Whether you’re a wide-eyed freshie to the world of Catholic related trivia or a seasoned veteran with a strong fact game, we’re pretty sure you didn’t know these absolutely ripper Catholic facts.
1. Solfege (Do Re Mi) was invented by a Catholic monk
The Von Trapps weren’t the first children to learn to sing with this innovative way of naming notes. Italian monk Guido d’Arezzo invented this method to teach boys to sing at a medieval monastery. It’s lived on to this day as a fundamental element of quickly communicating notes between musicians.
2. The book of Jonah in the Jerusalem Bible was translated by J.R.R Tolkien
When he wasn’t spinning tales about orcs and hobbits, the author of The Lord of The Rings tried his hand at translating the book of Jonah for the Jerusalem Bible, released in 1966. This translation of the Bible is the one used in the Lectionary for Australians and is noted for its particularly rich literary qualities, maybe it helped having a world-class author as one of its contributors.
3. A Catholic nun was at the forefront of the Pop Art movement
In the early 60’s a really interesting art movement began using found imagery and reworking items of pop culture. Sister Corita Kent of the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary created an incredible culture of artistic freedom for her students at Immaculate Heart College, Los Angeles as she created these now acclaimed art pieces that used religious imagery and pop culture, often commenting on the turbulent political landscape of the time. Her significant contribution to art has only recently been widely acknowledged.
You can read her story here
4. Saint Clare of Assisi is the patron saint of television because this one time she got sick...
So the story of the first wall mounted TV is a little more miraculous than you’d expect. Pope Pius XII named St Clare (1194-1253), the founder of the Order of Saint Clare (the Poor Clares) as the patron saint of television in 1958. The story goes that one day she was too sick to go to Mass, and after the sisters left she began praying in her bed. Miraculously she then began to see and hear a projection of the very Mass her sisters were attending on her bedroom wall! We can’t think of a better way to be the patron saint of something invented 700 years after your death.