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Age of Persecution

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Tradition of the Apostles -Tertullian

Tertullian, one of the most important Christian writers of the late second and early third century, here explains why the church's apostolic foundation is so important.  The tradition of the apostles is our link to Christ and our guarantee of continuity and fidelity.  This excerpt...

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Eucharist as Pledge of Resurrection – Irenaeus

Written by St. Irenaeus about 185 AD, this excerpt makes clear the Church's realistic interpretation of the eucharist as the risen body of Christ which serves as the medicine of immortality, the pledge of our own future resurrection. The real presence of the body...

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Repentance & God’s Mercy – Ash Wednesday

This excerpt from St. Clement’s First Letter to the Corinthians on repentance, written around AD 95, urges us to repent, change our lives, seek God’s mercy & fix our attention on the blood of Jesus Christ. It is traditionally read on Ash Wednesday...

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Catholic and Apostolic Faith – Irenaeus

Here Irenaeus underlines the Catholicity of the Church with many cultures professing a single truth, a common tradition of catholic and apostolic faith going back to the apostles and their disciples. Though this was written about 185 AD, one can recognize here the outline of...

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I Am God’s Wheat – Ignatius of Antioch

An excerpt from the Letter of Ignatius of Antioch to the Romans, written while on his way to Rome to be martyred in the arena where he expects to become God's wheat, food for the wild beasts, a willing sacrifice with and for Jesus Christ....

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Letter to Pope Cornelius – Cyprian

An excerpt written to Cornelius, bishop of Rome condemned to exile and death for his faith, from his brother bishop Cyprian of Carthage, who was to be martyred a few years later. Read on the feasts of Sts. Cornelius and Cyprian on September 16....

Unity with the Bishop – Ignatius of Antioch

[dropcaps type='normal' font_size='100' color='' background_color='' border_color='']I[/dropcaps]t is right for you to give glory in every way to Jesus Christ who has given glory to you; you must be made holy in all things by being united in perfect obedience, in submission to the bishop and...

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Division, Unity & Brotherly Love – Clement

Clement of Rome here speaks out against schisms and division in the Church of Corinth at the end of the first century. He makes clear that every effort must be made to restore and preserve unity and brotherly love in the body of Christ....