The Catholic Church has a very rich and fascinating history...... Unfortunately many Catholics and Non-Catholics are unaware of this history. Many non-catholics have been taught many incorrect "historical facts" about the Catholic Church, all of which can be proven false. Many non-catholics have converted to the Catholic Church once they had become aware of the real historical truths found in it's history. The Catholic Church is the only Church that can historically prove that it contains the fullness of faith which was handed down by Jesus Christ through the Apostles themselves. One of the most well known converts (from the Anglican Church) was Cardinal Henry John Newman who once stated "To become deep in history is to cease to be Protestant." As Catholics we should be very proud of our history and we should always try to respectfully correct any misconceptions that people have about our beloved Church.
15 Marks of the Church
by St. Robert Bellarmine,1542-1621, Doctor of the
Church and Cardinal...
1. The Church's Name, Catholic, universal, and world wide, and not confined to any particular nation or people.
2. Antiquity, in tracing her ancestry directly to Jesus Christ.
3. Constant Duration, in lasting substantially unchanged for so many centuries.
4. Extensiveness, in the number of her loyal members.
5. Episcopal Succession, of her Bishops from the first
Apostles at the Last Supper to the present hierarchy.
6. Doctrinal Agreement, of her doctrine with the teaching of
the ancient Church.
7. Union, of her members among themselves, and with their visible head, the Roman Pontiff.
8. Holiness, of doctrine in reflecting the sanctity of GOD.
9. Efficacy, of doctrine in its power to sanctify believers, and inspire them to great moral achievement.
10. Holiness of Life, of the Church's representative writers and defenders.
11. The glory of Miracles, worked in the Church and under the Church's auspices.
12. The gift of Prophesy found among the Church's saints and
13. The Opposition that the Church arouses among those who attack her on the very grounds that Christ was opposed by
14. The Unhappy End, of those who fight against her.
15. The Temporal Peace and Earthly Happiness of those who live by the Church's teaching and defend her interests.
"I believe in One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church"
Saint Justin Martyr
Saint Justin Martyr was a Christian apologist, born at Flavia Neapolis, about A.D. 100. He converted to Christianity in A.D. 130 and taught and defended the Christian religion in Asia Minor and at Rome, where he suffered martyrdom about the year 165. In his work titled “First Apology” which was addressed to the Roman Emperor, he defended the beliefs of the early Church and explained what happened during Christian worship. During the Early Church, Christians were persecuted by the Romans and accused of practicing cannibalism because they ate and drank of the Body and Blood of Christ. Saint Justin Martyr, in his “First Apology” explains to the Roman Emperor the practices of the Church, specifically the Holy Sacrifice of Mass. This early church writing gives interesting insight to the early practices of the Catholic Church. It’s also important to note that this early writing clearly shows that the early Church believed that the Eucharist was the real Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, just as the Catholic Church teaches and believes today.
From Saint Justin Martyr's "First Apology - Ch 66"
Of the Eucharist And this food is called among us the Eucharist, of which no one is allowed to partake but the man who believes that the things which we teach are true, and who has been washed with the washing that is for the remission of sins, and unto regeneration, and who is so living as Christ has enjoined. For not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Saviour, having been made flesh by the Word of God, had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word, and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh. For the apostles, in the memoirs composed by them, which are called Gospels, have thus delivered unto us what was enjoined upon them; that Jesus took bread, and when He had given thanks, said, “This do in remembrance of Me, Luke 22:19 this is My body;” and that, after the same manner, having taken the cup and given thanks, He said, “This is My blood;” and gave it to them alone. Which the wicked devils have imitated in the mysteries of Mithras, commanding the same thing to be done. For, that bread and a cup of water are placed with certain incantations in the mystic rites of one who is being initiated, you either know or can learn
St. Ignatius of Antioch
An Apostolic Father of the Church, and the Bishop of Antioch, St. Ignatius wrote a letter to the Smyrneans as he was being taken in chains to Rome to be martyred. It is believed that in this letter, the words Catholic Church, were used for the first time.
"Where the bishop appears, there let the people be, just as where Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church".