St. Louis, king of France, was the son of Louis 
VIII. He was born in 1215, and was baptized at 
Poissy. It was on this account he signed his letters 
Louis of Poixsy : to show thereby that he preferred 
the title of Christian to that of king of France. 

Q. What words did his mother, the queen, fre 
quently repeat to him ? 

A . Queen Blanche, his mother, whilst he was young, 
frequently repeated to him those beautiful words : 
" My son, I love you very tenderly ; but I would pre 
fer to see you fall dead at my feet, rather than to 
have you commit one single mortal sin." Louis prof 
ited so well by these lessons, that he preserved dur 
ing life his baptismal innocence. 

Q. What did he do when he became king? 

A. Having ascended the throne of France, he de 
voted himself to the promotion of religion and the 
happiness of his subjects. He gave to the great an 
example of every virtue ; prevented the further pro 
gress of heresy, and banished scandal from his king 

Q. What else did he do ? 

A. He continued the holy war which the Christians 
were waging against the infidels. He set out for 
Palestine; landed in Egypt, took Damietta, and was 
made prisoner. Whilst in captivity, he astonished the 
barbarians by his greatness of soul and his justice. 
He returned afterwards to France, and again set out 
for Africa, where he died near Tunis, as a truly Chris- 


tian king, leaving many salutary instructions for his 

Q. Who was St. Ferdinand? 

A . Whilst St. Louis, king of France, was defending 
the church and edifying the great ones of the earth, 
St. Ferdinand, king of Castile and Leon, was doing the 
same in Spain. He conquered a great many cities 
from the infidels, and re-peopled them with Christians, 

Q. How was the church still further con soled ? 

A. The church was still further consoled aud her 
losses repaired by the conversion of Livonia, Cumania, 
and a part of Prussia ; so that whatever she has lost 
on one side she has always gained on another, 

Q. What general councils were held during die 
thirteenth century ? 

A . The general councils of the thirteenth century 
were the fourth council of Lateran and the first and 
second of Lyons, in which the* church confirmed the 
good done by the religious orders and the saints of 
whom we have spoken, and endeavored to bring back 
the Greeks to the unity of faith. 

Q. What is the order of our Lady of Mercy ? 

A . The order of our Lady of Mercy had for its end 
the ransom of captives from the infidels. St. Peter 
Nolasco, like St. John of Matha, a Frenchman by 
birth, was the founder. His religious made a vow to 
remain in slavery among the infidels, when necessary 
for the ransom of captives. 


Christianity preserved and propagated, Founding 
of the Cellite Friars and the Order of St Bridget 
Fourteenth Century, 

"Q- What do you remark on the fourteenth century ? 
A. I remark that the war of hell against the church 


was both violent and obstinate. A schism of forty 
years, and heresies afflicted the church, which God de 
fended and consoled by new religious orders, saints, 
martyrs, and the conversion of new nations. 

Q. What were some of the religious orders of the 
fourteenth century ? 

A. The first was the order of the Cellites, that is, 
brothers of (he tomb, or burying brothers ; whose duty 
it was to nurse the sick, dress the dead, give them 
burial, and recite for them each day the office of the 

Q. What particular vow did they make ? 

A. Besides the three usual religious vows, they 
made a vow never to desert the couch of pestilence : 
thus proving the charity and holiness of the true 
church ; for heretics have never done any thing of the 

Q. What is the order of St. Bridget ? 

A. The order of St. Bridget was established to draw 
down upon the Christian world the special protection 
of the Blessed Virgin, and secure her all-powerful aid 
against heresy. It was founded by St. Bridget, prin 
cess of Sweden, whose revelations may piously be be 

Q. Who were the other defenders of the church ? 

A. The other defenders of the church during the 
fourteenth century were the great saints, whom God 
raised up to prove by the splendor of their virtues the 
holiness of the Catholic Church ; among others, was 
St. Elzear, and St. Delphina his wife. 

Q. Who was St. Elzear? 

A. St. Elzear was count of Arian. Pious, modest, 
amiable in conversation ; truly brave in war ; he was 
a father to the poor and to domestics. St. IXlphina 
imitated the good example of her husband, and they 
lived thus perfectly united, and in the practice of every 



Christianity preserved and propagated. General 
Council of Vienne. St. Elizabeth, St. John Nepo- 
mucen. Conversion of a portion of Tartary. 
Conversion of Lithuania. Fourteenth Century 

Q. What general council was held in the fourteenth 
century ? 

A. The general council held in the fourteenth cen 
tury was that of Vienne, in Dauphiny ; it is the fif 
teenth oecumenical council. In it the church displayed 
her solicitude for society, by condemning the heretics 
who disturbed it ; by reforming morals, and encourag 
ing the sciences. During this time holiness shone 
brilliantly on the throne in the person of St. Elizabeth. 

Q. Who was St." Elizabeth? 

A. St. Elizabeth was queen of Portugal. This 
pious princess divided so admirably her time, that she 
was able to attend to her pious devotions without 
neglecting the obligations of her station. 

Q. What were her occupations ? 

A. Her favorite occupation was to make up linen 
and ornaments for the church ; to find out and succor 
the unhappy and those who were strangers ; and 
especially those among the poor whose former con 
dition rendered it painful for them to be known. Her 
angelic mildness gained over the heart of her husband, 
whom she had the happiness to bring back to God. 

Q. W T hat was her life after the death of her husband ? 

A . After the death of her husband, her life shono 
forth in so many heroic virtues that she became a 
living witness to the sanctity of the Catholic Church ; 
to which the death of many martyrs bore a still moro 
glorious testimony. 

Q. Who were these martyrs ? 


A. These martyrs were three young Lithuanian 
noblemen, named Anthony, John, and Eustachius, born 
in idolatry ; but who, being converted, preferred to 
Buffer death rather than eat meat on a day forbidden 
by the church. There was another martyr still more 

Q. Who was he ? 

A. He was St. John Nepomucen, canon of Prague, 
who died a martyr to the secrecy of confession. 

Q. Did the blood of the martyrs produce new 
Christians ? 

A. Yes ; a part of Tartary or northern China, Bul 
garia, and Lithuania were converted to the faith and 
consoled the church for the losses sustained by heresy 
and the great western schism. 


Christianity preserved and propagated. Council of 
Constance. St. Vincent Ferrier. Founding of the 
Order of the Voluntary Poor. Fifteenth Century. 

Q. What were the assaults sustained by the church 
during the fifteenth century ? 

A. The assaults sustained by the church during 
the fifteenth century were those made upon her by 
heresies and scandals. Wickliff, John Huss, Jerome of 
Prague, spread every where the most dangerous errors ; 
attacked the authority of the church, the sacraments, 
and the most holy practices; meantime the great 
schism of the west continued. 

Q. What defenders did God give to the church ? 

A. The principal defenders whom God gave to the 
church were the clergy of England, the fathers of the 
council of Constance, and especially St. Vincent Fer 

Q. Who was he? 


A. St. Vincent Ferrier was a Spaniard, and a Do 
minican religious ; so holy, so eloquent, that the sove 
reign pontiff appointed him apostolic preacher. During 
forty years he traversed Spain, France, Piedmont, 
Germany and England ; roused all Europe, and con 
verted a large number of Jews, Mahometans, heretics 
and sinners. 

Q. Who put an end to the great schism of the west? 

A. The Council of Constance, held in 1414, put an 
end to the great schism of the west ; and for very 
wise reasons suppressed the communion of the cup. 

Q. In what manner did God come to the further aid 
of the church ? 

A . God came to the further aid of the church by the 
establishment of thirty-seven congregations or religious 
orders, destined tooppose the true virtues of Christians 
to the false virtues of heretics ; such particularly was 
the order of the voluntary poor. 

Q. How did they live t 

A. They gave away all their property, labored 
much, receiving no compensation for their work, but 
preferring to trust to Providence for their support, and 
live by alms. They were also devoted to the care of 
the sick. 

Q. Who were the Black Penitents ? 

A. The Black Penitents or Penitents of Mercy, de 
voted themselves to the consolation of criminals com 
demned to death, and prepared them to die well. Thus 
religion overlooks none of the conditions of human 
misery. Following the example of Rome, where these 
confraternities were first established, other parts ci 
Christendom formed similar associations. 



Christianity preserved and propagated. Founding of 
the Order of Minims. Council of Florence. Dis 
covery of America. Fifteenth Century, continued. 

Q. Who was St. Francis of Paula? 

A. St. Francis, of Paula, one of the great consola 
tions of the church in the fifteenth century, was born 
in Italy; he retired to a solitude where he led the 
most austere life, and founded the order of the Minims. 

Q. What was the object of this order? 

A. To revive charity almost extinguished in the 
hearts of a great number of Christians, and to repair 
the scandalous violation of the laws of fasting and ab 
stinence. For this reason the Minims added the vow 
of perpetual lent to the vows of poverty, chastity and 

Q. Where did St. Francis of Paula die ? 

A . St. Francis of Paula died in France, whither he 
had come by order of the sovereign pontiff to assist on 
his death-bed, Louis XI who died in his arms. The 
miracles and sanctity of St. Francis of Paula and his 
numerous disciples consoled the church, and aided her 
to support new trials. 

Q. What were these trials ? 

A . These trials were the ruin of the empire of Con 
stantinople and the conquests of the Mahometans. 
During five hundred years the Greeks seemed to wish 
a re-union with the church of Rome ; especially at the 
council of Florence, where they signed the same pro 
fession of faith with the Latins, but to which they 
proved unfaithful. 

Q. What happened after? 

A. The Almighty, weary of their iniquities, sent 
against them Mahomet II, emperor of the Turks, who 
took Constantinople, reduced all Greece to servitude, 


and was prepared to seize upon other provinces, having 
made a vow to exterminate entirely the Christian 
name ; but God came to the help of the church. Ma 
homet was conquered by the knights of Rhodes, and 
died miserably. 

Q. How did God compensate the church ? 

A . God compensated the church for the loss of the 
Greek empire: 1st, by the conversion of Samogitia, 
which was brought into the one fold by Jagellon, king 
of Poland ; 2d, by the preaching of the Gospel in the 
interior of Africa and in the Canaries ; 3d, by the dis 
covery of America, where the gospel soon made rapid 


Christianity preserved and propagated. Combat of 
the Church with Protestantism. Sixteenth Cen 

Q. What do you remark on the sixteenth century ? 

A. I remark that the church had a great combat to 
sustain in that age. She was attacked by Luther, 
Zuinglius, Calvin, and Henry VIII. 

Q. Who was Luther ? 

A. Luther was a German religious ot the Augus- 
tinian order, who violated Ms three vows of poverty, 
chastity and obedience ; h j apostatized, married a nun, 

Q. What did he wri ,e previous to his condemnation ? 

A. Previous to his .rndemnation he had written to 
the sovereign pontiff, that he would receive his decis 
ion as an oracle from the mouth of Jesus Christ, but 
scarcely had Leo X. condemned hiserrors when he gave 
vent to the most vile abuse against him, against the 
bishops and theologians, impudently pretending that 
he alone was more enlightened than the whole Chris- 


tian world. He persevered in preaching error, and 
after having led a scandalous life, died on leaving 
the table, where he had, as usual, gorged himself with 
wine and meats. 

Q. Who was Zuinglius V 

A. Zuinglius was a curate of the church of Our 
Lady of the Hermits, in Switzerland, preached at 
Zurich the errors of Luther, permitted all kinds of dis 
orders, had the effrontery to marry publicly, and was 
killed in a battle lost by his partisans, although he 
had promised them a victory. 

Q. Who was Calvin ? 

A. Calvin was an ecclesiastic of Noyon ; but was 
never a priest. He went to Bourges, where he adopted 
the errors of Luther, to which he added his own ; he 
settled in Geneva where he burnt to death Michael 
Servetus, who had the courage to differ from him, and 
finally died himself of a shameful disease. 

Q. Who was Henry VIII ? 

A. Henry VIII was king of England. A slave to 
his passions, he wished the pope to annul his lawful 
marriage, but the pope refused. Upon this the king 
declared himself the head of the church in England, 
drew his people into schism and soon after into heresy. 

Q. How do you show that Protestantism or the 
religion preached by Luther, Zuinglius, Calvin and 
Henry VIII, is not the true religion? 

A. In order to show that Protestantism is a false 
religion, or rather no religion at all, it will be suffi 
cient simply to bear in mind : 1 st, that it was estab 
lished by four great libertines ; 2d, that it owes its 
origin to the love of honors, covetousness of the goods 
of others, and the love of sensnal pleasures, three 
things forbidden by the gospel ; 3d, that it permits 
you to believe whatever yofl please, and to do what 
ever you believe ; 4th, that it has caused immense evils, 
deluged Germany, France, Switzerland and England 
with blood ; it leads to impiety, and finally to indiffer- 


ence, the source of all revolutions past and future. 
We must, therefore, be on our guard against those 
who preach it, and cherish a horror for the books 
which disseminate it. 


Christianity preserved and propagated. Founding of 
the Brothers of St. John of God and of the Jesuits. 
St. Francis Xavier. Sixteenth Century, continued. 

Q. How did God justify the church from the re 
proaches made against her by the Protestants V 

A. God justified the church by causing her to per 
form the most striking works of charity and holiness. 
which proved that she was always the true spouse of 
Jesus Christ. 

Q. Can you name some of these works ? 

A. The principal were, the founding of many relig 
ious orders for the relief of the sick, and for the missions 
which gave to heaven a great many martyrs. 

Q. Who was St. John of God ? 

A. St. John of God was born in Portugal in 1495 ; 
he became a soldier, and lost the fear of God, but being 
soon converted he gave himself up to the bervice of 
the poor. 

Q. What order did he found ? 

A. lie founded a religious order which bears his 
name, and which devotes itself to the care of the in 

Q. AVTio was St. Ignatius ? 

A. St. Ignatius was a Spanish officer, who wa 
wounded at the siege of Pampeluna the same year Lu 
ther commenced preaching his heresy ; he was con 
verted by the reading of some pious books, consecrated 
himself to God and went to Paris, where he laid the 


foundation of a new religious order called the society 
of Jesus. 

Q. What is the design of this society? 

A . The design of the Society of Jesus is to instruct 
youth and to convert heretics and infidels. Its mem 
bers make the vow of obedience to the sovereign 
pontiff, to go on the missions whithersoever he may 
think proper to send them. 

Q. Who was St. Francis Xavier ? 

A. St. Francis Xavier was a young Spanish noble 
man, very distinguished for his talents. He w-is pro 
fessor of philosophy at Paris when St. Ignatius arrived 
there, who converted him by repeating to him those 
words of the Saviour : What doth it profit a man if lie 
gain the whole wnrtd and lose his own soul. 

Q. What did Xavier do ? 

A. Xavier became the disciple of St. Ignatius, and 
went to preach the faith in the Indies at the moment; 
when Germany, England, and a part of Franve were 
losing the light of the gospel. 

Q. What was the success of St. Francis Xa vier ? 

A . St. Francis Xavier converted a countless multi 
tude of infidels in the Indies and Japan, and died just 
as he was entering China in 1552, at the age of forty- 
six. His body was carried to the city of Goa, 
it remains untainted by corruption. 


Christianity preserved and propagated.- -Council of 
Trent. St. Charles Borromeo, St. Theresa. The 
rsulines. End of the Sixteenth Century. 

Q. Why was the council of Trent assembled ? 

A. The council of Trent, the eighteenth and last 
general council, composed of two hundred and thirty- 
eight bishops, was assembled to condemn the heresies 


of Protestants and to reform the morals of Catholics. 
The wise regulations which it established were car 
ried into practice, in different countries, by the great 
saints whom God raised up ; among them was St. 
Charles Borromeo. 

Q. Who was St. Charles Borromeo f 

A. St. Charles Borromeo, archbishop of Milan, was 
the great restorer of ecclesiastical discipline and the 
model of charity, of which he gave striking proofs dur 
ing the pestilence of Milan. Whilst he maintained in 
all its splendor the virtue of the clergy, St. Theresa 
rendered that of the monasteries no less conspicuous. 

Q. Who was St. Theresa? 

A. St. Theresa, who reformed the order of Mt. Car- 
mel, or Carmelites, was born in Spain. Educated 
piously, she came near being lost by the reading of 
novels ; but, touched by the grace of God, she became 
a religious, led a life wholly angelic, and revived the 
fervor of a great many monasteries. 

