Q. 670. 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. 671. When was Confirmation instituted?
A. The exact time at which Confirmation was instituted is not known. But as this Sacrament was administered by
the Apostles and numbered with the other Sacraments instituted by Our Lord, it is certain that He instituted this
Sacrament also and instructed His Apostles in its use, at some time before His ascension into heaven.
Q. 672. Why is Confirmation so called?
A. Confirmation is so called from its chief effect, which is to strengthen or render us more firm in whatever belongs to our faith and religious duties.
Q. 673. Why are we called soldiers of Jesus Christ?
A. We are called soldiers of Jesus Christ to indicate how we must resist the attacks of our spiritual enemies and
secure our victory over them by following and obeying Our Lord.
Q. 674. May one add a new name to his own at Confirmation?
A. One may and should add a new name to his own at Confirmation, especially when the name of a saint has not
been given in Baptism.
Q. 675. Who administers Confirmation?
A. The bishop is the ordinary minister of Confirmation.
Q. 676. Why do we say the bishop is the "ordinary minister" of Confirmation?
A. We say the bishop is the ordinary minister of Confirmation because in some foreign missions, where bishops
have not yet been appointed, the Holy Father permits one of the priests to administer Confirmation with the Holy
Oil blessed by the bishop.
Q. 677. How does the bishop give Confirmation?
A. The bishop extends his hands over those who are to be confirmed, prays that they may receive the Holy Ghost,
and anoints the forehead of each with holy chrism in the form of a cross.
Q. 678. In Confirmation, what does the extending of the bishop's hands over us signify?
A. In Confirmation, the extending of the bishop's hands over us signifies the descent of the Holy Ghost upon us and the special protection of God through the grace of Confirmation.
Q. 679. What is holy chrism?
A. Holy chrism is a mixture of olive-oil and balm, consecrated by the bishop.
Q. 680. What do the oil and balm in Holy Chrism signify?
A. In Holy Chrism, the oil signifies strength, and the balm signifies the freedom from corruption and the sweetness which virtue must give to our lives.
Q. 681. How many holy oils are used in the Church?
A. Three holy oils are used in the Church, namely, the oil of the sick, the oil of catechumens, and holy chrism.
Q. 682. What constitutes the difference between these oils?
A. The form of prayer or blessing alone constitutes the difference between these oils; for they are all olive oil, but in the Holy Chrism, balm is mixed with the oil.
Q. 683. When and by whom are the holy oils blessed?
A. The holy oils are blessed at the Mass on Holy Thursday by the bishop, who alone has the right to bless them.
After the blessing they are distributed to the priests of the diocese, who must then burn what remains of the old oils and use the newly blessed oils for the coming year.
Q. 684. For what are the holy oils used?
A. The holy oils are used as follows: The oil of the sick is used for Extreme Unction and for some blessings; the oil of catechumens is used for Baptism and Holy Orders. Holy Chrism is used at Baptism and for the blessing of some sacred things, such as altars, chalices, church-bells, etc., which are usually blessed by a bishop.
Q. 685. What does the bishop say in anointing the person he confirms?
A. In anointing the person he confirms the bishop says: "I sign thee with the sign of the cross, and I confirm thee
with the chrism of salvation, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost."
Q. 686. What is meant by anointing the forehead with chrism in the form of a cross?
A. By anointing the forehead with chrism in the form of a cross is meant that the Christian who is confirmed must
openly profess and practice his faith, never be ashamed of it; and rather die than deny it.
Q. 687. When must we openly profess and practice our religion?
A. We must openly profess and practice our religion as often as we cannot do otherwise without violating some
law of God or of His Church.
Q. 688. Why have we good reason never to be ashamed of the Catholic faith?
A. We have good reason never to be ashamed of the Catholic Faith because it is the Old Faith established by
Christ and taught by His Apostles; it is the Faith for which countless Holy Martyrs suffered and died; it is the Faith that has brought true civilization, with all its benefits, into the world, and it is the only Faith that can truly reform and preserve public and private morals.
