June – Christian Community Year Devotional

June – The Christian Church, Watering

June 1

Late Antiquity and Middle Ages

Late Antiquity Through the Middle Ages of the Christian Church Era

For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, If all of you have heard of the dispensation (stewardship) of the Grace of God which is given me toward you: How that by revelation He made known unto me the Mystery; as I wrote before in few words, Whereby, when all of you read, all of you may understand my knowledge in the Mystery of Christ Which in other Ages was not made known unto the Sons of Men, as it is now revealed unto His holy Apostles and prophets by the Spirit; That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ by the Gospel: Whereof I [Apostle Paul] was made a Minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of His power. ~ Ephesians 3:1-7

Late Antiquity is a periodization used by historians to describe the time of transition from Classical Antiquity to the Middle Ages, in both mainland Europe and the Mediterranean world. Precise boundaries for the period are a matter of debate, but historian Peter Brown proposed a period between the 2nd and 8th centuries. Generally, it can be thought of as from the end of the Roman Empire’s Crisis of the Third Century (235 – 284 AD) to the re-organization of the Eastern Roman Empire under Heraclius (610 – 641 AD).

Source: wiki.com

Continuing with the Middle Ages until the Protestant Reformation of 1517 AD.

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June 2

2nd Church Council – Antioch 264-269 AD

The Church Council of Antioch – Christological (is Jesus really God) Controversies

The Church Council of Antioch resolving the ongoing Christological (is Jesus really God) controversies 264-269 AD.

Beginning with three synods convened between 264 AD and 269 AD in the matter of Paul of Samosata, more than thirty councils were held in Antioch in ancient times. Most of these dealt with phases of the Arian and of the Christological controversies. For example, the Catholic Encyclopedia article on Paul of Samosata states: It must be regarded as certain that the council which condemned Paul rejected the term homoousios; but naturally only in a false sense used by Paul; not, it seems because he meant by it a unity of Hypostasis in the Trinity (so St. Hilary), but because he intended by it a common substance out of which both Father and Son proceeded, or which it divided between them, – so St. Basil and St. Athanasius; but the question is not clear. The objectors to the Nicene doctrine in the fourth century made copious use of this disapproval of the Nicene word by a famous council.

The most celebrated took place in the summer of 341 AD at the dedication of the golden Basilica, and is therefore called in encaeniis, in dedicatione. Nearly a hundred bishops were present, all from the Orient, but the bishop of Rome was not represented. The emperor Constantius attended in person.

The council approved three creeds. Whether or not the so-called “fourth formula” is to be ascribed to a continuation of this synod or to a subsequent but distinct assembly of the same year, its aim is like that of the first three; while repudiating certain Arian formulas it avoids the orthodox term “homoousios,” fiercely advocated by Athanasius and accepted by the First Council of Nicaea. The somewhat colorless compromise doubtless proceeded from the party of Eusebius of Nicomedia, and proved not unacceptable to the more nearly orthodox members of the synod.

The twenty-five canons adopted regulate the so-called metropolitan constitution of the church. Ecclesiastical power is vested chiefly in the metropolitan (later called archbishop), and the semi-annual provincial synod (cf. Nicaea, canon 5), which he summons and over which he presides. Consequently the powers of country bishops (chorepiscopi) are curtailed, and direct recourse to the emperor is forbidden. The sentence of one judicatory is to be respected by other judicatories of equal rank; re-trial may take place only before that authority to whom appeal regularly lies. Without due invitation, a bishop may not ordain, or in any other way interfere with affairs lying outside his proper territory; nor may he appoint his own successor. Penalties are set on the refusal to celebrate Easter in accordance with the Nicene decree, as well as on leaving a church before the service of the Eucharist is completed.

The numerous objections made by eminent scholars in past centuries to the ascription of these twenty-five canons to the synod in encaeniis have been elaborately stated and probably refuted by Hefele. The canons formed part of the Codex canonum used at Chalcedon in 451 AD and passed over into the later collections of East and West

Note: the enormous success of the Church Council in Antioch so completely educated the Church Clergy and common Church laity that the heretic fringe [i.e. Desert Monks, hermits] rather than dispute with the clergy and laity chose instead the option of fleeing into the desert in order to preserve their heretical teachings while waiting for assistance from Rome to provide them the legal protection that they would need in order to further infiltrate the Christian Church. The legal protection came in 313 AD (Edict of Milan) from Emperor Constantine and with it the heretical desert Monks then proceeded back into society to infiltrate the Church. At first achieving only minimal success in infiltrating the Church with their strange and heretical doctrines forcing the Desert Monks to seek more success in infiltrating the ecclesiastical educational system. Later with the wide acceptance of the writings and teachings of the Dominican Monk Thomas Aquinas (1225 – 1274 AD) the Christian Church would become almost completely infiltrated with heretical [Emergent; Gnostic, worldly and occult] philosophies and doctrines.

Source: wiki.com

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June 3

Desert Fathers

Anthony the Great launches the Desert Monk Monastic Movement in about 270 AD

Paul of Thebes is often credited with being the first hermit monk to go to the desert, but it was Anthony the Great who launched the movement that became the Desert Fathers. Sometime around 270 AD, Anthony heard a Sunday sermon stating that perfection could be achieved by selling all of one’s possessions, giving the proceeds to the poor, and following Christ.(Matt. 19.21) He followed the advice and made the further step of moving deep into the desert to seek complete solitude.

The Desert Fathers (there were also Desert Mothers) were Christian hermits, ascetics, and monks who lived mainly in the Scetes desert of Egypt beginning around the third century AD. The Apophthegmata Patrum is a collection of the wisdom of some of the early desert monks and nuns, still in print as Sayings of the Desert Fathers. The most well known was Anthony the Great, who moved to the desert in 270-271 and became known as both the father and founder of desert monasticism. By the time Anthony died in 356, thousands of monks and nuns had been drawn to living in the desert following Anthony’s example – his biographer, Athanasius of Alexandria, wrote that “the desert had become a city.” The Desert Fathers had a major influence on the development of Christianity.

The desert monastic communities that grew out of the informal gathering of hermit monks became the model for Christian monasticism. The eastern monastic tradition at Mt. Athos and the western Rule of St. Benedict both were strongly influenced by the traditions that began in the desert. All of the monastic revivals of the Middle Ages looked to the desert for inspiration and guidance. Much of Eastern Christian spirituality, including the Hesychast movement, had its roots in the practices of the Desert Fathers. Even religious renewals such as the German evangelicals and Pietists in Pennsylvania, the Devotio Moderna movement, and the Methodist Revival in England are seen by modern scholars as being influenced by the Desert Fathers.

Source: wiki.com

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June 4

Desert Monks of Sinai, Egypt

The Ancient Desert Monks of Sinai, Egypt

The small communities forming around the Desert Fathers were the beginning of Christian monasticism. Initially Anthony and others lived as hermits, sometimes forming groups of two or three. Small informal communities began developing, until the monk Pachomius, seeing the need for a more formal structure, established a monastery with rules and organization. His regulations included discipline, obedience, manual labor, silence, fasting, and long periods of prayer – some historians view the rules as being inspired by Pachomius’ experiences as a Roman soldier.

The first fully organized monastery under Pachomius included men and women living in separate quarters, up to three in a room. They supported themselves by weaving cloth and baskets, along with other tasks. Each new monk or nun had a three year probationary period, concluding with admittance in full standing to the monastery. All property was held communally, meals were eaten together and in silence, twice a week they fasted, and they wore simple peasant clothing with a hood. Several times a day they came together for prayer and readings, and each person was expected to spend time alone meditating on the scriptures. Programs were created for educating those who came to the monastery unable to read.

Pachomius also formalized the establishment of an abba (father) or amma (mother) in charge of the spiritual welfare of their monks and nuns, with the implication that those joining the monastery were also joining a new family. Members also formed smaller groups, with different tasks in the community and the responsibility of looking after each other’s welfare. The new approach grew to the point that there were tens of thousands of monks and nuns in these organized communities within decades of Pachomius’ death. One of the early pilgrims to the desert was Basil of Caesarea, who took the Rule of Pachomius into the eastern church. Basil expanded the idea of community by integrating the monks and nuns into the wider public community, with the monks and nuns under the authority of a bishop and serving the poor and needy.

As more pilgrims began visiting the monks in the desert, the early literature coming from the monastic communities began spreading. Latin versions of the original Greek stories and sayings of the Desert Fathers, along with the earliest monastic rules coming out of the desert, guided the early monastic development in the Byzantine world and eventually in the western Christian world. The Rule of Saint Benedict was strongly influenced by the Desert Fathers, with Saint Benedict urging his monks to read the writings of John Cassian on the Desert Fathers. The Sayings of the Desert Fathers was also widely read in the early Benedictine monasteries.

Heretical, Non-Theological Teachings of the Desert Monks

“A hermit said, ‘Take care to be silent. Empty your mind [spiritually dangerous]. Attend to your meditation in the fear of God, whether you are resting or at work. If you do this, you will not fear the attacks of the demons.”

Abba (father) Moses, “Sit in thy cell and thy cell will teach thee all.”

“Somebody asked Anthony, ‘What shall I do in order to please God?’ He replied, ‘Do what I tell you, which is this: wherever you go, keep God in mind; whatever you do, follow the example of Holy Scripture; wherever you are, stay there and do not move away in a hurry. If you keep to these guide-lines, you will be saved.'”

“He (Evagrius) also said, ‘A monk was told that his father had died. He said to the messenger, ‘Do not blaspheme. My Father cannot die.'”

Abbot Pastor, “If someone does evil to you, you should do good to him, so that by your good work you may drive out his malice.”

An Elder, “A man who keeps death before his eyes will at all times overcome his cowardliness.”

