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Fathers

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Early Church Fathers Overview: Snapshot of the Fathers

In discussions of topics ranging from the Creed to the biblical canon, a certain group of people called the Early Church Fathers (a.k.a. Fathers of the Church) invariably are mentioned. Who are these people and what makes them so important in the history of...

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Whom Shall I Fear? – John Chrysostom

St. John Chrysostom proclaimed the Gospel fearlessly despite the jealousy and hatred directed at him by the supposedly Christian Empress and Imperial Court of Constantinople around AD 400. In the face of government threats he proclaims "If Christ is with me, whom shall I...

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St. Lawrence, Deacon & Martyr – Augustine

St. Lawrence (also rendered St. Laurence) was one of the seven deacons of the Church of Rome and was martyred under the Emperor Valerian on the 10th of August 258, four days after Pope Sixtus II and his companions. Little is known of the life...

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Jesus, the Only Way to God – Augustine

Augustine had sought God through an exotic Eastern cult and then through the best that Greco-Roman philosophy had to offer before he finally found Him through the Catholic Christianity that he had rejected as a teen. So he could proclaim from personal experience that Jesus...

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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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Mary, Mother of God?

January 1 is a Holy Day of Obligation for Catholics not because it is New Years, but because it is the octave (8th day) of Christmas, the feast of Mary the Mother of God. This feast helps bring home the reality of the incarnation, that...

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Santa Claus – How Do We Deal with Him?

Christmas, at least in the USA, is hard to imagine without Jolly ole Saint Nicholas, aka "Santa Claus."  Since some focus on him to the neglect of the Christ child, some propose that he be banished from an authentically Christian celebration of Christ's birth.  We...

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Rejoice in Hope – Augustine

St. Augustine explains how we can rejoice and even delight in something that we can’t yet see and don’t yet possess. In so doing, he helps us understand better the power of the theological virtue of hope....

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Death and Dying as Gain – Ambrose

Ambrose reflects on Paul's statement in Philippians 1:21 "to live is Christ, to die is gain." He sees dying as a road to life since through the death of Christ, we are redeemed. This passage is read annually on All Souls Day, November...