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The following is a capsule summary of the top 25 events in the History of Christianity, events which shaped the Church itself, Western Christian civilization, and the modern world.
The point of origin and central figure of the Christian faith is our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, Son of God. The life of Jesus is best described in the Four Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, while his teachings are presented by all the writers of the New Testament of the Bible.
Jesus performs many miracles, demonstrating his power over nature and spirits, and thus confirming that the Kingdom of God is at hand (Mark 1:15). His public ministry lasted about three years, prior to his Passion, Crucifixion, Resurrection, and Ascension.
Christ Jesus is the fulfillment of salvation history and the mediator and fullness of all revelation. Prior to his Ascension, Jesus commissioned his disciples to be his witnesses to the ends of the earth, as noted in the Acts of the Apostles 1:8. To the question of Jesus, "Who do you say that I am?", it was Peter the fisherman that answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God" (Matthew 16:15-16). Heeding the message of Jesus Christ to Go therefore and make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19-20), the Apostles traveled to all parts of the known world to spread Christianity. The early Christian Church was faced with spreading the teachings of Jesus Christ and the Apostles throughout the Roman Empire, often during a time of martyrdom and intense persecution. Traditions in the Early Christian Church included the Memorial of the Last Supper - the Mass or Divine Liturgy with the celebration of the Eucharist, on Sunday the Lord's Day (Revelation 1:10), and Prayer, such as the Lord's Prayer and the Apostles' Creed, a profession of faith during Baptism. The Apostolic Fathers were a group of early Christian writers who knew one of the Apostles and lived about 75-150 AD, and sought to define, organize, and defend the faith, such as Ignatius of Antioch, Clement of Rome, Polycarp of Smyrna, and the author(s) of the Didache. Ignatius of Antioch would not worship the Emperor Trajan, and thus was placed in chains and martyred in Rome when thrown to the lions in the Coliseum. Christians were severely persecuted through three centuries of the Roman Empire, especially at the hands of Nero (64 AD), Trajan (98-117), right up to Diocletian (284-305).
Welcome relief from Christian martyrdom came with the Edict of Milan in 313, through which Constantine and Licinius, the Emperor of the East, granted Christianity complete religious tolerance. A dispute concerning the relation of the Father and the Son arose in the East, known as the Arian controversy. In keeping with the custom of the time, Constantine was baptized just prior to his death in 337.
There were three stages in the formation of the Gospels: the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, the oral tradition of the Apostles, and the written word. The Canon of the New Testament was formed within the early Christian community, the Church. As the Greek Septuagint was the accepted version of the Old Testament for Christianity at that time, Jerome translated 46 books that were affirmed as Old Testament canon at the Councils of Hippo (393) and Carthage (397). He obtained a post as master of rhetoric in Milan, accompanied by an unnamed woman and child Adeodatus, born out of wedlock in 372. Both his mother and son died soon afterwards and he returned in 388 to his home in Tagaste. Augustine was one of the most prolific writers in history, and his writings show an evolution of thought and at times a reversal of ideas, as seen in his Retractations. Perhaps one of his greatest works was The City of God, which took 13 years to complete, from 413 to 426.
A tension in Church leadership between Papal primacy and Collegiality of the Bishops was developing over theological questions. The Council of Ephesus, the Third Ecumenical Council, in 431 recognized Mary as Theotokos or Mother of God, which was intrinsic to the human nature of Christ. The practice of leaving the ambitions of daily life and retreating to the solitude of the desert was seen throughout Palestine, Syria, and Egypt, St. The fall of the Roman Empire to the barbarian invasions left European civilization in disarray, for the social structure under one ruler in Rome was destroyed. The Carolingian Empire effectively began with Charles Martel, the Mayor of the Palace under the Merovingian Franks. Charles, known as Charlemagne (742-814), took over all of Gaul upon the death of his brother in 771, and soon conquered most of mainland Europe.
The Byzantine Empire of the East, with its capital in Constantinople, flourished for a thousand years. The writings of the Greek Fathers of the Church such as Saints Basil, John Chrysostom, and Maximus the Confessor influenced the spiritual formation of early Christianity.
