Patristic Testimony on Prayers to Saints, Veneration of Martyrs, Purgatory, and the Sacrifice of the Mass


In my discussions with Protestant brethren, I continue to hear the idea that crazy things such as praying to Saints for intercession, venerating the dead pieces of human bodies, a process of post mortem pains to satisfy residual purgatorial punishment, and the Altar of the Church upon which Christ is sacrificed as a propitiation on behalf of the living and the dead are late Medieval inventions which have no place in the early Christian church. However, the historical record would strongly refute this erroneous conception. Here below I will provide statements from extremely credible early Church Fathers who lived in far distant regions from each other, showing how universal and traditional these beliefs and activities were already beginning in the middle of the 4th-century. In so doing, we capture the beliefs of Christians in North Africa, Egypt, Jerusalem, Constantinople, Antioch, Syria, Rome, and Milan. Continue reading

5th-century Greek Historian on Appearances of the Virgin Mary


5th-century Greek historian, Sozomen (A.D. 445), has given us a description of a glorious feat in the Eastern city of Constantinople. What struck me as I read this is how this 5th-century man, a historian no less, and thus deeply interested in the “historia” of Christianity, can remark that appearances of the Virgin Mary for the purpose of releasing divine power was a matter that she was “wont” to do. It was a customary report for he to do this. Here, he is recording of events in the prior century (4th), as well. I suspect that a modern day Protestant would not only feel “not at home” in 4th/5th century Eastern Christianity, but would positively repudiate what was a commonly accepted reality. And I don’t mean to offend by that, unless it would help.

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