Blessed Macarius said, “This is the truth, if a monk regards contempt as praise, poverty as riches, and hunger as a feast, he will never die.”

“It happened that as Abba Arsenius was sitting in his cell that he was harassed by demons. His servants, on their return, stood outside his cell and heard him praying to God in these words, ‘O God, do not leave me. I have done nothing good in your sight, but according to your goodness, let me now make a beginning of good.'”

When one desert father told another of his plans to “ shut himself into his cell and refuse the face of men, that he might perfect himself,” the second monk replied, “Unless thou first amend thy life going to and fro amongst men, thou shall not avail to amend it dwelling alone.”

Source: wiki.com

Note: it should be noted that the ancient desert hermits and monks, possibly knowingly, sought their “Desert” experience in the wrong desert. The hermits in error went into the desert of Egypt instead of the desert of Arabia where the actual Biblical Exodus and Desert wandering regarding the Children of Israel took place.

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June 5

Cyprian Bishop of Carthage 248-258 AD

Moving from the Early Apostolic Church to the Modern Institutional Church

Recap — Cyprian was Bishop of Carthage during the development of a lot of the Early Church doctrines and pseudo doctrines and particularly church customs, i.e. church and salvation are found in a building.

His most important work is his “De unitate ecclesiae.” In it, he states: “He can no longer have God for his Father who has not the Church for his mother; . . . he who gathereth elsewhere than in the Church scatters the Church of Christ” (vi.); “nor is there any other home to believers but the one Church” (ix.).

Cyprian Bishop of Carthage

Cyprian was born sometime in the early third century. He was a leading member of legal fraternity in Carthage, He was well into middle age when he was converted to Christianity and baptised. The site of his eventual martyrdom was his own villa. Before becoming a Christian, he was an orator, “pleader in the courts”, and a teacher of rhetoric. The date of his conversion is unknown, but after his baptism about 245-248 he gave away a portion of his wealth to the poor of Carthage, as befitted a man of his status.

His original name was Thascius; he took the additional name Caecilius in memory of the presbyter to whom he owed his conversion. In the early days of his conversion he wrote an Epistola ad Donatum de gratia Dei and the Testimoniorum Libri III that adhere closely to the models of Tertullian, who influenced his style and thinking.

Cyprian (200 AD – September 14, 258 AD) was Bishop of Carthage and an important Early Christian writer, many of whose Latin works are extant [remain currently in existence]. He was born around the beginning of the 3rd century in North Africa, perhaps at Carthage, where he received a classical education. After converting to Christianity, he became a bishop in 249 AD and eventually died a martyr at Carthage.

Not long after his baptism he was ordained deacon, and soon afterward presbyter; and sometime between July 248 and April 249 AD he was chosen bishop of Carthage, a popular choice among the poor who remembered his patronage as demonstrating good equestrian style, while a portion of the presbytery opposed it, for all Cyprian’s wealth and learning and diplomacy and literary talents. Moreover, the opposition within the church community at Carthage did not dissolve during his episcopacy.

Soon, however, the entire community was put to an unwanted test. Christians in North Africa had not suffered persecution for many years; the church was assured and lax. Early in 250 AD the “Decian persecution” began. Measures were first taken demanding that the bishops and officers of the church sacrifice to the emperor. The proconsul on circuit, and five commissioners for each town, administered the edict; but, when the proconsul reached Carthage, Cyprian had fled.

It is quite evident in the writings of the church fathers from various dioceses that the Christian community was divided on this occasion, among those who stood firm in civil disobedience, and those who buckled, submitting in word or in deed to the order of sacrifice and receiving a ticket or receipt called a “libellus.” Cyprian’s secret departure from Carthage was interpreted by his enemies as cowardice and infidelity, and they hastened to accuse him at Rome. The Roman clergy wrote to Cyprian in terms of disapproval. Cyprian rejoined that he fled in accordance with visions and the divine command. From his place of refuge he ruled his flock with earnestness and zeal, using a faithful deacon as his intermediary.

Cyprian’s works were edited in volumes 3 and 4 of the Patrologia Latina. Besides a number of epistles, which are partly collected with the answers of those to whom they were written, Cyprian wrote a number of treatises, some of which have also the character of pastoral letters.

The Plague of Cyprian is named after him due to his description of it.

Source: wiki.com

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June 6

The Original NT Pentecost

The Original NT Acts 2 Pentecost

With our example of the original Holy Week Resurrection Day (Easter, Feast of First-fruits) on Sunday April 18th, then continuing in our example the original NT Pentecost (Acts chapter 2) would be on Sunday June 6th, a full 50 days [7 weeks plus 1 day] after the “Passover” Saturday Sabbath observed in conjunction with the Sunday “Passover” Holy Week, Feast of First-fruits. — Note: the Jewish month of Nisan and the month of April doesn’t exactly sync up with each other.

And all of you shall count unto you from the next day after the Sabbath, from the day that all of you brought the sheaf of the [First-fruits] wave offering [on Sunday]; seven Sabbaths [49 days] shall be complete: Even unto the next day [Sunday] after the seventh Sabbath shall all of you number fifty days; and all of you shall offer a new food [Pentecost] offering unto the LORD. All of you shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves {of leavened bread: one representing Jewish Israel and the other representing the Christian Church} of two tenth deals; they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baked with leaven; they are the First-fruits unto the LORD. ~ Leviticus 23:15-17

And when the day of Pentecost was fully come [after sunrise on Sunday], they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they [the faith in the resurrection – Born Again Christians]
were all filled [baptized – empowered] with the Holy Spirit, and [as empowered] began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. ~ Acts 2:1-4

Note: the future, yet to be fulfilled [2nd Coming] Fall Feasts of Israel are now posted in December somewhat later than when the Fall Feasts are usually scheduled to be observed.

Also Note: the Christian Church and the Jewish religion calculate the Feast Days differently so Holy Week and Pentecost are usually on slightly different days than the Jewish Feast Days of Passover (Holy Week) and Shavuot (Pentecost). The Fall Feasts [Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah), Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), and Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot)] having not yet been completely prophetically fulfilled by Jesus Christ are not yet observed by the Christian Church.

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June 7

Emperor Constantine – Church

Emperor Constantine’s Christian Ambitions

Constantine the Pseudo Christian Emperor

When Roman Emperor Constantine the Great (reigned 306-337 AD) ruled Rome, Christianity became the dominant religion of the Roman Empire. Historians remain uncertain about Constantine’s reasons for favoring Christianity, and theologians and historians have argued about which form of Christianity he subscribed to. Although Constantine had been exposed to Christianity by his mother Helena, there is no consensus among scholars as to whether he adopted his mother’s Christianity in his youth, or gradually over the course of his life, and he did not receive baptism until shortly before his death.

Constantine’s conversion was a turning point for Early Christianity, sometimes referred to as the Triumph of the Church, the Peace of the Church or the Constantinian shift. In 313 AD, Constantine and Licinius issued the Edict of Milan legalizing [all religions including] Christian worship. The emperor became a great patron of the Church and set a precedent for the position of the Christian emperor within the Church and the notion of orthodoxy, Christendom, ecumenical councils and the state church of the Roman Empire declared by edict in 380. He is revered as a saint and isapostolos in the Eastern Orthodox Church and Oriental Orthodox Church for his example as a “Christian monarch.”

Constantine is perhaps best known for being the first Christian Roman emperor.

In February 313 AD, Constantine met with Licinius in Milan, where they developed the Edict of Milan. The edict stated that Christians should be allowed to follow the faith without oppression. This removed penalties for professing Christianity, under which many had been martyred previously, and returned confiscated Church property. The edict protected from religious persecution not only Christians but all religions, allowing anyone to worship whichever deity they chose. A similar edict had been issued in 311 by Galerius, then senior emperor of the Tetrarchy; Galerius’ edict granted Christians the right to practice their religion but did not restore any property to them. The Edict of Milan included several clauses which stated that all confiscated churches would be returned as well as other provisions for previously persecuted Christians.

Source: wiki.com

Note: in this portion of the devotional we will continue to consider the events more in their order of magnitude and not strictly in historical order. Also this is not a conclusive list of Early Church Fathers or events.

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June 8

Emperor Constantine – State

Emperor Constantine’s State Ambitions – The 7th Gentile Kingdom, Revised Rome Begins (Daniel 7:7-8)

In the East – Later Called Byzantium

Constantine received a formal education at Diocletian’s court, where he learned Latin literature, Greek, and philosophy. The cultural environment in Nicomedia was open, fluid and socially mobile, and Constantine could mix with intellectuals both pagan and Christian. He may have attended the lectures of Lactantius, a Christian scholar of Latin in the city. Because Diocletian did not completely trust Constantius-none of the Tetrarchs fully trusted their colleagues-Constantine was held as something of a hostage, a tool to ensure Constantius’ best behavior. Constantine was nonetheless a prominent member of the court: he fought for Diocletian and Galerius in Asia, and served in a variety of tribunates; he campaigned against barbarians on the Danube in 296, and fought the Persians under Diocletian in Syria (297) and under Galerius in Mesopotamia (298-99). By late 305, he had become a tribune of the first order, a tribunus ordinis primi.

Constantine had returned to Nicomedia from the eastern front by the spring of 303, in time to witness the beginnings of Diocletian’s “Great Persecution”, the most severe persecution of Christians in Roman history. In late 302, Diocletian and Galerius sent a messenger to the oracle of Apollo at Didyma with an inquiry about Christians. Constantine could recall his presence at the palace when the messenger returned, when Diocletian accepted his court’s demands for universal persecution. On 23 February 303, Diocletian ordered the destruction of Nicomedia’s new church, condemned its scriptures to the flames, and had its treasures seized. In the months that followed, churches and scriptures were destroyed, Christians were deprived of official ranks, and priests were imprisoned.

