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March: The month in History

These are some landmark events in the history of the Catholic Church, to help the readers to understand the depth and breadth of the mammoth monolith called the Catholic Church.

March: The month in History

March 18, 386: Cyril, bishop of Jerusalem from 315, dies. Best known for his series of discourses given during Lent for those to be baptized on Easter, he early on advocated the veneration of relics and argued for transubstantiation—the doctrine that the bread and wine of Communion become the actual body and blood of Christ.

March 18, 1123: The First Lateran Council opens in Rome. Convoked by Callistus II, it repeated and confirmed earlier decrees. The Western church, however, remembers its importance as being the first "ecumenical council" held in the West.

March of March - 54 miles to freedom: Catholics were prominent in 1965 Selma march of March for the voting rights of African-Americans under Nobel Peace Prize winner Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. In the voting rights demonstrations Catholics played a prominent role in Selma. Never before had Catholic activists turned out in such large numbers.

Early in 1965, Fr. Maurice Ouellet, pastor of St. Elizabeth's African-American mission in Selma, answered a knock at his door. He was surprised to see Martin Luther King standing on the front step. "The Negro people tell me there is one white man in Selma who is black," King said by way of introduction, "and I want to meet him."

March 1, 1961: President John F. Kennedy, only Catholic President of USA, established the Peace Corps, an organization sending young American volunteers to developing countries to assist with health care, education and other basic human needs.

March 6: Birthday - Renaissance genius Michelangelo (1475-1564) was born in Caprese, Italy. He was a painter, sculptor, architect, poet and visionary best known for his fresco on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and his sculptures David and The Pieta.

March 1578: Matteo Ricci (1552–1610), Italian Jesuit, sailed from Lisbon, Portugal arrived in Goa, a Portuguese Colony, the following September. Ricci remained there employed in teaching and the ministry until the end of Lent, 1582, when he was summoned to Macau to prepare to enter China.

Ricci arrived at Macau in the early part of August. He became the first European to enter the Forbidden City of Beijing in 1601 when invited by the Wanli Emperor, who sought his selected services in matters such as court astronomy and calendrical science.

He converted several prominent Chinese officials to Catholicism, such as his colleague Xu Guangqi, who aided in translating Euclid's Elements into Chinese as well as the Confucian classics into Latin for the first time.

His 1602 map of the world in Chinese characters introduced the findings of European exploration to East Asia. He is considered a Servant of God in Roman Catholicism. He is a prominent figure in the history of inculturation.

(These are some landmark events in the history of the Catholic Church, to help the readers to understand the depth and breadth of the mammoth monolith called the Catholic Church, spread across all the continents and having diplomatic relationship with almost all the countries of the 218 states, in the comity of the nations)

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