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* Greetings

* MCS News & Notes

* The Month of August: Dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

* How Great is the Love of Our Mother For Us

* Short Reflection on Devotion to the Immaculate Heart

* Liturgical Feasts in August

* 'Catholic Trivia'

* Defending the Faith: "Apologetics Brief" - Do You Reject the Catholic Church's Teaching that Jesus' Mother Mary Was Conceived Immaculately and Remained Sinless?

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Dear Friend,

Greetings & blessings to you! We hope you are having an enjoyable and holy summer.

We send our thanks to all subscribers who have signed up for our Seventh Annual Rosary Week to be held from 10/25-10/31/15. For those who haven't yet signed up, please accept our invitation to join fellow Catholics in praying the rosary for worthy intentions. It doesn't take very long to participate, it doesn't cost anything to sign up, and you can pray from anywhere, at any time. If you'd like, we can send you daily reminders during Rosary Week so that you won't forget. Please join us in this 'spiritually rewarding event'. Sign up today at 

Also, we are happy to announce that we have just released the Android version of our Speedy Dial! app. For more information & screenshots, please visit . Please note that sales of this 'awesome' speed dial app may benefit

We send you our best wishes for God's blessings,

Your Friends at

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"My soul doth magnify the Lord: And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior. Because He hath regarded the lowliness of His handmaid: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed." (From the Magnificat / Canticle of Our Lady, cf. Lk. 1:46-55)

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MCS News & Notes

* Rosary Week: The online signup sheet for our Seventh Annual Rosary Week is ready & waiting for you! This year's Rosary Week is scheduled for 10/25-10/31/15. It's easy, it's free, and it takes only a little time. You can sign up for one day, a few days, or for the entire week. You can participate at any time of day or night. If desired, you can sign up anonymously & an e-mail address is *not* necessary (unless you'd like daily reminders or want to be contacted next year). And, you can join us from the comfort of your own home or even from your parish. Please join us in this 'powerful prayer event'! Sign up today at . Please also invite your friends to sign up! Don't know how to pray the rosary? Visit for assistance.

* Four Year App Anniversary: The month of August marks the 4 year anniversary of our first app release. We are happy to report that in these first four years we have released 9 apps total - 5 iOS/Apple apps & 4 Android apps - plus 5 updates. Our apps have been sold in or used in around 80 countries. This past year, we finally overcame some Android development challenges and have released 2 Android apps so far for this year. Although it has been very difficult for us to get reviews (unfortunately, people don't seem to recognize the importance of leaving reviews), we have enjoyed mostly positive ratings on those we have received. Although app sales have not been as high as we'd like, they have still been helpful in keeping us going for the time being. We plan to continue our Android app development for the foreseeable future, and we hope to release at least one more app this year. For those who have already purchased our apps, we thank you very much for your support. We really appreciate it.

* New Guest Article: A new guest article has been added to the site ('American Catholic Lawyers Association, Inc. Press Release on Obergefell v. Hodges'). It may be viewed at

* Do you have children that will return to school soon? You might want to have a look at the user-submitted article entitled "Attention: Read This If You Love Your Children" at

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- - - - - App News...

Speedy Dial! Sample Screen

* We are happy to announce that we have just released the Android version of our Speedy Dial! app. This handy app features fast one-touch calling for up to 48 numbers, three screens of speed dials (great for grouping work or family #'s!), customizable buttons that display both names & phone numbers, changeable button colors (set individually or assign a single color to a panel), up to 3 dialing modes (including a convenient prompt before dialing option that can help prevent accidental dialing), and fast setup (for data found in contacts, it's possible to set up a speed dial in just a few seconds). Stop scrolling through favorites or contacts - put your most frequently used/most important 48 numbers in this app and call them quickly & easily! Download it today at or [an iOS version is still available at!/id527029746?ls=1&mt=8 ]. For more information & screenshots, please visit

* Demo Videos: We have just released a couple short demo videos for Speedy Dial! for Android. They may be viewed at (scroll down to view).

* If you don't yet own our Catholic Bible References app, why not get it today? This app is a great memory aid for truths of the Catholic faith that conveniently puts important scripture passages at your fingertips. It is a handy apologetics tool that can be used to help Catholics discuss & defend the faith. It features hundreds of key bible references conveniently arranged by topic, 100+ tips for locating related passages (including those related to defending the Catholic faith among 'Jehovah's Witnesses' & Mormons), modern / traditional scripture translations, a convenient index, an easy-to-use search feature, selectable text (where available), Old Testament / New Testament indicator, a quick, easy-to-use interface, and more... Download your copy of this 'must-have' app today at or at . [Note: An iOS version is still available at ]. For more details and screenshots, please visit (or ).

* Great for any time of year! Our Stations of the Cross app is perfect for Lent and beyond. Reviewers have called the app "Great", "wonderful", "excellent", "Penetrating and profound", and "Beautifully done". Comments have included references to "beautiful pictures" and "beautifully written" prayers which are "perfect for a meaningful way to remember and reflect on the death and rising of Jesus." The app was also called "Beautifully sublime", "a great app for meditation", and "a joy to use". One reviewer said that the app "brought tears to [their] eyes", while another said "This app is a must!". Why not get your copy of this great app today? Download it today at or [an iOS version is presently available at ].