Q. 689. Why does the bishop give the person he confirms a slight blow on the cheek?
A. The bishop gives the person he confirms a slight blow on the cheek, to put him in mind that he must be ready to suffer everything, even death, for the sake of Christ.
Q. 690. Is it right to test ourselves through our imagination of what we would be willing to suffer for the
sake of Christ?
A. It is not right to test ourselves through our imagination of what we would be willing to suffer for the sake of
Christ, for such tests may lead us into sin. When a real test comes we are assured God will give to us, as He did to
the Holy Martyrs, sufficient grace to endure it.
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. 692. What special preparation should be made to receive Confirmation?
A. Persons of an age to learn should know the chief mysteries of faith and the duties of a Christian, and be
instructed in the nature and effects of this Sacrament.
Q. 693. Why should we know the chief mysteries of faith and the duties of a Christian before receiving Confirmation?
A. We should know the Chief Mysteries of Faith and the duties of a Christian before receiving Confirmation
because as one cannot be a good soldier without knowing the rules of the army to which he belongs and
understanding the commands of his leader, so one cannot be a good Christian without knowing the laws of the
Church and understanding the commands of Christ.
Q. 694. Is it a sin to neglect Confirmation?
A. It is a sin to neglect Confirmation, especially in these evil days when faith and morals are exposed to so many
and such violent temptations.
Q. 695. What do we mean by "these evil days"?
A. By "these evil days" we mean the present age or century in which we are living, surrounded on all sides by
unbelief, false doctrines, bad books, bad example and temptation in every form.
Q. 696. Is Confirmation necessary for salvation?
A. Confirmation is not so necessary for salvation that we could not be saved without it, for it is not given to infants even in danger of death; nevertheless, there is a divine command obliging all to receive it, if possible. Persons who have not been confirmed in youth should make every effort to be confirmed later in life.
Q. 697. Are sponsors necessary in Confirmation?
A. Sponsors are necessary in Confirmation, and they must be of the same good character as those required at
Baptism, for they take upon themselves the same duties and responsibilities. They also contract a spiritual
relationship, which, however, unlike that in Baptism, is not an impediment to marriage.
Q. 698. Which are the effects of Confirmation?
A. The effects of Confirmation are an increase of sanctifying grace, the strengthening of our faith, and the gifts of
the Holy Ghost.
Q. 699. Which are the gifts of the Holy Ghost?
A. The gifts of the Holy Ghost are Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety, and Fear of
Q. 700. Why do we receive the gift of Fear of the Lord?
A. We receive the gift of Fear of the Lord to fill us with a dread of sin.
Q. 701. Why do we receive the gift of Piety?
A. We receive the gift of Piety to make us love God as a Father, and obey Him because we love Him.
Q. 702. Why do we receive the gift of Knowledge?
A. We receive the gift of Knowledge to enable us to discover the will of God in all things.
Q. 703. Why do we receive the gift of Fortitude?
A. We receive the gift of Fortitude to strengthen us to do the will of God in all things.
Q. 704. Why do we receive the gift of Counsel?
A. We receive the gift of Counsel to warn us of the deceits of the devil, and of the dangers to salvation.
Q. 705. How is it clear that the devil could easily deceive us if the Holy Ghost did not aid us?
A. It is clear that the devil could easily deceive us if the Holy Ghost did not aid us, for just as our sins do not
deprive us of our knowledge, so the devil's sin did not deprive him of the great intelligence and power which he
possessed as an angel. Moreover, his experience in the world extends over all ages and places, while ours is
confined to a few years and to a limited number of places.
Q. 706. Why do we receive the gift of Understanding?
A. We receive the gift of Understanding to enable us to know more clearly the mysteries of faith.
Q. 707. Why do we receive the gift of Wisdom?
A. We receive the gift of Wisdom to give us a relish for the things of God, and to direct our whole life and all our
actions to His honor and glory.
