The Catechism of Saint Louise de Marillac

From Vincentian Encyclopedia

by: Benito Martínez, CM


[This article first appear in Anales, Volume 120, #2, March-April 2012 and has been translated and posted to this site with the permission of the publishers].



In the archives of the Daughters of Charity, located in the Motherhouse in Paris, we find a catechism written by Saint Louise. As we examine this manuscript we have the impression that this was not a definitive edition … paragraphs are not ordered correctly. Therefore it appears to be a draft of a catechism that was intended to be put together and arranged at a later time… a draft that was certainly edited and finalized even though we do not know when or why or by whom.


The importance of catechisms during the seventeenth century

During the seventeenth century the Catholic Church was not only convinced about the usefulness of catechisms but was equally convinced about the need for them. The Church had witnessed the success that the Reformation had achieved through the publication of The Minor Catechism [1] that was written by Luther a century before (1529) and had seen the havoc that was created in the Church of France as a result of the publication of The Catechism of the Church of Geneva [2], written by Calvin (1542). Vincent referred to this in a sermon that he preached in 1616 in the presence of the de Gondi family: Even if there were nothing other than seeing that our enemies the Huguenots have taken our weapons from our hands to destroy us with them, should we not take them back to defend ourselves from them? For do you know how carefully they teach it and learn it? So much so that they teach it to their children every Sunday afternoon and in such a way that there is not one of them who cannot justify his faith and discuss it pertinently or, to put it better, pertinaciously. Persons bitten by an asp seize the asp, crush it over the wound, and are healed in this way. The Huguenots use the catechism to destroy our faith. Let us seize the same catechism and crush it over the wound (CCD:XIIIa:34).

The common people, however, could not distinguish between a Catholic catechism and one that contained the doctrine of the so called reformers. Between 1555-1559, in order to address this confusion, a Jesuit, Peter Canisius, published a major catechism in Latin for the clergy and students and a minor catechism in German for the people [3]. Overall this catechism was successful because of its precise and concrete language, its use of examples that people were familiar with and its anti-Protestant tone (even though it did not clearly enter into polemics). Like Luther and Calvin, Canisius emphasized Sacred Scripture but he also highlighted the Church’s tradition, stressing that throughout the years the Holy Spirit had continued to act in the Church. While Luther and Calvin wrote their catechism for preaching and family catechesis, Canisius’ catechism was more intellectual and his publication was meant to be used in the classroom and the lecture hall.

Years later, on January 26, 1562, at the XVIII session of the Council of Trent, a commission of four theologians (headed by Charles Borromeo) was entrusted with the task of redacting a catechism because the Fathers of the general Council of Trent, anxious to apply some healing remedy to an evil of such magnitude, were not satisfied with having decided the more important points of Catholic doctrine against the heresies of our times, but deemed it further necessary to deliver some fixed form of instructing the faithful in the truths of religion from the very rudiments of Christian knowledge; a form to be followed by those to whom are lawfully entrusted the duties of pastor and teacher (Catechism of Trent, Preface, p. 15). Published in Latin and Italian, with the title Catechism published for pastors by the command of Pius V in accord with the decree of the Council of Trent [4], this catechism was then translated into the vernacular languages (session XXIV, De ref., c. VII).

The catechism, however, that caused the most harm to Protestants was that of Robert Bellarmine [5]. The brief of Clement VII, published in 1598, praised this work and played a major role in its widespread use and its translation into other languages, including French.


The catechism during the time of Vincent de Paul

In 1563 the French Jesuit, Edmond Auger, published for the people of France his Catechism and summary of the Christian religion [6]. It was an anthropological and polemical catechism intended to provide people with knowledge about religion and thus enable them to grow intellectually … it was not concerned about the more important practical matter of living the Christian faith. After him, and at the beginning of the seventeenth century, catechisms were published in many parts of France and the teaching of the catechism spread through the country but only took root after 1640. We recall the words that a heretic spoke to Vincent in 1620: You told me, Monsieur, that the Church of Rome is led by the Holy Spirit, but I find that hard to believe because, on the one hand, we see the rural Catholics abandoned to Pastors who are ignorant and given over to vice, with so little instruction in their duties that most of them hardly know what the Christian religion is. On the other hand, we see towns filled with priests and monks who are doing nothing; there are perhaps ten thousand of them in Paris, yet they leave the poor country people in this appalling state of ignorance in which they are lost. And you want to convince me that all this is being guided by the Holy Spirit! I will never believe it (CCD:XI:28) [7]. The priests appeared to be incapable of putting into practice that which was encouraged and proposed by those bishops who desired reform.