* Reviews: If you've purchased any of our apps, we encourage you to please leave a review at your place of purchase. Favorable reviews really help us out! To view selected reviews, please visit

* If you have any thoughts to share regarding our apps, please contact us using the e-mail address provided in the app or online at

* For more information concerning currently available apps, please visit (shortcut: )

Note: Any prices included herein are in U.S. dollars, excluding any applicable tax.

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* Please see our Notices page at for dates of anticipated service delays through August 2015

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* Please visit our Notices page for timely news and other important information regarding -

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The Month of August: Dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

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"And [Jesus] went down with them and came to Nazareth and was subject to them. And his mother kept all these words in her heart." (Lk. 2:51)

"Thou art all fair, O my love, and there is not a spot in thee" (Cant. 4:7 / Song. 4:7)

"[Thy] patronage, O Mary, is more powerful and loving than anything of which we can ever form an idea." (St. Germanus)

"Tell everybody that God gives graces through the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Tell them to ask graces from her, and that the Heart of Jesus wishes to be venerated together with the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Ask them to plead for peace from the Immaculate Heart of Mary, for the Lord has confided the peace of the world to her." (Bl. Jacinta of Fatima)

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Related Resources...

* Blessed Virgin Mary (Topic Page) -

* Popular Marian Devotions (Incl. Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, First Five Saturdays Devotion & Prayers of Consecration) -

* Blessed Virgin Mary (Reflections) -

* Popular Marian Prayers -

* More Marian Prayers -

* Blessed Virgin Mary (Papal Writings) -

* Marian Facts -

* Marian Scripture References -

* Reasons to Honor the Blessed Virgin Mary -

* Thoughts on the Blessed Virgin Mary -

* Mary Our Mother Section -

* Do Catholics Worship Mary? -

* Marian Apologetics -

* The Holy Rosary (Topic Page) -

* Scapulars (Topic Page) -

* Marian Apparitions at Fatima (Topic Page) -

* Blessed Virgin Mary (Coloring Pages) -

* Marian Word Searches -

* Blessed Virgin Mary (Crossword Puzzle) -

Looking For Something Else? Try Our Various Indexes For 15,000+ Entries -

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"[Mary] is gentle, exquisite in tenderness, and of a limitless love and kindness. As such God gave her to us. Mother of his only begotten Son, he taught her all a mother's feelings that breathe pardon and love." (Pope Leo XIII)

"Although she was never subject to the frailty and perversity of our nature, Mary well knows its condition and is the best and most solicitous of mothers. How willingly will she hasten to our aid when we need her; with what love will she refresh us, and with what strength sustain us." (Pope Leo XIII, "Magnae Dei Matris", 1892 A.D.)

"Thus the Faithful of every age, both in public misfortune and in private need, turn in supplication to that she may come to their aid and grant help and remedy against sorrows of body and soul. And never was her most powerful aid hoped for in vain by those who besought it with pious and trustful prayer." (Pope Pius XI, "Ingravescentibus Malis", 1937 A.D.)

"Who can ever comprehend the solicitude with which Mary constantly stands before God on our behalf? 'She is never weary of defending us,' says St. Germanus; and the remark is beautiful meaning that so great is the compassion excited in Mary by our misery, and such is the love that she bears us, that she prays constantly, and relaxes not her efforts in our behalf: that by her prayers she may effectually defend us from evil, and obtain for us sufficient graces." (St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church)

"But should there by chance be a sinner who, though not doubting her power, might doubt the compassion of Mary, fearing perhaps that she might be unwilling to help him on account of the greatness of his sins, let him take courage from the words of St. Bonaventure. 'The great, the special privilege of Mary is, that she is all-powerful with her son.' 'But,' adds the saint, 'to what purpose would Mary have so great power if she cared not for us?' 'No,' he concludes, 'let us not doubt, but be certain, and let us always thank Our Lord and His divine Mother for it, that in proportion as her power with God exceeds that of all the saints, so is she in the same proportion our most loving advocate, and the one who is the most solicitous for our welfare." (St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church)

"When we have recourse to Mary in prayer, we are having recourse to the Mother of mercy, who is so well disposed toward us that, whatever the necessity that presses upon us especially in attaining eternal life, she is instantly at our side of her own accord, even though she has not been invoked. She dispenses grace with a generous hand from that treasure with which from the beginning she was divinely endowed in fullest abundance that she might be worthy to be the Mother of God. By the fullness of grace which confers on her the most illustrious of her many titles, the Blessed Virgin is infinitely superior to all the hierarchies of men and angels, the one creature who is closest of all to Christ." (Pope Leo XIII, "Magnae Dei Matris", 1892 A.D.)

Consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary: "O Virgin Immaculate, Mother of God and my Mother, from thy sublime height turn upon me thine eyes of pity. Filled with confidence in thy goodness and knowing full well thy power, I beseech thee to extend to me thine assistance in the journey of life, which is so full of dangers for my soul. And in order that I may never be the slave of the devil through sin, but may ever live with my heart humble and pure, I entrust myself wholly to thee. I consecrate my heart to thee for ever, my only desire being to love thy divine Son Jesus. Mary, none of thy devout servants has ever perished; may I too be saved. Amen." (Raccolta)

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How Great is the Love of Our Mother For Us

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The following is taken from a 19th century edition of 'The Glories of Mary' by St. Alphonsus Liguori. The original work has ecclesiastical approval. [Please Note: We have made some changes to the text below (e.g. capitalization, spelling & punctuation changes, shortening/separating/combining paragraphs).]

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If, then, Mary is our mother, let us consider how much she loves us. The love of parents for their children is a necessary love, and for this reason, as St. Thomas observes, children are commanded in the divine law to love their parents; but there is no command, on the other hand, given to parents to love their children, for love towards one's own offspring is a love so deeply planted in the heart by nature herself, that even the wild beasts, as St. Ambrose says, never fail to love their young, It is said that even tigers, hearing the cry of their whelps...will plunge into the sea to swim after [their endangered offspring]. If, then, says our most loving mother Mary, even tigers cannot forget their young, how can I forget to love you, my children? And, she adds, even if it should happen that a mother could forget her child, it is not possible that I can forget a soul which is my child (Isa. 49:15).

Mary is our mother, not according to the flesh, but by love: "I am the mother of fair love." (Ecclus. 24:24) Hence she becomes our mother only on account of the love she bears us; and she glories, says a certain author, in being the mother of love; because, having taken us for her children, she is all love towards us. Who can describe the love of Mary for us miserable creatures?...

But let us consider the reasons of this love, for thus we shall better understand how this good mother loves us. The first reason of the great love that Mary bears to men is the great love she bears to God. Love to God and man is contained in the same precept, as St. John has written: "This commandment we have from God, that he who loveth God, love also his brother" (1 Jn. 4:21); so that one increases as the other increases. Hence what have the saints not done for love of the neighbor, because they have loved God so much? They have gone so far as to expose and lose liberty and even life for his salvation. Let us read what St. Francis Xavier did in India, where, for the sake of the souls of those barbarians, he climbed mountains, and exposed himself to innumerable dangers to find those wretched beings, in the caverns where they dwelt like wild beasts, and to lead them to God. St. Francis de Sales, to convert the heretics of the province of Chablais, risked his life by crossing a river every day for a year, on his hands and knees, upon a frozen beam, that he might go to the other side to preach to those stubborn men. St. Paulinus became a slave, to obtain liberty for the son of a poor widow. St. Fidelis, to bring the heretics of a certain place back to God, willingly consented, in preaching to them, to lose his life. The saints, then, because they have loved God so much, have done much for love of the neighbor. But who has loved God more than Mary? She loved God more, in the first moment of her life, than all the saints and angels have loved him in the whole course of theirs...

Therefore, as there is none among the blessed spirits who loves God more than Mary; so there is, and can be none, except God, who loves us more than this our most loving mother. If the love of all mothers for their children, of all husbands for their wives, and of all saints and angels for their devoted servants, were united, it would not be so great as the love that Mary bears to one soul alone. Father Nierembergh says that the love which all mothers have borne to their children is a shadow when compared with the love which Mary bears to any one of us. Truly she alone loves us more, he adds, than all the angels and saints united. Moreover, our mother loves us much, because we have been commended to her as children by her beloved Jesus, when, before expiring, he said to her: "Woman, behold thy son" (Jn. 19:26); signifying by the person of John, all men... These were the last words of her Son to her. The last remembrances left by beloved friends at the moment of their death are greatly valued, and the memory of them is never lost. Moreover, we are children extremely dear to Mary, because we cost her so much suffering. Those children are much dearer to a mother whose lives she has preserved: we are those children, for whom, that we may have the life of grace, Mary suffered the pain of sacrificing the dear life of her Jesus; submitting, for our sake, to see him die before her eyes in cruel torments. By this great offering of Mary we were then born to the life of divine grace. So, then, we are children very dear to her, because we were redeemed at such a cost of suffering. Accordingly, as we read of the love which the eternal Father has manifested for men by giving his own Son to death for us, "God so loved the world as to give his only-begotten Son" (Jn. 3:16) as St. Bonaventure remarks, it may be said of Mary also, that she so loved us as to give her only-begotten Son...

And from this follows another reason why we are so much beloved by Mary: because she knows that we have been purchased by the death of Jesus Christ. If a mother should see a servant redeemed by a beloved son of hers, by twenty years of imprisonment and suffering, for this reason alone how much would she esteem that servant! Mary well knows that her Son came upon earth solely to save us miserable sinners, as he himself declared: "I have come to save what was lost." (Lk. 19:10) And to save us he has consented to lay down his life for us: "Becoming obedient unto death." (Phil. 2:8) If Mary, then, had little love for us, she would slightly value the blood of her Son, which was the price of our salvation... Now, how much more certainly must we believe that she loves us, after she has seen us so greatly prized by her Son, that he deigned to purchase us at such a cost!...