Q. What is the congregation of the Ursulines ? 

A. The congregation of the Ursulines was estab 
lished by the blessed Angela of Brescia to bring sinners 
back to virtue, instruct the ignorant and diffuse through 
the world the good odor of Jesus Christ. It rendered 
very great service to the church, as did the religious 
orders established at that time for the relief of cor 
poreal miseries. 

Q. Name some of these orders ? 

A. 1st, The Brothers Hospitalers, devoted to nursing 
the sick ; 2d, the Somaxques, a religious community 
who afforded relief and consolation to the unhappy of 
every kind ; 3d, the Brother? of a good death, founded 
by St. Camillus de Lellis, who devoted themselves to 
procuring for the sick the grace of a good death. 



Christianity preserved and propagated. St. Francis 
of Sales. Missions of America and the Levant. 
St. Vincent of Paul. Seventeenth Century. 

Q. How did God punish the countries which had 
abandoned the faith ? 

A. God punished those countries which had aban 
doned the faith, by calamities, such as we do not read 
of elsewhere in their history, whilst at the same time 
his goodness consoled the church, by giving her a great 
saint, destined to revive piety in the world, as St. 
Charles had revived it among the clergy and St. The 
resa in the cloister. 

Q. Who was he ? 

A . St. Francis of Sales, bishop of Geneva. He was 
born in Savoy of a noble family, and showed from his 
infancy a piety and purity of morals which merited for 
him the special protection of the B. Virgin ; he em 
braced the ecclesiastical state and devoted himself en 
tirely to the conversion of heretics, of wiiom he had 
the happiness to bring back seventy thousand to the 

Q. What order did he found ? 

A. He founded, in concert with St. Jane Chantal, 
the order of the Visitation, in which is perpetuated the 
spirit of piety, mildness, and chanty, which distin 
guished the most amiable saint of these latter times. 

Q. What further consolation did God give the 
church ? 

A. He consoled the church still further by the suc 
cess of missionaries. Some converted a great portion 
of America and formed the Reduction* of Paraguay , 
where the innocence of the first Christians was seen to 
shine in all its pristine brilliancy, whilst others con 
verted large provinces in the east. 


Q Who was St. Vincent of Paul ? 

A. St. Vincent of Paul was born in Gascony, and 
in his youth was employed as a swineherd. God 
drew him from obscurity, and called him to the priest 

Q. What happened to him after he was ordained 
priest ? 

A. After his ordination h? was captured by the 
Turks, and reduced to slavery at Tunis ; but he con 
verted his master and accompanied by him returned to 
France, where Ivj afforded relief to every species of 
affliction and established a congregation for the benefit 
of the unfortunate in life and after death. The mem 
bers are called Daughters of Charity.- 

Q.. What further did he do? 

A. He established, also, a company of missionaries 
to afford spiritual succor to the poor inhabiting the 
country and to carry the light of faith to infidels 
they are called Lazarists. Lastly, he fed many prov 
inces desolated by famine and war ; he has done 
more good than all the philosophers together ever 
thought of. 


Christianity preserved and propagated. Martyrs of 
Japan. Orders of La Trappe and of Refuge. 
Seventeenth Century, continued. 

Q. Had the church any martyrs in the seventeenth 
century ? 

A. Yes ; the most illustrious were those of Japan, 
nearly all the inhabitants of which were converted by 
St. Francis Xavier and his companions. 

Q. At what period was the persecution most violent? 

A. The persecution was most violent in 1622. But 


the Christians every where displayed an admirable 
desire of martyrdom. 

Q. Give some instances ? 

A. A poor woman gave her girdle in order to buy 
a post to which she might be tied and burnt alive for 
the faith ; and children of five and even four years of 
age astonished their executioners by their constancy. 
The church, consoled by so many victories, had soon 
to weep over another heresy. 

Q. What heresy ? 

A. The heresy of Jansenius, bishop of Yprcs, who 
maintained in a printed work that man is not free, 
and that it is impossible for him to keep some of the 
commandments of God. The Jansenists endeavored 
to withhold the people from the sacraments by exag 
gerating the dispositions necessary to receive them. 

Q. How was the church defended ? 

A. To defend the truth against the Jansenists, the 
chief of whom were Arnaud, Nicole and Quesnel, God 
raised up two illustrious bishops, Bossuet and Fenelon, 
and to expiate the outrages offered to good morals by 
scandalous sinners, he caused a new congregation to 
be founded. 

Q. What congregation ? 

A. The congregation of La Trappe, founded by a 
young ecclesiastic named Armand de Ranee. Whilst 
the life of the Trappists, more angelic than human, 
was expiating the crimes of the world, God opened an 
asylum for penitent females. 

Q. What asylum was this ? 

A. This asylum was the order of Our Lady of Re 
fuge, into which were received unfortunate females 
and also females of unsullied virtue, in order to les 
sen the humiliation of the former. They all lived in 
community and called one another sisters ; for, in the 
eyes of religion, repentance is the sister of innocence. 



Christianity preserved and propagated. Founding of 
the Brothers of the Christian Schools and of the 
Order of the Holy Redeemer. Missions in China 
and America. Eighteenth Century. 

Q. How was the church attacked in the eighteenth 
century ? 

A . The church was attacked in the eighteenth cen 
tury by libertinism, Jansenism and the philosophers. 

Q. How did God come to the succor of the faith ? 

A . God came to the succor of the faith by raising up 
learned doctors who refuted the apostles of error, and 
by giving birth to many religious Congregations for the 
instruction of youth, especially that of the Brothers 
of the Christian Schools. 

Q. Who was the founder ? 

A. The founder was the Abbe La Salle, canon of 
ilheims, who drew up for the brothers rules far superior 
to those given by men of tbe world for the instruction 
of youth. The order of th" brothers contributed much 
to the preservation of the fn ith among the people during 
the last century, which witnessed the establishment in 
Italy of another order f or 1 he defence and propagation 
of the truth. 

Q. What order was that? 

A. It was the order o : the l\fn*t Holy Redeemer, 
destined to evangelize tVe poor inhabitants of the 
country. It was founded by St. Alphonsus Liguori, 
bishop of St. Agatha, in th j kingdom of Naples, whom 
God had raised up to defend the truth against the im 
pious, and present a barrier to Jansenism, which was 
sapping the principles of n>.orality and drying up the 
fountains of piety by alienating the faithful from the 

Q,. Did impiety make any conquests ? 


A. Impiety made conquests, especially in France. 
To compensate the church, missionaries converted a 
great many persons in China ; among whom was a 
branch of the imperial family, which, during the perse 
cution, displayed the courage of the first Christians. 

Q. What were the other conquests of the faith ? 

A . The other conquests of the faith were the con 
version and civilization of many savage nations in 
America, and particularly of the Illinois. 

Q. What was the character of the savages before 
their conversion ? 

A. The character of these savages before their con 
version was of the most revolting barbarity. They ate 
their prisoners, whom they roasted at a slow fire, 
after having pulled off their nails and cut off their 
fingers and ears. After their conversion they became 
gentle, hospitable and very pious. 


Christianity preserved and propagated. Many Apol 
ogists for Religion. Madame Louise of France. 
Eighteenth Century, continued, 

Q. Did the church enjoy her conquests in peace ? 

A. The church did not enjoy her conquests in peace. 
She was attacked by an impious sect, known by the 
name of philosophers; who, developing the woret 
principles of Luther and Calvin, denied the best estab 
lished truths, and the most sacred duties of man. 

Q. What more did they do ? 

A. They formed a league against religion, and en 
deavored to show that religion was opposed to the 
sciences ; but they did not succeed. The most famous 
of these philosophers were Voltaire and Rousseau. 

Q. What was the life of Voltaire V 

A. The life of Voltaire was unworthy not only of a 


Christian, but even of an upright man. He was born 
near Paris, and finished his studies in that city. On 
leaving college, his conduct was such that his father 
drove him from the parental roof and sent him to Hol 
land; whence he was sent back on account of his 
libertinism. After his return to Paris, his misconduct 
caused him to be put in prison ; he cheated one book 
seller, ruined another by a roguish imposition, and 
gave himself up to all the corruption of his heart and 
all his hatred of religion, until his death which oc 
curred in 1778. 

Q. What was his death ? 

A . His death was that of a man in profound despair. 
He was heard frequently repeating, in paroxysms of 
fury, the following words : / am abandoned by God and 
man. He had asked for a priest, but his associates 
would not suffer a priest to enter his room. 

Q,. Who was Rousseau ? 

A. Jean Jacques Rousseau, the second patriarch of 
impiety, was born at Geneva. Addicted to vice from 
his infancy, he became an habitual thief; abjured Pro 
testantism to embrace the Catholic religion, which he 
left to return to Protestantism, and lived during 
twenty-five years in open libertinism. 

Q. What do you say of his works ? 

A . His works are so infamous, that the Protestants 
of Geneva, his native place, had the principal ones 
burnt by the public executioner. 

Q. How did he die ? 

A . Rousseau ended his career by a death worthy of 
his life : he first took poison, and then shot himself. 

Q By whom were Voltaire and Rousseau refuted? 

A. Voltaire and Rousseau were solidly refuted by 
Bergier, Nonotte, Bullet and Guenee ; who avenged 
the truth, whilst Providence expiated, in a signal man 
ner, the crimes engendered by false philosophy. 

Q. Who was the principal victim by whom God 
expiated these crimes ? 


A. The principal victim was Madame Louise, of 
France, daughter of Louis XV ; who, in the bloom of 
youth, quit the palace of Versailles to enter amono- 
the Carmelites at St. Denis, where she spent her life 
in prayers, fasting, and the practice of all the austeri 
ties of penance. 


Christianity preserved and propagated The Clergy 
of France. Martyrs of the Revolution. Missions 
of Corea. End of the Eighteenth Century. 

Q. What affliction did the church suffer at the close 
of the eighteenth century ? 

A. At the close of the eighteenth century the church 
suffered from schism, persecution and scandal. Im 
piety, in its triumph, wished to establish a church, in 
accordance with its principles, and therefore drew up a 
schismatical formula, entitled, The Civil Constitution 
of the Clergy, requiring every priest to take the oath 
of fidelity to this constitution. 

Q. What further did the impious do ? 

A. They put to death all the priests and bishops 
who remained faithful to the church, and amongst 
them the holy archbishop of Aries, and the venerable 
Abbe Fenelon, father of orphans. Those of the 
clergy who escaped the scaffold were thrown into 
loathsome prisons, fed on bread and water, loaded with 
insults, and finally condemned to transportation. 

Q. What more did impiety do ? 

A. At the same time it attacked God himself ; placed 
on the altars women of public infamy, before whom the 
people were forced to prostrate themselves ; and to 
whom incense was offered, as to the Almighty God. 

Q. Did impiety stop here ? 

A. No, it did not stop here. In its rage against the 


church, it attacked the person of the sainted Pius VI ; 
who, at the age of eighty years, was dragged from 
prison to prison to Valence, in Dauphiny, where he 
died from the ill treatment he had received. 

Q. How did God avenge his church ? 

.1 . God avenged his church by pouring down upon 
France a deluge of evils, such as had never been wit 
nessed, and by the destruction of the persecutors, who, 
like the tyrants in the first ages, perished by a horrible 
death ; the greater portion of them lost their heads on 
the scaffold ; others were devoured by dogs, and others 
eaten up by worms. 

Q. What were the consolations of the church ? 

A. The church was consoled, 1st, by the miraculous 
election of a new pope, whose extraordinary character 
saved the bark of St. Peter from the mighty tempest 
by which it was tossed ; 2d, by the conversion of a 
great number of Protestants ; 3d, by the rapid propa 
gation of the faith in America and in Corea, 




Christianity visible. Necessity and advantages of 
exterior worship. 

Q. What is worship ? 

A. Worship is the aggregate testimony of the re 
spect, submission, love and confidence which we havo 
towards God. 

Q. How many kinds of worship are there ? 

A. There are two kinds of worship; interior wor 
ship, which consists in the sentiments of faith, hope, 
adoration, and love, which we owe to God ; and ex 
terior worship, which is the manifestation of these 
sentiments ? 

Q. What are ceremonies ? 

A. Ceremonies are exterior and mysterious actions, 
established to accompany exterior worship, and to 
render it more august, expressive and sublime. 

Q. What is a rite ? 

A. A rite is a ceremony performed according to the 
order prescribed by the church. Hence we say Roman 
rite or Parisian rite, to designate the ceremonies as 
performed at Rome or at Paris. 

Q. What is the liturgy ? 

A. The liturgy is the aggregate ceremonial em 
ployed in the divine service. The word liturgy sig 
nifies the action by excellence; because the divine 
service is the most noble action we can perform, since 
it unites or connects us with God. 

Q. Why is exterior worship necessary ? 

A. Exterior worship is absolutely necessary: 1st, 
because man owes to God the homage of both soul and 
body ; the soul honors God by interior worship, and 
the body by exterior worship ; 2d, because man, not 


being a pure spirit, needs the aid of sensible things, by 
which to raise himself up to spiritual things. 

Q. What is the first advantage of exterior worship ? 

A. The first advantage of exterior worship is to 
remind man, unceasingly, of those truths which it 
most behooves him to know, love and practise. 

Q. How do you explain this ? 

A . Under the patriarchs, exterior worship reminded 
man of the creation of the world, the unity of God, 
his providence, and a future life. Under the law of 
Moses, man was reminded that God was not only the 
master of all nature, but the arbiter of nations ; and 
that he rewards or punishes infallibly, according to 
our works. 

Q. Of what truths are we reminded by exterior 
worship under the gospel ? 

A . Under the gospel, exterior worship reminds us 
of all the great truths revealed to the patriarchs and to 
Moses ; it reminds us of all the mysteries of our Lord, 
and of all the duties which we are bound to fulfil to* 
wards God, our neighbor, and ourselves. 


Christianity visible. Advantages of exterior wor 
ship, continued. Origin of ceremonies. 

Q. What is the second advantage of exterior 
worship ? 

A. The second advantage of exterior worship is to 
settle the truths of religion, and place them beyond 
the reach of heretical innovations. 

Q. What is the third ad vantage of exterior worship? 

A. The third advantage of exterior worship is to 
render men better, by bringing them together, to in 
struct them in their duties to God, to their neighbor, 
and to themselves. If there were no churches, no 


Sunday, no obligation to assist at mass, men would 
soon become wicked and dangerous to society. 

Q. What is the origin of the ceremonies which ac 
company the worship of the Catholic Church ? 

A. The origin of the ceremonies which accompany 
the worship of the Catholic Church is divine ; it is God 
himself who has established them, in the person of 
Jesus Christ, or through the apostles or their succes 
sors, filled with the Holy Ghost and clothed with his 

Q. How happens it that the ceremonies are not the 
same every where ? 

A. The ceremonies are not the same every where ; 
because, besides those which are essential and which 
never change, there are others which are not essential, 
and which may change according to times and places. 
So far from injuring the unity of religion, this diversity 
shows forth the beauty of the church in brighter, bolder 

Q. Are the ceremonies of the church worthy of our 
respect and love ? 

A. The ceremonies of the church are worthy of our 
respect and love on account of their origin, the advant 
ages they afford us, and the glory which thence re 
dounds to God. 

Q. Why should we study the ceremonies ? 

A. We should study the ceremonies because they 
i ave been instituted for our instruction and edifica 
tion, and to aid us to understand and love religion by 
means of sensible things. 

Christianity visible. Of Churches. 

Q. What places were consecrated to the honor of 
God among the Jews ? 

A. Among the Jews the places consecrated to the 


honor of God were the tabernacle, the temple of Solo 
mon, in which was beheld all that could strike the 
senses and inspire the Jews with great love and pro 
found respect for God. 

Q. And amongst Christians ? 

A. Amongst Christians it is the churches that pre 
sent the most striking symbols of the goodness of God ; 
the cross, the altar, the communion rail, the baptismal 

Q. Why are churches ornamented ? 

A . Churches are ornamented, 1 st, to captivate our 
senses and inspire us with a sublime idea of God *, 2d, 
in order to testify to God that we hold all our riches 
from him. 

Q. Into how many parts were the churches of the 
first Christians divided ? 

A . The churches of the first Christians were divided 
into seven parts ; the first, called the porch or exterior 
wstibnle, was a space greater in length than in 
breadth ; it was at the entrance of the church, covered 
with a roof and supported by columns. 

