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Age of Persecution

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Martyrdom of Saints Perpetua and Felicitas

The Passion of Perpetua and Feliciy contains the prison diary of Vibia Perpetua a young woman martyred in Carthage in the third century AD. This is one of the only extant accounts from a Christian martyr shortly before execution and perhaps the earliest surviving Christian...

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Pedagogy of the Law – Irenaeus

Paul's concept of "pedagogy," further developed here by Irenaeus, holds that the whole period of the Old Testament with all its characters, events, and institutions, was a preparation for and foreshadowing of the fullness of revelation that was to come in Jesus Christ and his...

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Friends and Servants of God – Irenaeus

Irenaeus here comments on the famous line of John's Last Supper discourse in which Jesus tells us that he no longer calls us servants but friends.   Friendship with God and service to him leads to immortality. [dropcaps type='normal' font_size='100' color='' background_color='' border_color='']O[/dropcaps]ur Lord, the Word of...

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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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Baptism in Waters of Immortality – Hippolytus

[dropcaps type='normal' font_size='100' color='' background_color='' border_color='']T[/dropcaps]hat Jesus should come and be baptized by John is surely cause for amazement. To think of the infinite river that gladdens the city of God being bathed in a poor little stream of the eternal, the unfathomable fountainhead that...

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Born for us, Emmanuel – Irenaeus

Irenaeus, ca. AD 185, here writes of the incarnation, the Word of God born for us as Emmanuel, Jesus Christ, Son of Man, the sign of our salvation.  He comes to restore God's likeness in us and lead us to glory. [dropcaps type='normal' font_size='100' color='' background_color=''...

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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...