It is certain that she is concerned for the whole human race, as St. Bernard affirms; hence the practice of some devout servants of Mary is very useful, who, as Cornelius a Lapide relates, have the habit of praying our Lord to grant them those graces which the blessed Virgin is seeking for them, using these words: "Oh Lord, give me what the most holy Virgin Mary is asking for me." And this is well, as [he] adds, for our mother desires greater things for us than we think of asking for ourselves. The devout Bernardine de Bustis says that Mary is more desirous to do us good, and bestow favors upon us, than we are to receive them. Therefore blessed Albertus Magnus applies to Mary the words of wisdom: "She preventeth them that covet her, so that she first showeth herself unto them." (Wis. 6:14) So great is the love, says Richard of St. Laurence, which this good mother bears us, that when she perceives our necessities, she comes to relieve them. She hastens before she is invoked.

If Mary, then, is so good to all, even to the ungrateful and negligent, who have but little love for her, and seldom have recourse to her, how much more loving must she not be to those who love her and often invoke her! "She is easily seen by them that love her." (Wis. 6:13) Oh, how easy it is, exclaims the same blessed Albertus, for those who love Mary to find her, and find her full of love and pity! "I love them that love me" (Prov. 8:17) she assures us, and declares that she cannot but love those who love her. And although our most loving lady loves all men as her children, yet, says St. Bernard, she recognizes and loves especially those who most tenderly love her. Those happy [persons who love] Mary... are not only loved, but served by her.

Leonard the Dominican, as we read in the chronicles of his order, who was accustomed to recommend himself two hundred times a day to this mother of mercy, when he was on his death-bed, saw one beautiful as a queen by his side, who said to him: "Leonard, do you wish to die and come to my Son and me?" "Who are you?" answered the religious. "I am the mother of mercy," replied the Virgin; "you have many times invoked me, and now I come to take you: let us go to paradise." On that same day Leonard died, and we hope that he followed her to the kingdom of the blessed.

"Ah, most sweet Mary, blessed is he who loves you!" the venerable brother John Berchmans, of the Society of Jesus, used to say: "If I love Mary, I am sure of perseverance, and I shall obtain from God whatsoever I wish." And this devout youth was never satisfied with renewing his intention, and often repeated to himself: "I will love Mary, I will love Mary."

Oh, how much this our good mother exceeds all her children in affection, even if they love her to the extent of their power! "Mary is always more loving than [those that love her]," says St. Ignatius, martyr. Let us love her as much as St. Stanislas Kostka, who loved this his dear mother so tenderly, that when he spoke of her, every one who heard him desired to love her also; he invented new titles by which he honored her name; he never commenced an action without first turning to her image and asking her blessing; when he recited her office, her rosary, and other prayers, he repeated them with such affectionate earnestness, that he seemed speaking face to face with Mary; when he heard the Salve Regina sung, his soul and even his countenance was all on fire; when asked one day by a father of the society, as they were going together to visit an altar of the blessed Virgin, how much he loved her, "Father," he answered, "what can I say more than that she is my mother?" And that father tells us how the holy youth spoke these words with such tender emotion of voice, countenance, and heart, that he appeared not a man, but an angel discoursing of the love of Mary...

If, then, [those who love Mary] imitate, as much as possible, those [devotees] who endeavor to make known their affection to the person beloved, they can never love her so much as she loves them. I know, oh Lady, said St. Peter Damian, how loving thou art, and that thou lovest us with unconquerable love. The venerable Alphonso Rodriguez, of the Society of Jesus, was once standing before an image of Mary; and there burning with love for the most holy Virgin, broke forth into these words: "My most amiable mother, I know that thou lovest me, but thou dost not love me so much as I love thee." Then Mary, as if wounded in her love, spoke to him from that image and said: "What dost thou say -- what dost thou say, oh Alphonso? Oh, how much greater is the love I bear thee than the love thou bearest me! Know that the distance from heaven to earth is not so great as from my love to thine."

With how much reason, then, did St. Bonaventure exclaim: Blessed are those whose lot it is to be faithful servants and [to love] this most loving mother. For this most grateful queen is never surpassed in love by her devoted servants. Mary, in this respect, imitating our loving Redeemer Jesus Christ, makes by her favors a twofold return to him who loves her, I will exclaim, then, with the enamored St. Anselm: May my heart languish, may my soul melt with your never-failing love. May my heart always burn and my soul be consumed with love for you, oh Jesus, my beloved Savior, oh my dear mother Mary. Grant then, oh Jesus and Mary, since without [God's grace] I cannot love you, grant to my soul, not through my merits, but through yours, that I may love you as you deserve.

