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Baltimore Catechism, No. 0

Jesus blesses the children.
“Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not; for of such is the kingdom of God.” (St. Mark 10:14)

Baltimore Catechism No. 0 provides half of the questions of Baltimore Catechism No. 1 and is intended to help prepare students to make their first Confession.

Table of Contents

I. Prayers

The Sign of the Cross

In the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven; Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

The Angelical Salutation

Hail Mary, full of grace! the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

The Apostles’ Creed

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified; died, and was buried. He descended into hell; the third day He arose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

The Confiteor

I confess to Almighty God, to blessed Mary, ever Virgin, to blessed Michael the Archangel, to blessed John the Baptist, to the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, and to all the Saints, that I have sinned exceedingly in thought, word and deed, through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault. Therefore, I beseech blessed Mary, ever Virgin, blessed Michael the Archangel, blessed John the Baptist, the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, and all the Saints, to pray to the Lord our God for me.

May the Almighty God have mercy on me, and forgive me my sins, and bring me to everlasting life. Amen.

May the Almighty and merciful Lord grant me pardon, absolution, and remission of all my sins. Amen.

An Act of Faith

O my God! I firmly believe that Thou art one God in three Divine persons, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; I believe that Thy Divine Son became man, and died for our sins, and that He will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe these and all the truths which the Holy Catholic Church teaches, because Thou hast revealed them, who canst neither deceive nor be deceived.

An Act of Hope

O my God! relying on Thy infinite goodness and promises, I hope to obtain pardon of my sins, the help of Thy grace, and life everlasting, through the merits of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Redeemer.

An Act of Love

O my God! I love Thee above all things, with my whole heart and soul, because Thou art all-good and worthy of al love. I love my neighbor as myself for the love of Thee. I forgive all who have injured me, and ask pardon of all whom I have injured.

An Act of Contrition

O my God! I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee and I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell; but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, who art all-good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life.

The Blessing before Meals

Bless us, O Lord! and these Thy gifts, which we are abou to receive from Thy bounty, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Grace after Meals

We give Thee thanks for all Thy benefits, O Almighty God who livest and reignest for ever; and may the souls of the faith ful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

II. Catechism

Lesson 01. On the End of Man

Q. 130. Who made the world?
A. God made the world.

Q. 132. Who is God?
A. God is the Creator of heaven and earth, and of all things.

Q. 150. Why did God make you?
A. God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him forever in heaven.

Q. 156. How shall we know the thing’s which we are to believe?
A. We shall know the things which we are to believe from the Catholic Church, through which God speaks to us.

Lesson 02. On God and His Perfections

Q. 163. What is God?
A. God is a spirit infinitely perfect.

Q. 166. Where is God?
A. God is everywhere.

Q. 171. Does God see us?
A. God sees us and watches over us.

Q. 173. Does God know all thing’s?
A. God knows all things, even our most secret thoughts, words, and actions.

Q. 174. Can God do all things?
A. God can do all things, and nothing is hard or impossible to Him.

Lesson 03. On the Unity and Trinity of God

Q. 182. Is there but one God?
A. Yes; there is but one God.

Q. 186. How many persons are there in God?
A. In God there are three Divine per sons, really distinct, and equal in all things—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.

Q. 188. Is the Father God?
A. The Father is God and the first Person of the Blessed Trinity.

Q* 189. Is the Son God?
A. The Son is God and the second Person of the Blessed Trinity.

Q. 190. Is the Holy Ghost God?
A. The Holy Ghost is God and the third Person of the Blessed Trinity.

Q. 192. What is the Blessed Trinity?
A. The Blessed Trinity is one God in three Divine Persons.

Lesson 04. On the Angels and Our First Parents

Q. 214. Which are the chief creatures of God?
A. The chief creatures of God are men and angels.

Q. 216. What are angels?
A. Angels are bodiless spirits created to adore and enjoy God in heaven.

Q. 233. Who were the first man and woman?
A. The first man and woman were Adam and Eve.

Q. 249. Did Adam and Eve remain faithful to God?
A. Adam and Eve did not remain faithful to God; but broke His command by eating the forbidden fruit.

Q. 265. What is the sin called which we inherit from our first parents?
A. The sin which we inherit from our first parents is called original sin.