Convinced of the importance of the catechism, Vincent began to establish a process of catechisis in Clichy, Châtillon and on the lands of the de Gondi family. When the Congregation of the Mission was established, the explanation of the major and minor catechism, as well as general confession, became focal points when preaching popular missions. This idea was reflected in a letter that Vincent wrote to Lambert Aux Couteaux: Everybody invariably agrees that the fruit of a mission sterns from the catechism lessons. A person of rank, saying that recently, added that all the Missionaries took pains to preach well but did not know how to teach catechism at all. He said that in my presence and that of a good number of people. In the name of God, Monsieur, tell the Company there about this. My thinking is that one of those who are to work should teach only the catechism for the adults and the other only the children's catechism, and they should speak twice a day. Some edifying stories can be brought into the catechism lesson as a source of inspiration because, as I said, people point out that all the good results originate there (CCD:I:419-420) [8].

In accord with this attitude many Rules of the Confraternities specify that the members will listen to the reading of the catechism and will teach the catechism to those who are poor. M. Almeras would incorporate this attitude into the Rules of the Daughters of Charity, thus obliging the Sisters to spend time in the practice of catechism among themselves in order to be capable of instructing the poor and children in things necessary for salvation (Common Rules, chapter IX, #16) [9]


A catechism to be used by the Sisters

Louise de Marillac had to be aware of the catechisms that were published in France during the XVI and the beginning of the XVII century … many in Latin but also a good number of them were published in French. Therefore I do not think that Louise wrote her catechism because she felt she could improve on previous catechisms that were published or because she wanted to save the money that it would cost to obtain one of these catechisms for every Sister (they would need these catechisms in order to teach the people this material). She could have copied any of the catechisms that were already published, among them the Bellarmine catechism which had been translated in 1601 by Francis de Sales. It is true that many of these catechisms were not available to everyone. Some were intended to be used by priests and teachers and were therefore included in the Ritual or some other book that was used by the priests. The practice of giving each child a catechism did not begin until 1670. Nevertheless it seems that in 1649 Louise wanted the children to use a catechism and therefore when she asked two Sisters to go Fonteay Aux Roses she requested a dozen small catechisms for the children who would be divided into groups and working at four different desks in the school [10].

Did Louise intend to write a catechism so that the Daughters of Charity would be able to teach it to the children in a humble and simple manner? There is reason to accept this theory since she herself, near the end of her life, seemed to hint at this. Sister Elisabeth Tugris asked Louise for the Bellarmine catechism and according to M. Lambert, Louise reluctantly sent her the catechism. Nevertheless because of her hesitations she brought this matter to one of the council meetings of the Company and there we hear Vincent address this issue: Mademoiselle, there is no better catechism than Bellarmine’s; and even if all our Sisters should know and teach it, they would be teaching only what they are supposed to teach, since they are there to instruct others, they would know what Pastors should know (CCD:XIIIb:300)[11].

Vincent sought the best means in order to evangelize the poor. Louise did the same but she was afraid that the Company would lose its humble spirit of service and she expressed this to Sister Turgis: The only truly extensive catechism I know of is Cardinal Bellarmine’s. However, it seems to me that Monsieur Lambert did not think it advisable to use it in teaching the children or even the older girls. He told me it was only appropriate for parish priests. To tell you the truth, my dear Sister, it would be most dangerous for our Company to aspire to such learned teaching, not only because our self-interest is so inclined toward vanity, but because we must fear speaking erroneously (SWLM:239-340 [L.208]).

Near the end of her life Louise explained more clearly her use of the phrase, it would be most dangerous for our Company, when she opposed the idea of the Sisters teaching catechism in one of the rooms at the Hospital Le F?re. She did not approve of this idea not only because the room had an altar upon which the Eucharist was celebrated but also she saw this as a way of explaining the catechism in a public manner which could fill the Sisters with pride and vanity. She was also hesitant because she felt that the Sisters were not sufficiently prepared and could easily express erroneous ideas. Above all, however, she felt that this demanded much study on the part of the sisters who would give these instructions and so this could create a situation in which the Sisters would abandon their service in order to give more time to study. This, she feared, could cause the Company to become divined into Sisters and servants and as a result physical, material service would be despised … and the lifestyle and the dress of servants would also begin to disappear. Louise said: to turn this into an essential function in the Company of the Daughters of Charity would be to enter on the pathway of its destruction. At the very least, it would divide it into two bodies. Those who would judge themselves capable of this employment would be the dominant group and, in their illusions of grandeur, they would fulfill the functions of Saint Mary Magdalen. They would compromise and they would lord it over those employed in visiting the sick. Little by little, poor girls would be prevented from entering the Company and the other would soon become ladies. This is already the pretense of several sisters (SWLM:832-833 [A.100])[12].

