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Christians, the Soul of the World – Diognetus

This excerpt from the 2nd century Letter to Diognetus explains to pagan readers how the Church is in the world and not of it, and why this is a cause of persecution.  Christians, he explains, are to the world as the soul is to the...

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Martyrdom of St. Polycarp

An excerpt from the account of the Martyrdom of St. Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna on the West Coast of Asia Minor (now Turkey). He was apprehended by the Roman authorities when in his eighties, on February 23 around the year 155 AD. ...

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God’s Secret Plan in Christ – Letter to Diognetus

In this excerpt from a letter written AD 125, so appropriate for Advent, the anonymous author discusses the marvelous and secret plan of salvation culmination in the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. St. Paul calls this plan "the Mystery." The...

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Faith Confessed by Deeds – 2nd Century Homily

In this 2nd century homily, we see that there was no separation between faith and works in the early church. Rather, faith is confessed not only once, in the moment of baptism or justification, but continually through deeds....

2nd second century homily on the free gift & grace of salvation in Jesus Christ
The Gift of Salvation – 2nd Century Homily

This excerpt from an anonymous homily written in the 2nd Century AD extols the precious gift of salvation that comes to us as a grace, a free, undeserved gift from Christ Jesus. [dropcaps type='normal' font_size='100' color='' background_color='' border_color='']B[/dropcaps] rethren, we ought to regard Jesus Christ both...

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True Repentance of Sin – Second Century Homily

This excerpt from a homily written in the second century by an anonymous Early Church Father speaks of true and sincere repentance of sin. His insistence that we must "keep the seal of our baptism undefiled" shows that the "once saved, always saved" doctrine...

THE EPISTLE OF MATHETES (i.e. THE DISCIPLE) TO DIOGNETUS

The Letter to Diognetus, dating from approximately 125AD, is the earliest example we have of an "apology," a defense the Christian faith addressed to a non-Christian. This brief but wonderful document is so close to the time of the Apostles that it is reckoned as...