Lesson 05. Of Sin and Its Kinds

Q. 278. What is actual sin?
A. Actual sin is any willful thought, word, deed, or omission contrary to the law of God.

Q. 280. What is mortal sin?
A. Mortal sin is a grievous offence against the law of God.

Q. 290. What is venial sin?
A. Venial sin is a slight offence against the law of God.

Q. 295. Which are the chief sources of sin?
A. The chief sources of sin are seven: Pride, Covetousness, Lust, Anger, Gluttony, Envy, and Sloth; and they are commonly called capital sins.

Lesson 06. On the Incarnation and Redemption

Q. 321. Who is the Redeemer?
A. Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is the Redeemer of mankind.

Q. 330. What do you believe of Jesus Christ?
A. I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the second Person of the Blessed Trinity, true God and true man.

Q. 341. What do you mean by the Incarnation?
A. By the Incarnation I mean that the Son or God was made man.

Q. 356. On what day was Christ born?
A. Christ was born on Christmas day in a stable at Bethlehem, over nineteen hundred years ago.

Lesson 07. On Our Lord’s Passion, Death, Resurrection and Ascension

Q. 370. What did Jesus Christ suffer?
A. Jesus Christ suffered a bloody sweat, a cruel scourging, was crowned with thorns, and was crucified.

Q. 382. On what day did Christ die?
A. Christ died on Good Friday.

Q. 398. Why did Christ suffer and die?
A. Christ suffered and died for our sins.

Q. 405. On what day did Christ rise from the dead?
A. Christ rose from the dead, glorious and immortal, on Easter Sunday, the third day after His death.

Q. 414. After Christ had remained forty days on earth, whither did He go?
A. After forty days Christ ascended into heaven, and the day on which He ascended into heaven is called Ascension day.

Lesson 08. On the Holy Ghost and His Descent upon the Apostles

Q. 420. Who is the Holy Ghost?
A. The Holy Ghost is the third Person of the Blessed Trinity.

Q. 430. Who sent the Holy Ghost upon the Apostles?
A. Our Lord Jesus Christ sent the Holy Ghost upon the Apostles.

Q. 434. Why did Christ send the Holy Ghost?
A. Christ sent the Holy Ghost to sanctify His Church, to enlighten and strengthen the Apostles, and to enable them to preach the Gospel

Lesson 09. On the Effects of the Redemption

Q. 456. What do you mean by grace?
A. By grace I mean a supernatural gift of God bestowed on us, through the merits of Jesus Christ, for our salvation.

Q. 465. What is Faith?
A. Faith is a Divine virtue by which we firmly believe the truths which God has revealed.

Q. 466. What is Hope?
A. Hope is a Divine virtue by which we firmly trust that God will give us eternal life and the means to obtain it.

Q. 467. What is Charity?
A. Charity is a Divine virtue by which we love God above all things for His own sake, and our neighbor as ourselves for the love of God.

Lesson 10. On the Church

Q. 489. What is the Church?
A. The Church is the congregation of all those who profess the faith of Christ, partake of the same Sacraments, and are governed by their lawful pastors under one visible Head.

Q. 495. Who is the invisible Head of the Church?
A. Jesus Christ is the invisible Head of the Church.

Q. 496. Who is the visible Head of the Church?
A. Our Holy Father the Pope, the Bishop of Rome, is the Vicar of Christ on earth and the visible Head of the Church.

Lesson 11. On the Sacraments in General

Q. 574. What is a Sacrament?
A. A Sacrament is an outward sign instituted by Christ to give grace.

Q. 577. How many Sacraments are there?
A. There are seven Sacraments: Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Eucharist, Penance, Extreme Unction, Holy Orders, and Matrimony.

Q. 608. Can we receive the Sacraments more than once?
A. We can receive the Sacraments more than once, except Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Orders.

Lesson 12. On Baptism

Q. 621. What is Baptism?
A. Baptism is a Sacrament which cleanses us from original sin, makes us Christians, children of God, and heirs of heaven.

Q. 631. Is Baptism necessary to salvation?
A. Baptism is necessary to salvation, because without it we cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Q. 633. Who can administer Baptism.
A. The priest is the ordinary minister of baptism; but in case of necessity any one who has the use of reason may baptize.

Q. 638. How is Baptism given?
A. Whoever baptizes should pour water on the head of the person to be baptized, and say, while pouring the water: I baptise thee in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

Lesson 13. On Confirmation

Q. 610. What is Confirmation?
A. Confirmation is a Sacrament through which we receive the Holy Ghost to make us strong and perfect Christians and soldiers of Jesus Christ.

