Church History Timeline


Council of Nicaea

325 AD

At the Council of Nicaea, the Church clarified that the teachings of Arius are not correct. Arius claimed that Jesus was not divine, just human. The Council of Nicaea was held to clarify that the Church taught that Jesus is both fully divine and fully human. The council also issued the Nicene Creed.

Council of Constantinople

381 AD

The Council of Constantinople rejected the teachings of the Macedonians, who denied that the Holy Spirit is divine. The Council stated that the Holy Spirit is consubstantial with God the Father and God the Son.

Council of Ephesus

431 AD

The Council of Ephesus condemned the beliefs of Nestorians, who said there were two separate Persons in Jesus, a divine and a human person. The council said that there are two natures in one Person. The council also condemned the beliefs of Pelagians, who said that people don't need God's grace to reach perfection. Finally, the Council declared that Mary is the Mother of God.

Council of Chalcedon

451 AD

The Council condemned Monophysitism, which claimed that Jesus only had one nature, a combination of both his divine and human natures.

Council of Trent

1545 - 1563

The Council of Trent was held in Trent, Italy. The council started the Counter-Reformation. It clarified and reaffirmed the doctrines that were protested by Protestants.

First Vatican Council

1869 - 1870

The First Vatican Council declared that the Pope was infallible on Church matters.

Second Vatican Council

1962 - 1965

The Second Vatican Council was opened by Pope John XXIII. It was an "updating" of the Church. At the council, the Bishop's role was explained. The Mass was also allowed to be said in the vernacular, or the people's common language. The priest also began to face towards the people at Church during the Mass.


Life of St. Brigid of Kildare

450 - 525

Saint Brigid lived in Kildare, Ireland. She opened monasteries and spread Catholicism across Ireland.

Life of St. Hildegard

September 16, 1098 - September 17, 1179

Hildegard is from Bingen, Germany. She is a Doctor of the Church. She was a Benedictine nun and also an artist, author, mystic, composer, poet, pharmacist, and theologian. She was canonized and named a Doctor of the Church in 2012 by Pope Benedict XVI.

Life of St. Thomas Aquinas

1225 - March 7, 1274

Thomas Aquinas is a Doctor of the Church. He wrote the Summa Theologica, a very important summary of the Catholic beliefs.

Life of St. Catherine of Siena

March 25, 1347 - April 29, 1380

St. Catherine of Siena lived in Italy. She was a mystic who had many visions. She was a great theologian and is a Doctor of the Church.

Life of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

August 28, 1774 - January 4, 1821

Elizabeth Ann Seton was the first U.S.-born Saint to be canonized. She was a widow who converted to Catholicism and became a nun. She was a teacher and a co-founder of the Catholic school system in the U.S.

Life of St. Marianne Cope

January 23, 1838 - August 9, 1918

Saint Marianne Cope went to Hawaii when it was not yet an established state, just a leper colony. She was a nun who helped the lepers on the colony. She never caught leprosy, which is a miracle in itself. She is an American saint.

Life of St. Katharine Drexel

November 26, 1858 - March 3, 1955

Life of Saint Therese of Lisieux

January 2, 1873 - September 30, 1897

Therese of Lisieux lived in France. She became a Carmelite at the young age of fifteen. She wrote The Story of a Soul and is a Doctor of the Church because of her writings.

Beatification of Therese of Lisieux

April 29, 1923

Therese of Lisieux was beatified by Pope Pius XI.

Canonization of Therese of Lisieux

May 17, 1925

Therese of Lisieux was canonized by Pope Pius XI. She was also named a Doctor of the Church.


Jesus's Resurrection

April 1, 33 AD

The Resurrection occurred when Jesus rose from the dead three days after his death. Mary Magdalene was the first to discover that Jesus was resurrected when she found his tomb empty. We celebrate the Resurrection on Easter.

Jesus's Ascension

June 1, 33 AD

The Ascension happened 50 days after the Resurrection. After Jesus resurrected, he spent 50 days on earth with his apostles. At the Ascension, Jesus rose into Heaven.


Approx. August 1, 33 AD

Pentecost marks the day that the Holy Spirit descended on the apostles. After Jesus's Ascension, the apostles were too afraid to go out and spread the Word of God. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to them in the form of tongues of fire. The Holy Spirit gave the apostles the ability to speak in different languages and the courage to spread Christianity.

Edict of Milan

313 AD

The Edict of Milan established the toleration of Christianity in Roman Empire. It was created by Emperor Constantine after he had a vision and converted to Christianity.

Great Schism


The Great Schism was the split of the Catholic Church into the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church. Most eastern Catholics became part of the Eastern Orthodox Church, and most western Catholics became part of the Roman Catholic Church. The Great Schism began when the Pope and the Patriarch were excommunicated. One of the reasons behind the Schism was that the east and west disagreed on the role of the Holy Spirit as a person in the Trinity.

Protestant Reformation

1517 - 1648

The Reformation began when Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses to the door of a Church. The These protested some of the Catholic Church's problems, such as indulgences. The Reformation caused the creation of Protestant churches that changed some aspects of the Catholic faith.

Papacy of Saint Pope John Paul II the Great

October 22, 1978 - April 2, 2005

John Paul II was Pope for over 26 years. He was born in Poland and was a young adult during World War II. As Pope, he supported ecumenism between different religions, working to create peace between people of different faiths.

Papacy of Pope Francis

March 13, 2013 - Present

Pope Francis is the current Pope. He has been Pope for just over 4 years. He is the first Pope from the Americas. As Pope, he has advocated for political diplomacy and environmental protection. He is viewed as very humble and compassionate.