Kiev was once the capital of the country of Kievan Rus, which comprised the modern nations of Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus. One of the most tragic events in Church history has been the Schism of 1054 between what is now the Catholic Church in Rome and the Byzantine Orthodox Church in Constantinople. What began as a diplomatic effort between Pope Leo IX of Rome and the Byzantine Patriarch Michael Cerularius of Constantinople ended in disaster. The five Patriarchates held seven ecumenical Councils that defined theological beliefs on the Trinity and Jesus Christ, all of which were accepted by Rome and Constantinople. This difference in perception of Church authority produced the conflict over the addition of the word filioque - and the Son - to the Nicene Creed by the Roman Catholic Church.
Many of the Christian Churches of Eastern Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean, except the Maronites and the Italo-Albanians, joined the Byzantine or Greek Orthodox Church of Constantinople. Catholic Spain was the first European territory to suffer Islamic invasion in 711 when the Berber general Ibn Tariq conquered nearly all of Spain except the northern rim.
Spain was troubled in 997 when the Moor Almanzor usurped the power of the Caliphate and sacked the city and Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in the northwest tip of Spain, but spared the tomb of St. Pope Urban II, in one of history's most powerful speeches, launched 200 years of the Crusades at the Council of Clermont, France on November 27, 1095 with this impassioned plea.
Led by the papal legate Bishop Adhemar of Le Puy, the only successful Crusade (of eight major efforts) was the First, when the Crusaders freed Jerusalem on July 15, 1099.
The four Crusader states eventually collapsed; the surrender of Acre in 1291 ended 192 years of formal Christian rule in the Holy Land. The universities in Europe began as guilds of scholars, which first attracted members of the clergy and were supported financially by the Church. One of the greatest contributions by Thomas was his incorporation of the philosophy of Aristotle into the theology of the Catholic Church. Christian humanism, a rejoicing in man's achievements and capabilities reflecting the greater glory of God, had its beginning with the Divine Comedy, published in 1320 by Dante Alighieri. The Protestant Reformation resulted from the failure of the Catholic Church to reform itself in time. The dark side of the thirteenth through fifteenth centuries witnessed the errant Fourth Crusade to Constantinople in 1204, the Albigensian Crusade against the Cathari in 1209, and the beginning of the Inquisition which became severely punitive.
The Papacy suffered a great loss of respect during the Avignon Papacy (1305-1378) and especially during the Papal Schism (1378-1417), when two and at one point three men declared themselves Pope and opposed each other. The lack of Church funds led to even further corruption, including simony and the selling of indulgences. The unity of Tradition and Scripture went unchallenged through the Patristic Age and thirteenth century scholasticists such as St. The rise of Nationalism led to the end of Christendom, for countries resented any effort to support Rome, especially in its dismal state.
The stage was set for the reform-minded Martin Luther (1483-1546), the Augustinian monk of Wittenberg, Germany.


But the intransigence of the Church and poor handling of the situation by the Pope and Curia only worsened matters, such that a break was inevitable. In 1520 Luther published three documents which laid down the fundamental principles of the Reformation. Huldrich Zwingli of Zurich, Switzerland was next, and he broke with Luther over the Eucharist, but his sect died out. King Henry VIII wrote a defense of the seven sacraments, but when refused an annulment from Catherine of Aragon, he had himself declared Supreme Head of the Church of England. The four appearances of Our Lady of Guadalupe to the Aztec Indian Juan Diego December 9-12 of 1531 generated the conversion of Mexico and Latin America to Catholicism.
On December 12, 1531, Juan Diego was obedient to the Blessed Virgin Mary's instruction to gather beautiful roses in his tilma and take them to the Franciscan Bishop Don Fray Juan de Zumarraga on his third visit to appeal for the building of a Church as requested by Our Lady. The Bishop fell on his knees in adoration before the tilma, as well as everyone else in the room. Spanish conquistadors may have conquered the Aztecs in 1521, but their ruthless behavior antagonized the people and conversions were few.
Our Lady of Guadalupe conveyed the beautiful message of Christianity: the true God sacrificed himself for mankind, instead of the horrendous life they had endured sacrificing thousands of humans to appease the frightful gods! Indeed, the Blessed Virgin Mary entered the very soul of Central America and became an inextricable part of Mexican life and a central figure to the history of Mexico itself.
