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Catholic Culture Dedication
Catholic Culture Dedication

Catholic Dictionary

Find accurate definitions of over 5,000 Catholic terms and phrases (including abbreviations). Based on Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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Extraor-dinary supernatural gifts for the mind to instruct others in the Christian faith. In the writings of St. Paul six classes of persons are distinguished as specially endowed to communicate the Gospel. These gifts were not limited to the original twelve Apostles and St. Paul, but refer to anyone who is sent out to proclaim the Good News: 1. prophet (I Corinthians 12:28), one who speaks for God and with his authorization. Among the revelations that prophets received were sometimes the prediction of future events (Acts 11:27-30, 21:10-14). They exhorted and strengthened the faithful (Acts 15:32), they edified, encouraged, and consoled (I Corinthians 14:3), and they could read men's hearts (I Corinthians 14:24-25). This gift was shared also by women (I Corinthians 11:5; Acts 21:9); 2. evangelist (Acts 21:8; II Timothy 4:5), not to be confused with the inspired writers of the Gospels, an evangelist was probably one appointed to strengthen new churches but not to found them; 3. teacher (Romans 12:7); Ephesians 4:11; I Timothy 4:13, 16), an inspired catechist who was able to bring home to his listeners the inner meaning of the Gospel; 4. exhorter (Romans 12:8; I Timothy 4:13; Acts 4:36), a preacher with a special gift to persuade the faithful to put the teachings of Christ into generous practice; 5. proclaimer of wisdom (I Corinthians 12:8), one who could explain the highest reaches of divine revelation; 6. proclaimer of knowledge (I Corinthians 12:8), one who could explain revealed truths by comparison with human knowledge. Most probably the last two gifts were possessed in varying degrees by all the preceding.

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