The Daughters of Charity ought to teach Christian doctrine but not as persons in authority. Since the catechisms that had been published were intended for the use of pastors and the clergy, she wanted to write a catechism that was not official, but as we would say today, one that was meant for private use. This is how I would view Louise’s advise to the Sisters: I beg you, my dear Sister, to be most exact in giving instructions in catechism and morality and in offering other advice. Do not say that you are going to “teach catechism.” Do not say “come to catechism. It is not for us to speak or teach like that. Rather say, “Let us read.” From the text, with the book in hand, you can give simple explanations; but never say anything pretentious (SWLM:211 [L.186]).

Nevertheless, as Louise saw the fruit that the Sisters produced through teaching the catechism, she was afraid to place the Company in a situation in which the Sisters might seem to be oppoed to the poor. She consulted with M. Portail, director general, and two months before her death she wrote once again to Sister Mathurine Guérin: I have just now received your dear letter and I am going to repeat what I have already told you concerning the teaching of catechism. If the time has come for the work that, for a long time, the Daughters of Charity have been doing quietly, to blossom into the open, may the holy name of God be blessed! According to what he has told me, I think that Monsieur Portail has probably written to you about this (SWLM:672 [L.650]).

Sister Mathurine Guérin also consulted M. Portail and was allowed to teach the catechism in the customary manner but needed the permission of the bishop and the pastor. She was reminded to humble herself before God who utilizes weak instruments in order to confound the powerful [13].

Louise’s intention is confirmed by the structure of the catechism: she did not include the Our Father or the Hail Mary or the Creed because the Sisters knew these prayers; much material was included with regard to the sacrament of the Eucharist and Penance because she was concerned about teaching these matters to the girls … there were brief explanations about Baptism, Extreme Unction, and Confirmation and the sacraments of Orders and Matrimony were simply listed. She wanted the Sisters to explain the mysteries of the Trinity and the Incarnation but she did not include an explanation of these mysteries because she did not want the Sisters to appear to be “doctors” when speaking nor did she want them to fall into error. Louise was more concerned about preparing the young girls so that they could live as Christians. Therefore time was spent instructing the young girls about sin, the devotion to the five wounds, and other Christian devotions that were common during that era, for example, the proper way “to hear holy Mass” (which today might sound altogether foreign to us) … the catechism concluded with an examination of conscience and morning and night prayers.


Catechism for personal use

At the same time, all the reasons that we have just set forth could also affirm the fact that Louise wrote this catechism for her own personal use, for example, to be used when she was teaching doctrine to the young girls in the different towns and villages … Vincent appears to have indicated this when he wrote to her in 1635: Mon Dieu! how I wish your Sisters would make an effort to learn and read and that they might really know the catechism you are teaching (CCD:I:305). We should remember that Louise began to write this catechism in 1629, the year she began to collaborate with Vincent in visiting the various Confraternities and teaching the girls who were poor.

There are other facts that lead us to believe that Louise wrote the catechism for her exclusive use and that, despite Vincent’s desire, the Sisters did not use it. We cite here the following facts: no other copy of the catechism has been found in another community house and we find no further mention of this catechism, not even on the occasion when Vincent explained articles 17-23 of the Common Rules and spoke about the study of the catechism (CCD:X:501-511). Louise herself does not mention the catechism in her letters or in the Rules when she refers to the Sister’s obligation to learn and teach the catechism to the young girls [14]. This is also confirmed by the fact that in 1649 when making an inventory of the materials that M. Beguin was to give the Sisters who were going to establish a school in Fontenay aux Roses, Louise asked for the Bellarmine catechism and a dozen small catechism for the children … again there is no mention of a catechism that was written by her [15].