The Catholic Church reformed itself both through the positive work of renewal and through the impetus of the Protestant Reformation. Discipline involved strict reform and the establishment of the seminary system for the proper and uniform training of priests. The Council of Trent marked an important turning point for the Catholic Church, for it provided clarity on the beliefs of the Church, and ecclesiastical discipline was restored.
The Catholic Reformation coincided with the wave of exploration to the New World and the Far East. The Jesuits were also noted for early missionary efforts to North America, such as Father Andrew White, who accompanied the Calverts to Maryland in 1634, Isaac Jogues to Quebec in 1636, and Jacques Marquette to Michigan in 1668. The history of the English Bible is intimately intertwined with the history of the Reformation. King James as head of the Church of England commissioned a group of bishops and scholars to establish an authoritative translation of the Bible from the original languages into English in 1604. The period from 1650 through the eighteenth century was known as the Age of Enlightenment in Europe. Whereas Christendom provided one message to European society, the pluralism of religions provided different answers to questions about life and led to skepticism and conflict rather than unanimous thought. Mankind was left without its mooring, and philosophers set out in different directions to provide meaning for humanity. The Age of Enlightenment proposed that reason and science would bring an "enlightened" world.
Intellectual dryness and doctrinal religions prevalent during the Enlightenment Era led to a spiritual revival throughout Western Christian civilization, as seen with Pietism in Germany, Methodism in England and America, and the Great Awakening in the United States.
Philipp Jakob Spener of Germany wrote Pia Desideria in 1675 and spoke of a theology of the heart, placing emphasis on inner devotion and Christian living, and inspired the Pietist movement.
John Wesley (1703-1791) and his brother Charles (1707-1788) provided light for Christianity during the Enlightenment. Accompanying James Oglethorpe to Savannah, Georgia in 1735 for a missionary trip, the brothers traveled aboard ship with the Moravians, and were moved by their piety and inner peace. George Whitefield made seven trips to America beginning in 1738 and was one of the most powerful evangelists ever.
Revival during the Enlightenment Era fulfilled the human need for spiritual experience through Jesus Christ. The independence movement in the American colonies sparked an outcry for freedom of religion, such that Christianity flourished in the newly-formed United States of America.
Every taxable resident was required to support the state established Church, no matter what their faith! Two days after Thomas Jefferson wrote his highly quoted but out-of-context expression "wall of separation between Church and State" to the Danbury Baptists, he appeared on January 3, 1802 in the House of Representatives to hear the Baptist preacher John Leland lead an evangelical service on public property. Conversions by Evangelical Protestants and other Christian faiths provided the moral fabric for the new American nation after the Revolutionary War. It was left to the unlikely figure of President Abraham Lincoln to recognize the Christian culture of our Nation. An 1892 conservative Supreme Court that respected the free exercise of religion and our Christian heritage declared in Church of the Holy Trinity v. Charismatic renewal in the Holy Spirit was emphasized in the Holiness revival among the Methodists and led to the Pentecostal movement of Charles Fox Parham at Bethel Bible College in Topeka, Kansas in 1901 and William Seymour and the Azusa Street Revival in Los Angeles in 1906.
The American Declaration of Independence of July 4, 1776 read all men are created equal, but slavery persisted. The non-violent religious movement of the 1950s and 1960s emerged as the civil rights movement in the USA, which finally afforded racial equality for African-Americans, one hundred years after the Emancipation Proclamation!