Q. 615. Who administers Confirmation?
A. The bishop is the ordinary minister of Confirmation.

Q. 691. To receive Confirmation worthily is it necessary to be in the state of grace?
A. To receive Confirmation worthily it is necessary to be in the state of grace.

Q.X. What is a state of grace?
A. A state of grace is freedom from mortal sin.

This last question in lesson 13 is not numbered in the original text.

Lesson 14. On the Sacrament of Penance

Q. 721. What is the Sacrament of Penance?
A. Penance is a Sacrament in which the sins committed after Baptism are forgiven.

Q. 741. What must we do to receive the Sacrament of Penance worthily?
A. To receive the Sacrament of Penance worthily we must do five things:

  1. We must examine our conscience.
  2. We must have sorrow for our sins.
  3. We must make a firm resolution never more to offend God.
  4. We must confess our sins to the priest.
  5. We must accept the penance which the priest gives us.

Q. 749. What is the examination of conscience?
A. The examination of conscience is an earnest effort to recall to mind all the sins we have committed since our last worthy confession.

Lesson 15. On Contrition

Q. 753. What is contrition, or sorrow for sin?
A. Contrition, or sorrow for sin, is a hatred of sin and a true grief of the soul for having offended God, with a firm purpose of sinning no more.

Q. 762. Why should we be sorry for our sins?
A. We should be sorry for our sins, because sin is the greatest of evils and an offence against God our Creator, Preserver, and Redeemer, and because mortal sin shuts us out of heaven and condemns us to the eternal pains of hell.

Lesson 16. On Confession

Q. 776. What is Confession?
A. Confession is the telling of our sins to a duly authorized priest, for the purpose of obtaining forgiveness.

Q. 795. Is it a grievous offence willfully to conceal a mortal sin in Confession?
A. It is a grievous offence willfully to conceal a mortal sin in Confession, because we thereby tell a lie to the Holy Ghost, and make our Confession worthless.

Q. 798. What must he do who has willfully concealed a mortal sin in Confession?
A. He who has willfully concealed a mortal sin in Confession must not only confess it, but must also repeat all the sins he has committed since his last worthy Confession.

Lesson 17. On Indulgences

Q. 839. What is an Indulgence?
A. An indulgence is the remission in whole or in part of the temporal punishment due to sin.

Q. 858. What must we do to gain an Indulgence?
A. To gain an Indulgence we must be in the state of grace and perform the works enjoined.

Lesson 18. On the Holy Eucharist

Q. 870. What is the Holy Eucharist?
A. The Holy Eucharist is the Sacrament which contains the body and blood, soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ under the appearances of bread and wine.

Q. 891. When did Christ give His priests the power to change bread and wine into His body and blood?
A. Christ gave His priests the power to change bread and wine into His body and blood when He said to the Apostles, Do this for a commemoration of Me.

Q. 893. How do the priests exercise this power of changing bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ?
A. The priests exercise this power of changing bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ through the words of consecration in the Mass, which are the words of Christ: This is My body; this is My blood.

Lesson 19. On the Ends for which the Holy Eucharist was Instituted

Q. 898. What is Holy Communion?
A. Holy Communion is the receiving of the body and blood of Christ.

Q. 901. What is necessary to make a good Communion?
A. To make a good Communion it is necessary to be in the state of grace and to be fasting from midnight.

Lesson 20. On the Sacrifice of the Mass

Q. 917. What is the Mass?
A. The Mass is the unbloody sacrifice of the body and blood of Christ.

Q. 920. Is the Mass the same sacrifice as that of the Cross?
A. The Mass is the same sacrifice a: that of the Cross.

Q. 946. How should we assist at Mass?
A. We should assist at Mass with great interior recollection and piety, and with every outward mark of respect and devotion.

Lesson 21. On Extreme Unction and Holy Orders

Q. 956. What is the Sacrament of Extreme Unction?
A. Extreme Unction is the Sacrament which, through the anointing and prayer of the priest, gives health and strength to the soul, and sometimes to the body, when we are in danger of death from sickness.

Q. 969. Which are the effects of the Sacrament of Extreme Unction?
A. The effects of Extreme Unction are: 1st, To comfort us in the pains of sickness and to strengthen us against temptations; 2d, To remit venial sins and to cleanse our souls from the remains of sin; 3d, To restore us to health, when God sees fit.

Q. 978. What is the Sacrament of Holy Orders?
A. Holy Orders is a Sacrament by which bishops, priests, and other ministers of the Church are ordained and receive the power and grace to perform their sacred duties.

