Category Archives: Early Church History

#283 – Te Deum

The Te Deum is one of the oldest and most important hymns of the Catholic Church. It has pride of place at the most important celebrations of the Church. Many composers have written their own versions of the hymn, including one composer whose Te Deum cost him his life. Links: The Te Deum in Latin […]

#267 – Sub Tuum Praesidium

The Sub Tuum Praesidium is the oldest prayer dedicated to the Mother of God we have. It is a prayer that continues to inspire the hearts of Christians today, just as it did over 1,750 years ago. Links: Extensive article on the Sub Tuum Praesidium Another article on the Sub Tuum Praesidium can be found […]

#264 – Alexamenos Worships God

The graffito blasfemo graphically represents the type of persecution that Christians faced in the Roman Empire. Scandalous at the time it was made, it now stands as a powerful testimony to the Christian faith. Links: Article on the Alexamenos graffito An interesting and informative talk on the image of the crucifixion in art Sources: Green, […]

#257 – Church and Empire

The incarnation of Christ greatly influenced our understanding of history. In turn, the development of history has greatly influenced our understanding of God’s activity in the world. Perhaps the clearest example of this was the relationship of Christianity and the Roman Empire. Links: Catholic audio lectures for the iPhone and Android Sources: Breisach, Ernst. Historiography: […]

Today in Catholic History – The death of Boethius

On 23 October 524, Anicius Manlius Severinus Bo√ęthius,commonly called Boethius, was executed by Ostrogoth king Theodoric the Great. Boethius is famous for his contributions to philosophy and theology, especially for his work The Consolation of Philosophy which stressed that despite the sufferings of this world that there was a higher power which guided all things […]

Today in Catholic History – The Martyrdom of St. Theodoret of Antioch

On 22 October 362, St. Theodoret of Antioch was martyred under the reign of Roman Emperor Julian the Apostate. Theodoret had refused to turn over the treasury of one of the Antiochean churches to the Roman authorities and was arrested. When Theodoret was brought before the Roman governor of Syria also named Julian, Theodoret condemned […]

Today in Catholic History – The Second Council of Nicaea

On 24 September 787, 350 clergy met in Nicea at what would become the Second Council of Nicea and the Seventh Ecumenical Council. The main objective of the council was to address the schism between East and West over Iconoclasm heresy. In 754, the Council of Hieria had condemned the veneration of icons but the […]

#245 – Praise God At All Times

From the earliest days of the Catholic Church, hymns sung in worship expressed the faith of Christians. Two of the earliest hymns the Phos Hilaron and the Oxyrhynchus Hymn show clearly the obligation that Christians had to offer praise to God and to express their thanksgiving in song. Links: Youtube video of the Phos Hilaron […]

Today in Catholic History – The Council of Agde

On 10 September 506, twenty four bishops, eight priests and two deacons met in council at the Basilica of St. Andrew at Agde in Languedoc under the leadership of St. Caesarius of Arles. In its 47 canons we can see the beginnings of the system of benefices [land given in return for service]. Other canons […]

Today in Catholic History – St. Cyprian is taken before the Roman proconsul

On 30 August 257, under the rule of Roman Emperor Valerian, St. Cyprian of Carthage was brought before the Roman proconsul Aspasius Paternus to defend his faith. As bishop of Carthage, Cyprian had strongly urged his fellow Christians to prepare for martyrdom in his De exhortatione martyrii. Before the proconsul, Cyprian will be ordered to […]


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