It is unlikely that Constantine played any role in the persecution. In his later writings he would attempt to present himself as an opponent of Diocletian’s “sanguinary edicts” against the “worshippers of God”, but nothing indicates that he opposed it effectively at the time. Although no contemporary Christian challenged Constantine for his inaction during the persecutions, it remained a political liability throughout his life.

On 1 May 305, Diocletian, as a result of a debilitating sickness taken in the winter of 304-5, announced his resignation. In a parallel ceremony in Milan [Italy], Maximian did the same. Lactantius states that Galerius manipulated the weakened Diocletian into resigning, and forced him to accept Galerius’ allies in the imperial succession. According to Lactantius, the crowd listening to Diocletian’s resignation speech believed, until the very last moment, that Diocletian would choose Constantine and Maxentius (Maximian’s son) as his successors. It was not to be: Constantius and Galerius were promoted to Augusti, while Severus and Maximin were appointed their Caesars respectively. Constantine and Maxentius were ignored.

Some of the ancient sources detail plots that Galerius made on Constantine’s life in the months following Diocletian’s abdication. They assert that Galerius assigned Constantine to lead an advance unit in a cavalry charge through a swamp on the middle Danube, made him enter into single combat with a lion, and attempted to kill him in hunts and wars. Constantine always emerged victorious: the lion emerged from the contest in a poorer condition than Constantine; Constantine returned to Nicomedia from the Danube with a Sarmatian captive to drop at Galerius’ feet. It is uncertain how much these tales can be trusted.

In the West – Europe

Constantine recognized the implicit danger in remaining at Galerius’ court, where he was held as a virtual hostage. His career depended on being rescued by his father in the west. Constantius was quick to intervene. In the late spring or early summer of 305, Constantius requested leave for his son to help him campaign in Britain. After a long evening of drinking, Galerius granted the request. Constantine’s later propaganda describes how he fled the court in the night, before Galerius could change his mind. He rode from post-house to post-house at high speed, hamstringing every horse in his wake. By the time Galerius awoke the following morning, Constantine had fled too far to be caught. Constantine joined his father in Gaul [France], at Bononia (Boulogne) before the summer of 305.

Early rule

Constantine’s share of the Empire consisted of Britain, Gaul, and Spain [mostly previously conquered by Julius Caesar]. He therefore commanded one of the largest Roman armies, stationed along the important Rhine frontier. After his promotion to emperor, Constantine remained in Britain, and secured his control in the northwestern dioceses. He completed the reconstruction of military bases begun under his father’s rule, and ordered the repair of the region’s roadways. He soon left for Augusta Treverorum (Trier) in Gaul, the Tetrarchic capital of the northwestern Roman Empire. The Franks, after learning of Constantine’s acclamation, invaded Gaul across the lower Rhine over the winter of 306-7. Constantine drove them back beyond the Rhine and captured two of their kings, Ascaric and Merogaisus. The kings and their soldiers were fed to the beasts of Trier’s amphitheater in the adventus (arrival) celebrations that followed.

In Rome

Constantine entered Rome on 29 October. He staged a grand adventus in the city, and was met with popular jubilation. Maxentius’ body was fished out of the Tiber and decapitated. His head was paraded through the streets for all to see. After the ceremonies, Maxentius’ disembodied head was sent to Carthage; at this Carthage would offer no further resistance. Unlike his predecessors, Constantine neglected to make the trip to the Capitoline Hill and perform customary sacrifices at the Temple of Jupiter. He did, however, choose to honor the Senatorial Curia with a visit, where he promised to restore its ancestral privileges and give it a secure role in his reformed government: there would be no revenge against Maxentius’ supporters. In response, the Senate decreed him “title of the first name”, which meant his name would be listed first in all official documents, and acclaimed him as “the greatest Augustus”. He issued decrees returning property lost under Maxentius, recalling political exiles, and releasing Maxentius’ imprisoned opponents.

Source: wiki.com

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June 9

Emperor Constantine – Personal

Emperor Constantine’s Personal Ambitions

Constantine the Great (Latin: Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus Augustus; February 27, 272 – May 22, 337 AD), also known as Constantine I or Saint Constantine, was Roman Emperor from 306 to 337. Constantine was the son of Flavius Valerius Constantius, a Roman army officer, and his consort Helena. His father became Caesar, the deputy emperor in the west in 293. Constantine was sent east, where he rose through the ranks to become a military tribune under the emperors Diocletian and Galerius. In 305, Constantius was raised to the rank of Augustus, senior western emperor, and Constantine was recalled west to campaign under his father in Britannia. Acclaimed as emperor by the army after his father’s death in 306, Constantine emerged victorious in a series of civil wars against the emperors Maxentius and Licinius to become sole ruler of both west and east by 324 AD.

As emperor, Constantine enacted many administrative, financial, social, and military reforms to strengthen the empire. The government was restructured and civil and military authority separated. A new gold coin, the solidus, was introduced to combat inflation. It would become the standard for Byzantine and European currencies for more than a thousand years. The first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity,Constantine played an influential role in the proclamation of the Edict of Milan, which decreed religious tolerance throughout the empire. He called the First Council of Nicaea in 325, at which the Nicene Creed was professed by Christians. In military matters, the Roman army was reorganised to consist of mobile field units and garrison soldiers capable of countering internal threats and barbarian invasions. Constantine pursued successful campaigns against the tribes on the Roman frontiers-the Franks, the Alamanni, the Goths, and the Sarmatians – even resettling territories abandoned by his predecessors during the turmoil of the previous century.

The age of Constantine marked a distinct epoch in the history of the Roman Empire. He built a new imperial residence at Byzantium and named it New Rome. However, in Constantine’s honor, the Romans called it Constantinople, which would later be the capital of what is now known as the Byzantine Empire for over one thousand years. Because of this, he is thought of as the founder of the Byzantine Empire. His more immediate political legacy was that, in leaving the empire to his sons, he replaced Diocletian’s tetrarchy with the principle of dynastic succession. His reputation flourished during the lifetime of his children and centuries after his reign. The medieval church upheld him as a paragon of virtue while secular rulers invoked him as a prototype, a point of reference, and the symbol of imperial legitimacy and identity. Beginning with the renaissance, there were more critical appraisals of his reign due to the rediscovery of anti-Constantinian sources. Critics portrayed him as a despotic tyrant. Trends in modern and recent scholarship attempted to balance the extremes of previous scholarship.

Constantine – as the first Christian emperor – is a significant figure in the history of Christianity. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, built on his orders at the purported site of Jesus’ tomb in Jerusalem, became the holiest place in Christendom. The Papacy claimed temporal power through Constantine. He is venerated as a saint by Orthodox Christians, Byzantine Catholics, and Anglicans. The Eastern churches hold his memory in particular esteem, regarding Constantine as isapostolos or equal-to-apostles.

Constantine died May 22, 337 AD at Nicomedia (the modern city of Beirut, Lebanon), shortly after his baptism by the Arian bishop, his friend Eusebius of Beirut (Nicomedia).

Source: wiki.com

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June 10

Constantius Chlorus

Constantine’s Father (March 31, 250 – July 25, 306 AD)

Constantius I, commonly known as Constantius Chlorus, was Roman Emperor from 293 to 306 AD. He was the father of Constantine the Great and founder of the Constantinian dynasty. As Caesar he defeated the usurper Allectus in Britain and campaigned extensively along the Rhine frontier, defeating the Alamanni and Franks. Upon becoming Augustus in 305, Constantius launched a successful punitive campaign against the Picts beyond the Antonine Wall. However, Constantius died suddenly in Eburacum (York) the following year. His death sparked the collapse of the tetrarchic system of government inaugurated by the Emperor Diocletian.

In 305 AD Constantius crossed over into Britain, travelled to the far north of the island and launched a military expedition against the Picts, claiming a victory against them and the title Britannicus Maximus II by 7 January 306. After retiring to Eboracum (York) for the winter, Constantius had planned to continue the campaign, but on 25 July 306, Constantius died. As he was dying, Constantius recommended his son to the army as his successor; consequently Constantine was declared emperor by the legions at York.

As the father of Constantine, a number of Christian legends have grown up around Constantius. Eusebius’s Life of Constantine claims that Constantius was himself a Christian, although he pretended to be a pagan [more likely he was a Pagan pretending to be a Christian], and while Caesar under Diocletian, took no part in the Emperor’s persecutions.

Believing that water baptism cleansed one from all sins [if you sin again you would eventually have to be baptized again] Constantius died shortly after his appointed water baptism by an Arian [heretical] bishop.

Source: wiki.com

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June 11

Saint Helena

Constantine’s Mother

Saint Helena or Saint Helen (250 – 330 AD) was the consort of the Roman emperor Constantius Chlorus and the mother of the emperor Constantine the Great, an important figure in the history of Christianity. She is traditionally credited with a pilgrimage to Syria Palaestina, during which she discovered the True Cross of Jesus’s crucifixion. She is revered as a saint by the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox, the Roman Catholic, the Lutheran, and the Anglican churches.

Constantius was either married to, or was in concubinage with, Helena, who was probably from Nicomedia in Asia Minor. They had one son, Constantine. In 289 AD political developments forced him to divorce Helena. He married Theodora, Maximian’s daughter, they had six children.

Helena, claimed during her visit to Jerusalem to have found the True Cross of Jesus Christ.

Scholars debate whether Constantine adopted his mother St. Helena’s Christianity in his youth, or whether he adopted it gradually over the course of his life. Constantine would retain the title of pontifex maximus until his death, a title emperors bore as heads of the pagan priesthood, as would his Christian successors on to Gratian (r. 375-83). According to Christian writers, Constantine was over 40 when he finally declared himself a Christian, writing to Christians to make clear that he believed he owed his successes to the protection of the Christian High God alone. Throughout his rule, Constantine supported the Church financially, built basilicas, granted privileges to clergy (e.g. exemption from certain taxes), promoted Christians to high office, and returned property confiscated during the Diocletianic persecution. His most famous building projects include the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and Old Saint Peter’s Basilica.