Lesson 22. On Matrimony

Q. 1005. What is the Sacrament of Matrimony?
A. The Sacrament of Matrimony is the Sacrament which unites a Christian man and woman in lawful marriage.

Q. 1031. To receive the Sacrament of Matrimony worthily is it necessary to be in the state of grace?
A. To receive the Sacrament of Matrimony worthily it is necessary to be in the state of grace, and it is necessary also to comply with the laws of the Church.

Lesson 23. On the Sacramentals

Q. 1052. What is a Sacramental?
A. A Sacramental is anything set apart or blessed by the Church to excite good thoughts and to increase devotion, and through these movements of the heart to remit venial sin.

Q. 1064. How do we make the sign of the Cross?
A. We make the sign of the cross by putting the right hand to the forehead, then on the breast, and then to the left and right shoulders, saying, In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

Q. 1071. What is holy water?
A. Holy water is water blessed by the priest with solemn prayer to beg God’s blessing on those who use it, and protection from the powers of darkness.

Q. 1074. Are there other Sacramentals besides the sign of the cross and holy water?
A. Besides the sign of the cross and holy water there are many other Sacramentals, such as blessed candles, ashes, palms, crucifixes, images of the Blessed Virgin and of the saints, rosaries, and scapulars.

Lesson 24. On Prayer

Q. 1099. What is prayer?
A. Prayer is the lifting up of our minds and hearts to God to adore Him, to thank Him for His benefits, to ask His forgiveness, and to beg of Him all the graces we need whether for soul or body.

Q. 1105. At what particular times should we pray?
A. We should pray particularly on Sundays and holydays, every morning and night, in all dangers, temptations, and afflictions.

Q. 1113. Are prayers said with distractions of any avail?
A. Prayers said with wilful distractions are of no avail.

Lesson 25. On the Commandments of God

Q. 1130. Which are the Commandments of God?
A. The Commandments of God are these ten:

  1. I am the Lord thy God. Thou shalt not have strange gods before Me.
  2. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.
  3. Remember thou keep holy the Sabbath day.
  4. Honor thy father and thy mother.
  5. Thou shalt not kill.
  6. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
  7. Thou shalt not steal.
  8. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
  9. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife.
  10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s goods.

Lesson 26. On the First Commandment

Q. 1146. How may the first Commandment be broken?
A. The first Commandment may be broken by giving to a creature the honor which belongs to God alone; by false worship; and by attributing to a creature a perfection which belongs to God alone.

Q. 1164. How does a person sin against faith?
A. A person sins against faith, 1st, By not trying to know what God has taught; 2d, By refusing to believe all that God has taught; 3d, By neglecting to profess his belief in what God has taught.

Q. 1183. What is presumption?
A. Presumption is a rash expectation of salvation without making proper use of the necessary means to obtain it.

Q. 1185. What is despair?
A. Despair is the loss of hope in God’s mercy.

Lesson 27. The First Commandment, On the Invocation of Saints

Q. 1195. What do we mean by praying to the saints?
A. By praying to the saints we mean the asking of their help and prayers.

Q. 1216. Why do we pray before the crucifix and the images and relics of the saints?
A. We pray before the crucifix and the images and relics of the saints because they enliven our devotion by exciting pious affections and desires, and by reminding us of Christ and of the saints, that we may imitate their virtues.

Lesson 28. From the Second to Fourth Commandment

Q. 1239. What is forbidden by the second Commandment?
A. The second Commandment forbids all false, rash, unjust, and unnecessary oaths, blasphemy, cursing, and profane words.

Q. 1245. How are we to worship God on Sundays and holy- days of obligation?
A. We are to worship God on Sundays and holydays of obligation by hearing Mass, by prayer, and by other good works.

Q. 1252. What is forbidden by the third Commandment?
A. The third Commandment forbids all unnecessary servile work and whatever else may hinder the due observance of the Lord’s day.

Q. 1255. Are servile works on Sunday ever lawful?
A. Servile works are lawful on Sunday when the honor of God, the good of our neighbor, or necessity requires them.

Lesson 29. From the Fourth to the Seventh Commandment

Q. 1261. Are we bound to honor and obey others than our parents?
A. We are also bound to honor and obey our bishops, pastors, magistrates, teachers, and other lawful superiors.

Q. 1268. What is forbidden by the fourth Commandment?
A. The fourth Commandment forbids all disobedience, contempt, and stubbornness toward our parents or lawful superiors.

