Where practiced: Freehold (including the New Found Land).
Type; Monotheist, People of the Book (a general term for those religions that share the so-called Old Testament)
Description: Catholicism is a ‘reformation’ of the Orthodox form of Christianity around 460 years ago. It introduced the concept of a Supreme Bishop (the Pope) and a celibate clergy. Although the use of images of Saints and relics continued, there was a de-emphasis on the use and veneration of icons. Pilgrimage to sacred sites associated with different Saints is very common and will usually be rewarded with a remission of sins or be used as a part of penance in Confession. There is even a (very neglected) shrine to Saint Thomas in Haven.
Although there are female priests, they are very rare and are entirely members of the Order of St Ursula and are rarely seen outside their cloistered areas. Most holy females are nuns. This is a very respectable and oft made career choice for widows and retired professionals and (given sufficient donation) almost any past can be overlooked. There are many Orders of nuns and monks to be found, some in isolated communities and others attached to major Churches and Cathedrals. Some only have a hand of members.
The main language of the area that moved to this form of Christianity was Latin, so this became the Church language. The clothing of priests also became more like the secular dress of the area. Nuns will usually be in black robes unless they are doing heavy manual work, in which case they will be dressed as anyone else (and will always wear a wimple).
Religious homogeneity is maintained in Freehold by the Society for the Inquisition into the Faith (an arm of the Dominican Order), who use physical torture rather than magic to get their answers. They will burn heretics. This includes all captive Wiccans who are found practicing their faith or Orthodox priests. Practicing Muslims will often have problems (being almost always taken as heretics) as will open Reformed Church (Brothers). Dwarves are tolerated in their religion (possibly due to them not being fully human). The Catholic Church is very intolerant of sexual deviance from a strict hetero-normative pattern. Divorce is rarely allowed and a wife is subject to her husband (at least in theory).
Priests are earth-based in their miracles and the birth sign of the priest has no impact. Catholic priests influence and affect undead alone. They have no effect on lycanthropes or demons except through the use of miracle prayers. There are three Holy Orders of Knights, the Order of St Ursula (both male and female members), the Order of St Peter (male only) and the Order of St Michael (male only). Some of these are also priests, but not all, although they all count as religious. Catholic priests, although they may go into combat, have a peculiarity, unique to them, that they cannot use edged weapons against humanoids. This includes arrows and cross-bow bolts. This is due to a feeling that priests should not shed blood.
Monks are called Brother, Nuns are Sister, priests are Deacon and Father (or in the case of an Ursuline, Mother). Higher ranks are called Monsignor, Bishop, Archbishop and Pope. The current Pope (as at the start of Intimations of Evil) is Leo II.
A Catholic will make the sign of the cross with the thumb and first two fingers of the right hand held straight. They will touch the forehead (while saying ‘In nomine Patris’), the lower chest (‘et Fili’), then left shoulder to right (‘et Spiritus Sancti’). This is always done when entering a Church after dipping the fingers in Holy Water. Other aids to prayer include a rosary (almost always with a small crucifix attached to it), icon images, and reliquaries (containing remains of Saint’s bones or blood, or fragments of the True Cross). The Pater Noster (the Lord’s Prayer) and the Nicene Creed are also commonly said. Confession of sins is a compulsory sacrament and essential before taking Communion or being given Last Rites. The seal of the Confession is supposed to be sacrosanct. Wealthier people will often attend the same Confessor for much of their lives and higher nobles will often even travel with a personal Chaplain who will fill this function, as well as act as an advisor and confidant.
Holy days: The weekly Holy Day is Krondag.
The full roster of services will usually only be performed in Monasteries, Nunneries and in the larger Churches and Cathedrals. Vespers, Compline and Matins will be said by a devout person, even on the road.
- Vespers: performed at sundown, this is the beginning of the liturgical day.
- Compline: performed after the evening meal prior to bedtime.
- Midnight Office: Usually observed only in monasteries.
- Matins: First service of the morning. Usually starts before sunrise.
- Divine Liturgy: This is the celebration of the Eucharist. Although it is usually celebrated between the Sixth and Ninth Hours, it is not considered to be part of the daily cycle of services, as it occurs outside the normal time of the world. It is not celebrated on weekdays during the preparatory season of Lent or during other fasts.
- The Hours: First, Third, Sixth, and Ninth – Sung either at their appropriate times (usually only done by monks or priests with lots of free time), or in aggregate at other customary times. If the latter, The First Hour is sung immediately following Orthros, the Third and Sixth prior to the Divine Liturgy, and the Ninth prior to Vespers.
Festivals: this list may contain some ‘unauthorised’ veneration of Blesseds and of local patrons. It may also be added to over time.