Q. What was the second i 

A. The second was the cloister. From the vestibule 
you entered the cloister ; which was a covered gallery, 
encircling the third part, called the parvis or court. 

Q. What was the third part ? 

A . The third part of the church was the parvis ; a 
square court or space open above. In the centre was 
a font of blessed water ; in which those who entered 
washed their hands and face. This font is replaced iu 
modern churches by the vase of holy water. 

Q. What was the fourth ? 

A . The fourth part of the church was the interior 
vestibule ; this place was reserved for the penitents, 
called auditors, for the pagans, Jews and heretics, who 
could there hear the word of God. 

Q. What was the fifth ? 

A. The fifth part of the church was the nave. This 


part of the church is called the nave, that is, vessel 
or ship, because the church is a vessel voyaging over 
the sea of the world until it reaches the port of eter 
nity. The nave was divided in its whole length by 
two partitions ; on the left were the men, and on the 
right the women. 

Q. What was the sixth ? 

A. The sixth part of the church was the choir ; it 
was separated from the nave by a grate. The choir 
was semi-circular, and contained seats for the ecclesi 
astics and the bishop s throne. 

Q. What was the seventh ? 

A. The seventh part was the sanctuary ; it was 
separated from the choir by a curtain, which was 
opened after the consecration. In the sanctuary was 
the altar. 

Q. What was there at the side of the altar ? 

A. At the side of the principal altar there was a 
small altar, on which were placed the bread and wine 
offered by the faithful for the holy sacrifice. The 
above arrangement of the churches was on the model 
of the subterranean chapels of the catacombs, where 
the first Christians were accustomed to assemble. This 
should render our churches venerable in our eyes. 

Christianity visible. Churches continued. 

Q. Why is it proper we should understand the dif 
ferent things in our churches ? 

A. It is proper we should understand the different 
things in our churches ; otherwise they would be 
like profane places, which would not speak to our 

Q. Of what do the crypt and altar remind us ? 

A. The crypt (which is a subterranean chapel found 


under the principal altar in the old churches) and the 
altar, remind us of the catacombs and the first Chris 

Q. Of what do the candles remind us ? 

A. The candles remind us of the golden candlesticks 
and golden lamps of the temple of Jerusalem, and of 
the infant days of the church, when our fathers, 
obliged to conceal themselves in the catacombs for the 
celebration of the divine mysteries, had no other light 
but that of their lamps. 

Q. What effect should the sight of these things 
produce in us ? 

.4 . The sight of these things should recall to our 
mind the life of the first Christians, and induce us to 
imitate their patience, their holiness, and their charity. 
The candles are also symbols of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
the true light of the world. 

Q. What other memento of the catacombs do we 
fin;! in our churches ? 

A. Another memento of the catacombs found in our 
churches are the paintings. The recesses of the cata 
combs in which the first Christians celebrated the holy 
mysteries, are covered with paintings suited to the 
condition in which those martyrs of the faith found 
themselves ; such as Daniel in the lion s den ; Jonas 
swallowed by a whale ; our Lord as the Good Shep 
herd, $rc. 

Q. What do you remark on these paintings ? 

A. I remark that the subjects are all such as are 
calculated to excite confidence and charity in the soul ; 
because our fathers bore no resentment towards their 
persecutors. At a later period the combats of the mar 
tyrs, the memorable actions of the saints, of all condi 
tions and all countries, became the subjects of these 

Q. \Vhat was the wish of the church in this ? 

A. By these paintings the church wished, 1st, to in- 


struct us ; 2d, to remind us that all the saints are her 

Q. What is the origin of bells ? 

A . Jfhe origin of beils is very ancient. The church 
using them in the divine worship, blesses them, and 
names them after some saint, in order that we may 
hear them with more respect and docility. 

Christianity visible. Of Blessings and of Cemeteries. 

Q. What do you mean by blessings ? 

A. To bless a thing, is to purify it, and consecrate it 
to God and to the ceremonies of religion. 

Q. Who has given the church the power to bless 
creatures V 

A . God has given to the church this power. In the 
Old Testament, Moses, the prophets and the priests 
had this power, and made frequent use of it. In the 
New Testament, our Lord oftentimes blessed creatui as ; 
the apostles and the church have inherited this power 
and used it frequently. 

Q. Why has God given the church the power to 
bless ? 

A . God has given to the church the power to bless, 
1st, in order to withdraw the thing blessed from the 
dominion of the devil, and restore it to its primitive 
sanctity ; 2d, to separate it from common and profane 
things ; 3d, to give it the virtue to elevate us, and 
direct us towards our last end. 

Q. W^hat places does the church bless ? 

A. The church blesses her temples, our houses, and 
cemeteries or grave yards, in order that every thing 
that touches man more nearly, may be holy ; thereby 
giving us an exalted idea of our worth, and teaching 
us to respect ourselves. 


Q. Why are cemeteries placed near churches? 

A. Cemeteries are placed near churches: 1st, to 
show the great solicitude with which the church 
watches over the remains of her departed children; 
2d, to prevent us from forgetting our friends who are 
dead ; 3d, to inspire us with serious thoughts when we 
go to church ; 4th, to show us the union which exists 
among the three churches, in heaven, on earth and in 

Q. What instruction do we receive by the blessing 
of the cemetery ? 

A. In blessing the cemetery the church presents a 
lively image of the resurrection, to console us and 
make us look upon death as a gentle sleep. 


Christianity visible. Of Festivals, their object and 
their beauty. 

Q. What is time ? 

A . Since the commission of original sin, time is the 
delay granted by divine justice to guilty man to do 
penance. For this reason the Council of Trent says 
that a truly Christian life is a continual penance. 

Q. How is the year divided ? 

A. The time of the year is divided by the church 
into three parts : the first comprises Advent, and recalls 
to mind the four thousand years during which the 
Messiah was expected ; the second extends from Christ 
mas to the Ascension, and comprises all the mortal life 
of our Lord. The third begins at Pentecost and ends 
at All Saints ; it comprises the life of the church. 

Q. What are festivals ? 

A . The word festival signifies a rejoicing, a religious 
assembly. Festivals have existed from the beginning 


of the world. They existed under the patriarchs and 
under the law of Moses, as well as under the gospel. 

Q. What is the first object of festivals ? 

A. The first object of festivals is to remind us of the 
principal events of religion, such as the actions of our 
Lord, the descent of the Holy Ghost, the life of the 
Blessed Virgin and the saints. 

Q. What is the second ? 

A. The second object of these festivals is to estab 
lish the truth of all these events, and excite our grati 
tude to God for his benefits. 

Q. What are the advantages of festivals ? 

A. The advantages of festivals are: 1st, to inspire 
us with gratitude to God, and a desire to imitate the 
saints ; 2d, to incite us to the practice of the different 
virtues which we are obliged to cultivate in a more 
special manner, during the different seasons of the year ; 
3d, to give us rest from our labors and render them 
salutary by teaching us to sanctify them. 

Q. How must we sanctify the festivals ? 

A. To sanctify the festivals we must understand 
well the intention of the church in instituting them, 
and endeavor to excite in our hearts the sentiments 
which these festivals ought to produce. A very good 
means of sanctifying the festivals is to prepare for 
them by a novena, and to receive with fervor the sacra 
ments of penance and the holy eucharist. 

Christianity visible. The Sunday. The Office, 

Q. Which is the first festival of the church ? 

A. The first festival of the church is the Sunday. 
Among all nations there is a day consecrated to the 
service of God. The apostles consecrated Sunday to 
the worship of God, in memory of the resurrection of 


our Lord; so that the Sunday stands a perpetual mon 
ument of this great miracle. 

Q. How did the first Christians celebrate the Sun 
day ? 

A. The first Christians celebrated the Sunday with 
great fervor; they assembled to pray in common, heard 
the reading of the sacred Scriptures, and the exhorta 
tions of the bishops, all approached to the holy table, 
and relieved the poor, each according to his means. 

Q. What prayers did the first Christians say in 
common ? 

A. The prayers which the first Christians said in 
common, consisted of psalms, hymns and lessons from 
the Scriptures. Hence came the divine office. 

Q. What is the dioine office ? 

A. The divine office is a collection of various pray 
ers established by the church, and which are recited 
by the priests every day. It is called divine office be 
cause it is a duty we render to GoJ. in order to honor 
him, thank him, and ask him for favors. 

Q. How is the divine office divided ? 

A. The divine office is divide,! into seven hours or 
parts, matin*, prime, tierce, sext, none, vespers and com 
plin. These parts are called the hours of the office, 
because they are recited at different hours of the day 
and night, to honor the different mysteries of the pas 
sion of our Lord, to thank God for his principal bene 
fits to us, and to remind us of the chief events of re 

Q. At what hour are matins recited ? 

A. M.itins are recite 1 during the night. The mat 
ins consist of three nocturns and a fourth part called 
lauds. The first nocturn is recited about nine o clock 
at night, the second at midnight, the third at three 
o clock, and the lauds just before day light. 



Christianity visible. The Office, continued. 

Q. Of what are the matins composed ? 

A. The matins are composed of psalms, hymns, an* 
thems, lessons, versicles and responses. 

Q. What are the psalms ? 

A. The psalms are sacred canticles composed by 

Q. What is a hymn ? 

A. A hymn is a canticle in honor of God or the 
saints. The custom of singing hymns at prayers dates 
back to the origin of Christianity. They are sung 
standing, to show that our hearts must be raised to 
God, whilst our lips publish his praises. 

Q. \\ hat is an anthem ? 

A. The word anthem signifies alternate chant, 
which is sung by two choirs, that respond to each 
other, thereby producing a holy emulation. 

Q. What are the lessons? 

A. The lemons are composed of extracts from the 
Scriptures, the explanations of the fathers of the 
church, and the life of the paint ariose feast is cele 
brated, thereby presenting us a complete course of 
instruction. Thus the Scripture presents us the law, 
the commentaries of the holy fathers are the explana 
tion, and the life of the saints is its illustration. 

Q. What are the versicles ? 

A . The versicles are short sentences taken from 
the holy Scriptures, by which the church proposes to 
< xcite our attention. For this reason they are sung 
by a single voice. 

Q. What are the responses? 

A. The responses are the words which follow the 
lessons, and which express the determination we feel 
to put in practice the teaching contained in the let-sons, 
and to follow the example of the saints laid before us. 


Q. How do the matins terminate ? 

A. The matins terminate with the Te Deum, the 
admirable canticle composed by St. Ambrose and St. 
Augustin, which we sing in order to thank God for 
those mysteries of our Lord which took place during 
the night. 

Q. Which are those mysteries? 

A. The principal are his birth, his last discourse to 
his apostles, his agony in the garden of Olives, and his 

Q. What are the lauds? 

A. The lauds are the last part of the office of the 
night. They are composed of four psalms and one 
canticle, to signify the sanctification of our five senses, 
and to warn us not to profane them during the day. 

Christianity visible. Office, continued. 

Q. What are the hours which comprise the office of 
the day ? 

A. The hours which comprise the office of the day 
are prime, tierce, sext, none, vespers and complin. 

Q. What mysteries do we honor in the hour of prime? 

A. In the hour of prime we honor the Saviour 
covered with opprobrium and carried before Pilate by 
the Jews. We also consecrate to God the commence 
ment of the day. 

Q. In the other hours ? 

A. At tierce we honor the Saviour condemned to 
death, and celebrate the descent of the Holy Ghost 
upon the apostles ; at sext we honor our Lord fastened 
to the cross ; at none our Lord expiring for love of us. 

Q. What are the vespers V 

A. The vespers are that part of the office which wo 
.rec-ite in the evening, to commemorate the burial of our 


Lord, and to thank him for the institution of the blessed 
sacrament of the altar. We recite five psalms at ves 
pers to honor the five wounds of our Lord, and to ask 
pardon for the sins committed by our five senses during 
the day. 

Q What is the sense of the psalms sung at vespers 
for Sunday ? 

A . The first psalm reminds us of the eternal birth of 
our Lord, his priesthood and the everlasting empire he 
has obtained by his sufferings ; in the second we cele 
brate the wonders of the reign of Jesus Christ, and par 
ticularly the institution of the holy eticharist ; in the 
third we sing the happiness of him who submits him 
self to the yoke of Jesus Christ, and declare the misery 
of the sinner who revolts against him ; in the fourth 
we incite all men to praise the Saviour, whose reign 
renders us so happy ; and in the fifth the church re 
counts to her children the particular benefits they have 
received from God, invites them to be grateful, and 
promises them eternal happiness. 

Q. What does the hymn for Sunday signify? 

A. The hymn for Sunday expresses a great desire 
for heaven. 

Q. Why is the Magnificat sung ? 

A. The* Magnificat is sung to express to God the 
fulness of our gratitude, to do which more effectually 
the words of our blessed Saviour are used. 


Christianity visible. The Office, concluded. Use of 
Latin. The Chant. 

Q. What is the last hour of the office of the day ? 
A . The last hour of this office is complin, which 
signifies completion, because it completes the office. 
^Q. What do the psalms of complin express ? 



A. The first psalm of complin expresses our confi 
dence in God at the moment of taking our repose ; the 
second marks the effect of God s protection on those 
who hope in him ; in the third the church invites us to 
offer our hearts to God, whenever we wake in the 
night, and reminds us of the practice of the first Chris 
tians, who rose during the night to pray, 

Q,. What is the hymn of complin ? 

A. The hymn of complin is a prolonged aspiration 
to heaven, that happy country where darkness and 
dangers are unknown. 

Q. How does complin terminate ? 

A. Complin terminates with the canticle of the holy 
old man Simeon. The Christian, assured that God 
loves him with the tenderness of a father, asks to re 
pose in his divine arms ; and before separating the 
assembled faithful place themselves under the protec 
tion of their good mother, by singing one of her an 

Q,. Why does the church use Latin in her offices ? 

A. The church uses Latin in her offices : 1st, the 
better to preserve the unity of the faith; the living 
languages, changing continually, would soon introduce 
changes in the liturgy and in the form of the sacra 
ments ; 2d, to preserve the catholicity of the faith, and 
that we may never be strangers to one another in 
whatever part of the world we may be ; 3d, to render 
our mysteries more respectable. 

Q, What is the origin of the ecclesiastical chant or 
song ? 

A . Chant is natural to man. It is essentially re- 
ttgious ; for among all people the first use made of it 
has been to celebrate the praises of the Deity, and the 
Catholic Church, which has preserved whatever was 
good and truthful in the ancient traditions, has pre 
served the chant or song. 

<2. Who arranged the chant ? 

A. St. Ambrose, and particularly St Gregory, pope, 



arranged the chant used at present in the church. The 
ecclesiastical chant is truly beautiful and produces the 
most lively impressions of piety in the scul. 


Christianity visible. Of Sacrifice in general, and the 
Sacrifice of the Mass in particular. 

Q. What is a sacrifice? 

A. A sacrifice is an offering made to God of a thing 
which we destroy, in order to acknowledge thereby 
his sovereign dominion over all creatures. 

Q. Why is sacrifice jiecessary V 

A . Sacrifice is necessary, because it is the only 
means by which to acknowledge the sovereign domin 
ion of God over all tLat exists. 

Q. How so ? 

A. Because by the act of destroying a creature in 
honor of God, man says to him : I acknowledge that 
you are the absolute master of the life and death of all 
creatures and of myself. 

Q. Why were bloody sacrifices used ? 

A. Bloody sacrifices were used to expiate sin ; in of 
fering them man said to God : I deserve to die, as this 
creature which I immolate to yon. 

Q. Who established sacrifices? 

A. God established sacrifices, for man of himself 
would never have imagined that the blood of an animal 
could please God or expiate sin. 

Q. Did the sacrifices of animals please God of them 
selves ? 

A . The sacrifices of animals and other creatures did 
not of themselves please God, but because they repre 
sented that sacrifice of infinite price which was one day 
to be offered up. 



Q. How many kinds of sacrifice were there among 
the Jews ? 

A. Among the Jews there were four kinds of sacri 
fice : 1st, holocaust, in which the whole victim was 
consumed by fire. It was an offering of adoration to 
God ; 2d, the pacific sacrifice, offered for thanksgiv 
ing ; 3d, the propitiatory sacrifice, offered for the ex 
piation of sin ; 4th, the hnpetratory sacrifice, offered 
to obtain favors from God. 

