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30
64
Peter served as the first pope. By 2003 he was still noted as the longest-serving, for a total of 34 or 37 years, until 64 or 67 A.D.
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31 Mar 25
The 1st Easter, according to calendar-maker Dionysius Exiguus.
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50
60
The Didache, the earliest catechism of the Catholic church, was written about this time as teachings of the 12 Apostles to the gentiles. It was later discovered in a monastery in Constantinople and published by P. Bryennios in 1883.
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136
140
Hyginus was pope. He was later proclaimed a saint.
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141
155
St. Pius I, pope, martyr.
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155 Feb 23
Polycarp, disciple of Apostle John, was arrested and burned at stake.
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185
232
Origen of Caesarea, a church father, urged Christians not to celebrate birthdays because they were a pagan custom.
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199
217
Pope Zephyrinus led the Church.
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200
400
Christianity spread rapidly in Numidia and the diocese of Lamiggiga was established. It was later abandoned and just the name was used as an honorary jurisdiction for Catholic auxiliary bishops.
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200
Pope Zephyrinus about this time assigned his deacon, Calixtus (a former slave), to administer the large underground complex beneath the Appian Way. The subterranean graveyard had existed from about 150CE. This first official Christian cemetery probably originated as the private open-air burial ground of the noble Cecili family of Rome. From this time on it became known as the Catacombs of St. Calixtus. It extended over an area of 20 km., one 3-5 levels, and includes some 500,000 tombs.
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215
Clement of Alexandria, a Church father, died. He cited early efforts to fix the Nativity on Apr 19, 20th or May 20.
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235
An inscription in Greek in the Calixtian Complex of Rome was dedicated to the pope St. Pontian, who died in the Sardinian mines.
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250
An inscription in Greek in the Calixtian Complex of Rome was dedicated to pope St. Fabian, who re-organized the Church in a period of peace and was then martyred during the Decian persecutions.
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254 May 12
St. Stephen I began his reign as the 23rd Catholic Pope. According to the "Liber Pontificalis" he instituted the rule that clerics should wear special clothes at their ministrations.
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254
Pope St. Lucius I, who spent part of his pontificate in exile, was buried in the Calixtian Complex of Rome and has an inscription in Greek.
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257 Aug 2
Pope Stefanus I (St. Stephen), bishop of Rome (254-57), heretic fighter, died.
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258 Aug 6
Pope Sixtus II, bishop of Rome (257-58), was beheaded upon orders of Emperor Valerian.
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258
A red agate cup with gold handles, the Santo Caliz, was sent to Spain by Pope Sixtus II and St. Laurence as Rome went under siege by the Persians. In 1437 the church moved it to the Cathedral of Valencia.
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267 Dec 26
Dionysius, bishop of Rome and saint, died.
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270
The Catholic Bishop Valentine was clubbed, stoned and beheaded by Emperor Claudius for refusing to acknowledge the monarch’s outlawing of marriage. The Catholics then made Valentine a symbol to oppose the Roman mid-February custom in honor of the God Lupercus, where Roman teenage girls’ names were put in a box and selected by young Roman men for "sex toy" use until the next lottery.
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283
Pope St. Eutychian escaped persecution but struggled with early heresies. He was buried in the Calixtian Complex of Rome and has an inscription in Greek.
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288
Sebastian (b.256), a Christian and Roman soldier, was beaten to death about this time on the orders of Roman Emp. Diocletian. The exact date when St. Sebastian was canonized by the Catholic Church is unknown. The Saint's canonization is categorized as pre-congregation, meaning it occurred prior to the formation of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in 1588, according to the Vatican. St. Sebastian is known as the patron saint of athletes.
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296 Apr 22
St. Gaius ended his reign as Catholic Pope.
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299
311
The period of Christian persecutions begun by Diocletian.
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300
400
It was during the Fourth century that the celebration of Christ's birth on December 25 was gradually adopted by most Eastern Churches.
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300
400
Saint Nectarius of Auvergne (also known as Nectarius of St-Nectaire, Nectarius of Limagne, Necterius of Senneterre), venerated as a 4th century martyr and Christian missionary, was one of the seven missionaries sent by Pope Fabian from Rome to Gaul to spread Christianity there. Nectarius was accompanied by the priests Baudimius (Baudenius, Baudime) and Auditor (Auditeur); tradition states that they were all brothers.
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305
San Gennaro, a pious bishop, was beheaded by Roman Emp. Diocletian. In the 14th century Naples began celebrating the miracle of San Gennaro, whereby the city’s archbishop shakes a vial allegedly containing blood from Gennaro.
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309
310 Apr 18
St. Eusebius began his reign as Catholic Pope. He ruled for just 4 months in either 309 or 310.
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311 Jul 2
St. Miltiades began his reign as Catholic Pope.
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311
The Donatists were a Christian sect that developed in northern Africa [Numidia] and maintained that it alone constituted the whole and only true church and that baptisms and ordinations of the orthodox clergy were invalid.
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311
At the consecration of bishop Caecilian of Carthage, one of the three bishops, Felix, bishop of Aptunga, who consecrated Caecilian, had given copies of the Bible to the Roman persecutors. A group of about 70 bishops formed a synod and declared the consecration of the bishop to be invalid. Great debate arose concerning the validity of the sacraments (baptism, the Lord's Supper, etc.) by one who had sinned so greatly against other Christians.