Saint Catherine’s Monastery – Mt. Sinai, Egypt

Constantine appointed his mother Helena as Augusta Imperatrix, and gave her unlimited access to the imperial treasury in order to locate the relics of Judeo-Christian tradition. In 326-28 AD Helena undertook a trip to the Holy Places in Palestine [Israel]. According to Eusebius of Caesarea she was responsible for the construction or beautification of two churches, the Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem, and the Church on the Mount of Olives, sites of Christ’s birth and ascension. Local founding legend attributes to Helena’s orders the construction of a church in Egypt to identify the Burning Bush of Sinai. The chapel at Saint Catherine’s Monastery – often referred to as the Chapel of Saint Helen – is dated to the year 330 AD.

Jerusalem was still being rebuilt following the destruction caused by Emperor Hadrian. He had built a temple over the site of Jesus’s tomb near Calvary, and renamed the city Aelia Capitolina. Accounts differ concerning whether the Temple was dedicated to Venus or Jupiter According to tradition, Helena ordered the temple torn down and, according to the legend that arose at the end of the 4th century, chose a site to begin excavating, which led to the recovery of three different crosses. The legend is recounted in Ambrose, On the Death of Theodosius (died 395) and at length in Rufinus’ chapters appended to his translation into Latin of Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical History, the main body of which does not mention the event. Then, Rufinus relates, the empress refused to be swayed by anything short of solid proof and performed a test. Possibly through Bishop Macarius of Jerusalem, she had a woman who was near death brought from the city. When the woman touched the first and second crosses, her condition did not change, but when she touched the third and final cross she suddenly recovered, and Helena declared the cross with which the woman had been touched to be the True Cross. On the site of discovery, Constantine ordered the building of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre; churches were also built on other sites detected by Helena. Sozomen and Theodoret claim that Helena also found the nails of the crucifixion. To use their miraculous power to aid her son, Helena allegedly had one placed in Constantine’s helmet, and another in the bridle of his horse.

Helena left Jerusalem and the eastern provinces in 327 to return to Rome, bringing with her large parts of the True Cross and other relics, which were then stored in her palace’s private chapel, where they can be still seen today. Her palace was later converted into the Basilica of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem. This has been maintained by Cistercian monks in the monastery which has been attached to the church for centuries.

Tradition says that the site of the Vatican Gardens was spread with earth brought from Golgotha by Helena to symbolically unite the blood of Christ with that shed by thousands of early Christians, who died in the persecutions of Nero.

According to one tradition, Helena acquired the Holy Tunic on her trip to Jerusalem and sent it to Trier.

According to Byzantine tradition, Helena is responsible for the large population of cats in Cyprus. Local tradition holds that she imported hundreds of cats from Egypt or Palestine in the fourth century AD to rid a monastery of snakes. The monastery is today known as “St. Nicholas of the Cats” and is located near Limassol.

Several relics purportedly discovered by Saint Helena are now in Cyprus, where she spent some time. Among them are items believed to be part of Jesus Christ’s tunic, pieces of the holy cross, and pieces of the rope with which Jesus was tied on the Cross. The rope, considered to be the only relic of its kind, has been held at the Stavrovouni Monastery, which was also founded by Saint Helena.

Helena’s search for Christian relics and the official establishment of these icons are viewed by some scholars to be the introduction of idolatry into the Church. Some centuries later, Emperor Leo III sought to remove such images from Christian worship, but Pope Gregory II (and later Gregory III) and a majority of the clergy protested against the emperor’s iconoclastic edicts. The issue for the Catholic church was settled at the Second Council of Nicaea.

Source: wiki.com

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June 12

In This Sign (X-P) Conquer

Conquer what? The Christian Church is mostly what Constantine conquered

War against Maxentius – The Roman Emperor from 306 to 312 AD

By the middle of 310 AD, Galerius had become too ill to involve himself in imperial politics. His final act survives: a letter to the provincials posted in Nicomedia on 30 April 311, proclaiming an end to the persecutions, and the resumption of religious toleration. He died soon after the edict’s proclamation, destroying what little remained of the tetrarchy. Maximin mobilized against Licinius, and seized Asia Minor. A hasty peace was signed on a boat in the middle of the Bosphorus. While Constantine toured Britain and Gaul, Maxentius prepared for war. He fortified northern Italy, and strengthened his support in the Christian community by allowing it to elect a new Bishop of Rome, Eusebius.

Constantine’s advisers and generals cautioned against preemptive attack on Maxentius; even his soothsayers recommended against it, stating that the sacrifices had produced unfavorable omens. Constantine, with a spirit that left a deep impression on his followers, inspiring some to believe that he had some form of supernatural guidance, ignored all these cautions. Early in the spring of 312 AD, Constantine crossed the Cottian Alps with a quarter of his army, a force numbering about 40,000. The first town his army encountered was Segusium (Susa, Italy), a heavily fortified town that shut its gates to him. Constantine ordered his men to set fire to its gates and scale its walls. He took the town quickly. Constantine ordered his troops not to loot the town, and advanced with them into northern Italy.

Constantine’s army adopts the Constantinian, Chi [Greek] (X “Ch”) traversed by Rho [Greek] (P “R”) cross

The Battle of the Milvian Bridge by Giulio Romano

Maxentius organized his forces-still twice the size of Constantine’s-in long lines facing the battle plain, with their backs to the river. Constantine’s army arrived at the field bearing unfamiliar symbols on either its standards or its soldiers’ shields. According to Lactantius, Constantine was visited by a dream the night before the battle, wherein he was advised “to mark the heavenly sign of God on the shields of his soldiers … by means of a slanted letter X with the top of its head bent round, he marked Christ on their shields.” Eusebius describes another version, where, while marching at midday, “he saw with his own eyes in the heavens a trophy of the cross arising from the light of the sun, carrying the message, In Hoc Signo Vinces or “with this sign, you will conquer”; in Eusebius’s account, Constantine had a dream the following night, in which Christ appeared with the same heavenly sign, and told him to make a standard, the labarum, for his army in that form. Eusebius is vague about when and where these events took place, but it enters his narrative before the war against Maxentius begins. Eusebius describes the sign as Chi (X) traversed by Rho (P):, a symbol representing the first two letters of the Greek spelling of the word Christos or Christ. The Eusebian description of the vision has been explained as a type of solar halo called a “sun dog”, a meteorological phenomenon which can produce similar effects. In 315 AD a medallion was issued at Ticinum showing Constantine wearing a helmet emblazoned with the Chi Rho, and coins issued at Siscia in 317/18 repeat the image. The figure was otherwise rare, however, and is uncommon in imperial iconography and propaganda before the 320s

Source: wiki.com

Note: Constantine adopted a Chi-Rho (Christ) symbol as his new cross yet, there are two Christs there is Jesus Christ of the Cross and Fish [ichthus] symbols and there is also the coming Antichrist. What Christ was Constantine really serving?

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June 13

Thomas Aquinas

Thomas Aquinas, Synthetized Aristotelian (Plato) Philosophy with Christianity

Thomas Aquinas, (1225 AD – March 7, 1274 AD), was an Italian Dominican friar and priest and an immensely influential philosopher and theologian in the tradition of scholasticism, within which he is also known as the “Doctor Angelicus”, “Doctor Communis”, and “Doctor Universalis”. “Aquinas” is from the county of Aquino, an area his family held land in until 1137 AD. He was born in Roccasecca, Italy.

He was the foremost classical proponent of natural theology, and the father of Thomism. His influence on Western thought is considerable, and much of modern philosophy was conceived in development or refutation of his ideas, particularly in the areas of ethics, natural law, metaphysics, and political theory. Unlike many currents in the Church of the time, Thomas embraced several ideas put forward by Aristotle [a star pupil of Plato] – whom he referred to as “the Philosopher” – and attempted to synthetize Aristotelian philosophy [via the ancient schools of Alexandria, Egypt] with the principles of Christianity. The works for which he is best known are the Summa Theologica and the Summa contra Gentiles. His commentaries on Sacred Scripture and on Aristotle are an important part of his body of work. Furthermore, Thomas is distinguished for his eucharistic hymns which form a part of the Church’s liturgy.

Thomas is honored as a saint by the Catholic Church and is held to be the model teacher for those studying for the priesthood, and indeed the highest expression of both natural reason and speculative theology. In modern times, under papal directives, the study of his works was long used as a core of the required program of study for those seeking ordination as priests or deacons, as well as for those in religious formation and for other students of the sacred disciplines (Catholic philosophy, theology, history, liturgy, and canon law).

Also honored as a Doctor of the Church, Thomas is considered the Church’s greatest theologian and philosopher. Pope Benedict XV declared: “This (Dominican) Order … acquired new luster when the Church declared the teaching of Thomas to be her own and that Doctor, honored with the special praises of the Pontiffs, the master and patron of Catholic schools.”

Source: wiki.com

Note: the misplaced doctrines, teaching and unchecked corruption that Thomas Aquinas introduced and facilitated within the Christian Church would lead directly to the 1517 AD Protestant Reformation.

Also Note: the heretic Valentinus is considered to be possibly the most dangerous heretic in Church History for attempting in part to introduce the philosophy of Plato into the Christian Church. Thomas Aquinas introduces the philosophy of Plato’s student Aristotle into the Christian Church and is considered by some to be a great theologian, preacher and teacher. Where is the needed and valued consistency among modern Church scholars?