Q. What always accompanies these sacrifices ? 

A. The communion always accompanied these sac 
rifices, that is, the faithful and the priests ate of the 
flesh of the victim in order to be in communion with 
God, by means of the things immolated to him. 

Q. By what have the ancient sacrifices been re placed? 

A . The ancient sacrifices have been replaced by a 
sacrifice one and eternal, the sacrifice of Calvary, which 
is of infinite price, and of which all others were but 
the figure. 

Q. What is the mass ? 

A. The mass is the contir nation and renewal of the 
sacrifice of the cross. The. onV difference between the 
sacrifice of the mass a id that o f Calvary is, that on the 
altar our Lord is offered in an unHoody manner, whilst 
on Calvary he was offered in a bloody manner. 

Q. Why is the sacrifice of the mass necessary ? 

A. The sacrifice of mass is necessary to enable us 
to participate in the victim of Calvary, b) eating his 
flesh and drinking his blood, and to apply to ourselves 
the merits of the sacrifice of the cross. 

Christianity visible. Of the Vestments of the Priest. 

Q. What are the ornaments worn by the priest 
whilst celebrating mass V 


A. They are the amid, alb, cord, maniple, stole and 

Q. What is the am let? 

A. The amictis a piece of white linen which the 
priest passes over his head and with it covers his 
shoulders. It reminds us of the moderation to be m ed 
in our words, and of the care we phould have to ab 
stain from all useless conversation whilst we are in 

Q. What is the alb ? 

A . The alb is a white robe, full and reaching to the 
feet ; it is a symbol of the purity which the priest car 
ries to the altar and the people to the holy sacrifice. 

Q. ^ hat is the cord V 

A. The cord is a cincture intended to confine the 
alb ; it reminds us of the cords with which the Saviour 
was bound during his passion, and also that w r e must 
be detached from a sensual life. 

Q. What is the maniple ? 

A. The maniple is an ornament which the priest 
wears on his left arm ; it formerly was a handkerchief 
used to wipe the tears and perspiration from the face ; 
it reminds both priest and people of the labor of good 
works, and the reward which attends them. 

Q. What is the stole ? 

A. The stole is an ornament which the priest passes 
round his neck and crosses on his breast ; it is the 
symbol of his dignity and power, and reminds us of 
the respect we owe to priests. 

Q. What is the chasuble ? 

A. The chasuble was formerly a large mantle, round 
and full, with an opening in the centre through which 
to pass the head ; it was worn by laymen as well as 
ecclesiastics. The former having laid it aside, the 
church retained it and appointed it to be worn by the 
priests. It signifies the charity which should animate 
our works and our prayers. 

Q. What are the ornaments of the deacon ? 


A. The ornaments of the deacon are : 1st, the stole 
placed over the left shoulder and fastened under his 
right arm, so as to leave his movements free ; 2d, tl e 
dalmatic, of a square form, with short armlets ; it was 
worn by the deacon as being more convenient for per 
sons obliged to move about much, as was the case 
with the deacons of the primitive church. 

Q. What is the ornament peculiar to the sub-deacon ? 

A . The tunic ; it was the ordinary dress worn by 
the Roman servants. In consecrating it to the use of 
her ministers, the church has preserved a memento of 
the highest antiquity. 

Q. Why has the church appointed particular dresses 
for her ministers ? 

A. 1st, to inspire more respect for religion and es 
pecially for the holy sacrifice ; 2d, to remind us of the 
dispositions with which we should assist at mass. 


Christianity visible. Ornaments of Bishops. Color 
of the Ornaments. 

Q. What are the ornaments of bishops when they 
officiate solemnly ? 

A . They are the stockings, the slippers, the pectoral 
cross, the small tunic, the dalmatic, the gloves, the 
ring, the mitre, the crosier, the gremial, and if he be 
an archbishop, the pallium. 

Q. What is the origin of the stockings and slippers ? 

At The stockings and slippers which the bishop 
puts on in the church were a mark of distinction 
worn by the priests and senators of Rome. For this 
reason they are worn by bishops, who cannot use 
them except whilst celebrating the holy mysteries. 

Q. What do they signify ? 

A. They signify that the bishops ,\re the successors 


of the apostles ; those great missionaries who traversed 
the world to preach the gospel. 
Q. What is the pectoral cross ? 

A . The pectoral cross is a cross which the bishops 
wear on their breast ; it recalls to mind the custom of 
the first Christians, who always wore a cross suspended 
from the neck. 

Q. What are the small tunic and dalmatic ? 

A . The small tunic and dalmatic are the two orna 
ments peculiar to the sub-deacon and deacon. The 
bishop wears them to show that he is clothed with the 
plenitude of the priesthood. 

Q. What do the gloves signify ? 

A. The gloves signify the blessings he asks of God, 
and the purity with which he approaches the altar. 

Q. What is the ring ? 

A. The ring signifies the alliance which the bishop 
contracts with his church in his consecration. 

Q. What is the mitre ? 

A. The mitre is an ornament, the origin of which 
dates back to the ancient law, and signifies the royalty 
of the priesthood ; the two pieces which hang down 
on the shoulders signify the Old and New Testament ; 
with both of which the bishop must be perfectly con 

Q. What is the crosier ? 

A . The crosier is the bishop s sceptre ; that is, 
jiis shepherd s crook ; and reminds him that he must 
watch over all his flock. 

Q. What is the gremial ? 

A. The gremial is a piece of silk placed on the 
J:nees of the bishop when he sits during mass, to 
prevent the soiling of the vestments. 

Q. What is the pallium ? 

A The pallium is an ornament made of the wool of 
a white lamb, and marked with small black crosses ; it 
signifies the charity and innocence which must charac 
terise a pastor. 


Q Why does the church use different colors in her 

A . The church makes use of different colors in her 
vestments to excite in us more easily the dispositions 
required by the festival we celebrate ; white reminds 
us of innocence ; red, of charity ; purple, of penance 
and hope ; green, of patience and faith ; black recalls 
the thought of our last end. 

Q. What are the ornaments of the altar ? 

.4. The ornaments of the altar are three cloths, used 
through respect, to cover it ; the candlesticks, taber 
nacle and cross. 


Christianity visible. The Sacred Vessels and the 
Holy Water. 

Q. What are the principal sacred vessels ? 

A . The principal sacred vessels are the chalice, the 
patena, the ciborium, and the ostensorium. They are 
called sacred, because they are consecrated by the 
bishop, and destined solely for the worship of God. 

Q. What is the chalice ? 

A. The chalice is a gold or silver cup used by the 
priest at the altar for the consecration and reception 
of the precious blood of our Lord. The chalice is as 
ancient as Christianity ; being used by the Lord to 
consecrate his blood and give it to his apoetles. 

Q. What is the patena ? 

A . It is a kind of plate of gold or silver, on which 
the priest places the host which he offers up and con 
secrates during mass. 

Q. What is the ciborium t() 

A. The ciborium is a sacred vessel, resembling the 
chalice, and closed with a lid it is used to keep the 
Holy Eucharist for the faithful, and for the sick. 


Q. What is the ostensorium ? 

A . The ostensorium is a kind of portable tabernacle 
in which the Sacred Host is exposed for the adoration 
of the faithful during the benediction or procession. 

Q. What ceremony precedes the mass of Sunday ? 

A. The blessing and sprinkling of the holy water. 

Q. Why does the priest put salt into the water he 
blesses ? 

A . The priest puts salt into the water to show that 
holy water prevents our soul from being corrupted by 

Q. What are the effects of holy water ? 

A. The effects of holy water are: 1st, to chase 
away the devil ; 2d, to aid in healing the sick ; 3d, to 
obtain help from God ; 4th, to aid in the remission of 
venial sin. 

Q. In what manner ought we to take holy water ? 

A. We ought to take it with great respect, keep it 
in our rooms, and make the sign of the cross with it on 
ourselves ; at least, when we rise and when we retire 
to rest. 

Q. Why is the sprinkling of holy water made in the 
church ? 

A. It is made to chase away the devil and to purify 
the faithful, so that they may assist at mass with at 
tention, innocence and piety. The use of holy water 
is as old as the church, and its efficacy has been proved 
by a great many miracles. 


Christianity visible. Processions and the first part 
of the Mass. 

Q. What are processions ? 

A . Processions are solemn religious marches of tho 
clergy and people. 


Q. Is the custom of processions very old ? 

A . The custom of processions existed under the law 
of Moses; for instance, those of David and Solomon for 
the transportation of the ark of the covenant to Jeru 

Q. What do processions signify ? 

A. Processions are a picture of our life, and remind 
us that we are only travelers on earth. The cross, 
which heads the procession and is followed by banners, 
teaches us that we cannot reach heaven except by fol 
lowing in the footsteps of Jesus Christ and his saints. 

Q. Why is it that in some countries a procession is 
made before high mass ? 

A. It is made before high mass on Sundays in re 
membrance of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. 

Q. Into how many parts is the mass divided ? 

A . The mass is divided into six parts : the first 
comprises the preparation which is made at the foot of 
the altar ; the second from the introit to the offertory ; 
the third from the offertory to the canon; the fourth 
from the canon to the Pater : the fifth from the Pater 
to the communion ; the sixth from the communion to 
the end of the mass. 

Q. What does the word mass mean ? 

A. The word mass means sent away, because, in 
the first ages, the deacon sent away the catechumens at 
the offertory, and the faithful at the end of the sacrifice. 
To the former he said, catechumens, go away ; and to 
the latter, go away, the time for separating has arrived. 

Q. Of what is the first part of the mass composed ? 

A. The first part of the mass is composed of the 
sign of the cross, a psalm, the confiteor, and several 
other prayers. In all these prayers the priest confesses 
his imworthiness, and accuses himself of his faults : 
the people imitate him, for it is by repentance we must 
prepare for the holy sacrifice. 

Q. What does the priest say next ? 

A. The priest next says, the Lord be with you> word? 


which he repeats eight different times during the mass, 
and the people each time reply, and with thy spirit 
These words contain all that we can desire, and w 
will not fail to hear mass well, if we oppose no ob 
stacle to this blessing wished us by the priest. 


Christianity visible. Use of incense, and the second 
part of the Mass. 

Q. What does the priest do when he ascends the 
altar ? 

A. He kisses the altar through respect, and asks of 
God, in the name of the saints w r hose relics repose on 
the altar, to pardon his sins. 

Q. What ceremony follows these prayers? 

A* The ceremony which follows is the incensing. 
The offering of incense in the divine worship was pre-* 
scribed to Moses by God himself. 

Q. What does incense signify ? 

A. Incense signifies charity, prayer, and the good 
odor of virtue we ought to diffuse around us. 

Q. Why is the priest incensed ? 

A. The priest is incensed to honor him as the rep 
resentative of Jesus Christ. Among the ancients it 
was a mark of honor to offer incense to a person. 

Q. What does the priest do after the incensing ? 

A. After the incensing the priest goes to the epistlt* 
side and reads the introit, which commences the sec 
ond part of the mass. The word introit means entry ; 
it is so called because it is sung whilst the priest enters 
to celebrate mass. 

Q Of what is the introit composed? 

A . The introit ordinarily is composed of some verses 
from the psalms, to announce the great mystery whicA 


is about to be accomplished, and for which the just of 
the ancient law sighed so long. 

Q. What prayer comes after the introit ? 

A . After the introit comes the Kyrie eleiwn. These 
are Greek words and signify, Lord, have mercy on us. 
Kyrie or ChrLtte eleison is repeated nine times, in com 
memoration of the nine choirs of angels. 

Q. What is the Gloria in Exccbix* 

A. The Gloria in Excelxis is a hymn of praise, 
thanksgiving and love which the church addresses to 
God after having implored his mercy. In reciting it 
we must rejoice with the angels at the birth of the Sa 
viour, who is about to immolate himself on the altar 
for us. 


Christianity visible. The second part of the Mass, 

Q. What does the priest do after the Gloria in Ex- 
cehis ? 

A. After the Gloria in Excelsis the priest makes the 
sign of the cross: 1st, in imitation of the first Chris 
tians, who made this adorable sign before and after their 
principal actions ; 2d, to remind us that the sacrifice of 
the altar is the same as that of the cross. 

Q. What does he do then ? 

A . He then kisses the altar to imbibe from the bosom 
of the Saviour, represented by the altar, that peace 
which he wishes the people, in these words, the Lord 
he with you, and to which the people reply, and with 
thy spirit. 

Q. What prayer follows these words ? 

.4. After these words the priest commences the 
prayer called collects. 

Q. Whence comes this name ? 


A. This prayer is so called: 1st, because it is 
said for the assembled faithful, the word collect signify 
ing assembled ; 2d, because it contains, in an unabridged 
form, all the petitions offered by the faithful to the 

Q. How does the collect terminate ? 

A. The collect terminates by these words : Through 
Jesuit Christ our Lord, for it is in the name of Jesus 
Christ we pray, and it is through his merits we expect 
to obtain what we ask. The people answer, amen, 
that is, *o be it. 

Q. What is the epistle ? 

A . The epistle is a lesson which follows the collect, 
and is taken from the sacred Scriptures. It is called 
epistle because it is generally taken from the letters or 
epistles of the apostles, especially of St. Paul. During 
the epistle all sit, in order to hear it with more recol 

Q. By what is the epistle followed ? 

A. The epistle is followed by the gradual or re 
sponse ; by which the people testify their willingness 
to carry into practice the instructions they have just 
heard. It is called the gradual, because it* is sung on 
the steps or nraflf-n of the singer s stand. 

Q. By what other names is it called ? 

A. On days of mourning and of fast it is sung in 
sorrowful, lengthened tone ; then it is called tract, that 
is, lengthened. On days of joy, it is sung in a more 
lively strain, and is preceded " and followed by the 

Q. What is the alleluia and the prose ? 

A. The alleluia is an expression of joy; it is the 
song of the saints in heaA r en ; the prose is a continua 
tion of it, and is on that account called the sequence or 



Christianity visible. The second and third part of 
the Mass. 

Q. How is the gospel read ? 

A The gospel is read and accompanied with many 
prayers and ceremonies calculated to inspire us with 
profound respect for the divine word. In solemn 
masses the deacon sings the gospel. 

Q. What is carried before the book of the Gospels 
at hijjh mass ? 

A. At high mass the cross, lighted candles, and 
incense, are carried before the book of the Gospels. 
The deacon makes the sign of the cross on the sacred 
book to remind us that the gospel is the preaching of 
the cross. 

Q. What do the people answer at the end of the 

A. They answer, Praise be to thee, Christ, for 
the gospel is a great benefit conferred on us by God. 
We stand during the gospel, to show that we are 
ready to walk in the footsteps of Jesus Christ. 

Q. What follows the gospel ? 

A. The instruction of the people. The priest first 
announces the feasts of the week, the marriages to 
take place, and then preaches to the faithful the word 
of God. Hence the importance of attending the 
parish mass. 

Q. What does the priest do after the instruction ? 

A. After the instruction the priest returns to the 
altar and intones the credo or symbol. In singing 
the credo we profess our belief of all the truths which 
have been taught us. 

Q. Where does the third part of the mass com 
mence ? 

A. The third part of the mass commences after the 
credo, and extends to the preface. All that part of 


the mass which precedes the offertory was formerly 
called the mass of the catechumens. 

Q. What does the priest do after the credo ? 

A. After the credo the priest turns to the people, 
and says : The Lord be with you ; to which they an 
swer : and with thy spirit ; he then recites a prayer 
called the offertory ; because during this time the faith 
ful offered at the altar the bread and wine which they 
had brought for the sacrifice. We must during the 
sacrifice offer ourselves to God, with a sincere desire 
to be immolated with our Lord. 

Christianity visible. Third part of the Mass. 

Q. What does the priest do after reciting the offer 
tory ? 

A . After reciting the offertory, the priest removes 
from the chalice the veil with which, through respect 
for the consecration, it had remained covered, and then 
extends the corporal on the altar. 

Q. What is the corporal ? 

A. The corporal is a piece of square linen, destined 
to receive the body of our Lord. It must be of linen ; 
because it was in linen that the body of our Lord was 
wrapped for sepulture. 