To redact a catechism as a guide and a support for her catechetical lessons is very much in accord with Louise’s psychology. We know that Louise was very organized and often wrote notes and reflections during her spiritual retreats and at other times of prayer. Vincent, who knew Louise very well, sent her to visit and reorganize the Confraternities and she, in turn, sent Vincent detailed report about her visits. Louise was entrusted with governing the Company of the Daughters of Charity, directing the Sisters and planning the establishment of the Company in Angers, Nantes and the Hospice, Nom-du-Jésus and has left us in writing the steps that were taken and the results of those steps. Louise wrote the majority of the Rules for the Daughters of Charity and Vincent added his corrections while the Common Rules of the Sisters and correspondence with ecclesiastical and civil authorities were written by Vincent, then reviewed by Louise who wrote some very precise annotations [16]. Therefore, it appears to me to be very natural that she would write a catechism to serve as a guide for her catechetical ministry.

All of this explains why the catechism is not in some definitive, completed form. Words are crossed out and there are corrections and marginal notes. All of this is done in Louise’s handwriting and appears to indicate some new arrangement of the paragraphs. It seems as though Louise was continually correcting the manuscript. This explains the fact that when referring to the mysteries of the Trinity and the Incarnation she wrote: explain it --- but there is no written explanation … she was either going to add the explanation later or since this was for her exclusive use she felt no need to write out the explanation since this would only add more pages to the document.


Structure of the Catechism

It can be said that the catechism is well-written. The sections that address the religious life of Christians are well ordered … as if these sections were written to be given to each child. Was this Louise’s intention? These sections appear to be more than a catechism because they are a series of responses to questions that one could easily imagine the children asking.

Even though I am surprised when I read the catechism, I do find Louise’s catechism to have more similarities to Calvin’s catechism (not in its doctrinal content but in its format) than to Bellarmine’s or Canisius’ catechism. Peter Canisius wanted to explain Catholic doctrine in light of the position of the reformers and he wanted to do this as a school teacher who was explaining these matters to a group of students. As a result we find the repetition of the words, what, why, who and thus the title, The Summa of Christian Doctrine, in other words, a compilation of all aspects of a particular subject … therefore, this material was meant to be studied rather than lived and so this catechism can appear to be dry and cold and purely rational. We could say something similar about Robert Bellarmine’s catechism that was entitled, Christian Doctrine. Calvin entitled his work, The Catechism of the Church of Geneva, but did not view his work as a summa. In a letter addressed to his readers Calvin warned them that the word catechism simply indicates that the customs and uses observed from ancient times by Christians will be explained. It is clear that Clavin’s and Louise’s catechism were meant to define and to clarify … Calvin defined and clarified the religion of the reformers while Louise defined and clarified the Catholic religion. The form that was used in writing these catechisms is more lively because they use more vital and incisive expressions such as, why, how, when, finally, thus, then, now, etc… [17]

If we simply look at the beginning of both Calvin’s and Louise’s catechism we see the similarities: both catechisms begin with an explanation of the salvation that was achieved by Jesus Christ. Louise did this because she wanted to highlight the importance of living the Christian doctrine while Calvin wanted to consolidate and establish his new religion in Geneva and Europe. Louise explained that even though Jesus has saved us we have to know and believe in the mysteries of the Trinity and the Incarnation and the Eucharist and she further asserted that it is not enough to believe in these mysteries but we must love God and love leads us to act and fulfill the commandments. Calvin, on the other hand, places salvation within the perspective of faith which leads an individual to honor God and God is honored when people trust God and admit that God is all powerful and good because God has revealed this fact through the Word.

If we want to be accurate in our comparison we must remember that even though Calvin seemed at times to be inclined to the thinking of Arius, he nonetheless presented an orthodox interpretation of the Trinity, Christ and the Holy Spirit. It is true that Christ’s humanity seems to be placed on a secondary level … but then Calvin’s doctrine is very God centered … to God alone belongs the glory! Above all else Calvin wanted to highlight God’s sovereignty and absolute freedom, God’s omnipotence which dominates and controls human freedom … God’s providence which is an expression of his dominance over the earth. Human beings can do nothing with regard to their salvation and all their works are evil because their nature is radically corrupted by original sin. Salvation, then, is the gratuitous gift of God’s absolute sovereignty. This led Calvin to propose the positive predestination of the human person to heaven or hell. In accord with this doctrine Calvin only accepts two sacraments, Baptism and Eucharist … these, however, are seen as symbols that do not confer grace.