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June 14

Reformation Bibles

Reformation Bibles i.e. The Geneva Bible and The KJV 1611 Bible

The Geneva Bible

The Geneva Bible is one of the most historically significant translations of the Bible into English, preceding the King James translation by 51 years. It was the primary Bible of 16th century Protestantism and was the Bible used by William Shakespeare, Oliver Cromwell, John Knox, John Donne, and John Bunyan, author of Pilgrim’s Progress. It was one of the Bibles taken to America on the Mayflower, it was used by many English Dissenters, and it was still respected by Oliver Cromwell’s soldiers at the time of the English Civil War in the booklet Cromwell’s Soldiers’ Pocket Bible.

This version of the Holy Bible is significant because, for the very first time, a mechanically printed, mass-produced Bible was made available directly to the general public which came with a variety of scriptural study guides and aids (collectively called an apparatus), which included verse citations which allow the reader to cross-reference one verse with numerous relevant verses in the rest of the Bible, introductions to each book of the Bible which acted to summarize all of the material that each book would cover, maps, tables, woodcut illustrations, indexes, as well as other included features – all of which would eventually lead to the reputation of the Geneva Bible as history’s very first study Bible.

Because the language of the Geneva Bible was more forceful and vigorous, most readers preferred this version strongly over the Great Bible. In the words of Cleland Boyd McAfee, “it drove the Great Bible off the field by sheer power of excellence”.

Like most English translations of the time, the Geneva Bible was translated from scholarly editions of the Greek New Testament and the Hebrew Scriptures that comprise the Christian Old Testament. The English rendering was substantially based on the earlier translations by William Tyndale and Myles Coverdale (more than 80 percent of the language in the Geneva Bible is from Tyndale). However, the Geneva Bible was the first English version in which all of the Old Testament was translated directly from the Hebrew.

The KJV (AV) 1611 Bible

The King James Version (KJV), commonly known as the Authorized Version (AV) or King James Bible (KJB), is an English translation of the Christian Bible for the Church of England begun in 1604 and completed in 1611 AD. First printed by the King’s Printer Robert Barker, this was the third translation into English to be approved by the English Church authorities. The first was the Great Bible commissioned in the reign of King Henry VIII (1535), and the second was the Bishops’ Bible of 1568. In January 1604, King James VI and I convened the Hampton Court Conference where a new English version was conceived in response to the perceived problems of the earlier translations as detected by the Puritans, a faction within the Church of England.

The Authorized Version (AV) was meant to replace the Bishops’ Bible as the official version for readings in the Church of England. No record of its authorization exists; it was probably effected by an order of the Privy Council but the records for the years 1600 to 1613 were destroyed by fire in January 1618/19 and it is commonly known as the Authorized Version in the United Kingdom. The King’s Printer issued no further editions of the Bishops’ Bible, so necessarily the Authorized Version replaced it as the standard lectern Bible in parish church use in England.

In the 1662 Book Of Common Prayer, the text of the Authorized Version finally supplanted that of the Great Bible in the Epistle and Gospel readings – though the Prayer Book Psalter nevertheless continues in the Great Bible version.

The case was different in Scotland, where the Geneva Bible had long been the standard church bible. It was not until 1633 that a Scottish edition of the Authorized Version was printed – in conjunction with the Scots coronation in that year of Charles I. The inclusion of illustrations in the edition raised accusations of Popery from opponents of the religious policies of Charles and William Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury. However, official policy favored the Authorized Version, and this favor returned during the Commonwealth – as London printers succeeded in re-asserting their monopoly of Bible printing with support from Oliver Cromwell – and the “New Translation” was the only edition on the market. F.F. Bruce reports that the last recorded instance of a Scots parish continuing to use the “Old Translation” (i.e. Geneva) as being in 1674.

Source: wiki.com

Note: the continuous infiltration of corrupt and heretical material i.e. Valentinus, Constantine, Saint Helen, Thomas Aquinas, Gnostic Gospels, etc. into the Christian Church continued to have an effect on the Christian Church at large until the resulting Protestant Reformation.

Also Note: the excellent Protestant Bibles of the Reformation era have been the primary remedy to the bad doctrine of the heavily infiltrated Church. But, note also that today with the newer corrupt bible versions (NIV, ESV) and the abundant heretical doctrines of the Modern Protestant Church [and Reformed “Calvinism”] the Protestant Church is well on its way to being every bit as corrupt, abusive and uninformed as the previous Medieval Church (Dark Ages) era that the Reformation so diligently sought to eradicate.

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June 15

Edict of Toleration

Edict of Toleration by Galerius in 311 AD

The Edict of Toleration was issued in 311 AD in Nicomedia by the Roman Tetrarchy [power-sharing] of Galerius, Constantine and Licinius, officially ending the Diocletian persecution of Christianity.

Galerius, who had been one of the leading figures in the persecutions, admitted that the policy of trying to eradicate Christianity had failed, saying: “wherefore, for this our indulgence, they ought to pray to their God for our safety, for that of the republic, and for their own, that the republic may continue uninjured on every side, and that they may be able to live securely in their homes.”

Christianity [and all religions were] officially legalized in the Roman Empire two years later in 313 AD by Constantine in his Edict of Milan.

Source: wiki.com

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June 16

Edict of Milan

The Edict of Milan by Emperor Constantine in 313 AD

The Edict of Milan

The document known as the Edict of Milan (Edictum Mediolanense) is found in Lactantius’ De Mortibus Persecutorum and Eusebius of Caesarea’s History of the Church with marked divergences between the two.

In February 313 AD, Emperor Constantine I, who controlled the western part of the Roman Empire, and Licinius, who controlled the Balkans, met in Milan and, among other things, agreed to treat the Christians benevolently.

Whether or not there was a formal ‘Edict of Milan’ is debatable. The version found in Lactantius is not in the form of an edict; it is a letter from Licinius to the governors of the provinces in the Eastern Empire he had just conquered by defeating Maximin later in the same year and issued in Nicomedia.

The Edict was in effect directed against Maximinus Daia, the Caesar in the East who was at that time styling himself as Augustus. Having received the emperor Galerius’ instruction to repeal the persecution in 311 AD, Maximinus had instructed his subordinates to desist, but had not released Christians from prisons or virtual death-sentences in the mines, as Constantine and Licinius had both done in the West. Following Galerius’ death, Maximin was no longer constrained; he enthusiastically took up renewed persecutions in the eastern territories under his control, encouraging petitions against Christians, one of which, addressed to him and to Constantine and Licinius, is preserved in a stone inscription at Arycanda in Lycia, “to request that the Christians, who have long been disloyal and still persist in the same mischievous intent, should at last be put down and not be suffered by any absurd novelty to offend against the honour due to the gods.”

The Edict is popularly thought to concern only Christianity, and even to make Christianity the official religion of the Empire (which recognition did not actually occur until 380 AD under Theodosius I). Indeed the Edict expressly grants religious liberty to Christians, who had been the object of special persecution, but it goes even further and grants [Roman political] liberty to all religions:

Source: wiki.com

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June 17

Emperor Julian

Emperor Julian the Apostate

Emperor Constantine’s Death – Died on Pentecost (May 22) 337 AD

Following Constantine’s death, his body was transferred to Constantinople and buried in the Church of the Holy Apostles there. He was succeeded by his three sons born of Fausta, Constantine II, Constantius II and Constans. A number of relatives were killed by followers of Constantius, notably Constantine’s nephews Dalmatius (who held the rank of Caesar) and Hannibalianus, presumably to eliminate possible contenders to an already complicated succession. He also had two daughters, Constantina and Helena, wife of [later] Emperor Julian.

Constantius II was the last of the three sons of Constantine to remain in power, he was repalced by his cousin Julian.

Emperor Julian – last non-Christian ruler of the Roman Empire – 361 to 363 AD

Julian (Latin: Flavius Claudius Julianus Augustus, 331/332 AD – June 26, 363 AD), also known as Julian the Apostate, as well as Julian the Philosopher, was Roman Emperor from 361 AD to 363 AD and a noted philosopher and Greek writer.

A member of the Constantinian dynasty, Julian became Caesar over the western provinces by order of Constantius II in 355 and in this role campaigned successfully against the Alamanni and Franks. Most notable was his crushing victory over the Alamanni in 357 at the Battle of Argentoratum despite being outnumbered. In 360 in Lutetia (Paris) he was acclaimed Augustus by his soldiers, sparking a civil war between Julian and Constantius. Before the two could face each other in battle, however, Constantius died, after naming Julian as his rightful successor. In 363, Julian embarked on an ambitious campaign against the Sassanid Empire. Though initially successful, Julian was mortally wounded in battle and died shortly thereafter.

Julian was a man of unusually complex character: he was “the military commander, the theosophist, the social reformer, and the man of letters”. He was the last non-Christian ruler of the Roman Empire, and it was his desire to bring the Empire back to its ancient Roman [Pagan] values in order to save it from dissolution. He purged the top-heavy state bureaucracy and attempted to revive traditional Roman religious practices at the cost of Christianity. His rejection of Christianity in favour of Neoplatonic paganism caused him to be called Julian the Apostate (“Transgressor”) by the church. He was the last emperor of the Constantinian dynasty, the empire’s first Christian dynasty.

Source: wiki.com

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June 18

Emperor Theodosius I

Emperor Theodosius I (Theodosius the Great) issued decrees that effectively made Nicene Christianity the official state church of the Roman Empire

Theodosius I (Latin: Flavius Theodosius Augustus; January 11, 347 – January 17, 395 AD), also known as Theodosius the Great, was Roman Emperor from 379 to 395. Theodosius was the last emperor to rule over both the eastern and the western halves of the Roman Empire. His social transformation was a pivotal, if under-recognized, milestone in European history; it parted with Roman religious tolerance and political strength and may be seen in retrospect as the inauguration of a feudal society. On accepting his elevation, he campaigned against Goths and other barbarians who had invaded the Empire; he failed to kill, expel, or entirely subjugate them, and after the Gothic War they established a homeland south of the Danube, in Illyricum, within the empire’s borders. He fought two destructive civil wars, in which he defeated the usurpers Magnus Maximus and Eugenius at great cost to the power of the Empire.