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For more reflections, please visit

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Short Reflection on Devotion to the Immaculate Heart

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The following is taken from a 19th century publication entitled 'St. Vincent's Manual: Containing a Selection of Prayers and Devotional Exercises'. The original work was published with approbation. [Please Note: We have made some changes to the text below (e.g. capitalization & punctuation changes)]

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As the adorable Heart of Jesus was formed in the chaste womb of the Blessed Virgin, and of her blood and substance, so we cannot in a more proper and agreeable manner show our devotion to the Sacred Heart of the Son, than by directing some part of the said devotion to the ever pure heart of the Mother. For you have two hearts here united in the most strict alliance and tender conformity of sentiments; so that it is not in nature to please the one, without making yourself agreeable to the other, and acceptable to both. Go then, devout client, go to the Heart of Jesus; but let your way be through the Heart of Mary, The sword of grief which pierced her soul, opens you a passage: enter by the wound love has made; advance to the Heart of Jesus, and rest there even till death itself. Presume not to separate and divide two objects so intimately united together; but ask for aid in all your exigencies from the Heart of Jesus, and ask this favor through the Heart of Mary.

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For more reflections, please visit

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Liturgical Feasts in August

The following is a listing of all liturgical feast dates for August as they appear at

Note: (T) = Traditional, (N) = New (Novus Ordo)

Reminder: Feasts may be superseded / transferred / etc.

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August 1 - St. Paul (T)

August 1 - St. Peter's Chains (T)

August 1 - The Holy Machabees (T)

August 1 - St. Alphonsus Liguori (N)

August 2 - St. Alphonsus Liguori (T)

August 2 - St. Stephen I, pope (T)

August 2 - St. Eusebius of Vercelli (N)

August 2 - St. Peter Julian Eymard (N)

August 3 - Finding of St. Stephen (T)

August 4 - St. Dominic (T)

August 4 - St. John Vianney (Cure of Ars) (N)

August 5 - Dedication of Our Lady of the Snow (T)

August 5 - Dedication of the Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome (N)

August 6 - Sts. Sixtus II (Xystus) (pope), Felicissimus & Agapitus (T)

August 6 - Transfiguration of Our Lord (T)

August 6 - Transfiguration of the Lord (N)

August 7 - St. Cajetan (T)

August 7 - St. Donatus (T)

August 7 - St. Cajetan (N)

August 7 - St. Sixtus II (pope) & companions (N)

August 8 - Sts. Cyriacus, Largus & Smaragdus (T)

August 8 - The 14 Holy Helpers (T)

August 8 - St. Dominic (N)

August 9 - St. Emidius (T)

August 9 - St. John Vianney (Cure of Ars) (T)

August 9 - St. Romanus (T)

August 9 - St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein) (N)

August 10 - St. Laurence (Lawrence) (T)

August 10 - St. Lawrence (N)

August 11 - St. Philomena (T)

August 11 - Sts. Tiburtius & Susanna (T)

August 11 - St. Clare of Assisi (N)

August 12 - St. Clare of Assisi (T)

August 13 - Sts. Hippolytus & Cassian (T)

August 13 - Sts. Pontian (pope) & Hippolytus (N)

August 14 - St. Eusebius (T)

August 14 - Vigil of the Assumption (T)

August 14 - St. Maximilian Kolbe (N)

August 15 - Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (T) *

August 15 - The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (N) *

August 16 - St. Joachim, Father of the Blessed Virgin Mary (T)

August 16 - St. Stephen of Hungary (N)

August 17 - St. Hyacinth (T)

August 18 - St. Agapitus (T)

August 18 - St. Helena (T)

August 18 - St. Jane Frances de Chantal (N)

August 19 - St. John Eudes (T)

August 19 - St. John Eudes (N)

August 20 - St. Bernard of Clairvaux (T)

August 20 - St. Bernard of Clairvaux (N)

August 21 - St. Jane Frances de Chantal (T)

August 21 - St. Pius X, pope (N)

August 22 - Sts. Timothy, Hippolytus & Symphorianus (T)

August 22 - The Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary (T)

August 22 - The Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary (N)

August 23 - St. Philip Benizi (T)

August 23 - St. Rose of Lima (N)

August 24 - St. Bartholomew, apostle (T)

August 24 - St. Bartholomew, apostle (N)

August 25 - St. Louis IX, king of France (T)

August 25 - St. Joseph Calasanz (N)

August 25 - St. Louis IX of France (N)

August 26 - St. Zephyrinus, pope (T)

August 27 - St. Joseph Calasanctius (T)

August 27 - St. Monica (N)

August 28 - St. Augustine of Hippo (T)

August 28 - St. Hermes (T)

August 28 - St. Augustine of Hippo (N)

August 29 - Martyrdom of St. John the Baptist (T)

August 29 - St. Sabina (T)

August 29 - Martyrdom of St. John the Baptist (N)

August 30 - St. Rose of Lima (T)

August 30 - Sts. Felix & Adauctus (T)

August 31 - St. Raymund Nonnatus (T)

Please Note: Above may exclude moveable feasts. For moveable feasts, try here: . For other feasts, try the MCS Daily Digest each day at

* Holy Day of Obligation, unless abrogated (Contact your diocese for info.)

