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5 Classic Catholic jokes

Antoine Mekary | Aleteia
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“A Jesuit, a Dominican, and a Trappist were marooned on a desert island.”

In case you didn’t know, some saints were well-known for having a good sense of humor. Philip Neri (“the Humorous Saint”), Francis De Sales, and Teresa of Avila, for instance, are not only known for their exemplary lives, but also because they certainly knew how to use a proper joke to good effect. But one doesn’t need to go all the way back to the 16th and 17th centuries to find examples of good church humor. For instance, it is said that when a journalist asked Blessed John XXIII (pope from 1958 to 1963) how many people work in the Vatican, the pope paused, thought for a bit and replied, “About half of them.”

Read more: Talk about “old jokes”…here’s some knee-slappers from ancient Rome

So here we wanted to compile five well-known Catholic jokes. There might be one or two of these you haven’t heard before. Make sure to share them with your Dominican, Franciscan, Jesuit or Trappist friends.

  • A Jesuit, a Dominican, and a Franciscan were walking along an old road, debating the greatness of their orders. Suddenly, an apparition of the Holy Family appeared in front of them, with Jesus in a manger and Mary and Joseph praying over him. The Franciscan fell on his face, overcome with awe at the sight of God born in such poverty. The Dominican fell to his knees, adoring the beautiful reflection of the Trinity and the Holy Family. The Jesuit walked up to Joseph, put his arm around his shoulder, and said, “So, have you thought about where to send him to school?”
  • A Franciscan and a Dominican were debating whose order was the greater. After months of arguing, they decided to ask God for an answer when they died. Years later, they met in heaven and went to God’s throne to resolve their old disagreement. God seemed a bit puzzled about the question and told them he would reply in writing a few days later. After much deliberation, God sent the following letter:

My sons,
Please stop bickering about such trivial matters. Both orders are equally great and good in my eyes.
Sincerely,
God, OP

  • A Jesuit and a Franciscan sat down to dinner, after which pie was served. There were two pieces of pie, one small and the other large. The Jesuit reached over and took the larger piece for himself. The Franciscan remonstrated, “St. Francis always taught us to take the meaner piece.” The Jesuit replied, “And so you have it.”
  • Saints Benedict, Dominic, Ignatius, and Francis were in heaven arguing over which of their charisms was most primordial. Saint Benedict said: “All the way in the garden of Eden, all that existed was work and prayer, ‘Ora et Labora,’ therefore we are first.” Dominic jumped in, “Hold on. In order for Eden to be created, God had to speak, and so the Word was first. Dominicans are older.” Ignatius, feeling quite confident, said, “But even before that, there was chaos, and the lord gave creation structure and order. The Jesuits are clearly first.” Chuckling to himself, Francis agreed: “You’re right. First came chaos!”
  • A Jesuit, a Dominican, and a Trappist were marooned on a desert island. They found a magic lamp, and after some discussion decided to rub it. Lo and behold, a genie appeared and offered them three wishes. They decided it was only fair that they could each have one wish. The Jesuit said he wanted to teach at the world’s most famous university, and poof, he was gone! The Dominican wished to preach in the world’s largest church, and poof, he was gone! Then the Trappist said, “Gee, I already got my wish!”

(Compiled from Ignatian Spirituality, Breaking In The Habit, and FishEaters.com)

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