Q. What is the pall ? 

A. The word pall means cover. It is a square 
card, enclosed in linen, and used to cover the top of 
the chalice. 

Q. How does the priest offer the host ? 

A . The priest takes the patena on which rests the 
host, raises his eyes to heaven, and offers to God the 
bread which is to be changed into the body of our Lord 

Q. For whom does he offer it? 

A. He offers it for himself, for those assisting at tlm 


mass, and for the faithful, living and dead. He then 
takes the chalice, into which he pours the wine and a 
few drops of water, to represent the union of the 
faithful with our Lord. 

Q. What further does he? 

A. He offers up the chalice for the whole world; 
and humbling himself, he implores the Holy Ghost to 
descend and consume these offerings by changing them 
into the body and blood of Jesus Christ. 

Q. What is the blessed bread ? 

A. The blessed bread, which was formerly used in 
all the churches, and which is still used in some coun 
tries, is a symbol of the union which should reign 
amongst all Christians. 

Q. How should the blessed bread be taken ? 

A. It should be taken with respect, joy, and confi 
dence, and in the spirit of charity, with an ardent 
desire to receive the holy communion, of which it is a 

Q. What is the origin and the reason of the collec 
tion made at mass? 

A. The origin is as old as Christianity, and the 
reason is, to show that charity does not consist in 
words, but in good works. 

Q. Why does the priest wash his fingers after the 
offertory ? 

A. He washes them for two reasons, the one natural, 
and the other mysterious, which should be a lesson of 
holiness for us. 


Christianity visible. Third and fourth part of the 


Q. What does the priest do after washing hii 
fingers ? 


A . After washing his fingers, the priest returns to 
the middle of the altar, and beseeches the most Holy 
Trinity to accept the sacrifice which he offers up for 
their glory. He then kisses the altar and turns to the 
people for the last time till after the communion, and 
says to them, brethren, let us pray, after which lie re 
cites the secret. 

Q. What is the secret ? 

A. The secret is a prayer in which the priest asks 
of God to bless the offerings of the faithful and the 
faithful themselves, in order that they may prove an 
acceptable sacrifice ; it is called secret, because the 
priest recites it in a low voice. 

Q. Where does the fourth part of the mass begin ? 

A. The fourth part of the mass begins after the 
secret, and continues till the Pater. 

Q. What is the preface ? 

A . The preface is an introduction to the great prayer 
called the canon. The church, in it, invites us to 
render glory to God for having deigned to accept our 
offerings ; and with the celestial court we sing the 
glorious canticle of eternity. 

Q. What is that canticle ? 

A. The sanctu*, holy, holy, holy Lord God of 
armies, the heavens and the earth are full of thy 
glory ; hosannah in the highest. 

Q. What is the canon ? 

A. The word canon signifies rule. The canon of 
the mass consists of the prayers which the church pre 
scribes for offering the noly sacrifice, and which are 
not permitted to be changed. The canon is of great 
antiquity, and we should recite it with profound respect 
and witn great confidence. 

Q. What do we find in the prayers of the canon ? 

A. In the first prayer of the canon are marked the 
principal ends for which the sacrifice is offered, the 
glory of God, and the good of the Catholic Church ; in 
the second are named the persons who have a principal 


share in the mass ; in the third the church reminds us 

that we are in communion with all the heavenly court. 
Q. What is the intention of the church in this V 
A. Her intention is to engage us to become all of 

one heart and one soul, and to put our confidence in 

the intercession of the saints. 


Christianity visible. The fourth part of the Mass 

Q. What does the priest do before the consecration ? 

A. Before the consecration the priest takes posses 
sion of the victim, by extending his hands over the 
bread and wine ; during this ceremony we must con 
sider ourselves as victims, and offer ourselves to God. 

Q. What does the priest then ask for ? 

A. The priest then asks for the greatest of miracles, 
the change of the bread and wine into the body and 
blood of Jesus Christ ; he has the right to ask it, and 
the power to obtain it. 

Q,. Who has given him this power ? 

A. Our Lord himself gave him this power, when, 
after consecrating the bread and the wine, he said tc* 
his apostles, and their successors : Do this in commem 
oration of me. 

Q. What nsxt does the priest do ? 

A . Ho next rehearses what the Saviour did at the 
last supper ; and then pronounces in a simple, unin 
terrupted tone, as used by Jesus Christ when he per 
formed miracles, the words of consecration. 

Q. Why does he elevate the host an I the chalice ? 

A. He elevates the host and the chalice, for the 
adoration of the Saviour, who has first been immolated. 

Q,. What prayer does the priest say after the eleva 
tion of the chalice ? 


A. After the elevation the priest says a prayer, in 
which he offers Christ to God his Father, in memory 
of his passion, his resurrection, and his ascension. 

Q. What does he ask of God ? 

A. He asks of him to receive favorably the victim 
which he presents to him, and with it the hearts of 
the faithful, which he offers him at the same time. 

Q. What is the memento of the dead ? 

A. The memento of the dead, which follows, is a 
prayer by which the priest asks for the souls in pur 
gatory admission into the heavenly Jerusalem. 

Q. W T hat desires should animate us during all these 
prayers ? 

A. During all these prayers we should be animated 
with an ardent desire to become victims worthy of 
God, in order to attain heaven, the end for which the 
sacrifice is offered ; and to obtain which, we must con 
fide fully in the infinite merits of our Lord. 

Christianity visible. The fifth part of the Mass. 

Q. Where does the fifth part of the mass begin ? 

A . The fifth part of the mass begins at the Pater, 
or Our Father. The Pater is preceded by a preface 
or preparatory prayer, which is said through respect for 
the Lord s prayer, and to aid us to say it well. 

Q. What part of the Pater is said by those assisting 
at mass ? 

A. They say that part which contains all the 
others, namely, Deliver us from evil. 

Q. What ceremony follows the Pater f 

A. After the Pater, the priest breaks the sacred host 
over the chalice ; puts a small part of it in the precious 
blood to mark the intimate union we are going to con- 


tract with our Lord by the communion, and places the 
other two parts on the patena for his own communion. 

Q. What ceremony took place at this moment 
among the first Christians? 

A. At this moment the first Christians gave each 
other the kiss of peace, to show that they loved one 
another as brethren. The kiss of peace, which, at the 
present day, the deacon gives to the clergy during high 
mass, is a precious memorial of this holy custom. 

Q. What is the Agnus Dei? 

A. The Agnus Dei is a prayer in which the priest 
asks of our Lord to give us peace in this world and in 
the next. 

Q. What prayer does he say after the Agnus Dei ? 

A. After the Agnus Dei he says three beautiful 
prayers the more immediately to dispose him to re 
ceive our Lord. To recite them is an excellent means 
of preparing for holy communion. 

Q. By what are these prayers followed ? 

A. They are followed by those words of the cen 
turion Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldst en 
ter under my roof, but only say the word and my 
servant shall be healed. 

Q. Why is the confiteor said before communion ? 

A. It is said in order to excite us to compunction 
and humility, because the confiteor is a general and 
public accusation of our sins. 

Q. What are the ablutions ? 

A. The ablutions are used to purify the mouth and 
fingers of the priest so that no portion of the sacred 
species remain adhering to them. Whilst taking the 
ablutions, he says prayers of thanksgiving for hit 


Christianity visible. The sixth part of the Mass. 

Q. What is the sixth part of the mass? 

A. The sixth and last part of the mass is the thanks 
giving. It comprises the anthem called communion, 
the post communion, the lie missa est, the benediction, 
and the Gospel of St. John. 

Q. What is the anthem called communion ? 

A. It is a prayer which the priest recites and which 
at high mass the choir sings, immediately after the 

Q. Why do they sing it ? 

A. As singing is used at the festivals of the great 
ones of the earth, the church wishes that it also should 
be used at the feast Avhere man is seated at the table 
of God himself. 

Q. What is the post communion ? 

A. It is a prayer recited in thanksgiving after com 
munion, and therefore called post communion. 

Q. What means Ite missa est f 

A. Ite missa est means Co, the congregation is dis 
missed. In high masses the deacon sings it in the name 
of the priest. 

Q.. Does the mass always close with the words Ite 
missa est ? 

A. Not always. When other prayers follow the 
mass, the people are invited to continue the praises 
of God, and then, instead of the Ite missa est, the 
Renedicamus Domino, Let us b/exs the Lord, is said. 
For this reason the Benedicamus is said during Advent 
and Lent. 

Q. Why does the priest give the blessing at the 
end of mass ? 

A. To obtain for the people that they may preserve 
the fruits of the holy sacrifice, to testify his affection 
for them and the desire he has for their salvation. 


Q. Why does he recite the Gospel of St. John ? 

A . He recites the Gospel of St. John on account of 
the profound respect which has ever been entertained 
for the holy words it contains. The pagans them 
selves admired them so much that they wished to have 
them engraved in letters of gold in their places of as 
sembly that every person might read them. 

Q. What do the people say at the end of the 
Gospel ? 

A . At the end of the Gospel, they say Deo gratia.^ 
thanks to God, thanks to the most Holy Trinity, for 
all their benefits, of which the sacrifice of the altar is 
an abridgment. 

Q. How should we retire after mass ? 

A. We should retire with great recollection, and 
live during the day as if we had witnessed the death 
of the Saviour on Mount Calvary. 

Christianity visible. The days o f the week and month. 

Q. How should we consider the days of the week ? 

A. We should consider the days of the week as a 
continual festival ; during which we must not only ab 
stain from all acts that may offend God, but also" pray 
to him and honor him by the holiness of our conduct. 

Q. Why have particular feasts been established ? 

A. They have been established to renew the fervor 
of the lukewarm, and to animate their courage, by re 
calling to their minds the great events of religion, and 
proposing to them new motives to be virtuous. 

Q. What name has the church given to the days of 
the week ? 

A. She has given them the name of feria, which 
signifies rest and rejoicing ; to remind us that each day 
ought to be for us a day of rest from sin, and a day of 
rejoicing by means of a good conscience. 


Q. What particular devotion is attached to each 
day of the week ? 

A . The Monday is consecrated to the souls in pur 
gatory ; Tuesday, to the guardian angels ; Wednesday, 
to the passion ; Thursday, to the Holy Eucharist ; 
Friday to the death of our Lord, and Saturday to the 
Blessed Virgin. 

Q. What were the Wednesday and Friday in the 
first ages ? 

A. The Wednesday and Friday of each week were 
days of station.* ; that is, days of fast, prayer, and 
assembling at the tombs of the martyrs. Hence the 
custom and the law of abstinence on Friday. At 
Home, Saturday has been a day of fast since the first 
ages ; hence the law of abstinence on that day. 

Q. What do you remark on the days of the month? 

A. I remark that the church has given to each of 
them the name of a saint, in order each day to place 
before us the example of our brethren who are in 
heaven, and to encourage us to imitate their virtues. 

Q. What must we do to respond to this intention 
of the church ? 

A. We should read each day the lives of the saints ; 
especially when all the family are assembled. 

Christianity visible. Advent. 

Q. What is advent ? 

A. The word advent signifies coming. Advent is a 
time of prayer and penance, established by the church, 
to prepare for the feast of Christmas. 

Q. With what sentiments does the church wish to 
inspire us durmg advent ? 

A. During advent the church wishes to inspire us 
first with the spirit of penance, to prepare our hearts 

co uh$ /: r o UR r//. 3 75 

for the birth of the Messiah ; she repeats to us the 
words of St. John, addressed to the Jews on the banks 
of the Jordan : Do penance ; prepare ye the way of the 
Loril ; make straight his paths. 

Q. What more does she do ? 

^4. She puts on her garb of purple, and suppresses 
die alleluia in a part of her office. 

Q. What other sentiment does she wish to inspire ? 

A. She wishes to inspire us also with hope, for 
which reason she announces to us in the epistles and 
gospels the speedy coming of the Messiah. 

Q. What does advent represent ? 

A. Ad vent represents the four thousand years during 
which the Saviour was expected. The church invites 
us to sigh for his coming as did the patriarchs and pro 
phets. From the 15th of December to the 23d she 
uses the great anthems, which are so many ardent 
sighs after the Messiah. 

Q. What must we do to spend advent well ? 

A. In order to spend advent well we must: 1st, 
renounce sin ; 2d, do some works of mortification ; 3d, 
desire ardently the coming of the Messiah in our hearts; 
4th, live in greater recollection and with more fervor 
than usual. 

Q. What motives have we for passing advent 

A . 1 st, obedience to the church ; 2d, gratitude to 
Jesus Christ ; 3d, our spiritual kiterest ; for, propor 
tioned to our fervor will be the favors of the Messiah 
to us. 



Christianity visible. Feast of the Immaculate 
ception of the B. Virgin. 

Q. What feast is celebrated the eighth of December? 

A . On the eighth of December we celebrate the 
feast^ of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed 
Virgin. The Blessed Virgin being destined to be the 
mother of God, was preserved from original sin ; this 
was due to the honor of the three persons of the Holy 
Trinity : to the Father, whose daughter Mary was ; 
to the Son, whose mother she was ; and to the Holy 
Ghost, whose spouse she was. 

Q. Is the Immaculate Conception an article of faith ? 

A. It is, having been solemnly denned by Pius IX, 
after consultation with the Bishops throughout the 
whole church. The definition was grounded on various 
passages of scripture which declare her high dignity 
as Mother of God, as also on ancient tradition, and the 
geneVal sense and persuasion of the church. 

Q. Is this feast of great antiquity ? 

A. It goes back beyond the twelfth century. St. 
Anselm, archbishop of Canterbury, contributed much 
to its being generally adopted ; and the sovereign pon 
tiffs have granted great indulgences to those who 
celebrate it worthily. 

Q. What do you remark on the establishment of 
this feast ? 

A. I remark that the church, in establishing this 
feast, did not acquire new light which she had not 
from the beginning ; but she showed forth her wisdom 
according to the order of Providence and the wants of 
her children. 

Q. How is the feast of the Immaculate Conception 
calculated to sanctify us? 

A. The feast of the Immaculate Conception sanctifies 
our imagination, by presenting us the image of the 


purest of virgins ; our mind, by teaching us that we 
must, as far as possible, imitate the sanctity of Mary 
since we are to receive in communion the same God 
of whom she was the mother ; and our heart, by inspir 
ing us with the resolution to preserve it from stain, or 
to purify it when stained with sin. 

Q. What must we do to celebrate this feast wor 

A. We must: 1 st, thank God for having preserved 
the Blessed Virgin from the stain of original sin ; 2d, 
congratulate Mary on her glorious privilege ; 3d, form 
a resolution to avoid the slightest faults ; 4th, perform 
some acts of mortification, or say some prayers in honor 
of the Blessed Virgin. 

Christianity visible. The Ember Days and Vigils. 

Q. What are the Ember days ? 

A. The Ember days are three days of fast, which 
occur at the close of each of the four seasons of the 
year ; and the origin of which dates from the time of 
the apostles. In preserving this practice, which was 
in force among the Jews, the church has given a proof 
of her great wisdom and of her great solicitude for 
our happiness. 

Q. How so ? 

A. By fixing the time and the manner of fulfilling 
this precept of our Lord ; Unless you do penance, you 
shall all likewise perish ; a precept to which we are 
obliged, as men, as sinners, and as Christians. 

Q. What would have happened without this ? 

A. Without this the greater part of men would 
have neglected the divine precept of doing penance, 
and would have appeared before the throne of justice 


loaded with debt, and condemned to hell, or at least 
to a rigorous purgatory. 

Q. What works does the church command? 

A. She commands fasting, prayer and alms, as op 
posed to the three great passions of the heart, love of 
pleasures, love of honors, and love of riches. 

Q. Why has the church particularly established the 
Ember days ? 

A . 1 st, to ask pardon of God for the sins committed 
during the past season ; 2d, to thank God for the fa 
vors he has granted us ; 3d, to bring down the bless 
ings of heaven on the ordinations ; 4th, to aid us in 
spending in a more Christian manner the coming 

Q. What are vigils ? 

A . The word vigil signifies watching. The vigils 
are the days of abstinence and fast which precede 
the great festivals of the year. There are five ; those 
of Christmas, Easter, Pentecost, Assumption and All 
Saints. In some diocesses the feast of St. Peter aod 
St. Paul is also preceded by a vigil. 

Q. How should we spend the vigils ? 

A Whatever be our age, we should spend those 
days in a more holy manner than other days, in order 
to prepare for the celebration of the festival and to re 
ceive the graces which God always gives more abun 
dantly at that time. 