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'Catholic Trivia'

1. When was the first ecumenical council held?

2. What industry does Pope Pius XI say became "more pernicious and deadly" as it progressed? What occurred in the United States in 1930 which was supposed to curb such degradation?

3. St. Francis of Assisi is credited with saving the life of which saint when he was a child?

4. When did the confiscation of the papal states occur?

5. According to St. Jerome, what holds the primacy of all virtues in woman?

6. When does St. Augustine say that the spirit of Christian charity lives not within a person?

7. What are three elements of certitude?

8. When was the term "Catholic Church" first written?

9. According to scripture, what man is a slave, in disgrace and shame?

10. Is it true that the deuterocanonical books were added to scripture by the Council of Trent?



1. The first ecumenical council (Niacea I) was held in 325 A.D.

2. As Pope Pius XI states, "Now then, it is a certainty which can readily be verified that the more marvelous the progress of the motion picture art and industry, the more pernicious and deadly has it shown itself to morality and to religion and even to the very decencies of human society. The directors of the industry in the United States recognized this fact themselves when they confessed that the responsibility before the people and the world was their very own. In an agreement entered into by common accord in March, 1930, and solemnly sealed, signed, and published in the Press, they formally pledged themselves to safeguard for the future the moral welfare of the patrons of the cinema. It is promised in this agreement that no film which lowers the moral standard of the spectators, which casts discredit upon natural or human law or arouses sympathy for their violation, will be produced." (Pope Pius XI, "Vigilanti Cura", 1936 A.D.)

3. St. Francis of Assisi is credited with saving the life of St. Bonaventure when he was a child.

4. The confiscation of the papal states occurred in 1870.

5. "It is the saying of a very learned man, that chastity must be preserved at all costs, and that when it is lost all virtue falls to the ground. This holds the primacy of all virtues in woman." (St. Jerome, Doctor of the Church)

6. "The spirit of Christian charity lives not within you, if you lament the body from which the soul has departed, but lament not the soul from which God has departed." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

7. Three elements of certitude are: metaphysical (when the opposite is inconceivable), physical (opposite is conceivable but not to be due to the laws of nature), and moral (ought not to be otherwise).

8. The first known written use of the term "Catholic Church" has been considered to be that of St. Ignatius of Antioch, around 110 A.D. It should be noted that St. Ignatius was a hearer of the Apostle St. John, and the third bishop of Antioch.

9. "The man is a slave, in disgrace and shame, when a wife supports her husband." (Sirach 25:21)

10. No. This is an error propagated by Protestants. It is easily disproved by pointing to the Church's official lists of inspired books of the Bible dating back from the fourth century A.D. The Council of Trent did list the deuterocanonical books, however, it was merely affirming / confirming the same list that the Catholic Church established in fourth century (and had maintained since then). Unbiased research should prove beyond doubt that the Catholic Church accepted these books from the beginning (when she first listed the books which comprise Scripture). In fact, she is known to have enumerated all of the books of the Bible - including the deuterocanonical books - as early as 382 A.D. [see the "Decree of (Pope St) Damasus" from the acts of the Roman Synod, 382 A.D.] and has done so consistently since then.


For more information concerning the topics above, try our General A-Z Index at

Like trivia? You might enjoy our crossword puzzles located at

You might also be interested in the Q & A and historical information which may be found each day on the MCS Daily Digest at

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Defending the Faith: "Apologetics Brief" - Do You Reject the Catholic Church's Teaching that Jesus' Mother Mary Was Conceived Immaculately and Remained Sinless?

It is good for Catholics to be able to defend their faith against attacks (or even simple questions) from those outside the Church. We therefore hope you may find the following "apologetics brief" helpful.

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Note: Text below is taken from

The following may be used as discussion points when discoursing with those outside the Church (or even among Catholics).

Topic: Do You Reject the Catholic Church's Teaching that Jesus' Mother Mary Was Conceived Immaculately and Remained Sinless? (Note: Topic is directed at Protestants)


* Do you suppose that God instructed that the Ark be covered inside and outside with pure gold (see Ex. 25:11), but He would fail to fashion His own mother - whom He took His own flesh from - in a similar manner?

* Do you suppose that the "entire temple [a mere building] was overlaid with gold" (1 Kgs. 6:22), yet Christ would fail to prepare his own Mother - from whom He took His own flesh - in a comparable fashion?

* Considering that Christ is the "living temple", and considering that in the Old Testament God selected master craftsmen to help build His temple, how can you imagine that He wouldn't craft His own mother masterfully - as perfect as a human being can get?

* How could Mary be greeted by the angel as "full of grace" (Lk. 1:28) if she was not immaculate?

* Since we see from Rv. 21:27 that nothing unclean will enter the Lord's kingdom, how do you imagine that God could have entered Mary's womb if Mary wasn't fully pure?

* How is it you would make the mother of Christ a sinner? Do you not realize that if you propose that Jesus' mother Mary ever - even once - committed a sin, you make her a slave to the devil (cf. 1 Jn. 3:8, Jn. 8:34, Rom. 6:16)? How could the one who was foretold in Gen 3:15 crush the head of Satan if she had even once been under his control? How could she be always at enmity with the devil if she was once under his power? 