This effort towards unity accelerated the original call for Christian unity by the Protestant World Missionary Conference of Edinburgh in 1910, which recognized the lack of Christian unity proved to be a grave impediment to bringing non-Christians into the Church. The Second Vatican Council literally "reset the course" for the Catholic Church, a Church which had been described by some as a fortress Church embattled during the Enlightenment and the Modernist era. 1) The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium, authorized the Mass to be said in the native language, allowing the liturgy to be intelligible to the layman and helping secure their participation to the fullest. 2) The Dogmatic Constitution of the Church, Lumen Gentium, shifted the emphasis of the Church away from its pyramidal structure to the vision of the whole People of God. 3) The Constitution on Divine Revelation, Dei Verbum, reaffirmed the historicity of the Gospels and that Scripture and Tradition form one deposit of faith. 4) The Pastoral Constitution of the Church in the Modern World, Gaudium et Spes, called for dialogue with the modern secular world. 5) The Decree on Eastern Catholic Churches had a dramatic impact on the growth and viability of the Eastern Catholic Churches. 6) The Declaration on Religious Liberty recognized that the human person has a right to religious freedom. 7) The greatest fruit of the Second Vatican Council was the exceptional Papacy of John Paul II, who integrated the vision of Vatican II into the life of his Papacy. He became a symbol of hope to the young with his inauguration of International World Youth Day in 1987.
A persistent theme in his fourteen encyclicals was the dignity of the human person in the light of Christ, and the goal for humanity to become a civilization of love. Pope John Paul II was truly the moral and spiritual leader of the entire world, as one can appreciate by the worldwide outpouring of love on his death April 2, 2005. Welcome Friend Live Life Happy is one of the most important quotes site you will ever visit. If negative thoughts dominate the mind, your words and actions will become your worst enemy; when positive thoughts dominate, words and actions become your best friend! Andrew, Peter's brother, was the first to be called to follow Jesus, and is called by the Byzantine Church the Protoclete, meaning the first called. Jerome (345-420) was born in Dalmatia and became a highly educated linguist in Greek and Latin.
Jerome translated from both Greek and Hebrew manuscripts of the Old Testament and noted the difference between the larger canon of the Greek Septuagint and the shorter Hebrew canon, and called those books comprising the difference the "hidden or secret books," or the Apocrypha.


Augustine (354-430 AD) was the greatest of the Latin Fathers of the Church and a foundational figure to Western Christian civilization.
His Scriptural essays on Genesis and Psalms remain starting points for modern Biblical scholars. The preservation of culture and the conversion of the barbarians to Christianity was left to an unlikely group: the monastics of Europe. Patrick as Apostle to Ireland founded the monastery of Armagh in 444 and other monasteries throughout Ireland.
Benedict (480-547) was born in Nursia of nobility but chose a life of solitude in Subiaco outside of Rome.
The Emperor Theodosius the Great proclaimed Christianity as the official state religion of the Roman Empire in 380. James in a Field of Light in Galicia supported the Catholic heritage of Spain, and a church was built at the pilgrimage site of Santiago de Compostela by Asturian King Alfonso II (791-842). In a rare public session in an open field, he urged the knights and noblemen to win back the Holy Land, to face their sins, and called upon those present to save their souls and become Soldiers of Christ.
Thomas saw reason and faith as one and mutually supportive, and combined the Bible and Church Fathers and the reasoning of Aristotle into one unified system of understanding Christian revelation through faith enlightened by reason. For on the tilma was the image of the Blessed Virgin Mary, just as described by Juan Diego, and is still preserved today in original condition in Tepeyac on the outskirts of Mexico City. It is no wonder that over the next seven years, from 1531 to 1538, eight million natives of Mexico converted to Catholicism! Francis Xavier (1506-1552) exemplified the missionary movement, and has been recognized as second only to the Apostle Paul in his evangelical efforts. The time had come when men would set aside religious views and look to reason and social experience to guide society.
Copernicus (1473-1543) proposed the sun is the center of the solar system and the earth revolved around the sun. Kennedy announced on nationwide television on June 11, 1963 that he would submit Civil Rights legislation the following week.
John XXIII was welcomed with open arms by all of Christianity, for the Pope called not only for an intense spiritual cultivation of the modern world, but also sought Christian unity. To coin the expression of Hans Urs von Balthazar in 1952, the time had come to raze the bastions of the Church. His first encyclical, The Redeemer of Man (1979), called the Church a "community of disciples" who follow Jesus Christ, "the center of the universe and of history." He completed his Trinitarian encyclicals with The Mercy of God the Father (1980), and On the Holy Spirit (1986). PEMF - The Fifth Element of Health: Learn Why Pulsed Electromagnetic Field (PEMF) Therapy Supercharges Your Health Like Nothing Else! Here you'll find powerful nuggets of wisdom to help keep you inspired throughout the day and week.