Christianity visible. Christmas. 

Q. What does the festival of Christmas celebrate ? 

A . The festival of Christmas celebrates the birth of 
our Lord Jesus Christ. We must believe that the Son 
of God, incarnated in the worn!) of the Virgin Mary, 
was born in a stable at Bethlehem, for our salvation. 


Q. Give the history of his birth ? 

A . For four thousand years the world had expected 
n Redeemer, promised by the prophets. The moment 
had now come. By order of the emperor Augustus, 
Joseph and Mary repaired to Bethlehem, to be enrolled 
on the public registers. Finding no place in the city, 
they retired to a stable in the vicinity, and there tho 
Blessed Virgin gave to the world the Messiah so long 

Q. By whom was his birth announced ? 

A. It was announced by angels to some shepherds, 
who were keeping watch over their flocks in the 

Q. Describe the stable at Bethlehem ? 

A. The stable where the Saviour was born, was 
thirty-seven and a half feet long, by eleven feet t^iroe 
inches broad, and nine feet high. It was cut in a 
rock ; and tradition informs us that at the time o* tli3 
Saviour s birth it was occupied by an ox and an ass. 

Q. Why did God make known the birth of his Son 
*o the shepherds first ? 

A. To show us the esteem in which he holds 
poverty and simplicity of heart. 

Q. In what disposition must we be to celebiate 
worthily the festival of Christmas ? 

A. We must have a great horror for sin, and be de 
tached from creatures ; this is the teaching of the 
infant Jesus, born poor, humble, and suffering. We 
must tenderly love the Saviour, who, to make us Icve 
him, put on the form of an infant and became our 
brother ; finally, we must ask of him and imitate the 
virtues of his infancy. 

Q. Why do priests say three masses on Christmas 

A . To honor the three births of the Son of God ; 
1st, his eternal generation in the bosom of his Father ; 
2d, his temporal birth in the stable of Bethlehem ; 3d, 
his spiritual birth in the hearts of the just by charity. 


Q, Are we obliged to hear three masses on Christ* 
mas day ? 

A. We are not obliged to hear three masses, but it 
is well to do it when we can ; gratitude should make 
it a duty for us. 

Christianity visible. Feast of the Circumcision. 

Q. What is the feast of the Circumcision ? 

A. The feast of the Circumcision is the day on 
which our Lord received in his flesh the mark of the 
children of Abraham ? 

Q. Why was our Lord pleased to submit to this 
ceremony ? 

A. 1st, to show that he was truly man, and de 
scended from Abraham and David, according to the 
prophets ; 2d, to show us the respect we must have 
for the laws of God and the church. 

Q. What must we do to celebrate well this feast ? 

A. We must, 1st, detest sin, which was the cause 
of the Bufferings of the divine Infant ; 2d, have no in 
ordinate attachment to creatures ; 3d, compassionate 
the Blessed Virgin 

Q. "What name did the Son of God receive on the 
day of his Circumcision ? 

A . He received the name of Jesus, which signifies 
Saviour. This name was brought from heaven, and 
made known to Mary by the angel Gabriel, when he 
announced to her that she was to be the mother of 
God. God made it publicly known on the day of the 
Circumcision, that being the day on which the Jews 
named their children. 

Q. How is our Lord our Saviour? 

A. He is our Saviour in every respect. He is the 
Saviour of our understanding, delivering it from error; 


the Saviour of our heart, delivering it from the tyranny 
o: our passions ; the Saviour of our body, abolishing 
slavery, and the laws which permitted murder, vio 
lence and oppression. He has broken the yoke of the 
devil, expiated sin, re-opened heaven, and given all 
the graces necessary to arrive there. 

Q. With what sentiments must we pronounce the 
name of Jesus ? 

A. With sentiments of respect, confidence and love. 
There is an indulgence for those who bow the head in 
pronouncing the name of Jesus or on hearing it pro 

Q. Is the Circumcision an ancient feast ? 

A. It is very ancient. It was made a solemn feast 
in the sixth century ; the church wishing to expiate 
the disorders of the pagans on this day, it being the 
first day of the new year. 

Q,. What must we do to enter into the spirit of the 
church ? 

A. We must, 1st, entertain Christian wishes for our 
brethren and for the whole world, sincerely wishing 
them a happy new year ; that is, happy in the sight 
of God ; 2d, reflect on the shortness of time, and see 
how our account stands with God. 

Christianity visible. Epiphany. 

Q. What feast does the church celebrate on the 
sixth of January ? 

A . The feast of the Epiphany. Three times, in the 
space of fifteen days, she calls her children to the 
stable at Bethlehem, to teach the rich detachment 
from riches, and charity to the poor ; and the poor, 
resignation in their poverty and sufferings. 

(^. What is the Epiphany ? 


A. It is the day on which our Lord was adored by 
the magi. A miraculous star having appeared in the 
east, the magi, enlightened by grace, went to Bethle 
hem, prostrated themselves before the infant Jesus, and 
offered him presents of gold, frankincense and myrrh ; 
they were the first fruits of the Gentiles. 

Q. Who were the magi, and what was their number? 

A It is generally believed that the magi were 
learned men, engaged in the study of astronomy, and 
that they were kings, and three in number. 

Q. What virtues does the example of the magi teach 

A. Their example teaches : 1st, fidelity to grace ; as 
soon as they perceived the star, they quit all to follow 
it ; 2d, to avoid evil company ; the Magi did not re 
turn to Herod, but went back to their own country 
by another route. 

Q. Is the Epiphany an ancient feast ? 

A. It commenced with the first ages of the church. 
It has always been one of the most solemn feasts, and 
a kind of continuation of the feast of Christmas, for 
which reason we do not fast on the vigil. 

Q. What must we do to enter into the spirit of this 
feast ? 

A. We must, 1st, thank God for having been called 
to the faith ; 2d, endeavor to conform our conduct to 
our belief ; 3d, pray to God for the preservation of re 
ligion amongst ourselves, and for the conversion of 

Christianity visible. Purification. 

Q. What feast is celebrated on the 2d of February ? 

A. The feast of the Purification, commonly called 
Candlemas, is celebrated on the 2d of February. On 
this day the church proposes three mysteries to our 


meditation ; 1st, the purification of the Blessed Virgin ; 
2d, the presentation of the infant Jesus in the temple ; 
3d, the meeting of Simeon and Anna with the infant 
Jesus and his parents. 

Q. What is the purification of the Blessed Virgin ? 

A. It is the day on which the Blessed Virgin re 
paired to the temple, in obedience to the law of Moses, 
which obliged every woman who had brought forth a 
child to present herself in the temple, to offer a sacrifice 
to the Lord. The Blessed Virgin, although not bound 
by this law, wished nevertheless to submit to it, 
through a spirit of obedience and humility. 

Q. What does her example teach us ? 

A. Her example teaches all Christians the respect 
with which they ought to conform to the usages of the 
church, and it teaches Christian mothers how careful 
they should be to come to the church after the birth of 
their children, to return thanks to the Lord. 

Q. What is the second mystery we honor on the 2d 
of February ? 

A. The second mystery is the presentation of the 
child Jesus in the temple. Although the Saviour was 
not obliged to this ceremony, he was pleased neverthe 
less, through humility, to submit to the law which 
obliged all the Jews to consecrate to God their first 
born son. 

Q. What is the third mystery ? 

A. The third mystery is the meeting of Simeon and 
Anna with the child Jesus and his parents. 

Q. What did the old man Simeon do on seeing the 
Saviour ? 

A. He received the Saviour into his arms, and Inppy 
in seeing him, he asked to die, and foretold the great 
ness of the divine Infant and the Bufferings of Mary. 

Q. Why was the feast of the purification estab 
lished ? 

A. It was established to honor the three mysteries 
of which we have spoken, and to expiate the dit- 


oHcrs to which the pagans gave themselves up during 
the uionth of February. 

Q. What is represented by the lighted candles 
-.vhich are distributed on this day ? 

A . The lighted candles represent Jesus Christ, who 
is the light of the world. This feast demands of us 
great humility, an ardent charity and an angelic purity 
of heart. 

Christianity visible. Lent. 

Q. Why are fasts and abstinence commanded ? 

A. They are commanded: 1st, to strengthen our 
soul and restore its dominion over the senses ; 2d, to 
expiate our sins ; 3d, to render homage to God for the 
benefits he confers on us. The fast of Lent is estab 
lished also in imitation of the forty days fast of our 
Lord Jesus Christ, and to prepare us for the paschal 

Q. Is Lent of great antiquity ? 

A. It is derived from the apostles, and has always 
been observed in every portion of the church. The 
first Christians kept a very severe fast, and gave in 
alms what they retrenched from their table. 

Q. In what does the fast consist ? 

A. The fast consists in eating only one meal a day, 
to which the church, ever indulgent, permits us to add 
a light collation. 

Q. Who are obliged to fast ? 

A . All who have completed their twenty-first year 
are bound to fast by the law of the church. But all 
who are sinners, of whatever age, are obliged to do 

Q. What reasons dispense from fasting? 

A. Sickness, hard labor, poverty, are reasons which 
dispense us from fasting. 


Q. In case of doubt what must we do ? 

A. When we doubt as to the obligation of fasting, 
we must consult our confessor or a pious and ex 
perienced physician. When we cannot fast we must 
perform some other good works, watch more carefully 
over our senses, and support our labor and sufferings 
with more resignation. 

Q. What dispositions must we bring to the fast of 

A. To fast with profit during Lent, we must con 
sider it as a means to sanctify ourselves, and do all that 
is necessary for that purpose ; we must renounce sin, 
assist at the instructions and live in recollection. 


Christianity visible. Ash- Wednesday. Liturgy of 

Q. What are the prayers of the forty hours ? 

A. They are solemn prayers, accompanied by the 
exposition of tlje blessed sacrament and other pious 
exercises. They commence on Quinquagesima-Sunday 
and continue till the following Tuesday included. 

Q. Why were they established ? 

A. 1st, "to withdraw the faithful from theatres, balls 
and all the sinful extravagances of these days ; 2d, to 
expiate the sins committed at that time ; 3d, to prepare 
us for the holy time of Lent; 4th, to honor the forty 
hours which intervened between the condemnation of 
our Lord to death and his resurrection? 

Q. What is Ash- Wednesday ? 

A. It is the first day of the* fast of Lent. On this 
day all the faithful should receive the ashes and con 
secrate themselves to penance? 

Q. What should be our reflections when we receivi 
ihe ashes V 



A. When we receive the ashes we must consider 
oui selves as sinners condemned to death, and we must 
excite ourselves to great compunction in order to ob 
tain the pardon of our sins and a glorious resurrection. 

Q. What was done formerly on Ash- Wednesday ? 

A. It was on Ash- Wednesday that public penance 
was formerly imposed on sinners. The bishop put 
the ashes on their heads, and then with the foot of the 
cross drove them from the church, as God drove our 
first parents from the terrestrial paradise. These sin 
ners remained separated from the faithful until Holy 

Q. Was the penance imposed on them by the church 
severe ? 

A. It was very severe, lasting sometimes for twenty 
years; the penitents submitted humbly, in order to 
expiate their sins. 

Q. How must we expiate our sins? 

A. We must expiate our sins by penance propor 
tioned to their number and grievousness. To this the 
church exhorts us without ceasing during Lent, by 
giving us the most beautiful instructions to animate 
our confidence and make us enter into ourselves. 

Q. Where do we find these instructions? 

A . We find them particularly in the Gospels foi 
Lent. The first Sunday the church shows us Jesus 
Christ in the desert praying and fasting ; on the second 
she speaks to us of heaven, which will be the recom 
pense of the truly penitent ; on the third she depicts to 
us the unhappy state of sin, to induce us to quit it ; 
on the fourth she holds up to our view the holy com 
munion, in which we should all participate. 



Christianity visible. Last fifteen days of Lent. 

Q. To what are the last fifteen days of Lent conse 
crated ? 

A. They are consecrated to honor the passion of 
our Lord ; for this reason the church in the Gospel of 
each day rehearses the benefits and the most striking 
miracles of the Saviour, and the injustice of the Jews 
who sought to put him to death. 

Q. What more does the church do ? 

A. On the Friday before the passion she celebrates 
the feast of the seven dolors of the Blessed Virgin, 
whose heart was pierced with sorrow on seeing the 
treatment which her divine son received. 

Q. How is the last week of ,ent called ? 

A. The last week of Lent is called : 1st, the c/reat 
week, on account of the number and grandeur of the 
mysteries celebrated, and on account of the length of 
the different offices ; 2d, the painful week, on account 
of the sufferings of our Lord ; 3d, the xerophaye iveek, 
because formerly the faithful ate only dry food and 
drank nothing but water ; 4th, holy ivee.k, on account 
of the holiness of the mysteries she presents us, and 
the holiness she requires of us. 

Q. How was the holy week formerly spent ? 

A. Formerly holy week and Easter week were a 
continual feast. The tribunals of justice were closed, 
business suspended and prisoners set at liberty, debtors 
had their debts paid for them, enemies were reconciled, 
each one endeavored to renew in himself the true 
spirit of his duties and of the gospel. 

Q. How should we spend it V 

A. We should spend it as the church requires : 1st, 
meditating each day on the passion of our Lord ; 2d, 
exciting in ourselves a lively horror for sin, and a great 
love of God and our neighbor ; 3d, living in great 


recollection ; 4th, assisting at the different offices, and 
preparing ourselves with special fervor to receive the 
sacraments of penance and the eucharist. 

Christianity visible. Palm Sunday. Holy Thursday. 

Q. What circumstance in the life of our Lord does 
the church honor on Palm Sunday ? 

A. She honors the triumphal entry of our Lord into 
Jerusalem five days before his death. For the fulfil 
ment of the prophecies our Lord was pleased to make 
a solemn entry into Jerusalem. As he approached, 
the whole people went out to meet him, carrying 
branches of olive in their hands and making the air 
resound with their acclamations, Glory to the Son of 
David, blessed is he that corneth in the name of the Lord. 

Q. What does the procession with palms represent ? 

.1. It represents the entry of our Lord into Jeru 
salem, and his entry into heaven with his elect after 
the last judgment. 

Q. What "should we do with our palms ? 

A. We should preserve them with great respect and 
keep them in our chambers. 

Q. What mystery do we celebrate on Holy Thurs 
day ? 

A. On Holy Thursday we celebrate the institution 
of the holy eucharist. On this day we should in a 
particular manner evince our gratitude to our Lord for 
having given himself to us, and ask his pardon for the 
insults to which he is subjected in the holy sacrament. 

Q. What ceremony takes place before mass ? 

A. The absolution of penitents, because formerly it 
was on Holy-Thursday that those penitents were re 
conciled who had been subjected to public penance at 
the commencement of Lent. 


Q. What was done on Holy-Thursday ? 

A. On Holy-Thursday all the faithful receive com 
munion ; and we cannot choose a more suitable day to 
approach the holy communion and testify our grati 
tude to our Saviour. 

Q. What is done during the mass ? 

A . During the mass the holy oils are blessed for 
administering the sacraments of baptism, confirmation, 
holy orders and extreme unction. After mass the 
blessed sacrament is carried to the repository, which 
represents the tomb of the Saviour. The altars are 
stripped and the bells cease to ring in sign of sorrow. 

Q. What is done after mass? 

A. After mass takes place the washing of feet, in 
memory of the example and precept of our Lord, who 
washed the feet of his apostles. 

Christianity visible. Good Friday. 

Q. What is Good Friday? 

A. Good Friday is the day on which the church 
honors the death of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Q- How was Good Friday formerly celebrated ? 

A. Formerly it was celebrated by spending the 
whole night in the church in prayer, and every person 
fasting, except children under seven years of a<;e. 

Q. Of how many parts is the office of Good Friday 
composed ? 

A. The office of Good Friday is composed of three 

Q. What is the first ? 

A. The first part contains two lessons, one from 

Exodus, in which Moses describes the ceremony of the 

Paschal Lamb, the figure of our Lord ; the other from 

Isaias, where this prophet shows that Jesus Christ is 



the true Paschal Lamb, and foretells his sufferings. 
These lessons are followed by the reading of the pas 
sion according to St John. 

