Church History

Jesus' Resurrection and Ascension

The Resurrection of Jesus

33 AD

Jesus died in the early morning on Good Friday, but he did not stay dead. After three days Jesus truly rose from the dead, and ascended into Heaven. This event is very significant because if Jesus did not rise, He would not be the Son of God. There would be no Christmas, and Jesus would be viewed as a prophet, and not God's Son. Also, no souls could reach Heaven until Jesus was born, so without Him, there would be only be Purgatory and Hell, and no Heaven

The Ascension

33 Ad

The Ascension is very important in our Catholic faith. During the Ascension, Jesus raises Himself up to Heaven. The Apostles were puzzled with themselves before Jesus Ascended, but they continued to worship Him after He Ascended into Heaven. Jesus also opened the gates of Heaven, so all the good souls in Purgatory could get to Heaven

Events

Paul's Conversion

Approx. 35 AD

The conversion of Saul of Tarsus to Paul is very important. Saul was asking for permission to persecute and kill the Christians, when a he was blinded by a light. He heard the voice of Jesus saying, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me." Jesus told him to travel to Damascus, and he was blinded for three days, and did not eat or drink. There was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias. Ananias was scared to baptize Saul, but Jesus talked to him, and released him of his fear. Ananias baptized Saul, and he became Paul of Tarsus.

Paul Martyred in Rome

Approx. 65 AD

Paul was beheaded in Rome. He was very important to the Catholic faith. Paul started out as Saul of Tarsus, and was persecuting the Christians. He was converted to Christianity in c.35 AD, and in 30 years he had been a Christian missionary, gone on three missionary trips, and converted thousands to Christianity. Paul of Tarsus is a big role model in the Catholic faith.

Peter Martyred in Rome

Approx. 67 AD

Peter also played a big role in the Catholic faith like Paul. Peter was the leader of the twelve Apostles, and was the first pope that Jesus elected Himself. Peter lead the Church while preaching, spreading Jesus' ministry, and also dying for his faith. Peter never backed down from his religion, and went out and preached to the people. Peter is known for his great leadership and preaching.

Edict of Milan

313 AD

After the death of the last apostle, the Church was facing threats of being wiped out completely. This caused serious panic for the early Christians. The community formed together to create a system of authority based on bishop, canon, and creed. The Church also faced a greater threat of the powerful Romans. Rome usually was tolerant with other religions, but when they found out that Christianity wanted to be the main religion, they sought to persecute and kill the Christians. Emperor Nero implemented the first persecution in the year of 64. In the centuries to come, there would be nine more persecutions against the Christians. As the Church continued to grow, so did the cruelty of the Romans. In the battle of Constantinople and Maxentius in 312, Constantine had a vision of Christ. In this vision, Jesus told him to paint the shields of his soldiers with Christ’s monogram, the Greek letters chi and rho. Constantine won the battle, and dedicated the victory to Christ. Constantine went on to become the emperor of the west and a defender of Christianity. In the year 313, he met with Milan’s eastern half emperor. They agreed on a policy of complete religious tolerance. Christianity become the favored religion under Constantine, and the Church rose from the dust into the palaces of power.

Eastern and Western Schism

1054 AD

The Eastern and Western Schism divided Christianity into Western Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy. The East-West Schism was the result of a dispute of the papacy. This caused the Church to split along theological, doctrinal, linguistic, political, and geographical lines. This caused a lot of things to happen in the Church. First, the filioque clause was added into the Nicene Creed. Next, the designation of the Patriarch of Constantinople as the universal patriarch. Finally, the concept of Caesaropapism, which is possession of supreme authority by one person over state and church. The Eastern and Western Schism brought many things to the church.

The First 5 Popes

St. Peter (First Pope)

32 AD - 67 AD

Peter played a big role in the start of the Catholic faith. He was the first pope, and the leader of the Apostles. Peter was a great preacher of the Word, and he set a great example for how the rest of the Popes should act.

St. Linus (Second Pope)

67 AD - 76 AD

St. Linus is the second pope as mentioned in the Bible. He is mostly famous for being mentioned by St. Paul in the second letter to Timothy. St. Linus ended up dying for his faith, and being a good example of how we should not deny our faith.

St. Anacletus (Cletus) (Third Pope)

76 AD - 88 AD

St. Anacletus, often called Cletus, is the second successor to Peter as pope. He was a convert to Catholicism, and just as Linus, ended up being a martyr. He built a church for St. Peter at his burial site, because St. Peter was the reason for his conversion. St. Anacletus showed great courage and faith when he was pope.

St. Clement I (Fourth Pope)

88 AD - 97 AD

St. Clement I is often regarded as a disciple of St. Paul. St. Clement I is the first of the, "Apostolic Fathers." He did leave one genuine writing, a letter to the Church of Corinth, and he has many others attributed to him. St. Clement did not die a martyr, but he did leave a good example of how to live out the faith.

St. Evaristus (Fifth Pope)

97 AD - 105 AD

St. Evaristus is said to be the son of a Hellenic Jew of Bethlehem, and is a convert to the Catholic faith. He instituted the cardinal priests by splitting Christian Rome into seven parts, and assigning a priest to each. Cardinals are very important to the Catholic faith today, and St Evaristus is given credit to implementing them.

Gospels

The Gospel of Mark

Approx. 65 AD - Approx. 70 AD

Mark wrote his Gospel during the time of Emperor Nero's persecution against the Christians. Mark portrays Jesus as hurried, and always moving. He wrote his Gospel to the Gentiles. He wrote about a Jesus who was easy to connect to, so that the Gentiles could see that Jesus accepted them, even though they were not Jewish first.