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314
335
Pope Sylvester I. A document from the 9th or 10th century called the "Donation of Constantine" was forged to show Constantine granting to Sylvester and his successors spiritual supremacy over all matters of faith and worship and temporal dominion over Rome and the entire Western empire.
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316
Diocletian, former emperor of Rome, died. By this time there were about 30,000 converts to Christianity and some 33 popes had followed in the footsteps of St. Peter.
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325 May 20
An ecumenical council was inaugurated by Emperor Constantine in Nicea, Asia Minor. The Church Council of Nicaea (aka Iznik) in Asia Minor condemned the teaching of Arius, a Christian priest at Alexandria (d.336), who held that Christ was not divine in the same sense as God the Father. The council fixed Orthodox Easter as the first Sunday after the first full moon following the vernal equinox unless the date falls on the 1st day of Passover, in which case it moves to the next Sunday.
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325 Aug 25
Council of Nicaea ended with adoption of the Nicene Creed establishing the doctrine of the Holy Trinity. The Council also decreed that priests cannot marry after their ordination.
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326 Jul 25
Constantine refused to carry out the traditional pagan sacrifices.
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326
The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem was begun by the Roman emperor Constantine.
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336
By this year Dec 25 was established in the Liturgy of the Roman Church as the birthday of Jesus.
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352 May 17
Liberius began his reign as Catholic Pope replacing Julius I.
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353
431
St. Paulinus, poet and Bishop of Mola: "For it is after the Solstice, when Christ born in the flesh with the new sun transformed the season of cold winter, and giving to mortal men a healing dawn, commanded the nights to decrease at his coming with advancing day."
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354
Augustine (Aurelius Augustinus, d.430) was born in Tagaste, North Africa (modern Souk Ahras, Algeria). Augustine of Hippo, Church Father and philosopher, held that as long as the fetus was "shapeless" homicide laws did not apply because it had no senses and no soul. "Total abstinence is easier than perfect moderation." He fused the New Testament with Greek philosophy. "Nothing is so powerful in drawing the spirit of a man downwards as the caresses of a woman."
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355
Donatus, bishop of Casae Nigrae in North Africa, died. He taught that the effectiveness of the sacraments depends on the moral character of the minister. In other words, if a minister who was involved in a serious enough sin were to baptize a person, that baptism would be considered invalid.
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356 Feb 19
Emperor Constantius II shut all heathen (non-Christian) temples.
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366
384
Pope St. Damasus located martyr’s graves and composed verse inscriptions for their tombs. He transformed the catacombs into popular and venerated shrines.
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376 Dec 25
In Milan, Ambrose, the Bishop of Milan, forced the emperor Theodosius to perform public penance for his massacre.
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385
Pope Siricius left his wife to become pope and told priests to stop sleeping with their wives.
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385
Priscillian, bishop of Avila in Spain, was convicted of sorcery and executed by the Roman emperor Maximus.
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392 Nov 8
Theodosius of Rome passed legislation prohibiting all pagan worship in the empire and declared Christianity the state religion.
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415
Archbishop Cyril of Alexandria sent a mob of religious police to stop Hypatia, an eccentric pagan ascetic and scholar.
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418 Dec 27
Zosimus, Greek Pope (417-8), died.
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430 Aug 28
430 Aug 28, Augustine (b.354) died in Hippo (Annaba, Algeria) with a Vandal army outside the gates of the city. His writings included "The Confessions." In 1999 Garry Wills authored the biography "St. Augustine." Augustine had developed the theory of a "just war" and said a nation’s leaders must consider among other things, anticipated loss of civilian life and whether all peaceful options have been exhausted before war starts. In 2003 Garry Wills authored "Saint Augustine's Sin." In 2005 James J. O’Donnell authored “Augustine: A New Biography.” Augustine turned against the spirit of intellectual inquiry once he found salvation. His dogmatic invective laid the foundations for centuries of intellectual tyranny by the Catholic church.

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431
The Council of Ephesus was held to deal with the heretics and heresies of the day such as Arianism and Apollinarianism. The council condemned Nestorianism, which taught that there were 2 person in Christ and that Mary was the mother of the human Christ but not of God. In 2009 Miri Rubin authored “Mother of God: A History of the Virgin Mary.”
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431
The Assyrians and Chaldeans broke from what was to become the Roman Catholic Church over a theological dispute.
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440 Aug 19
Pope Sixtus III (432-440) died.
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451 Oct 8
Council of Chalcedon (4th ecumenical council) opened. The Council declared that the two natures of Christ, divine and human, were united without change, division or confusion in Christ. This led to the formation of the Coptic Monophysite Church which continued to hold that Jesus had but one divine nature. Copt comes from the Arabic word for Egyptian.
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452
Pope Leo I met Attila the Hun on the banks of the Mincio and Attila agreed to make peace and spare Rome.
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461 Nov 10
Leo I the Great, Pope (440-61), died.
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468 Mar 3
St. Simplicius was elected to succeed Catholic Pope Hilarius.
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483 Mar 13
St. Felix began his reign as Catholic Pope.
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492 Mar 1
St. Felix III ended his reign as Catholic Pope.
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