Q. What is the second ? 

A . The second part are the solemn prayers which 
the church says for the whole world, even for her great 
est enemies. Before each prayer a genuflection is 
made, except before the prayer made for the Jews. 

Q. What is the third part ? 

A. The third part is the solemn veneration of the 
cross, which represents to us the Saviour ascending 
Mount Calvary. 

Q. Whilst preparing to uncover the cross, what is 
sung ? 

A. In the name of the Saviour these touching words 
are sung : My people, what have I done to ihee? in 
what have I made ihee sorrowful f A nswer me. I have 
brought ihee out of the servitude of Egypt, I have fed 
thee with manna, I have led ihee into ajruilful land, I 
have protected you and thou hast prepared a cross for 
thy Saviour. 

Q. What ought we to do during the evening of 
Good Friday? 

A. We ought to repair to the church about three 
o clock, because our Lord died at that hour, and 
whilst there we would do well to meditate on the seven 
words spoken by him on the cross. 

Q. What are those seven words ? 

A. 1st, Father, forgive them, for they know not what 
they do ; 2d, the words to the good thief, This day 
tltou nhalt be with me in Paradise ; 3d, to Mary, 
Woman, behold thy son ; and to St. John, Behold thy 
mother ; 4th, 1 thirst ; 5th, My God, my God, why 
hast thou forsaken me; 6th, It is consummated; 7th, 
Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit. 


Christianity visible. Holy Saturday. 

Q. What is Holy Saturday ? 

A . Holy Saturday is the day on which the church 
honors the burial of the Saviour. Formerly, solemn 
baptism was administered to the catechumens on this 
day. The office of the day is composed of BIX parts. 

Q. What is the first ? 

A. The first is the blessing of the new fire, and re 
minds us that the church blesses all the things which 
she uses for divine worship ; 2<1, that our hearts 
should be renewed, in order to imitate the Saviour 
risen from the dead. 

Q. What is the second ? 

A . The second is the blessing of the paschal candle, 
which formerly was a column of wax, on which was 
written the epoch of the paschal feast, that is, the day 
of the month on which it occurred. It is the first 
symbol of the Saviour risen. The five grains of in 
cense inserted in the paschal candle, are another, and 
represent the five wounds of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
and the aromatic spices used to embalm his body. 

Q. What is the third? 

A . The third are the prophecies, which are twelve in 
number. They were sung from the first aues, to sus 
tain the attention, and keep alive the piety of the 
faithful, who passed the entire night in the church. 
They all have reference to baptism ; and invite our 
gratitude to God for so great a blessing- 

Q. What is the fourth ? 

A. The fourth is the blessing of tbe baptismal 
font. Formerly, when the catechumens were pre 
pared, they were led to the font during the singing of 
tho litanies, aad the water in which they were to be 
regenerated was blessed. This blessing of the w.ater, 
a continued at the present day- 


Q. What is the fifth ? 

A. The fifth is the mass; which has no introit, 
because the people are already in the church. The 
mass is short, in consequence of the length of the 

Q. What is the sixth ? 

A . The sixth are the vespers, which are sung im- 

- mediately after mass. It consists of hut one psalm ; in 

which the Gentiles are invited to unite with the Jews 

to bless the Lord, who, by the grace of baptism, has 

united all nations in the same church. 

Q. What should we do on Holy Saturday ? 

A. We should bury ourselves in spirit with our 
Lord in the sepulchre ; and there leave all our old 
habits of sin and lukewarmness, in order to rise with 
him to a new life. 

Christianity visible. Easter. 

Q. What is the feast of Easter or the Pasch ? 

A. It is the day on which our Lord raised himself 
to life again. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the 
foundation of our faith and our hope. For this reason 
the church celebrates with so much pomp and joy the 
memory of this great event. 

Q. What does the word Pasch mean ? 

A. It means passage or pass-over ; that is to say, 
for the Jews, the passage of the exterminating angel, 
and their deliverance from the servitude of Egypt; and 
for Christians, the passage of our Lord from death to 
life, and our deliverance from the slavery of sin and 
the devil. 

Q. Why is a procession made before mass ? 

A. The procession is made before mass in memory 
of the journey which the apostles and disciples made 



into Galilee, when our Lord sent them word by the 
holy women, saying, Go into Galilee, there they shall 
tee me. 

Q. Why is a procession made at vespers ? 

A . Because formerly the newly baptised were con 
ducted to the font to return thanks for their baptism 
received the evening previous. 

Q. What psalms are sung during the procession at 
vespers ? 

A. Tl>e psalms Laudctte pueri and In exitit Israel, 
are sung to express the joy we should feel at being 
delivered by baptism from the empire of the devil 
and of sin. 

Q. What must we do in order to celebrate worthily 
the feast of Raster ? 

A . We must : 1 st, believe firmly in the resurrection 
of our Lord ; 2d, return him thanks for having been 
born, having died and raised himself to life again, for 
us ; 3d, we must rise from sin to o;race, in order that 
after Easter we may lead a new life, the pledge of a 
i^lorious resurrection at the day of judgment. 

Christianity visible. The Annunciation. 

Q What feast do we celebrate on the 25th of 
March ? 

A. We celebrate the Annunciation of the Blessed 
Virgin. The archangel Gabriel being sent to Mnry 
to announce to her that she was to be the mother of 
Go;l, said to her: Hail, full of (/race, the Lord is with 
thee. Me*xed art thou among women. 

Q. What did the Blessed Virgin do? 

A. The Blessed Virgin, being troubled at these 
words, kept a modest silence, thinking within herself 
thin saluta iou could mean. 


Q. What did the angel do, seeing that she wai 
troubled ? 

A. The angel seeing that she was troubled, has 
tened to relieve her anxiety, saying : Fear not, Alary, 
for thou hast found grace with God ; the power of the 
Most High shall overshadow thee ; and thou shalt bring 
forth a son, and he shall be called the Son of God. 
Mary, whose consent was necessary, humbly sub 
mitted, saying : Behold the hand-maid of the Lord, be 
it done to me according to thy word : and instantly 
the Son of God was incarnated in the chaste womb of 

Q. What do you remark on this dignity of Mother 
of God? 

A . It is to it that women are indebted for the honor 
and respect they enjoy since the preaching of the 
gospel. Therefore should they cherish a tender devo 
tion to Mary. 

Q. What IB the Ave Maria? 

A. The A ve Maria, or Angelic salutation, is a prayer 
in honor of the Blessed Virgin. 

Q. Of what is it composed ? 

A. It is composed: 1st, of the words addressed by 
the angel to the Blessed Virgin ; 2d, of the words of 
St. Elizabeth, when she was visited by her cousin, 
the Blessed Virgin ; 3d, of the words added by the 

Q. When should we recite the A ve Maria ? 

A. We should recite it often ; but especially in the 
morning, the middle of the day, and at night ; as also 
the Angelus, morning, noon and evening, for the say 
ing of which great indulgences have been granted. 



Christianity visible. Month of Mary. Scapular. 

Q. What are the principal practices of devotion in 
honor of the Blessed Virgin ? 

A. The month of Mary, the Scapular and the 

Q. What is the month of Mary? 

A. The month of Mary is the month of May con 
secrated to the honor of the Blessed Virgin. This 
devotion, which originated in Italy in the last century, 
has for its end to obtain from the Queen of virgins the 
preservation of innocence amid the temptations which 
spring up so freely during that beautiful season. 

Q. How should we perform the month of Mary ? 

A. To perform it well, we must each clay offer up, 
in honor of the Blessed Virgin, a spiritual reading and 
some prayers, and endeavor to walk in her footsteps. 

Q. What is the Scapular ? 

A. The Scapular is a devotion in honor of the 
Blessed Virgin, which was revealed to the blessed 
Simon Stock, superior of the Carmelites, in the 
twelfth century. 

Q. What did the Blessed Virgin promise to Simon 
Stock ? 

A . She promised him : 1 st, to obtain for those who 
should wear the Scapular, extraordinary graces for ob 
taining a good death. But this does not mean that all 
who wear the Scapular are assured of their salvation. 
2 J, she promised to deliver from purgatory, the Satur 
day after their death, all the departed members of the 

Q. What is necessary in order to participate in these 

A. In order to participate in the first privilege, it is 
sufficient to live as Christians in our respective states 


of life, and to wear constantly the Scapular. To par 
ticipate in the second, we must also live as Christians ; 
and those who can read, must recite every day the 
little office of the Blessed Virgin or other appointed 
prayers ; those who cannot read must abstain on 

Q. What is the Rosary ? 

A . The Rosary is a devotion in honor of the Blessed 
Virgin ; which consists in reciting, each week, three 
pairs of beads or fifteen decades, meditating on the 
principal mysteries of our Lord and the Blessed Vir 
gin. These mysteries are divided into three classes : 
the joyful, the dolorous, and the glorious mysteries. 

Q. Who established the Rosary ? 

A. St. Dominick was directed by the Blessed Vir 
gin to establish the Rosary at the commencement of 
the thirteenth century. This devotion has been the 
means of obtaining the greatest favors ; and a multitude 
of popes, kings and princes have eagerly united in its 
performance. We also should join in this devotion, for 
we have the most pressing need of the protection of 
the Blessed Virgin. 


Christianity visible. Rogations. Procession of St. 

Q. What are the rogations ? 

A. The rogations are three days of procession, 
prayer and abstinence, which precede the Ascension, 
to obtain the blessing of God on the fruits of the earth. 

Q. But are not the laws of nature immutable ? 

A. The laws of nature are not immutable; they ?re 
dependent on the will of God who made them. 

Q. What other prayers does the church say for the 
fruits of the earth ? 


A. The passion of our Lord is recited, which 
takes place in some countries before mass every morn 
ing from the third of May, the feast of the Finding of 
the Cross, till the fourteenth of September, the day of 
the Exaltation of the cross. 

Q. Who established the rogations ? 

A. St. Mamertus, bishop of Vienne in Dauphiny, 
established the rogations towards the close of the fifth 
century to arrest the scourge which desolated the city 
of Vienne and all Dauphiny. 

Q. What is necessary in order to sanctify the roga 
tion days V 

A. We must : 1st, abstain during those three days ; 
2d, assist at the processions, if we can, with piety and 

Q. Who established the procession of St. Mark ? 

A. The procession of St. Mark was established by 
St. Gregory the G reat, to deprecate the wrath of God 
and arrest the plague which was desolating the city of 
Rome in the sixth century. 

NOTE The 2d, 4th, and the latter part of the last question in this 
chapter are omitted. Abstinence on the Rogation-days is not obli 
gatory in the U. States. 

Christianity visible. The Ascension. 

Q. What is the feast of the Ascension f 

A. It is the day on which our Lord ascended into 

Q. How did our Lord ascend into heaven ? 

A. The fortieth day after his resurrection, having 
set out from Bethany with his disciples and his blessed 
mother, he ascended the mountain of Olives, gave to his 
disciples the command and the power to preach the 
gospel to all creatures, and blessed them for the last 
time, promising them the Holy Ghost: he then in their 


presence raised himself up into heaven by his own 
power and carried with him the souls of the just who 
had died before his coming. 

Q. What did the apostles do? 

A. After having followed with their eyes their Blas 
ter ascending into heaven, they retired to Jerusalem 
to await in silence and prayer the descent of the Holy 

Q. What miracle did the Saviour work when he 
ascended into heaven ? 

A. In ascending into heaven he left on the rock the 
print of his feet, which is to be seen to this day. 

Q. Why did the Saviour ascend into heaven ? 

A. The Saviour ascended into heaven : 1st, to take 
possession of the glory which his sacred humanity had 
merited by his passion ; 2d, to send the Holy Ghost 
upon the apostles and through them upon the whole 
world ; 3d, to open heaven for us ; 4th, to prepare our 
places there and keep them for us. 

Q. AVhat must we do to celebrate the ascension 
worthily ? 

A. We must detach our hearts from creatures and 
ardently desire to occupy the place prepared for us by 
Jesus Christ in heaven. 

Christianity visible. Pentecost. 

Q. W r hat is Pentecost ? 

A. Pentecost is the day on which the Holy Ghost 
descended upon the apostles. The word pen tecost signi 
fies fifty, and it was fifty days after the resurrection of 
our Lord that the Ploly Ghost descended upon the 
apostles. These fifty days comprise the paschal time, 
which is a joyful preparation for the feast of pentecost. 

Q. How does the church prepare us for this feat ? 


A. The church prepares us further for this feast : 
1st, by inviting us to spend in recollection and prayer 
tlra ten days which intervene between the ascension 
aAj^entecost ; 2d, by appointing a vigil with the obli- 
gaflSh of fasting. 

Q. How did the Holy Ghost descend upon the 
apostles ? 

A. The Holy Ghost descended upon the apostles in 
the shape of tongues as of fire. Fire illumines, ele 
vates, purifies and changes into itself whatever it em 
braces. Such was the effect produced by the Holy 
Ghost upon the apostles, and such still is the- effect 
upon all those who receive him in a worthy manner. 

Q. Why did the Holy Ghost appear in the shape 
of tongues ? 

A. He appeared in the shape of tongues to show 
that the apostles were every where to preach the gos 
pel, of which he came to give them a perfect under 

Q. What gifts formerly attended the descent of the 
Holy Ghost upon the faithful ? 

A. In the first ages the descent of the Holy Ghost 
upon the faithful in the sacrament of confirmation was 
commonly attended with extraordinary gifts, such as 
the gift of tongues and of prophecy. They ceased 
when religion became firmly established. 

Q. What are the requisite dispositions for receiving 
the Holy Ghost, and celebrating properly the feast ot 
Pentecost ? 

A. They are : 1st, an ardent desire to receive the 
Holy Ghost ; 2d, freedom from all inordinate affections. 

Christianity visible. Feast of the Holy Trinity. 

Q. What is the feast of Trinity Sunday ? 

A. It is the day on which the church iu a special 


manner honors one God in three persons. All religion 
tends to the glory of God and consequently to the glory 
of the Holy Trinity, and therefore the feast of the 
Trinity nmy be said to be perpetual. 

Q. Why has a particular feast of the Trinity f5B$n 
established ? 

A . It has been established to satisfy the devotion of 
Christians who, not content with the general feast, 
wished to consecrate a particular day to the honor of 
this mystery. This feast was instituted about the 
ninth century and approved at Rome about the four 

Q. What are our duties with respect to the Holy 

A. To adore the Holy Trinity without trying to 
comprehend its mystery. Like the sun, its existence 
is certain, although our feeble eyes cannot look fixedly 
<on it. 

Q. WTiat further is our duty? 

A. We must also imitate the three august persons 
of the Trinity. They are perfectly holy, we must 
endeavor to become holy and perfect : they are inti 
mately united, we must imitate them by a tender kw 
for our neighbor; lastly, we must be thankful to each 
of the three j>ersons for what each of them has done 
for us. The Father has created us, the Son has re 
deemed us, and the Holy Ghost sanctifies us. 

Q. What practice of devotion is there in honor oi 
the Holy Trinity ? 

A. In honor of the -Holy Trinity there is a devotion 
which consists in three persons uniting together to re 
cite three times a day, morning, noon, and night, seven 
times, the Glory fo to the Father, fyc., with one Hail 
Mary. Great indulgences are attached to this devo 
tion, and it is a good means to repair the blasphemies 
f the impious. 


Christianity visible. Corpus Ghristi. 

*S What is Corpus Christi ? 

A . It is the day consecrated to honor in a special 
manner our Lord Jesus Christ in the holy sacrament 
of the altar. We celebrate this feast every day, in 
celebrating the holy sacrifice of mass, so that the feast 
of the Eucharist, like that of the Holy Trinity, is per 
petual. Nevertheless the church has established a 
special feast to honor Jesus Christ present on our 

Q. Is this feast of ancient date ? 

A. The general feast of the Eucharist is as ancient 
as the church, but the particular feast dates not further 
back than the thirteenth century. 

Q. Why was it established ? 

A. It was established to atone for the outrages 
offered to our Saviour by heretics and the impious: 
2d, to renew the devotion of Christians to the adorable 
sacrament. The office of Corpus Christi, the most 
beautiful of the church offices, was composed by St. 
Thomas of Aquin. 

Q. At what time did the feast of Corpus Christi 
become universal in the church? 

A. It became universal in the church in 1311, after 
the general council of Vienna. The most imposing 
part of the ceremonies of this feast is the procession, in 
which our Lord Jesus Christ is carried in triumph. 

