Memorials and Saints

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* 1. These saints all have obligatory Memorials (not the same as Holy Days of Obligation) in August.  Which saint gave his life in place of another prisoner in a WWII concentration camp?

The answer is  Saint Maximilian Kolbe

August 14th is the Memorial of St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe, priest and martyr:  “Maximilian Mary Kolbe was born in Poland [1894]. . .  With his preaching and writing, [he] undertook an intense apostolic mission in Europe and Asia. Imprisoned in Auschwitz during the Second World War, he offered himself in exchange for the father of a large family who was to be executed. He was given a lethal injection when he failed to die fast enough from starvation in the concentration camp. John Paul II proclaimed him the Patron of Our Suffering Century.”  Read more at:

The General Roman Liturgical Calendar for August can be found here:

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* 2. This month we celebrate separate feast days of a mother and her son.  The mother prayed many years for the conversion of her son, who was living an immoral life.  In addition to reforming his life and being baptized just before her death, he became a priest three years later.  He was also declared a Doctor of the Church.  Their names are:   

The answer is Saints Monica and Augustine of Hippo

"On August 27 and August 28, the feast days of two Catholic saints—mother and son—are celebrated back to back. . .  St. Monica could be called the ‘persistent mother.’  A North African woman living in the fourth century, Monica was married to Patricus, a pagan, through the arrangement of her family.  Monica endured plenty of emotional abuse from her husband, but her greater challenge was her oldest son, Augustine.  When he was a child, Monica taught her son the Catholic catechism and how to pray. When Augustine grew seriously ill, he requested Baptism, but when he began to recover, Baptism was forgotten."  When he grew older, Augustine moved to Carthage to study and accepted the Manichean heresy, which claimed that the body was evil while the soul alone was good.  Although Monica and her son rarely spoke, she continued to pray for Augustine after a bishop told her that it was better to talk to God about Augustine than to Augustine about God." 

Later in Milan, Augustine came under the influence of the bishop, Saint Ambrose. He became torn between living chastely and his past sinfulness.  "Monica continued her prayers for Augustine during his years of instruction.  At Easter 387, Saint Ambrose baptized Augustine and several of his friends.  Soon after, his party left for Africa. Although no one else was aware of it, Monica knew her life was near the end. She told Augustine, 'Son, nothing in this world now affords me delight. I do not know what there is now left for me to do or why I am still here, all my hopes in this world being now fulfilled.' She became ill shortly after and suffered severely for nine days before her death."   From:

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* 3. The Church calendar lists Mass celebrations as either solemnities, feasts, or memorials.  A memorial is the lowest ranking holy day, typically reserved for lesser known saints.  However, giving a day memorial status does not mean that the saint was less holy or valuable to the Church.

The answer is True

"A memorial is the third highest ranking holy day in the Church calendar (both solemnity and feast day are higher). The Church typically reserves memorials for its lesser known or less "popular" saints.  Giving a day memorial status does not mean the saint was less holy or less valuable. . . Using a memorial for certain saints allows the Church to honor the saint while not needlessly interrupting the Mass reading cycle or turning attention away from the general church year.  Memorials are broken down into two types: obligatory and optional. As the name implies, a priest must recognize an obligatory memorial in his Masses and recitation of the Hours, while he may skip an optional memorial.  However, one final word about a memorial is necessary. The lives of many saints, whatever rank their day, continue to inspire countless people."  From:

Solemnities are the highest-ranking celebrations for events in our Lord’s life on earth and certain select saints.  Although most solemnities are not Holy Days of Obligation, the Gloria and Creed are always said during these special Mass celebrations.  Feasts are next in rank and consist of the celebration of certain saints, including most of the Apostles.  The Gloria is required during Mass on these days, but not the Creed.  From:

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* 4. The Feast of the Queenship of Mary has been celebrated in the Church since the Blessed Virgin Mary was assumed into Heaven.

The answer is False

In his 1954 encyclical, Ad Caeli Reginam, Pope Pius XII instituted the liturgical feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen to be celebrated throughout the world, and commanded that the consecration of the human race to the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary be renewed on that same day.    paragraphs 5 & 47   The Fathers of Vatican II called for a revision of the liturgical calendar in 1969, the Memorial of the Queenship of Mary was moved to August 22, the octave day of the Solemnity of the Assumption.  

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* 5. The Dogma of the Assumption of Mary was promulgated by:

The answer is Pope Pius XII in 1950

The belief in the Assumption of Mary was a widely-held tradition since the earliest days of the Church.  “However it was not defined officially until the past century.  In 1950, Pope Pius XII made an infallible, ex-cathedra statement in the Apostolic Constitution Munificentissimus Deus officially defining the dogma of the Assumption.