Church History

Events

Pentecost

33 AD

Pentecost was the fulfillment of a promise made by Jesus. Christ promised to send the Holy Spirit to his apostles. On Pentecost the Holy Spirit came down upon the apostles while they were hiding in the Upper Room. With the Spirit behind them, the apostles gained the courage needed to go out and start the Church. Penecost is given the title, the birthday of the church, for this reason.

Jesus' Resurrection

33 AD

Jesus' body was hastily placed in the tomb on Good Friday. All of the Jewish burial customs had not been completed before the Sabbath, meaning they had to be done on Sunday. On Sunday, Mary Magdalene and several other women went to the tomb in order to complete the custom. At the tomb, the woman were met by angels who told them that Christ had risen.

Jesus' Ascension

33 AD

Jesus ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. To ascend means to go up, so Jesus went up to heaven.

The Edict of Milan

313 AD

The Edict of Milan was a letter signed by the Emporer Constantine for religious Tolerance. The Edict of Milan allowed Christianity to be legal in the Roman Empire and stopped a lot of Christian persecution.

The Great Schism

1054

The Great Schism is the break of Communion between the current Eastern Othodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church.

The Protestant Reformation

1517 - 1648

The Reformation was caused by the corruption in the Church. During this time, positions in the Church could be bought, the popes were distracted by Italian politics, and indulgences were sold. In response, Martin Luther broke away from the Church to form his own version. Many others followed. Those who broke away from the church are called the Protestants, and many Protestant groups continue to this day.

Papacy of Saint Pope John Paul II the Great

October 16, 1978 - April 2, 2005

During the time of the Papacy of John Paul II, John Paul wrote 14 encyclicals, 11 apostolic constitutions, 42 apostolic letters, and three books. He has presided at 138 beatification ceremonies and 48 canonization ceremonies. John Paul is also noted for the vast number of people he has encountered.

Papacy of Pope Francis

March 13, 2013 - Present

Pope Francis has only been the pope for 4 years. In this time, Francis has shown his support for the poor and his love of creation.

Church Councils

Council of Nicaea

325 AD

The Council of Nicaea was the first Council to be held. The Council was attended by 318 bishops and Emperor Constantine. At the Council, the Nicene Creed was issued and the Church rejected the teachings of Arius. Arius taught the idea that Christ was not fully divine, a heresy. The Council declared that Jesus was a divine Person of the Trinity.

Council of Constantinople

381 AD

The Council of Constantinople rejected the teachings of the Macedonians. The Macedonians denied the fact that the Holy Spirit is a divine Person. The Council stated that the Holy Spirit is one with the Father and the Son.

Council of Ephesus

431 AD

The third council of the Church condemed the Nestorians, a group who believed that Jesus is two Persons, a divine Person and a human Person. The Church refuted them in saying that Christ is only one Person. Christ is a divine Person with both a human and divine nature. The Council also condemed a second group called the Pelagians. The Pelagians said that humans could reach perfection without the grace of God. A final action of the Council was the the declaration of Mary as the Mother of God.

Council of Chalcedon

451 AD

The Council of Chalcedon was called to answer the question of whether or not Jesus was truly human and truly divine. At the Council it was determined that Christ has two natures divided without change. He is one divine person with two natures, human and divine. This answer to the question denied Monophysitism.

Council of Trent

1545 AD - 1563 AD

The Council of Trent had the main purpose of defining key doctrines of the Church. Some of the doctrines discussed were the necessity of both Scripture and Tradition, the seven sacraments, transubstantiation, and the hierarchical Church.

First Vatican Council

1869 AD - 1870 AD

The First Vatican Council gave power back to the pope. The doctrine of papal infallibility was noted at this Council. The Council had the second impact of spiritual renewal. There was increased mass attendence and a flourishing of devotional life.

Second Vatican Council

1962 AD - 1965 AD

The Second Vatican Council was meant to be an updating for the Church. The largest reform happened in the area of the liturgy. Masses would be allowed to be said in the local vernacular instead of the usual Latin. Other reforms touched on subjects such as the dignity of human beings, dialogue with other religions, and new rules for the Mass and other sacraments.

Saints and Doctors of the Church

The Life of Saint Brigid of Kildare

451 - 525

Saint Brigid was charitable daughter of a chieftain. As a young woman she gave away things belonging to her father. Later on in her life, she founded a monastery in Kildare called the Church of the Oak. Besides her monastery, Brigid founded two monastic institutions and a school of art.

Saint Brigid's Canonization Date

525

The true Canonization date of Saint Brigid is unknown. Saint Brigid was a Pre-Congregational Saint, meaning that the church did not have a clear set of steps for the Canonization of saints yet.

The Life of Saint Francis of Assisi

1181 - 1226

St. Francis is one of the few saints to have received the stigmata. The stigmata is the miraculous gifting of the wounds of Jesus coming from the crucifixion. St. Francis had several writings to his name. St. Francis was well known for his love of all animals, and the creation of God in general. Many of Francis’ miracles involved his speaking and even preaching to animals. Francis founded his own order as well as starting the practice of a Nativity scene around Christmas. Francis primarily traveled around as a preacher and evangelizer. His largest and greatest accomplishment would be his spreading of the word of God as a deacon.

The Life of Saint Anthony of Padua

1195 - 1231

Saint Anthony became a member of religious life at the age of fifteen when he entered the Abbey of Santa Cruz. Anthony left the Abbey to join the Franciscan order. He stayed in the order for the rest of his life. While in the order, Anthony became friends with Francis, the orders founder, and was known for his speaking ability.

The Life of Saint Thomas Aquinas

1226 - 1274

Thomas Aquinas is one of the 36 doctors of the church. As one of the doctors his main contribution to the church is his great number of writings. Thomas' most famous work is the Summa Theologiae.

Saint Francis of Assisi's Canonization Date

July 12, 1228

Francis of Assisi was officially named a saint on this day.

Saint Anthony of Padua's Canonization Date

1232

Anthony of Padua was named a saint officially on this day.

The Life of Saint Teresa of Avila

March 28, 1515 - October 4, 1582

Teresa of Avila founded many convents. She founded the convents on the foundation that spiritual life was an attitude of love. Her foundation of her convents was a reform since the previous convent she was at was full of gossip and the love of worldly things. Teresa of Avila is a doctor of the Church. She earned her title by writing about her life and her teaching on prayer.

Saint Teresa of Avila's Canonization Date

March 12, 1622

Teresa of Avila was declared a saint on this day.

The Life of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha

1656 - April 17, 1680

Kateri was the first Native American to be recognized as a saint by the Catholic Church. She was a very devout woman who consantly prayed for the conversion of her people, the Mohawks. Eventually her people became to suspect sorcery, which caused her to flee to a Christian community. Kateri continued her devotion to God in the community until her death.

The Life of Saint Katharine Drexel

November 26, 1858 - March 3, 1955

Katharine Drexel was a wealthy heiress who gave up her wealth to the poor and needy. She founded Xavier University in New Orleans. Xavier is the first Catholic University for African-Americans. When she died, she had more than 500 Sisters teaching in schools and she established 50 missions for Native Americans.

Saint Katharine Drexel's Canonization Date

October 1, 2000

Katharine Drexel was officially named as a saint on this day.

Saint Kateri Tekakwitha's Canonization Date

October 12, 2012

October 12, 2012 is the date at which Kateri had finally gone through the steps of the Canonization process. Kateri was officially named as a saint.