He also issued decrees that effectively made Nicene Christianity the official state church of the Roman Empire. and he neither prevented nor punished the destruction of prominent Hellenistic temples of classical antiquity, including the Temple of Apollo in Delphi, the Serapeum in Alexandria. He dissolved the order of the Vestal Virgins in Rome. In 393, he banned the pagan rituals of the Olympics in Ancient Greece. It was not until the end of the 19th century, in 1896, that Olympics were held again. After his death, Theodosius’ incapable sons Arcadius and Honorius inherited the East and West halves respectively, and the Roman Empire was never again re-united.

Source: wiki.com

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June 19

3rd Church Council – Nicene Council

Nicene Council the 3rd Historical Church Council was held in 325 AD

The Council of Nicaea (Turkish: Iznik) was a council of Christian bishops convened in Nicaea in Bithynia by the Roman Emperor Constantine I in 325 AD. This first [Reviesd-Rome, 7th Kingdom] ecumenical council was the first effort to attain consensus in the church through an assembly representing all of Christendom.

Constantine had invited all 1800 bishops of the Christian church (about 1000 in the east and 800 in the west), but a smaller and unknown number attended. Eusebius of Caesarea counted 250 Attendees, Athanasius of Alexandria counted 318 Attendees, and Eustathius of Antioch estimated “about 270” Attendees (all three were present at the council). Later, Socrates Scholasticus recorded more than 300 Attendees, and Evagrius, Hilary of Poitiers, Jerome Dionysius Exiguus, and Rufinus recorded 318 Attendees.

The First Council of Nicaea was the first ecumenical council of the Church. Most significantly, it resulted in the first, uniform Christian doctrine, called the Creed of Nicaea. With the creation of the creed, a precedent was established for subsequent local and regional councils of Bishops (Synods) to create statements of belief and canons of doctrinal orthodoxy-the intent being to define unity of beliefs for the whole of Christendom.

The council settled, to some degree, the debate within the Early Christian communities regarding the divinity of Christ. This idea of the divinity of Christ, along with the idea of Christ as a messenger from God (The Father), had long existed in various parts of the Roman empire. The divinity of Christ had also been widely endorsed by the Christian community in the otherwise pagan city of Rome. The council affirmed and defined what it believed to be the teachings of the Apostles regarding who Christ is: that Christ is the one true God in deity with the Father.

Note: Emperor Constantine was trying to influence and infiltrate Arian heresy into the Christian Church. The Church didn’t need a council [that’s why so few Bishops actually showed up] in order to proclaim the already established Church’s Triune doctrine of God. It was Emperor Constantine who needed the council in order to attempt to legitimize his heresy. Thankfully the council stood strong in the faith and neglected to provide Emperor Constantine with the heretical endorsement that he sought and continued to pursue throughout the rest of his life.

Source: wiki.com

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June 20

Athanasius of Alexandria

Athanasius the Great “Father of Orthodoxy”

Saint Athanasius of Alexandria (about 296 AD – May 2, 373 AD), also called Athanasius the Great, Athanasius the Confessor or, primarily in the Coptic Orthodox Church, Athanasius the Apostolic, was the twentieth bishop of Alexandria (as Athanasius I). His episcopate lasted 45 years (c. 8 June 328 – 2 May 373), of which over 17 were spent in five exiles ordered by four different Roman emperors. He is considered to be a renowned Christian theologian, a Church Father, the chief defender of Trinitarianism against Arianism, and a noted Egyptian leader of the fourth century.

He is remembered for his role in the conflict with Arius and Arianism. In 325, at the age of 27, Athanasius had a leading role against the Arians in the First Council of Nicaea. At the time, he was a deacon and personal secretary of the 19th Bishop of Alexandria, Alexander. Nicaea was convoked by Constantine I in May-August 325 to address the Arian position that the Son of God, Jesus of Nazareth, is of a distinct substance from the Father.

In June 328 AD, at the age of 30, three years after Nicea and upon the repose of Bishop Alexander, he became archbishop of Alexandria. He continued to lead the conflict against the Arians for the rest of his life and was engaged in theological and political struggles against the Emperors Constantine the Great and Constantius II and powerful and influential Arian churchmen, led by Eusebius of Nicomedia and others. He was known as “Athanasius Contra Mundum”. Within a few years of his departure, St. Gregory of Nazianzus called him the “Pillar of the Church”. His writings were well regarded by all Church fathers who followed, in both the West and the East. His writings show a rich devotion to the Word-become-man, great pastoral concern, and profound interest in monasticism.

Athanasius is counted as one of the four great Eastern Doctors of the Church in the Roman Catholic Church and in Eastern Orthodoxy, he is labeled the “Father of Orthodoxy”. He is also celebrated by many Protestants, who label him “Father of The Canon”. Athanasius is venerated as a Christian saint, whose feast day is 2 May in Western Christianity, 15 May in the Coptic Orthodox Church, and 18 January in the other Eastern Orthodox Churches. He is venerated by the Roman Catholic Church, Oriental and Eastern Orthodox churches, the Lutherans, and the Anglican Communion.

Athanasius’ Five Exiles

St Athanasius’ long episcopate lasted 45 years (June 8, 328 – May 2, 373 AD) of which over 17 years were spent in five exiles ordered by four different Roman Emperors, not counting approximately six more incidents in which he had to flee Alexandria for his own safety to escape people seeking to take his life.

First exile: under Emperor Constantine, for 2.5 years [11 Jul 335 – 22 Nov 337]; in Trier (Germany)
Second exile: under Emperor Constantius, for 7.5 years [16 Apr 339 – 21 Oct 346]; lived at Rome
Third exile: under Emperor Constantius, for 6 years [9 Feb 356 – 21 Feb 362]; in the Egyptian desert
Fourth exile: under Apostate Emperor Julian, 10 months [24 Oct 362 – 5 Sep 363]; in the Egyptian desert
Fifth exile: under Emperor Valens, 4 months [5 Oct 365 – 31 Jan 366]; in his father’s tomb

Source: wiki.com

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June 21


Ambrose – Archbishop of Milan – Father of Modern Christianity

Aurelius Ambrosius, better known in English as Saint Ambrose (340 AD – 4 April 397 AD), was an Archbishop of Milan, Italy who became one of the most influential ecclesiastical figures of the 4th century. He was consular prefect of Liguria and Emilia, headquartered in Milan, before being made Bishop of Milan by popular acclamation in 374 AD. Ambrose was a [Trinitarian in doctrine and] staunch opponent of Arianism.

Ambrose was one of the four original doctors of the [Roman Catholic] Church, and is the patron saint of Milan. He is notable for [baptizing St. Augustine and] his influence on St. Augustine.

Ambrose ranks with Augustine, Jerome, and Gregory the Great [Pope Gregory I], as one of the Latin Doctors of the [Roman Catholic] Church. Theologians compare him with Hilary [Pope from 461-468 AD], who they claim fell short of Ambrose’s administrative excellence but demonstrated greater theological ability. He succeeded as a theologian despite his juridical training and his comparatively late handling of Biblical and doctrinal subjects. His spiritual successor, St. Augustine, whose conversion was helped by Ambrose’s sermons, owes more to him than to any writer except Paul.

Ambrose’s intense episcopal consciousness furthered the growing doctrine of the Church and its sacerdotal ministry, while the prevalent asceticism of the day, continuing the Stoic and Ciceronian training of his youth, enabled him to promulgate a lofty standard of Christian ethics. Thus we have the De officiis ministrorum, De viduis, De virginitate and De paenitentia.

Soon after acquiring the undisputed possession of the Roman empire, Theodosius [Roman Emperor Theodosius I] died at Milan in 395 AD, and two years later (April 4, 397 AD) Ambrose also died. He was succeeded as Bishop of Milan by [“old but good”] Simplician (320-401 AD). Ambrose’s body may still be viewed in the Church of S. Ambrogio in Milan, where it has been continuously venerated.

Source: wiki.com

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June 22


Saint Augustine of Hippo (Annaba, Algeria)

Augustine of Hippo (Latin: Aurelius Augustinus Hipponensis; November 13, 354 – August 28, 430), also known as Saint Augustine or Saint Austin, was an early Christian theologian whose writings were very influential in the development of Western Christianity and Western philosophy. He was bishop of Hippo Regius (present-day Annaba, Algeria) located in the Roman province of Africa. Writing during the Patristic Era, he is viewed as one of the most important Church Fathers. Among his most important works are City of God and Confessions, which continue to be read widely today.

According to his contemporary, Jerome, Augustine “established anew the ancient Faith.” In his early years, he was heavily influenced by Manichaeism and afterward by the Neo-Platonism of Plotinus. After his conversion to Christianity and his baptism in 387, Augustine developed his own approach to philosophy and theology, accommodating a variety of methods and different perspectives. Believing that the grace of Christ was indispensable to human freedom, he helped to formulate the doctrine of original sin and made seminal contributions to the development of just war theory.

When the Western Roman Empire began to disintegrate, Augustine developed the concept of the Catholic Church as a spiritual City of God (in a book of the same name), distinct from the material Earthly City. His thoughts profoundly influenced the medieval worldview. Augustine’s City of God was closely identified with the segment of the Church that adhered to the concept of the Trinity as defined by the Council of Nicaea and the Council of Constantinople.

In the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion, he is a saint, a pre-eminent Doctor of the Church, and the patron of the Augustinians. His memorial is celebrated on 28 August, the day of his death. He is the patron saint of brewers, printers, theologians, the alleviation of sore eyes, and a number of cities and dioceses. Many Protestants, especially Calvinists, consider him to be one of the theological fathers of the Protestant Reformation due to his teachings on salvation and divine grace.