We must not forget that a few months after Louise’s birth in 1591, she was brought to the Dominican convent at Poissy. There, in 1561, in the same convent, a colloquy was held between Calvinists and Catholics. It should not surprise us, then, that those cultured and learned women would discuss theological doctrine and most probably there were Huguenot and Catholic catechisms in the convent.


Validity of Louise’s catechism

Today we would view Louise’s catechism, with its methodology of questions and answers (as well as the other catechisms of that era) as antiquated and useless for modern catechists. Nevertheless these were the catechisms that were used by the Daughters of Charity to catechize the children of that era. We cannot fall into the historical anachronism of analyzing those events with the mentality that we have formed as a result of the Second Vatican Council.

The world has changed not only scientifically, culturally, technically, and economically … but it has also changed with regard to the manner in which we explain religion, the manner in which we perceive and live Catholicism. If we begin with the fact that the kerigma is the proclamation of the reality that Christ became incarnate and was crucified in order to save us, that he rose on the third day and that he is the Second Person of the Trinity, true God who sent us the Holy Spirit so that we can proclaim and live the Kingdom of God as proclaimed in the gospels, the Acts of the Apostles and Saint Paul. The second phase, then, is to catechize: to help believers reflect on their faith, to incorporate themselves into the Body of Christ through the sacraments and to live as Jesus lived fulfilling the commandments and asking him, through prayer, for the grace to live according to his law and to proclaim the Kingdom. Today, however, we find ourselves in a situation in which the majority of people are not believers and therefore we have to begin with the kerigma and proclaim the gospel to them.

Today the beneficiaries of catechetics are those persons who do not practice their beliefs even though they might be people of faith. Therefore catechists ought to be witnesses of the faith they want to share with the catechumens. The new guidelines for catechesis begin with the conviction that God exists, that Jesus Christ is present in the sacraments and that the Holy Spirit is in all persons and yet people live in a way that distances them from these realities. Therefore the objective of catechetics is to help people become aware of these realities and live in accord with this new awareness. The catechist should be one who accompanies others rather than one who teaches. The catechist accompanies people in the process of growing in their faith … faith which is a gift from God but nevertheless needs to be lived on a daily basis in order to become more rooted in the person.

In the seventeenth century everything was different … many men and the majority of women had not gone to school and were ignorant with regard to Catholic doctrine. There was a danger that these persons would follow the religion of the reformers. People needed, therefore, to be taught Catholic doctrine because even though these people were religious and performed many pious acts, they did not fully understand what they were doing. At one time Vincent exclaimed: If there is a true religion … what did I say, wretched man that I am …! God forgive me! I am speaking materially. It is among them, among those poor people that true religion and a living faith are preserved; they believe simply, without discussing everything (CCD:XI:190).

In light of this situation catechetics involved teaching doctrine, done by teachers who were learned and well prepared with the best catechism and the most appropriate means to teach people the fundamental of faith. This was all the more necessary in the midst of a society that was in conflict with the new reformed religion of Calvin that was spreading and threatening many regions in France.

The catechism of Auger, Canisius and Bellarmine were for teachers, individuals who taught the message of Jesus Christ, catholic doctrine, in a rational, intellectual manner. Louise’s catechism was also systematic, concise and clear, nevertheless, it was unique in uniting faith with life (it did this by using examples taken from daily life). In other word, Catechesis is an education in the faith of children, young people and adults which includes especially the teaching of Christian doctrine imparted generally speaking in an organic and systematic way, with a view of initiating the hearers into the fullness of Christian life (Catechism of the Catholic Church, #5). The questions and answers in the catechism touched upon daily life and the conflicts that ordinary people encountered. This is also the task of the modern catechist: to initiate people in an attitude of faith so that they can establish a personal relationship with God --- obsequium fidei --- a relationship that then has implications in areas of spirituality, piety, as well as pastoral activity,


Footnotes

[1] The catechism was divided into the following sections which were common divisions in most catechisms: the creed, the Our Father, the sacrament of Baptism, the office of the keys, the sacrament of the altar.

[2] The catechism was divided in the following manner: the articles of faith, the law (the commandments), prayer, the sacraments.