* The fact that Mary calls God her savior (see Lk. 1:47) in no way contradicts the doctrine of her Immaculate Conception. To use an analogy, a parent may be said to save a child's life by pulling him back from a certain fall at the edge of a cliff (e.g. preventing him from falling) or by giving him life-saving medical care after he has already fallen. In both cases, the parent has saved the child, but in one instance the child didn't actually fall. In like manner, God is Mary's savior by giving her special graces (in view of Christ's merits) so that she may not "fall".

* Since Adam and Eve came from the hands of God "immaculate", why is it so difficult for you to believe that Christ would likewise create His own mother immaculate - the very woman that He Himself would take His flesh from?

* Do you argue against Mary's perpetual sinlessness based on Romans 3:23 ("all have sinned")? Do you also dare (God forbid!) to imply that Jesus sinned? Clearly, this passage does not mean to imply that Jesus sinned. Therefore, the passage also does not exclude the possibility (the fact!) that His mother also never sinned.

* How is it that you can regard Jesus' mother Mary as a sinner, but the early Christians and most brilliant theologians wouldn't dare consider - much less utter - such blasphemy?

* Do you reject the Immaculate Conception because you think it means that Mary was born of a virgin? You should know that the Church certainly does not teach that - rather she teaches that "the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin". She was otherwise conceived and born as any other human being.

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"Thou art all fair, O my love, and there is not a spot in thee." [Cant. 4:7 (Song. 4:7)]

"The second Eve is to be worthy of the second Adam, conquering and not to be conquered." (Dom Gueranger)

"You alone and your Mother are more beautiful than any others; For there is no blemish in you, nor any stains upon your Mother. Who of my children can compare in beauty to these?" (St. Ephraim, c. 370 A.D.)

"It was fitting that Jesus Christ should have such a mother as would be worthy of Him as far as possible; and she would not have been worthy, if, contaminated by the hereditary stain even for the first moment only of her conception, she had been subject to the abominable power of Satan." (Pope Pius XII, "Fulgens Corona", 1953 A.D.)

"Come, then, and search out Your sheep, not through Your servants or hired men, but do it Yourself. Lift me up bodily and in the flesh, which is fallen in Adam. Lift me up not from Sara but from Mary, a Virgin not only undefiled but a Virgin whom grace has made inviolate, free from every stain of sin." (St. Ambrose of Milan, Doctor of the Church, c. 387 A.D.)

"Believe in the Son of God, the Word before the ages, who was begotten of the Father apart from time and incorporeally, who in these last days was, for your sake, made Son of Man, both of the Virgin Mary in an indescribable and stainless way - for there is no stain where God is and whence salvation comes - whom man at the same time God also" (St. Gregory of Nazianz, Doctor of the Church, c. 381 A.D.)

"I consider that the blessing of a fuller sanctification descended upon her, so as not only to sanctify her birth, but also to keep her life pure from all sin; which gift is believed to have been bestowed upon none other born of woman. This singular privilege of sanctity, to lead her life without any sin, entirely benefited the queen of virgins, who should bear the Destroyer of sin and death, who should obtain the gift of life and righteousness for all." (St. Bernard)

"If any one does not, in accord with the Holy Fathers, acknowledge the holy and ever-virgin and Immaculate Mary as truly the Mother of God, inasmuch as she, in the fullness of time, and without seed, conceived by the Holy Spirit God the Word Himself, who before all time was born [begotten] of God the Father, and without loss of integrity brought him forth, and after His birth preserved her virginity inviolate, let him be condemned." (Pope St. Martin I, 649 A.D.)

"It was due to His own infinite sanctity that God should suspend, in this instance, the law which His divine justice had passed upon all the children of Adam. The relations which Mary was to bear to the Divinity, could not be reconciled with her undergoing the humiliation of this punishment [of being stained by original sin]. She was not only daughter of the eternal Father; she was destined also to become the very Mother of the Son, and the veritable bride of the Holy Ghost. Nothing defiled could be permitted to enter, even for an instant of time, into the creature that was thus predestined to contract such close relations with the adorable Trinity: not a speck could be permitted to tarnish in Mary that perfect purity which the infinitely holy God requires even in those who are one day to be admitted to enjoy the sight of His divine majesty in heaven" (Dom Gueranger)

"Having excepted the Holy Virgin Mary, concerning whom, on account of the honor of the Lord, I wish to have absolutely no question when treating of sins - for how do we know what abundance of grace for the total overcoming of sin was conferred upon her, who merited to conceive and bear Him in whom there was no sin? - so, I say, with the exception of the Virgin, if we could have gathered together all those holy men and women, when they were living here, and had asked them whether they were without sin, what do we suppose would have been their answer?... I ask you, however excellent their holiness might have been when in the body, if they had been so questioned, would they not have declared in a single voice: 'If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us!'?" (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church, c. 415 A.D.)