Primus 1 St Basil the Great (alms givers, Freehold)
2 St Joseph (fathers)
14 St Hilary (lawyers)
19 St Winifred (healing, particularly of those hurt in combat, Brusa (NFL))
20 St Fabian (martyrs, those who die in place of others)
29 St Gildas (those who combat monsters of the sea, annalists)
32 St Gregory the Great (the Church, Smitecrossing)
36 St Simon Stylites (hermits)
Secundus 2 St Amand (wine trade)
3 St Agatha (victims of rape and torture, invoked against fire & earthquakes)
6 St John the Apostle (love, booksellers and publishers, invoked against poison & burns)
11 St Benedict
15 St Denys (the Newfoundland, Heirapolis (NFL))
18 St Peter (evangelists, St Petrox)
25 Twelfth Night
30 St Junia (prisoners)
34 St Silas (refugees)
Tertius 3 St Nicholas (perfumers, children)
7 Sts Perpetua & Felicity (pregnant women, husbanders, Loendi)
8 St Hippolytus (horses, Melola)
9 St Frances (♀) (widows, cart drivers and horse tenders)
10 St Kessog (those who fight monsters of the land)
15 St Matthias (carpenters, tailors, alcoholics, Javelinwood)
17 St Patrick (dominion over serpents)
20 St Cuthbert (shepherds, Topwin)
27 St Zita (housewives, servants, Sweetwater (NFL))
33 St Gertrude (cats, travellers, invoked against rodents), Foulfog Keep
Quattro 2 St Francis of Goldentide (sailors, Goldentide)
4 St Ambrose (beekeepers, doctrinal purity, Geranion (NFL))
15 Pancake Pali, the last day before Lent. Feast of the Blessed Martyrs of Toppuddle
16 Ash Tetari, the days from now until Easter Tetari are called Lent, a period of fasting and denial.
23 St George (those who fight dragons and demons, cavalry)
36 St Cephas: (cobblers, net makers, bridge builders)
Quinque 3 St Philip (pastrychefs, hatters)
4 St Mary Magdalene (sinners and those hoping for redemption)
5 St Thomas (those who seek answers)
10 St Simon the Zealot (sawyers, shearers, Eberun)
14 St Bonaventura (negotiators)
15 St Dymphna (runaways, victims of incest, nervous disorders)
25 St Aldhelm (scholars)
30 St Walstan (agricultural workers)
35 St Timothy (poor, invoked against stomach problems)
Sixtus 2 St Barnabas (invoked against hail, peacemakers)
6 St Domenic (teachers)
10 St Bridget (dairymaids, compassion to the poor, blacksmiths, poets)
13 St Bartholomew (tanners & leatherworkers)
14 St Phocas (farmers & gardeners, Hornron)
24 Holy Trinity
26 St Pandonia (goose-girls and other female herders)
September 1 St Peter the Fisherman (fishermen)
6 St Ursula (virgins, strength through faith)
9 St Maurice (infantry, dyers) – always depicted with dark skin
15 St Gerald (mages)
23 St Mark (thieves and robbers, ferrymen, Nightheath)
25 St Christopher (for travellers and against water, tempest and sudden death)
31 St Joseph of Aramathea (those who arrange funerals, those who quest)
32 St Amos (surveyors, mapmakers etc)
October 2 St Nicodemus (the curious, those who defend the innocent)
4 St Francis (animals)
6 St Clare (needleworkers, clairvoyants, goldsmiths, invoked against eye disease)
16 St Cyricus (orphans, Choma (NFL))
18 St Luke (physicians)
23 All Souls
24 All Saints
25 St Anne (those who slay the undead and protect against evil, those who return from the dead, Polybotos (NFL))
35 St Crispin (cobblers)
November 5 St Malachy (fortune-tellers and prophets)
12 Our Lady, Mary (motherhood)
13 St Homobonus (cloth workers, Gabala (NFL))
15 St Menna (traders, Trekvarna)
16 St Matthew (all professions dealing in money – accountants, tax collectors etc, Justinianopolis (NFL))
18 St Chrysophylax (rope makers)
27 St Fergus (dealing with indigenes, greenskins, New Trekvarna (NFL))
30 St Andrew (fishermen, Didymoteichon (NFL))
35 St Hildegard (poets, songwriters, counsellors, gardeners, nuns, heavenly visitations. Ashvaria)
December 1 St Eloi (goldsmiths & jewellers, farriers)
7 St Paul (evangelism, New Ashvaria (NFL))
11 St James the Greater (apothecaries, veterinarians)
12 St Bean (potters)
14 St Andronicas (invoked against demons & insanity)
18 St Sebastian (archers)
33 St Thelonius (brewers & taverners, Dewakung)
36 St John the Divine (writers)
Undecim 1 St Michael (graveyards, victory)
15 St Swithun (weather)
16 St Jude (forlorn hope)
18 St Arthur (orchardists)
22 St Aemigdius (protection from earthquakes and volcanoes)
23 St Cecilia (bards and entertainers)
32 St Roger (rulers)
34 St Vitalis (merchants & traders)
Duodecimus 4 St Sezni (were-creatures)
14 St Barbara (engineers & ironworkers)
16 St Monica (those in difficult relationships, Castle Mount (NFL))
17 St Honoratus (bakers, pastrycooks etc)
18 St James the Less (siblings)
24 St Catherine (any trade using a wheel, chaste women, Beroa (NFL))
32 St Irene (masons, miners & quarrymen, Peelmont. Epibati (NFL))