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John XXIII and John Paul II: Beloved Saints

It was certainly no surprise when Pope Francis declared that Blessed John Paul II (1978-2005) would be the next papal saint. The Polish pope’s canonization seemed only a matter of time, just like that of Blessed Mother Teresa.

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Top 10 Most Influential Catholics

In celebration of their holiness, virtue, and influence, here is a Top Ten list of saints who substantially shaped the face of the Catholic Church.

From the start, we should also acknowledge the nameless men, women, and children in the pews who became increasingly central to the life of the Church in the last 1,000 years—not to mention the great impact of the faithful who built the Church in its first millennium. 

Here’s my personal attempt to list the Top Ten Catholic movers and shakers of the second millennium.

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Bridging the Generation Gap

Last December, as he marked his 80th birthday, Pope Francis quoted the ancient Roman poet Ovid to say that as old age slips up on us, “It is a blow! ” The Holy Father laughed as he celebrated Mass with a group of elderly cardinals. “But also, when one thinks of it as a stage of life that is to give joy, wisdom, hope, one begins to live again, right? “

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Secrets of the Knights Templar

Just mention the Knights Templar and the conspiracy theories start flying. But just who were the medieval Knights of the Temple? What was their job and what happened to them? Why do they still capture our imaginations? The Knights of the Temple—the Templars, for short—were established in the early 1100s under a Rule written by Bernard of Clairvaux,a famous Cistercian abbot. He modified existing Rules for religious monastic communities to fill the need for an armed order in light of the Crusades.

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