Q. What must we do to honor Jesus Christ on this 
feast ? 

A. We must, 1st, assist at the procession with re 
collection and piety ; 2d, return thanks to the Saviour 
for his extreme goodness in dwelling amongst us and 
blessing our streets with his presence ; 3d, ask pardon 
for our irreverence and ingratitude towards him ; 4th, 
pray for those who outrage him even on this day. 


Christianity visible. Feast of the Sacred Heart. 

Q. What is the feast of the Sacred Heart ? 

A. It is a festival established by the church, to 
bonor the Sacred Heart of the Saviour burning with 
love for us, and to repair the outrages offered to that 
most Sacred Heart. 

Q. What worship do we owe to the Sacred Heart 
of Jesus ? 

A. We owe to the sacred heart of Jesus the same 
worship of adoration that we pay to his div ine humani 
ty ; because it is personally united to the divinity. 
In honorkig the sacred heart we honor Jesus Christ 

Q. What is the rigis of the devotion to the Sacred 
Heart ? 

A. The devotion of the Sacred Heart was revealed 
to the veaerable Margarite Mary Alacoqae, a French 
religious of the visitation, who lived in the seventeenth 

Q. Why were these devotions revealed in these 
later times ? 

A. To revive the fervor of Christians, by presenting 
for their love the most amiable and loving of hearts. 

Q. What is the spirit of this devotion ? 

A. 1st, To honor by an unbounded gratitude and 
devotedness the infinite love of the Heart of Jesus for 
men, especially ia the Holy Eucharist ; 2d, to repair 
by all possible means, the outrages to which his love 
exposed him during his mortal life and still exposes 
him every day in the Holy Sacrament. 

Q. What are the principal fruits of this devotion ? 

A. Aa ardent love for the Saviour, and graces innu 
merable, are tfee fruit and recompense of this devotion 

Q. What is the Confraternity of the Sacred Heart ? 

A. It is an association, approved by the church, m 


honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and to which 
many indulgences are attached. The prayers to be 
recited, are the Our Father, Hail Mart/ and the Creed 
every day, with the following aspiration, or any other 
of similar import : 

0! Heart of Jesus, at each instant in the day 
Increase the fire of thy love in my soul. 

Christianity visible. Visitation. Assumption. 

Q. What feast does the church celebrate on the 2d 
of July? 

A. On the 2d of July the church celebrates the feast 
of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin. We honor the 
visit of Mary to her cousin St. Elizabeth, to congratu 
late her on the graces with which she was favored by 

Q. By whom was the feast of the Visitation estab 
lished ? 

A. It was established by Pope Urban IV, and made 
general in the fourteenth century by Pope Boniface the 
IX, to put an end to the great western schism which 
was desolating the church. 

Q. What virtues did the Blessed Virgin practice in 
her visitation ? 

A. She practiced many virtues which we should 
imitate in our conversations and visits, charity, hu 
mility, modesty, zeal for the glory of God. 

Q. What feast is celebrated on the 1 5th of August? 

A. The feast of the Assumption. Mary died from 
an effort of love, and her body was borne to heaven 
without having felt the stain of corruption. The as 
sumption of Mary is not an article of faith, but it is a 
truth which no one should doubt. 

Q. When was the feast of the Assumption estab 
lished ? 


A. The feast of the Assumption was established 
previous to the sixth century. It has always been 
celebrated with great pomp, and formerly it was cele 
brated above all with great fervor. 

Q. What is the office of Mary in heaven ? 

A . Her office in heaven is similar to that of our 
Lord. She intercedes for us, pleads our cause, and 
dispenses with a liberal hand the graces of God ; she 
loves us as never mother the most tender loved her 

Q. What must we do to merit her protection ? 

A. To merit her protection we must, 1st, be faith- 
^il to grace, for thus Mary attained the pinnacle of 
f lory ; 2d, make an offering to her each day ; it mat 
ters not how small the offering, provided we persevere 
ii the pious practice. 

Christianity visible. Nati vi ty. Presentation. 

Q. What feast do we celebrate on the 8th of Sep- 
iember ? 

A. On the 8th of September we celebrate the feast 
Df the Nativity, that is, the birth of the Blessed Virgin. 

Q. Is this feast of ancient date ? 

A. It is of the eleventh century ; it appears to have 
originated in France, whence it passed into the other 
portions of the church. 

Q. What must we do to celebrate it well ? 

A. We must : 1 st, thank God for having given us so 
good a mother ; 2d, felicitate the Blessed Virgin on the 
plenitude of grace with which she was born : 3d. form 
a resolution to imitate the virtues of the infant Mary. 

Q. What is the feast of the Presentation V 

A. It is the day on which Mary, at the age of three 
years, presented herself in the temple and offered up 
herself to the Lord. 



Q. By whom was this feast established ? 

A. It was established uy the churches of the east, 
and celebrated with great pomp from an early period. 
It passed into France after the Crusades, about the 
middle of the fourteenth century. 

Q. How must we consider the Blessed Virgin in 
her feasts and in her whole life ? 

A. We must consider her as the model of all Chris* 
tians, but especially of Christian women. As daugh 
ter, spouse, mother, widow, and ever virgin, Mary 
offers to women a perfect model in every position ol 
life. It is by imitating the Blessed Virgin that they 
will enjoy that respect and happiness which religion ia 
destined to procure them. 

Q. What effects are produced by the veneration of 
the Blessed Virgin ? 

A. It fills the soul with meekness, purity, and con 
fidence ; it has an influence in sanctifying public mor 
als, and inspires and ennobles the arts. 


Christianity visible. Finding and Exaltation of the 
Holy Cross. 

Q. What is the first festival established in honor of 
the cross V 

A. That which Constantino caused to be established 
in memory of the miraculous cross which had ap 
peared to him. 

Q. Was this a solemn festival ? 

A. From the commencement it was very solemn, 
but it became still more so when, in 326, St. Helena, 
the mother of Constantino, had found the cross of the 
Saviour. These two circumstances form but one 
feast, which we call the Finding of the Holy Cross, 
and is celebrated on the 3d of May. 

(^. What is the second feast in honor of the cross ? 


A . It is the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, estab 
lished in the eighth century, to return thanks to God 
for the restoration of the true cross, which the Persians 
had carried away from Jerusalem. 

Q. How should we honor the cross ? 

A. We should honor it by meditating often on the 
lesson which it teaches us ; placing it conspicuously 
in our houses ; carrying it on our persons ; saluting ft 
whenever we pass it, ahd making the sign of the cross 
with devotion on ourselves. 

Q. What is the Way of the Cross ? 

A. Literally speaking, it is the space over which 
the Saviour bore the burden of the cross, and which 
extended from Pilate s hall to the place of Calvary, 
where he was crucified. We here understand, by the 
way of the cross, a representation of that trodden by 
our Lord ; and to render the representation more strik 
ing, pictures representing the stages of his passion 
are placed at short distances from one another. 

Q. Who established the Way of the Cross ? 

A. The Sovereign Pontiffs established it to afford 
Christians an opportunity of traveling in spirit that 
way which the Saviour traveled in reality, and to excite 
in their souls deep sentiments of love and compunction. 

Q. What are the fruits of this devotion ? 

A. 1st, to dissipate the darkness of our understand 
ing ; 2d, to touch our hearts ; 3d, to aid us in meditat 
ing on the mysteries of the Passion. 


Thristianity visible. Feast of St. Michael and the 
Guardian Angels. 

Q. Is the veneration or honor paid to the angels of 
ancient origin ? 
A. It is derived from the Old Testament, and i 


found in all the practices or exercises of theclmreh a 
may be seen by the preface and canon of the mass, the 
litanies, and other prayers of great antiquity. 

Q. What feast has the church established to honor 
the holy angels ? 

A . She has established two in particular ; the feast 
of St. Michael, and that of the Guardian Angels. 

Q,. On what occasion was the feast of St. Michael 
established V 

A . St. Michael, chief of the heavenly host, appeared 
on Mount Gargan in Italy, in 493; and on this occa 
sion a special feast was established to honor him and 
all the jjood angels. 

Q,. What veneration or honor do we render to the 
angels ? 

A. The honor we render them is an inferior honor, 
which refers to God. We honor them as the minis 
ters of God, our intercessors, and our friends. 

Q. What other feast has the church established in 
honor of the holy angels V 

A. It is the feast of the Guardian Angels ; it was 
established in the seventeenth century. 

Q. With what sentiments ought this feast to inspire 

A. With great gratitude to God and a high esteem 
for our soul, which will make us respect ourselves, 
respect others, and never scandalize them. 

Q. What do we owe to our Angel Guardian ? 

A. Three things: 1st, respect on account of his 
presence ; *2d, love, on account of his goodness to us ; 
8d, confidence, on account of his powerful protection. 


Christianity visible. Feast of All-Saints. 

Q. What feast do we celebrate the 1st of November? 

A. On the 1st of November we celebrate the feast 
of all the saints, commonly called All- Saints. On this 
day the church invites us to the two fold sentiment of 
joy and of sorrow. In the Epistle she encourages us 
by showing that there are in heaven saints of every 
country and every age. In the Gospel she marks the 
virtues we must practise in order to arrive there. 
In the preface, she tells us that the saints are our breth 
ren, that they look upon us with love, and aid us by 
their powerful prayers. At vespers, she reminds us 
that we are exiles, and teaches us to sigh like the 
captive Israelites at Babylon, for the heavenly Jeru 
salem our true country. 

Q. Is the feast of All-Saints of ancient date ? 

A. It commenced in the seventh century; was estab 
lished in Rome by Boniface IV, and then passed into 
all the churches. 

Q. Why was it established ? 

A. 1st, to honor all the saints, especially those we 
do not know, or who have no appointed day during the 
year ; 2d, to thank God for the graces bestowed upon 
his elect ; 3d, to excite us to imitate the virtues of the 
saints ; 4th, to give us an occasion to repair the faults 
committed in the celebration of the particular feast of 
each saint. 

Q. What must we do to celebrate worthily the feast 
of All- Saints? 

A. We must excite in our heart a great desire of 
heaven, and great disgust for the earth, and form the 
generous resolution to imitate the saints. 

Q. What is the beatification of a saint ? 

A. It is an act by which the sovereign pontiff de 
clares a person to be blessed after his death. 


Q. What is the canonization of a saint? 

A. It is a solemn and definitive decision by which 
the sovereign pontiff ranks a person in the number of 
the saints, and authorizes honors to be paid him 
throughout the church. 

Q. What is necessary in proceeding to the beatifica 
tion and canonization of a saint ? 

A . Unquestionable miracles, wrought after the death 
of the person. Thus the church acts with a prudence 
wholly divine, which even heretics and the impious are 
forced to admit. 

Christianity visible. All-Souls. 

Q. What feast do we celebrate the day after All- 
Saints ? 

A. The commemoration of all the dead, or All-Souls. 
By uniting these two feasts the church wishes to re 
mind us that we are all brethren. 

Q. Has the church always prayed for the dead ? 

A. She has always prayed for the dead, offering up 
the holy sacrifice the day of their death and on the an 
niversary ; she prays for them at every mass, and has 
instituted a particular feast for the relief of all the dead. 

Q. Is this feast of ancient date ? 

A . It is of the 1 Oth century ; it originated in Franche 
Comte ; and St. Odilon, abbot of Cluny, made it obli 
gatory for all the monasteries of his order, whence it 
prevails throughout the church. 

Q. What motives have we to pray for the dead ? 

A. We have four powerful motives to pray for the 
dead : the glory of God, chanty, justice and our own 

Q. What do you remark on the burial service of the 
dead ? 



A. 1st, that in it the church gives us an exalted 
idea of a Christian; 2d, she consoles us therein, by the 
hope of the resurrection which she loudly proclaims in 
her sorrowful chants. 

Q. What signifies the cross planted at the head of 
the grave ? 

A . It, signifies that there reposes the body of a Chris 
tian, who lived in hope, and who confidently expects 
the day of general resurrection. 

Christianity visible. Dedication. 

Q. What is the feast of the Dedication ? 

A . It is a feast by which we celebrate the consecra 
tion of our churches. Every thing used in the service 
of religion should be holy ; therefore the church conse 
crates her temples. This exterior consecration is but 
an image of our consecration to God, for we should be 
more holy than temples and altars. 

Q. To whom belongs the right to consecrate 
churches ? 

A. To bishops only. It is preceded by a fast and 
long prayers, and accompanied with many and beauti 
ful ceremonies, which teach us how holy is God, and 
with what respect we should enter the church. 

Q. What sentiments should we have in entering the 
church ? 

A. Sentiments of joy and respect; for the church is 
the house of God our Father. All that we behold 
there speaks to our heart and inclines us to virtue ; the 
baptismal font, the pulpit, the tribunal of penance, the 
pictures of the saints, the altar, the cross, the commu 
nion rail. 

Q. W T hy is a church dedicated under the invocation 
of a saint ? 


A. In order to give the faithful a model and a pro 
tector. They should celebrate the feast of their patron 
with great piety and a sincere desire to walk in his 

General Summary. Religion in time and in eternity. 

Q. How should we consider religion ? 

A. 1st, as a grand fact, which embraces all time, 
explains all things, and to which all things refer ; 2d, 
as an immense benefit and the source of all the bless 
ings we enjoy. 

Q. How is religion the source of all the blessings 
we enjoy? 

A. Because it is to her we owe our lights, virtues, 
salutary institutions, good laws, the saints, and all those 
men who have really been benefactors to their fellow 

Q. What must we conclude from this ? 

A. We must conclude that religion is divine ; for a 
religion which makes men better, must be good ; but it 
is ood only because it is true ; and true only because 
it is divine. Religion, therefore, which alone makes 
men better, and which alone has civilised them, is from 
God, and therefore divine. 

Q. What religion is it that alone has rendered men 
better and alone has civilised them? 

A. The only religion which has rendered men bet 
ter and civilised them, is the Catholic religion, to the 
exclusion of Arians, Mahometans, Protestants nnd 
philosophers ; the Catholic religion, therefore, alone is 
good, alone divine. 

Q. What does religion propose to herself in civilis 
ing nations? 

A . In civilising them, that is, rendering them bet 
ter, more enlightened, and more happy, religion pro- 


poses to lead them step by step to perfection, and to 
complete happiness in eternity, where they will receive 
the plenitude of the fruits of redemption. 

Q. How do you call this complete happiness to 
which religion conducts us ? 

A. It is called heaven, and it will be the complement 
of all lawful desires: 1st, for God, heaven will be 
the accomplishment of the wish expressed by the Sa 
viour, Father, thy kingdom come ; it Aviil be the com-. 
Elete manifestation of his glory ; the reign of a, loving 
ither over his obedient children ; in a word, God in 
heaven will be all in all things. 2d, for creatures, 
heaven will be the accomplishment of the wish ex 
pressed by St. Paul, in their name : All creatures 
groan expecting their deliverance from corruption, and 
their participation in the glory of the elect ; heaven 
and earth will be renewed and clothed with a light and 
a beauty which we cannot conceive. 3d, for man, 
heaven will be the accomplishment of all his desires, 
for body and mind. 

Q. What does man desire for the body ? 

A . An agreeable habitation and splendid apparel : 
the heavenly Jerusalem will be our habitation, and our 
bodies will be robed in a raiment of glory and immor 
tality more brilliant than the sun. Again, man desires 
for the body health, beauty, activity, life, and he stops 
at nothing to obtain these blessings ; heaven will give 
us all these, without mixture of evil and for ever. 

Q. What does man desire for the mind ? 

A. To know much and know it clearly, and there 
is no effort he will not make to obtain this knowledge. 
In heaven we shall know all things and know them 

Q. What does man desire for the heart? 

A. He desires to love and to be loved ; for this we 
oftentimes sacrifice fortune and even life itself. In 
heaven we shall love and be loved by all that is most 



Q. What more do we desire ? 

A. We desire power and glory. In heaven we 
shall possess power and be crowned with a wreath more 
brilliant than all the diadems of kings on earth ; in a 
word, heaven will be the restoration of all things to 
their primitive excellence, and their eternal repose in 

Q. What must we conclude from this, and from the 
whole Catechism? 

A. That we ou^ht to love much and practise faith 
fully our holy religion, which renders us happy on 
earth, and leads us to perfect happiness in heaven. 



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