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History of the Church


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									History of the Church
  Why study Church history?
• To know Jesus better through the Church and its

• To know about our Church
   • The lives of our brothers and sisters

• To understand and explain common errors about
  Church history
         Divided into 12 sections …
1.   Mustard Seed (33-99 AD)
2.   Persecution (100-312 AD)
3.   Conversion and Councils (313-499 AD)
4.   Missionaries and the Emperor (500-999 AD)
5.   Crusaders and Scholars (1000-1299 AD)
6.   Weak Leaders and Schism (1300-1499 AD)
     –   What does Schism mean?
7.    Protestors and Defenders (1500-1544 AD)
8.    The Catholic Reformation (1545-1699 AD)
9.    Revolutions and Modernism (1700-1913 AD)
10.   A World at War (1914-1957 AD)
11.   The New Springtime (1958-1977 AD)
12.   The Threshold of Hope (1977-Present)
         The Church in Jerusalem
• Fifty days after Jesus’ Resurrection and ten days after
  His Ascension, on the Jewish feast of Pentecost, the
  Holy Spirit descended upon the 12 Apostles and the
  Blessed Mother. We consider Pentecost the day that
  the Church begun.
• The word Apostle means one who is sent and refers to
  the 12 men chosen by Jesus to be his closest followers
• The Apostles are …
   –   Peter (Simon)   -Philip         -James
   –   Andrew          -Bartholomew    -Simon the Zealot
   –   James           -Matthew        -Judas aka Jude
   –   John            -Thomas         -Judas Iscariot
• Matthias is chosen to replace Judas Iscariot. St. Paul
  and Barnabas also shared the position of Apostles.
• The Apostles were chosen to continue Christ’s mission
  of preaching and healing
• The Apostles passed on their authority of Christ which
  is called Apostolic Succession
• The Apostles and the first Christians in Jerusalem were
  known as the people of the Way and they still
  considered themselves Jews.
   – They followed all the provisions of the Jewish Law.
• Besides the Temple worship on Saturdays, they would
  meet in private homes on Sundays for the celebration
  of the Eucharist.
• The first Christians believed, as we still do today, that
  the Eucharist is the body and blood of Christ
• Because the early Christians followed a dead leader and
  all of the Jewish laws, they were at first left alone
   – The Jewish authorities thought Christianity would be a
     passing fad
• When The Way did not fade, they were persecuted
      Persecutions in Jerusalem
•   Stephen was a deacon in Jerusalem who had
    been commissioned by the Apostles. He was
    stoned to death becoming the first Christian
•   Saul, who was persecuting Christians, had a
    vision of Christ who asked him why he was,
    “persecuting me”. Saul converted, his name
    was changed to Paul, and he became the great
    apostle to the Gentiles.
        Gentiles enter the Church