The Gospel of Luke

Approx. 80 AD - Approx. 85 AD

Luke's Gospel was very personal to him. Luke was a Greek convert, and he wrote his Gospel to the Greek Gentiles about how to be a good Christian. Luke's Gospel is often given four titles: The Gospel of Women, The Gospel of the Holy Spirit, The Gospel of Universal Salvation, and The Gospel of Mercy and Forgiveness. Luke portrays women on par with men, and even with them. Luke gives the Holy Spirit more attention than the rest of the evangelists. Luke notes that Jesus' salvation is available to everyone. Jesus is lastly seen as a friend and an advocate for those who society ignores. Luke paints Jesus in many different ways.

The Gospel of Matthew

Approx. 80 AD

Matthew wrote his Gospel for all the Jews who converted to Christianity. Matthew's Gospel is about how Jesus is the Messiah that is written about in Hebrew Scripture. Matthew wanted to clear up who Jesus was, because a lot of the Jewish converts had doubts about if Jesus was really the Messiah. Jesus is the new Moses. What's different from Mark's Gospel is that Matthew is very interested in Jesus' origins, and he writes about Jesus' early life. Matthew really clears things up in his Gospel.

The Gospel of John

Approx. 90 AD

John portrays Jesus as a person of great nobility that deals with individuals. Jesus is also seen as a great teacher in John's Gospel. John wrote his Gospel for everyone, and he made Jesus' humanity undeniable, but he also made Jesus' divinity undeniable as well. Jesus is in control of everything, including his own death. John make everything true about Jesus undeniable in his Gospel

Councils

The Council of Jerusalem

Approx. 50 AD

The Council of Jerusalem was between some of the apostles and elders of the church. This debate was over the Gentiles, and if they could convert to Christianity. Paul and Barnabas were stating that if the Gentiles heard the Gospels and believed, they should also be allowed to receive the Holy Spirit, and be saved. This is very important because it paved the way for conversion into Catholicism.

Council of Nicea

325 AD

The Council of Nicea was the first of the Ecumenicial councils. It was brought together to address the true teaching of the Church opposed by the heresy of Arius. The Arians committed heresy when they said Jesus was divine, but He was slightly inferior to God. At the Council of Nicea, they sat down and said that the divinity of Jesus is to be one with the divinity of God. They also sat down and decided that Easter would always be celebrated on Sunday. The Nicene Creed was written and adopted to the Church. This council was very important because in the Church today, we still pray the Nicene Creed at Mass, and the teaching of Jesus’ divinity is still a belief in our faith today.

Council of Constantinople

381 AD

The Council of Constantinople was the second of the Ecumenicial councils. This council was brought together to address more heresies against the Church. This council restated that Jesus was fully human, and he was also fully divine. They also addressed the issue of the Holy Spirit. The council stated that the Holy Spirit was indeed a part of the Trinity, and that the Holy Spirit also influenced the Apostles at Pentecost. The Nicene Creed was also reworded, because some of the parts were controversial and problematic. This council cleared up beliefs that the Church still teaches today.

Council of Ephesus

431 AD

The Council of Ephesus was the third of the Ecumenicial councils. This council was called to address the heresy of the Nestorians. The Nestorians claimed that Mary is indeed the Mother of Christ, but she is not the Mother of God. This contradicted the conclusion of the Council of Nicea which stated that Jesus was fully divine, and He is God. Therefore, they came to the conclusion the Mary is the Mother of God, because she was the Mother of Jesus, and Jesus is God. This council was very important because it clears up the title that we should honor Mary with.

Council of Chalcedon

451 AD

The Council of Chalcedon was the fourth of the Ecumenicial councils. This council was called to address the heresy of the Monophysites. The Monophysites stated that Jesus was both fully divine and human, but His divinity replaced His human nature. The council resolved this heresy by restating that Jesus was both fully human and fully divine. Also, they came to the conclusion that Jesus’ two natures and two wills are in perfect unison with His one body. This council cleared up Jesus’ two natures.

Saints

Saint Paul The Apostle

Approx. 5 AD - Approx. 67 AD

Saint Paul the Apostle was born around 5 AD. He was born into the rise of the Roman Empire. His birth name given to him was Saul of Tarsus. Saul was actually a Roman Soldier himself. Saul hated the Christians. He heard about Christians gathering at Damascus, so he asked the high priest if he could slaughter them. The high priest granted Saul permission. “Now Saul, still breathing murderous threats against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, that, if he should find any men or women who belonged to the Way, he might bring them back to Jerusalem in chains,” (Acts 9:1-2). But on his way to Damascus, Saul was struck down from his horse and blinded by a light. He heard a voice saying, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me.” “On his journey, as he was nearing Damascus, a light from the sky suddenly flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’”(Acts 9:3-4). Saul was terrified and called back to the light. The light told Saul that He was Jesus, and that Saul should go into the city, and he would be told what to do. “He said, ‘Who are you, sir?’ The reply came, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. Now get up and go into the city and you will be told what you must do,’”(Acts 9: 5-6). When Saul got up from the ground, he could not see. His fellow soldiers had to leave him into the city. He was unable to see, drink, or eat for three days. “Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing; so they led him by the hand and brought him to Damascus. For three days he was unable to see, and he neither ate nor drank,” (Acts 9: 8-9). Saul ended up becoming Christian and being Baptized. His name was changed from Saul, to Paul. Saint Paul has set the foundation of the Catholic Church ever since. He wrote many letters to other groups to tell them about the Catholic Faith. He is sometimes called The Apostle of the Gentiles because he played a big role in allowing the Gentiles to become Christian at the Council of Jerusalem. He is the patron saint of missionaries, evangelists, writers, journalists, authors, public workers, rope and saddle makers, tent makers, etc. Some of his symbols are a beam of light, a sword, and a severed head. Saint Paul the Apostle was is a great role model of how to live our lives, and how we should preach the Gospel and the Word of God.