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Daily Catholic Question

What is Confirmation all about?

Sometimes words aren't enough. Sometimes it's not enough just to tell your mom, "I'm sorry." It may take a hug as well. Sometimes it's not enough to say, "Thank you" or "I love you."

You might give a gift. Such a special gift can become more than just the object given. It can become a reminder of the one who gave the gift. It can become even more than a reminder: it can become a symbol. It can evoke the presence of the giver, the occasion when it was given, the feelings that ,came with the gift.

Sacraments are like that, too. Sacramental symbols can say more than words alone because, while words speak to our mind, symbols speak to our whole body.

Words may be able to explain what happens at Confirmation and what it means to be confirmed. But we really don't "know" what Confirmation is until we experience the ritual symbols of the sacrament. The principal symbols of the Sacrament of Confirmation are seven:

  • Community
  • Baptism
  • Anointing
  • Touch
  • Words
  • The Minister
  • Eucharist
The full text of this Youth Update explains each of these seven symbols.

Click here for the rest of today's answer

Thursday, July 11, 2013
Daily Catholic Question for 7/10/2013 Daily Catholic Question for 7/12/2013


Andrew Dung-Lac and Companions: Andrew Dung-Lac was one of 117 people martyred in Vietnam between 1820 and 1862. Members of this group were beatified on four different occasions between 1900 and 1951. All were canonized by St. John Paul II. 
<p>Christianity came to Vietnam (then three separate kingdoms) through the Portuguese. Jesuits opened the first permanent mission at Da Nang in 1615. They ministered to Japanese Catholics who had been driven from Japan. </p><p>The king of one of the kingdoms banned all foreign missionaries and tried to make all Vietnamese deny their faith by trampling on a crucifix. Like the priest-holes in Ireland during English persecution, many hiding places were offered in homes of the faithful. </p><p>Severe persecutions were again launched three times in the 19th century. During the six decades after 1820, between 100,000 and 300,000 Catholics were killed or subjected to great hardship. Foreign missionaries martyred in the first wave included priests of the Paris Mission Society, and Spanish Dominican priests and tertiaries. </p><p>Persecution broke out again in 1847 when the emperor suspected foreign missionaries and Vietnamese Christians of sympathizing with a rebellion led by of one of his sons. </p><p>The last of the martyrs were 17 laypersons, one of them a 9-year-old, executed in 1862. That year a treaty with France guaranteed religious freedom to Catholics, but it did not stop all persecution. </p><p>By 1954 there were over a million and a half Catholics—about seven percent of the population—in the north. Buddhists represented about 60 percent. Persistent persecution forced some 670,000 Catholics to abandon lands, homes and possessions and flee to the south. In 1964, there were still 833,000 Catholics in the north, but many were in prison. In the south, Catholics were enjoying the first decade of religious freedom in centuries, their numbers swelled by refugees. </p><p>During the Vietnamese war, Catholics again suffered in the north, and again moved to the south in great numbers. Now the whole country is under Communist rule.</p> American Catholic Blog To replace our sins with virtues may seem like a daunting task, but fortunately we can follow the example of the saints who have 
successfully defeated these sins in their lifetimes. They provide us with a way forward so that we, too, can live holy, virtuous lives.

 
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