Q. 12*77. What is forbidden by the fifth Commandment?
A. The fifth Commandment forbids all willful murder, fighting, anger, hatred, revenge, and bad example.

Q. 1284. What is forbidden by the sixth Commandment?
A. The sixth Commandment forbids all unchaste freedom with another’s wife or husband; also all immodesty with ourselves or others in looks, dress, words, or actions.

Lesson 30. From the Seventh to the End of the Tenth Commandment

Q. 1298. What is forbidden by the seventh Commandment?
A. The seventh Commandment forbids all unjust taking or keeping what belongs to another.

Q. 1310. What is forbidden by the eighth Commandment?
A. The eighth Commandment forbids all rash judgments, back-biting, slanders and lies.

Q. 1317. What is forbidden by the ninth Commandment?
A. The ninth Commandment forbids unchaste thoughts, desires of another’s wife or husband, and all other unlawful impure thoughts and desires.

Q. 1323. What is forbidden by the tenth Commandment?
A. The tenth Commandment forbids all desire to take or keep wrongfully what belongs to another.

Lesson 31. On the First and Second Commandments of the Church

Q. 1327. Which are the chief commandments of the Church?
A. The chief commandments of the Church are six:

  1. To hear Mass on Sundays and holy-days of obligation.
  2. To fast and abstain on the days appointed.
  3. To confess at least once a year.
  4. To receive the Holy Eucharist during the Easter time.
  5. To contribute to the support of our pastors.
  6. Not to marry persons who are not Catholics, or who are related to us within the fourth degree of kindred, nor privately without witnesses; nor to solemnize marriage at forbidden times.

Q. 1329. Is it a mortal sin not to hear Mass on a Sunday or holy day of obligation?
A. It is a mortal sin not to hear Mass on a Sunday or a holyday of obligation, unless we are excused for a serious reason.

Q. 1337. What do you mean by fast-days?
A. By fast-days I mean days on which we are allowed but one full meal.

Q. 1344. What do you mean by days of abstinence?
A. By days of abstinence I mean days on which we are forbidden to eat flesh- meat, but are allowed the usual number of meals.

Lesson 32. On the Third, Fourth Fifth and Six Commandments of the Church

Q. 1349. What is meant by the command of confessing- at least once a year?
A. By the command of confessing at least once a year is meant that we are obliged, under pain of mortal sin, to go to confession within the year.

Q. 1353. What sin does he commit who neglects to receive Communion during the Easter time?
A. He who neglects to receive Communion during the Easter time commits a mortal sin.

Q. 1354. What is the Easter time?
A. The Easter time is, in this country, the time between the first Sunday of Lent and Trinity Sunday.

Lesson 33. On the Last Things

Q. 1371. When will Christ judge us?
A. Christ will judge us immediately after our death, and on the last day.

Q. 1381. What is Purgatory?
A. Purgatory is the state in which those suffer for a time who die guilty of venial sins, or without having satisfied for the punishment due to their sins.

Q. 1395. What is Heaven?
A. Heaven is the state of everlasting life in which we see God face to face, are made like unto Him in glory, and enjoy eternal happiness.

About the Baltimore Catechism

The Catechisms of the Baltimore Series are arranged on a progressive plan. No. 00 gives the Prayers and Acts to be learned before the study of the Catechism begins; No. 0 (presented above) contains one-half the questions of No. 1; No. 1 half the questions of No. 2; No. 2 one-third the questions of No. 3, and No. 4 (an Explanation of the Baltimore Catechism) furnishes much additional information with copious explanations and examples.
The same questions bear the same numbers throughout the series, and their wording is identical. The different sizes of type make the Catechisms more suitable to their respective grades; smaller children usually requiring larger print.

Apart from its educational advantages, the progressive plan aims at lessening the expense in providing children with Catechisms, by furnishing just what is necessary for each grade; it aims also at encouraging the children to learn by affording opportunity for promotion from book to book.

These Catechisms are intended to furnish a complete course of religious instruction, when used as follows:

  • No. 00 for Prayer Classes, not taught in the Academy.
  • No. 0 for Confession classes and certain adults, taught in Baltimore Catechism 0
  • No. 1 for First Communion classes, taught in Baltimore Catechism I
  • No. 2 for Confirmation classes, taught in Baltimore Catechism II
  • No. 3 for Two years’ course for Post-Confirmation classes, taught in Baltimore Catechism III
  • No. 4 for Teachers and Teachers’ Training Classes, included in Baltimore Catechism II.

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