"If anyone desires a confirmation of this it may easily be found in the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of Mary. For leaving aside tradition which, as well as Scripture, is a source of truth, how has this persuasion of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin appeared so conformed to the Catholic mind and feeling that it has been held as being one, and as it were inborn in the soul of the faithful? 'We shrink from saying,' is the answer of Dionysius of Chartreux, 'of this woman who was to crush the head of the serpent that had been crushed by him and that Mother of God that she had ever been a daughter of the Evil One' (Sent. d. 3, q. 1). No, to the Christian intelligence the idea is unthinkable that the flesh of Christ, holy, stainless, innocent, was formed in the womb of Mary of a flesh which had ever, if only for the briefest moment, contracted any stain. And why so, but because an infinite opposition separates God from sin? There certainly we have the origin of the conviction common to all Christians that Jesus Christ before, clothed in human nature, He cleansed us from our sins in His blood, accorded Mary the grace and special privilege of being preserved and exempted, from the first moment of her conception, from all stain of original sin." (Pope St. Pius X, "Ad Diem Illum Laetissimum", 1904 A.D.)

"The Immaculate Conception does not imply that Mary needed no Redemption. She needed it as much as you and I do. She was redeemed in advance, by way of prevention, in both body and soul, in the first instant of conception. We receive the fruits of redemption in our soul at Baptism. The whole human race needs redemption. But Mary was solidarized and separated from that sin-laden humanity as a result of the merits of Our Lord's Cross being offered to her at the moment of her conception. If we exempted her from the need of redemption, we would also have to exempt her from membership in humanity. The Immaculate Conception, therefore, in no way implies that she needed no redemption. She did! Mary is the first effect of redemption, in the sense that it was applied to her at the moment of her conception and to us in another and diminished fashion only after our birth. She had this privilege, not for her sake, but for His sake. That is why those who do not believe in the Divinity of Christ can see no reason for the special privilege accorded to Mary. If I did not believe in the Divinity of Our Lord - which God avert - I should see nothing but nonsense in any special reverence given to Mary above the other women on earth! But if she is the Mother of God, Who became Man, then she is unique, and then she stands out as the new Eve of Humanity - as He is the new Adam. There had to be some such creature as Mary - otherwise God would have found no one in whom He could fittingly have taken his human origin. An honest politician seeking civic reforms looks about for honest assistants. The Son of God beginning a new creation searched from some of that goodness which existed before sin took over. There would have been, in some minds, a doubt about the power of God if He had not shown a special favor to the woman who was to be His Mother. Certainly what God gave to Eve, He would not refuse to His Own Mother." (Archbishop Fulton Sheen)

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For more apologetics resources, please visit

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In Closing...

"Great indeed is Our trust in Mary. The resplendent glory of her merits, far exceeding all the choirs of angels, elevates her to the very steps of the throne of God. Her foot has crushed the head of Satan." (Bl. Pope Pius IX, "Ubi Primum", 1849 A.D.) 

"Just as Mary surpassed in grace all others on earth, so also in heaven is her glory unique. If eye has not seen or ear heard or the human heart conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him (1 Cor. 2:9), who can express what He has prepared for the woman who gave Him birth and who loved Him, as everyone knows, more than anyone else?" (St. Bernard of Clairvaux, Doctor of the Church)

"[Mary] is by nature so good and so merciful that inclined to aid spontaneously those who suffer, she is absolutely incapable of refusing her help to those who invoke her." (Pope Benedict XV)

"Ancient and modern history and the more sacred annals of the Church bear witness to public and private supplications addressed to the Mother of God, to the help she has granted in return, and to the peace and tranquility which she had obtained from God. Hence her illustrious titles of helper, consoler, mighty in war, victorious, and peace-giver." (Pope Leo XIII, "Supremi Apostolatus Officio", 1883 A.D.)

"Hail thou star of the ocean God's own mother blest, Ever sinless Virgin, Gate of heavenly rest. Oh! By Gabriel's Ave, Uttered long ago, Eva's name reversing 'Stablish peace below. Break the captive's fetters, Light on blindness pour; All our ills expelling, Every bliss implore. Show thyself a Mother; may the Word divine, Born for us thine Infant, Hear our prayers through thine. Virgin all excelling, Mildest of the mild; Freed from guilt preserve us meek and undefiled. Keep our life all spotless, Make our way secure, Till we find in Jesus, Joy for evermore. Through the highest Heaven to the almighty Three, Father, Son and Spirit One same glory be. Amen." (Latin: Ave maris stella, Dei Mater alma, Atque semper Virgo, Felix caeli porta. Sumens illud Ave Gabrielis ore, Funda nos in pace Mutans Hevae nomen. Solve vincla reis, Profer lumen caecis, Mala nostra pelle, Bona cuncta posce. Monstra te esse matrem, Sumat per te preces Qui pro nobis natus Tulit esse tuus. Virgo singularis, Inter omnes mitis, Nos culpis solutos, Mites fac et castos. Vitam praesta puram, Iter para tutum, Ut videntes Iesum Semper collaetemur. Sit laus Deo Patri, Summo Christo decus, Spiritui Sancto Tribus honor unus. Amen.) [Ave Maris Stella]

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