Q. 708. Which are the Beatitudes?
A. The Beatitudes are:
1. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
2. Blessed are the meek, for they shall possess the land.
3.Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.
4. Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice, for they shall be filled.
5. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
6. Blessed are the clean of heart, for they shall see God.
7. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.
8. Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Q. 709. What are the Beatitudes and why are they so called?
A. The Beatitudes are a portion of Our Lord's Sermon on the Mount, and they are so called because each of them
holds out a promised reward to those who practice the virtues they recommend.
Q. 710. Where did Our Lord usually preach?
A. Our Lord usually preached wherever an opportunity of doing good by His Words presented itself. He preached
at times in the synagogues or meeting-houses but more frequently in the open air -- by the seashore or on the
mountain, and often by the wayside.
Q. 711. What is the meaning and use of the Beatitudes in general?
A. 1. In general the Beatitudes embrace whatever pertains to the perfection of Christian life, and they invite us
to the practice of the highest Christian virtues.
2.In different forms they all promise the same reward, namely, sanctifying grace in this life and eternal glory
in the next.
3.They offer us encouragement and consolation for every trial and affliction.
Q. 712. What does the first Beatitude mean by the "poor in spirit"?
A. The first Beatitude means by the "poor in spirit" all persons, rich or poor, who would not offend God to possess or retain anything that this world can give; and who, when necessity or charity requires it, give willingly for the glory of God. It includes also those who humbly submit to their condition in life when it cannot be improved by lawful means.
Q. 713. Who are the mourners who deserve the consolation promised in the third Beatitude?
A. The mourners who deserve the consolation promised in the third Beatitude are they who, out of love for God,
bewail their own sins and those of the world; and they who patiently endure all trials that come from God or for His sake.
Q. 714. What lessons do the other Beatitudes convey?
A. The other Beatitudes convey these lessons: The meek suppress all feelings of anger and humbly submit to
whatever befalls them by the Will of God; and they never desire to do evil for evil. The justice after which we
should seek is every Christian virtue included under that name, and we are told that if we earnestly desire and seek it we shall obtain it. The persecuted for justice' sake are they who will not abandon their faith or virtue for any cause.
Q. 715. Who may be rightly called merciful?
A. The merciful are they who practice the corporal and spiritual works of mercy, and who aid by word or deed
those who need their help for soul or body.
Q. 716. Why are the clean of heart promised so great a reward?
A. The clean of heart, that is, the truly virtuous, whose thoughts, desires, words and works are pure and modest,
are promised so great a reward because the chaste and sinless have always been the most intimate friends of God.
Q. 717. What is the duty of a peacemaker?
A. It is the duty of a peacemaker to avoid and prevent quarrels, reconcile enemies, and to put an end to all evil
reports of others or evil speaking against them. As peacemakers are called the children of God, disturbers of
peace should be called the children of the devil.
Q. 718. Why does Our Lord speak in particular of poverty, meekness, sorrow, desire for virtue, mercy,
purity, peace and suffering?
A. Our Lord speaks in particular of poverty, meekness, sorrow, desire for virtue, mercy, purity, peace and
suffering because these are the chief features in His own earthly life; poverty in His birth, life and death; meekness in His teaching; sorrow at all times. He eagerly sought to do good, showed mercy to all, recommended chastity, brought peace, and patiently endured suffering.
Q. 719. Which are the twelve fruits of the Holy Ghost?
A. The twelve fruits of the Holy Ghost are Charity, Joy, Peace, Patience, Benignity, Goodness, Long-suffering,
Mildness, Faith, Modesty, Continency, and Chastity.
Q. 720. Why are charity, joy, peace, etc., called fruits of the Holy Ghost?
A. Charity, joy, peace, etc., are called fruits of the Holy Ghost because they grow in our souls out of the seven
gifts of the Holy Ghost.