John Chrysostom, was a monk in the fourth century who left Antioch for the Orontes River to lead a life of holiness and prayer.
The Empire reached its zenith under Emperor Justinian, the author of the Justinian Code of Law, who ruled from 527 to 565.
He took the cathedral bells of the church as a memento of his victory and placed them in the great mosque of CA?rdoba. Those who took the vow for the pilgrimage were to wear the sign of the cross (croix in French): and so evolved the word croisade or Crusade. Galileo Galilei (1564-1642), the first to use a telescope, confirmed that Copernicus was right and was condemned by the Catholic Church.
Constitution and cousin of Charles Carroll, the only Catholic signer of the Declaration of Independence, became the first Catholic Bishop of Baltimore, a diocese which served the entire United States. Justinian built the beautiful Church of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople in 539, which became a center of religious thought. He received his doctorate in theology and taught at the University of Paris during the height of Christendom. Recalling the words of Gregory that Scripture transcends every science, " for in one and the same sentence, while it describes a fact, it reveals a mystery." In addition to the literal sense, Thomas described the three spiritual senses of Scripture, the allegorical, the truth revealed, the moral, the life commended, and the anagogical, the final goal to be achieved. Augustine, Florida became the first permanent European settlement in North America in 1565, from which missionaries spread Catholicism to the native American Indians. The Nicene Creed was expanded and finalized at the Council of Constantinople in 381 to include homoousios for the Holy Spirit as well, by quoting John 15:26, "the Holy Spirit who proceeds from the Father," to form the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed (still called the Nicene Creed). Peter was generally given a leadership role, as seen with Clement of Rome in his First Letter to the Corinthians in 96 AD.
Paul in his Letter to the Romans, led him to believe that salvation was obtained through justification by faith alone. The Dominican Bartholomew de Las Casas first went to the West Indies in 1502 as a soldier, but on viewing the horrendous enslavement of the native Indians through the Spanish encomienda system, was ordained as a Dominican priest in 1523, the first ordination in America.
The first Mass of Thanksgiving on North American soil was actually celebrated by the Spanish with the Timucuan Indians from Seloy village in attendance on September 8, 1565 in St. In fact, the Age of Enlightenment brought the French Revolution and the Reign of Terror (1789), Naziism, Communism, and the twentieth century, with its two World Wars, the bloodiest century in history.
Matthew relates ten Parables on the Kingdom of Heaven, seven of which occur in Chapter 13 and are central to his Gospel. The Apostles all gathered in Jerusalem (Acts 15) to discuss whether Gentiles who had been converted to Christianity had to observe all the ceremonial precepts of the Mosaic Law. John, the son of Zebedee and the brother of James, was the "one Jesus loved." He is called the Theologian for his mystical writings - the Gospel of John and three Letters. During his reign, Christianity became the guiding principle of the Carolingian Empire, as the Church established a powerful presence throughout Europe. Henry Hudson sailed for the Dutch East India Company and explored the river that bears his name in September of 1609; the Dutch Reformed Church was established in New Amsterdam after the Netherlands purchased Manhattan in 1626.
Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., the young and eloquent pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, was elected President of the Montgomery Improvement Association, which had begun the Montgomery Bus boycott. Please do link back to this site or credit us when reposting - as we work hard to curate and create our own content. Maron in 410, his disciples built a monastery in his memory, which would form the nucleus of the Eastern Catholic Maronite Church of Lebanon.
John of Damascus: since Jesus had a true humanity and his body was finite, it was only proper to venerate holy images of the human face of Jesus. Important writers at the time were Bonaventure, Duns Scotus, Albertus Magnus, and his student Thomas Aquinas, who became the greatest theologian and philosopher of the age.
Paul to the Romans 13:14, But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provisions for the desires of the flesh. Perhaps his most important was the widely read encyclical The Gospel of Life, published in 1995, in which he defended the sanctity of life and described the culture of death - the evil of abortion and euthanasia. Francis risked his life in the Fifth Crusade by calling directly upon the Sultan of Egypt in an effort to convert him and bring peace.



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