Of the Commandments of the Church and the Counsels


Card. Bellarmine’s Short Catechism

bf-bcat-divider 2


Student:  Add to the Commandments of the Church, those few which the Church has added.

Teacher:  The commandments of the Church are six:


I. To hear Mass on all Sundays, and Holy days of obligation.

bf-bcat-56 first law

II. To keep the fasts commanded for lent and vigils,
ember days, and not to eat flesh on Fridays

[ed. note: back when written, it added, “and Saturdays”]

bf-bcat-57 second law


III. & IV. To Confess at least once a year.
To receive Communion, at the least, each Easter.

bf-bcat-58 third law


V. To Pay Tithes.

bf-bcat-59 fifth law


VI. Not to celebrate marriage in forbidden times, that is
from the first Sunday of Advent until the Twelfth day of Christmas,
and from the first day of Lent until Low Sunday inclusive.

bf-bcat-60 sixth law


Student:  Besides the Commandments, which we are bound to keep, be there any Counsels of Perfection?

Teacher:  There be three Counsels, by our Savior Jesus Christ, given to those that desire to attain to perfection.


I. Voluntary Poverty.

voluntary poverty


II. Perpetual chastity.

perpetual chastity


III. Obedience in everything that is not sin.

bf-bcat-65 third counsel




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This catechism was created in 1614 by doctor of the church, Cardinal Robert Bellarmine.  It is richly illustrated with images to assist learning and memory.