In the Eastern Orthodox Church, many of his teachings are not accepted. This is the same in the Oriental Orthodox communion. The most important doctrinal controversy surrounding his name is the filioque. Other doctrines that are sometimes unacceptable to the Eastern Orthodox Church are his view of original sin, the doctrine of grace, and predestination. Nonetheless, though considered to be mistaken on some points, he is still considered a saint, and his feast day is celebrated on 15 June. He carries the additional title of Blessed among the Orthodox, either as “Blessed Augustine” or “St. Augustine the Blessed.”

Source: wiki.com

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June 23


Saint Jerome translated a version of the Bible into Latin (the Vulgate) using the unstable Alexandrian Greek Text

Saint Jerome (Latin: Eusebius Sophronius Hieronymus) lived 347 AD – September 30, 420 AD. Was a Latin Christian priest, confessor, theologian and historian, who also became a Doctor of the Church. He was the son of Eusebius, of the city of Stridon, on the border of Dalmatia and Pannonia. He is best known for his translation of the Bible into Latin (the Vulgate), and his commentaries on the Gospel of the Hebrews. His list of writings is extensive.

He is recognised as a saint by the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Lutheran Church, and the Church of England (Anglican Communion). Jerome is commemorated on 30 September with a memorial.

At the Catechetical School of Alexandria, Jerome listened to the catechist Didymus the Blind expounding the prophet Hosea and telling his reminiscences of Anthony the Great, who had died 30 years before; he spent some time in Nitria, admiring the disciplined community life of the numerous inhabitants of that “city of the Lord,” but detecting even there “concealed serpents,” i.e., the influence of Origen of Alexandria. Late in the summer of 388 he was back in Israel, and spent the remainder of his life in a hermit’s cell near Bethlehem, surrounded by a few friends, both men and women (including Paula and Eustochium), to whom he acted as priestly guide and teacher.

For the next 15 years, until he died, Jerome produced a number of commentaries on Scripture, often explaining his translation choices in using the original Hebrew rather than suspect translations. His patristic commentaries align closely with Jewish tradition, and he indulges in allegorical and mystical subtleties after the manner of Philo and the Alexandrian school. Unlike his contemporaries, he emphasizes the difference between the Hebrew Bible “apocrypha” and the Hebraica veritas of the protocanonical books. Evidence of this can be found in his introductions to the Solomonic writings, the Book of Tobit, and the Book of Judith. Most notable, however, is the statement from his introduction to the Books of Samuel:

Jerome is the second most voluminous writer (after St. Augustine) in ancient Latin Christianity. In the Roman Catholic Church, he is recognized as the patron saint of translators, librarians and encyclopedists.

Source: wiki.com

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June 24

Ancient Library of Alexandria

The Ancient Library of Alexandria, Egypt

Ancient Library of Alexandria, in Alexandria, Egypt, was one of the largest and most significant libraries of the ancient world. It flourished under the patronage of the Ptolemaic dynasty and functioned as a major center of scholarship from its construction in the 3rd century BC until the Roman conquest of Egypt in 30 BC. With collections of works, lecture halls, meeting rooms, and gardens, the library was part of a larger research institution called the Musaeum of Alexandria, where many of the most famous thinkers of the ancient world studied.

The library was conceived and opened either during the reign of Ptolemy I Soter (323-283 BC) or during the reign of his son Ptolemy II (283-246 BC). As a symbol of the wealth and power of Egypt, it employed many scribes to borrow books from around the known world, copy them, and return them. Most of the books were kept as papyrus scrolls, and though it is unknown how many such scrolls were housed at any given time, their combined value was incalculable.

The library is famous for having been burned, resulting in the loss of many scrolls and books, and has become a symbol of the destruction of cultural knowledge.

Ancient sources differ widely on who is responsible for the destruction and when it occurred

Although there is a mythology of the burning of the Library at Alexandria, the library may have suffered several fires or acts of destruction over many years. Possible occasions for the partial or complete destruction of the Library of Alexandria include a fire set by Julius Caesar in 48 BC, an attack by Roman Emperor Aurelian in the 270s AD [the most probable timeframe of destruction – though probably later from anarchy or natural causes – Aurelian did not write or mention any knowledge of the library burning during his time there], the decree of Coptic Pope Theophilus in 391 AD, and the Muslim conquest of Egypt in 642 AD.

After the main library was fully destroyed, ancient scholars used a “daughter library” in a temple known as the Serapeum, located in another part of the city. According to Socrates of Constantinople, Coptic Pope Theophilus destroyed the Serapeum in 391 AD.

Rumored Destructions of the Library of Alexandria

The Burning of the Library at Alexandria in 391 AD, an illustration from ‘Hutchinsons History of the Nations’, 1910 AD.

The famous burning of the Library of Alexandria, including the incalculable loss of ancient works, has become a symbol of the irretrievable loss of public knowledge. Although there is a mythology of “the burning of the Library at Alexandria”, the library may have suffered several fires or acts of destruction of varying degrees over many years. Ancient and modern sources identify several possible occasions for the partial or complete destruction of the Library of Alexandria.

During Caesar’s Civil War, Julius Caesar was besieged at Alexandria in 48 BC. Many ancient sources describe Caesar setting fire to his own ships and state that this fire spread to the library, destroying it.

When the enemy endeavored to cut off his communication by sea, he was forced to divert that danger by setting fire to his own ships, which, after burning the docks, thence spread on and destroyed the great library. – Plutarch, Life of Caesar

Bolstering this claim, in the 4th century both the pagan historian Ammianus and the Christian historian Orosius wrote that the Bibliotheca Alexandrina had been destroyed by Caesar’s fire. However, Florus and Lucan claim that the flames Caesar set only burned the fleet and some “houses near the sea”. Years after Caesar’s campaign in Alexandria, the Greek geographer Strabo claimed to have worked in the Alexandrian Library.

The library seems to have continued in existence to some degree until its contents were largely lost during the taking of the city by the Emperor Aurelian (270-275 AD), who was suppressing a revolt by Queen Zenobia of Palmyra. During the course of the fighting, the areas of the city in which the main library was located were damaged. Some sources claim that the smaller library located at the Serapeum survived, though Ammianus Marcellinus wrote of the library in the Serapeum temple as a thing of the past, destroyed when Caesar sacked Alexandria.

Paganism was made illegal by an edict of the Emperor Theodosius I in 391 AD. The temples of Alexandria were closed by Patriarch Theophilus of Alexandria in AD 391. The historian Socrates of Constantinople describes that all pagan temples in Alexandria were destroyed, including the Serapeum. Since the Serapeum housed a part of the Great Library, some scholars believe that the remains of the Library of Alexandria were destroyed at this time. However, it is not known how many, if any, books were contained in it at the time of destruction, and contemporary scholars do not mention the library directly.

In 642 AD, Alexandria was captured by the Muslim army of Amr ibn al `Aas. Several later Arabic sources describe the library’s destruction by the order of Caliph Omar. Bar-Hebraeus, writing in the 13th century, quotes Omar as saying “If those books are in agreement with the Quran, we have no need of them; and if these are opposed to the Quran, destroy them.” Later scholars are skeptical of these stories, given the range of time that had passed before they were written down and the political motivations of the various writers.


Although the various component parts of the physical library were destroyed, in fact the centers of academic excellence had already moved to various capital cities. Furthermore, it is possible that most of the material from the Library of Alexandria actually survived, by way of the Imperial Library of Constantinople, the Academy of Gondishapur, and the House of Wisdom. This material may then have been preserved by the Reconquista, which led to the formation of European Universities and the recompilation of ancient texts from formerly scattered fragments.

Modern Day

In 2002, the Bibliotheca Alexandrina was inaugurated near the site of the ancient library, intended as a commemoration and emulation of the Royal Library of Alexandria.

Source: wiki.com

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June 25

The Apostles Creed

The Apostles Creed about 180 AD

The Apostles’ Creed, sometimes titled Symbol [a group contribution] of the Apostles, is an early statement of Christian belief, a creed or “symbol”.

It is widely used by a number of Christian denominations for both liturgical and catechetical purposes, most visibly by liturgical Churches of Western tradition, including the Roman Church, Lutheranism, Anglicanism, and Western Orthodoxy. It is also used by Presbyterians, Methodists, and Congregationalists.

The Apostles’ Creed was based on Christian theological understanding of the Canonical gospels, the letters of the New Testament and to a lesser extent the Old Testament. Its basis appears to be the old Roman Creed. Because of the early origin of its original form, it does not address some Christological issues defined in the Nicene and other Christian Creeds. It thus says nothing explicitly about the divinity of either Jesus or of the Holy Spirit. This makes it acceptable to many Arians and Unitarians. Nor does it address many other theological questions that became objects of dispute centuries later.

The first mention of the expression “Apostles’ Creed” occurs in a letter of 390 AD from a synod in Milan, Italy and may have been associated with the belief, widely accepted in the 4th century, that, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, each of the Twelve Apostles contributed an article of a creed.

The Apostles Creed about 180 AD

I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth;

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.


Source: wiki.com

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June 26

The Nicene Creed 325 AD

The Nicene Creed 381 AD – Modified 325 AD Creed

The Nicene Creed (381 AD) is the “profession of faith” or creed that is most widely used in Christian liturgy. It forms the mainstream definition of Christianity for most Christians.

The Nicene Creed 381 AD (Nicene Creed 325 AD slightly modified)

We believe in one God the Father, the Almighty, creator of heaven and earth, and of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven; by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father (and the Son). With the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets.

We believe in one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.