[3] The title of the Catechism is rather lengthy: A summary of the Christian faith presented in the form of questions and answers, intended for the use of Christian people and published for the first time by the command and the authority of his Majesty, the king of Romania, Hungry and Bohemia, the archduke of Austria. Canisius arranged his material in accord with the theological virtues: faith and the creed, hope and prayer, charity and the commandments of God and the church, the Christian life (holiness), the sacraments and justification.

[4] Cathechismus ex decreto Concilii Tridentini ad párrocos Pii V jussu editus went through several editions that were published in 1566, 1567, 1568, 1575, 1577. It was composed of four parts: the Apostles Creed, the sacraments, the commandments and prayer. In 1569 George Elder adapted the Roman Catechism to be used in schools and divided it into sections and subsections and then entitled it Methodus Catechismi Catholicic. In 1570 A. Le F?vre organized the material into the form of questions and answers, thus imitating the catechisms of Luther, Calvin and Canisius.

[5] Doctrina Cristiana breve, 1597. In 1598 he published a more extensive catechism that was titled, Dichiarazione piú copiosa della dettrina Cristiana, and this was intended for the use of catechists.

[6] Catéchisme et sommaire de la religion chretienne (Lyon, 1563).

[7] Louis Abelly, The Life of the Venerable Servant of God Vincent de Paul, edited by John E. Rybolt, CM and translated by William Quinn FSC, New City Press, New Rochelle, New York, 1993, p. 74-76; CCD:XIIIa:49-57. There is great similarity here with the words that Luther wrote in the Prologue of the Minor Catechism: many pastors and priests are inept and incompetent teachers … they do not even know the Our Father, the Creed, the commandments … and many of them live like beasts.

[8]CCD:I:366-367, 417-421; VI:399-400; XIIIa:210-212, 296-304. See also CCD:XIIIa:213-217- 218, 368-373. See especially, CCD:XIIIa:31-36. How do you believe that Italy has preserved the faith in its purity except through the catechism? And how about Spain? And how have Canada, Peru and Brazil been brought to the Faith except through the catechism? Furthermore, how do you think we preserve the faith in France, where there are Huguenots, except through the catechism, as in La Rochelle (CCD:XIIIa:34). In Spain at the end of the XV century (1478), long before Luther, Cardinal Pedro González de Mendoza, despite a rather free spirited sexual life, published in Seville a Catecismo de la Iglesia Católica (Catechism of the Catholic Church) . This was considered to be the first modern catechism in that it presented a summary of our religious doctrine so that it could be transmitted with exactness and precision to children. In the XVII century the catechisms of the Jesuits Gaspar Astete (1599) and Jerónimo Ripalda (1615) were widely distributed.

[9] CCD:XIIIb:54-55, 81; SWLM:141 [L.132b], 209 [L.200b], 618 [L.599], 726 [A.55], 736 [A.80], 738 [A.91], 754 [A.91b]. It is interesting that I have not seen at any time reference to the catechism that was written by Mademoiselle le Gras.

[10] La Compañía de las Hijas de La Caridad en sus orígenes [Documentos], Editorial CEME, Santa Marta de Tormes, Salamanca, 2003, document 497, p. 485-486.

[11] I exhort our Sisters to practice teaching the catechism properly. If the parish sisters know a place where this is done well, they should take care to go to listen to it whenever they can. But we have to see whether, with time, it will be advisable for you to go to the Daughters of the Cross or to the Ursulines. You must strive to learn how to teach catechism properly to the children (CCD:X:499).

[12] SWLM:209 [L.200b], 650 [L.632], 671 [L.650], 677 [L.655].

[13] La Compañía de las Hijas de La Caridad en sus orígenes [Documentos], Editorial CEME, Santa Marta de Tormes, Salamanca, 2003, document 773, p. 762.

[14] SWLM:209 [L.200b], 141 [L.132b], 685 [L.558]; 726 [A.55], 736 [A.80], 738 [A.91], 754 [A.91b].

[15] La Compañía de las Hijas de La Caridad en sus orígenes [Documentos], Editorial CEME, Santa Marta de Tormes, Salamanca, 2003, document 497, p. 485-486.

[16] Cf., Martínez, Benito, Empeñada en un Paraíso para los pobres, CEME, Salamanca 1995, p. 36.

[17] We have only to look at the way in which the catechism is divided: the purpose of men and women, the sign of Christians and what does it mean to be Christian, the Our Father and Hail Mary, the Creed, the Eucharist, confession, the sacraments, daily devotions of a Christian.

Translated: Charles T. Plock, CM