•    Even though the Christians were persecuted, they
     considered themselves Jewish. To associate with
     non-Jews, Gentiles, was unclean.
    –    The Aposltes remember how Jesus reached out to all
•    Nowhere in the Bible does it state that unclean
     Gentiles were to be included in the teachings;
     there actually was no Bible, so Peter as head of
     the Church, Pope, and under the guidance of the
     Holy Spirit makes a decision based on the
     teachings of Christ.
    –    1st instance of Papal Authority
      The Council of Jerusalem
• The issue was whether or not Gentile converts
  to Christianity had to follow Jewish dietary rules
  and circumcision
• The decision was no
• Peter made the final decision
• The Apostles go on missionary journeys through
  the Empire to preach and spread the teachings
  of Christ.
  Temple is destroyed in AD 70.
• Reproduction of Temple   • Western Wall of Temple
  At the time that Christ was born, the
Roman Empire was a great power This
provided great benefits for the spreading
           of the word of God:
• Benefits
   –   Peace in the Roman Empire (Pax Romana)
   –   Safe roads and ports for easy traveling
   –   Use of Greek language throughout the Empire
   –   Concepts of Greek philosophy that help understand nature
       and person
• On the other hand, the Romans expected all people to
  worship their gods and believe that Ceaser was god.
• Judaism was the only religion permitted to not
  participate in Roman gods’ worship, and it was actually
  protected by Romans
At first since the Christians
were seen by the Romans as
 a sect within Judaism they
    were treated as such.
   This soon changed as the Romans
      began to oppose The Way.
    Challenges of early Christianity
•    Jews accused Christians of blasphemy and
     persecuted them
•    Tension with Romans - Christians:
    –   Refused to worship the Roman gods
    –   Denied Ceaser was a god
    –   Seen as secretive society
   Christian worship and beliefs
• The earliest Christians believed that the
  Eucharist was the body and blood, soul and
  divinity of Jesus Christ
• Both abortion and contraception were practiced
  in the Roman Empire. The Early Church
  condemned these practices
      Churches and Catacombs
• The first churches were people’s homes. Some Roman
  emperors permitted churches to be built, but when new
  persecutions came these were destroyed
• In the 2nd century catacombs were built. Catacombs
  are a series of underground tunnels, chambers, and
  tombs that were dug out by Christians.
• Catacombs were never hiding places but during the
  times of persecution did become a place to hold
  Baptisms and celebrate the Eucharist. They were also
  burial places and shrines.
•   A typical gallery, this one in St.    •   The cubiculum of the Good Shepherd in
    Callixtus;                                the Catacomb of Domatilla
    showing the burial niches or loculi
The Madonna and Child from the
     Catacomb of Priscilla
               • This is the oldest known
                 representation of this most
                 touching and human aspect of
                 Christ's Incarnation. The
                 emphasis on the maternal love
                 of Mary for the Child Jesus
                 reflects the early Christian
                 community's reverence for the
                 Mother of God, and for its
                 understanding of God's love for
                 humankind in sending His only
                 Son to earth to share in our
        The Apostolic Fathers

• This is the second generation of great Christian
  writers who lived after the Apostles

• Apostolic Fathers – those who knew and where
  taught by the Apostles
• Persecutions come at different times with periods of no
  persecution in-between, but Christians always lived in
  danger from the time of Nero to The Edict of Milan
  (313 AD). There were a great number of martyrs, and
  dying for Christ was considered a great honor.
• Process
   – Arrested and given chance to denounce faith
   – If didn’t reject Christianity put to death
   – Many chose to die rather than give up their faith
      Examples of Persecutions
• Nero – set city on fire and blamed the Christians
• Circus Maximus - animal skins sewn onto
  Christians, spread through out garden, hungry
  mastiffs released.
• Death of Peter= crucified up-side down
• Death of Paul = beheaded
• All apostles, except St. John die martyrs
• St. James is the first apostle to die (Jerusalem)

• Chrisitanity grew

• Tertullian, who lived in the midst of the
  persecutions said, "The blood of the Christians
  is the seed of the Church.
• St. Ignatius of Antioch = Bishop and Apostolic
  – Martyred at Coliseum in Rome – fed to lions
• St. Polycarp – Bishop and Apostolic Father
  – Fought many heresies
  – Refused to curse Christ in public
  – Burned at stake but remained unharmed; an
    executioner used a sword.
• St. Justin Martyr = Apologist (defender of the
  – Beheaded
• Perpetua and Felicity = noblewoman and slave
   – Jailed and forced to raise their children in prison – Felicity
     gave birth in jail
   – Together with their household were scourged and fed to wild
• St. Iranaeus = Bishop and Apostolic Father
• Pope St. Sixtus II and Deacon St. Lawrence
   – Arrested while celebrating Mass with 7 deacons
   – All beheaded on site except St. Lawrence
   – St. Lawrence roasted on spike – turn me over I am done on
     this side
• St. Agnes = young girl (12 or 13 years old)
   – Beheaded
St. Stephen first Christian Martyr
                 • St. Paul was present at
                   the martyrdom of
            The Edict of Milan
• By the year 300 the Roman Empire was divided into
  the Western and Eastern Empire.
• Constantine, who ruled the Eastern Empire, defeated
  the Western Empire.
• The son of St. Helena, a devout Christian, he was not a
  Christian but claimed to have been favored by the
  Christian God.
• In the year 313 A.D. Christianity was legalized through
  the Edict of Milan.
• All property that had been taken from the Church was
• He converted and received Baptism on his deathbed.

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