Source: wiki.com

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June 27

Athanasian Creed

Athanasian Creed about 480 AD

Origins of the Athanasian Creed

In fact, it was not originally called a creed at all, nor was Athanasius’ name originally attached to it. Athanasius’ name seems to have become attached to the creed as a sign of its strong declaration of Trinitarian faith. The reasoning for rejecting Athanasius as the author usually relies on a combination of the following:

The creed originally was most likely written in Latin, while Athanasius composed in Greek
Neither Athanasius nor his contemporaries ever mention the Creed
It is not mentioned in any records of the ecumenical councils
It appears to address theological concerns that developed after Athanasius died (including the filioque)
It was most widely circulated among Western Christians.

Athanasian Creed about 480 AD

Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic faith. Which faith except every one do keep whole and undefiled; without doubt he shall perish everlastingly. And the catholic faith is this: That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity; Neither confounding the Persons; nor dividing the Essence. For there is one Person of the Father; another of the Son; and another of the Holy Ghost. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, is all one; the Glory equal, the Majesty coeternal. Such as the Father is; such is the Son; and such is the Holy Ghost. The Father uncreated; the Son uncreated; and the Holy Ghost uncreated. The Father unlimited; the Son unlimited; and the Holy Ghost unlimited. The Father eternal; the Son eternal; and the Holy Ghost eternal. And yet they are not three eternals; but one eternal. As also there are not three uncreated; nor three infinites, but one uncreated; and one infinite. So likewise the Father is Almighty; the Son Almighty; and the Holy Ghost Almighty. And yet they are not three Almighties; but one Almighty. So the Father is God; the Son is God; and the Holy Ghost is God. And yet they are not three Gods; but one God. So likewise the Father is Lord; the Son Lord; and the Holy Ghost Lord. And yet not three Lords; but one Lord. For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity; to acknowledge every Person by himself to be God and Lord; So are we forbidden by the catholic religion; to say, There are three Gods, or three Lords. The Father is made of none; neither created, nor begotten. The Son is of the Father alone; not made, nor created; but begotten. The Holy Ghost is of the Father and of the Son; neither made, nor created, nor begotten; but proceeding. So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Ghost, not three Holy Ghosts. And in this Trinity none is before, or after another; none is greater, or less than another. But the whole three Persons are coeternal, and coequal. So that in all things, as aforesaid; the Unity in Trinity, and the Trinity in Unity, is to be worshipped. He therefore that will be saved, let him thus think of the Trinity.

Furthermore it is necessary to everlasting salvation; that he also believe faithfully the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. For the right Faith is, that we believe and confess; that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Man; God, of the Essence of the Father; begotten before the worlds; and Man, of the Essence of his Mother, born in the world. Perfect God; and perfect Man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting. Equal to the Father, as touching his Godhead; and inferior to the Father as touching his Manhood. Who although he is God and Man; yet he is not two, but one Christ. One; not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh; but by assumption of the Manhood by God. One altogether; not by confusion of Essence; but by unity of Person. For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man; so God and Man is one Christ; Who suffered for our salvation; descended into hell; rose again the third day from the dead. He ascended into heaven, he sitteth on the right hand of the God the Father Almighty, from whence he will come to judge the living and the dead. At whose coming all men will rise again with their bodies; And shall give account for their own works. And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting; and they that have done evil, into everlasting fire. This is the catholic faith; which except a man believe truly and firmly, he cannot be saved.

Source: wiki.com

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June 28

Pope Leo I

Pope Leo I first modern Pope, first to have been called “the Great”

Pope Leo I (400 – November 10, 461 AD), also known as Saint Leo the Great, was Pope from September 29, 440 AD to his death in 461 AD.

He was an Italian aristocrat, and was the first pope to have been called “the Great”. He is perhaps best known for having met Attila the Hun in 452 and persuading him to turn back from his invasion of Italy. He is also a Doctor of the Church, most remembered theologically for issuing the Tome of Leo, a document which was foundational to the debates of the Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon. The Council of Chalcedon, the fourth ecumenical council, dealt primarily with Christology, and elucidated the orthodox definition of Christ’s being as the hypostatic union of two natures-divine and human-united in one person, “with neither confusion nor division”. It was followed by a major schism associated with Monophysitism, Miaphysitism and Dyophysitism.

Teachings on Christ

Leo’s writings (both the sermons and the letters) are mostly concerned with theological questions concerning the person of Jesus Christ (Christology) and his role as mediator and savior (Soteriology). This is partially connected to the Council of Chalcedon in which Roman legates participated in Leo’s name. Subsequently, through numerous letters addressed to bishops and members of the imperial family, Leo incessantly worked for the propagation and universal reception of the faith in Christ as defined by Chalcedon, also in the Eastern part of the Roman empire. Leo defends the true divinity and the true humanity of the one Christ against heretical one-sidedness. He takes up this topic also in many of his sermons, and over the years he further develops his own original concepts. A central idea around which Leo deepens and explains his theology is Christ’s presence in the Church, more specifically in the teaching and preaching of the faith (Scripture, Tradition and their interpretation), in the liturgy (sacraments and celebrations), in the life of the individual believer and of the organized Church, especially in a council.

The Apostle Peter and his Heir

Leo contributes to the development of the doctrine on papal primacy, based on his personal devotion to St Peter and on the veneration for the Apostle and his tomb in Rome. Besides recourse to biblical language, Leo also describes his own special relationship with St Peter in terms derived from Roman law. He calls himself the (unworthy) heir and deputy (vicarius) of Peter, having received his apostolic authority and being obliged to follow his example. On the one hand, Peter stands before him with a claim on how Leo is to exercise his office; on the other hand, Leo, as the Roman bishop, represents the Apostle, whose authority he holds. Christ, however, always comes out as the source of all grace and authority, and Leo is responsible to him for how he fulfills his duties (cf. sermon 1). Peter is indeed the example for Leo’s relationship to Christ. Thus, the office of the Roman bishop, with its universal significance, is grounded on the special relationship between Christ and St Peter, a relationship that per se cannot be repeated; therefore, Leo depends on St Peter’s mediation, his assistance and his example in order to be able to adequately fulfill his role and exercise his authority as the Bishop of Rome, both in the city and beyond.

Dispute with Dioscorus of Alexandria

In 445 AD, Leo disputed with Patriarch Dioscorus, St. Cyril’s successor as Patriarch of Alexandria, insisting that the ecclesiastical practice of his see should follow that of Rome on the basis that Mark the Evangelist, the disciple of Saint Peter and founder of the Alexandrian Church, could have had no other tradition than that of the Prince of the Apostles [St. Peter]. This, of course, was not the position of the Copts [Egyptian Christians], who saw the ancient patriarchates as equals.

Source: wiki.com

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June 29

King Charlemagne

King Charlemagne (Charles I) – The Father of Modern Europe

Charlemagne (about 742 – January 28, 814 AD), also known as Charles the Great or Charles I, was the King of the Franks from 768 AD, the King of Italy from 774 AD, and from 800 AD the first emperor in western Europe since the collapse of the Western Roman Empire three centuries earlier. The expanded Frankish state he founded is called the Carolingian Empire.

The oldest son of Pepin the Short and Bertrada of Laon, Charlemagne became king in 768 following the death of his father. He was initially co-ruler with his brother Carloman I. Carloman’s sudden death in 771 under unexplained circumstances left Charlemagne as the undisputed ruler of the Frankish Kingdom. Charlemagne continued his father’s policy towards the papacy and became its protector, removing the Lombards from power in northern Italy, and leading an incursion into Muslim Spain. He also campaigned against the peoples to his east, Christianizing them upon penalty of death, at times leading to events such as the Massacre of Verden. Charlemagne reached the height of his power in 800 when he was crowned “emperor” by Pope Leo III on Christmas Day at Old St. Peter’s Basilica.

Called the “Father of Europe” (pater Europae), Charlemagne united most of Western Europe for the first time since the Roman Empire. His rule spurred the Carolingian Renaissance, a period of cultural and intellectual activity within the Catholic Church. Both the French and German monarchies considered their kingdoms to be descendants of Charlemagne’s empire.

Charlemagne died in 814 AD, having ruled as emperor for just over thirteen years. He was laid to rest in his imperial capital of Aachen in today’s Germany. His son Louis the Pious succeeded him.

Source: wiki.com

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June 30

The Domesday Book

The Domesday Book of 1086 AD

Domesday Book is a [taxation] manuscript that records the great survey of much of England and parts of Wales completed in 1086 AD. The survey was executed for William I of England (William the Conqueror): “While spending the Christmas time of 1085 AD in Gloucester, William had deep speech with his counsellors and sent men all over England to each shire to find out what or how much each landholder had in land and livestock, and what it was worth” – Anglo-Saxon Chronicle.

One of the main purposes of the survey was to determine who held what and what taxes had been liable under Edward the Confessor; the judgment of the Domesday assessors was final-whatever the book said about who held the material wealth or what it was worth was the law, and there was no appeal. It was written in Latin, although there were some vernacular words inserted for native terms with no previous Latin equivalent, and the text was highly abbreviated. Richard FitzNigel, writing around the year 1179 AD, stated that the book was known by the English as “Domesday”, that is the Day of judgment:

for as the sentence of that strict and terrible last account cannot be evaded by any skilful subterfuge, so when this book is appealed to … its sentence cannot be put quashed or set aside with impunity. That is why we have called the book ‘the Book of judgment’ … because its decisions, like those of the Last judgment, are unalterable.

Source: wiki.com

After this I [Daniel] saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it [Rome] was diverse [different] from all the beasts [World Governments] that were before it; and [Revised Rome – 7th Kingdom] it had ten horns. ~ Daniel 7:7

Note: this is a dramatic change in the dynamics of the modern Nation State. Previous to the era of the Domesday Book governments were generally friendly and supportive of their citizens. After the time of the Domesday Book, a document compiled in order to facilitate the pillage of its own citizens, the relationship between government and those governed has become more adversarial.

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