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Meet the First Christians
Many Christians are under the misconception that the Church never existed until the time of Constantine in the 4th century . Below are 9 real, historical martyrs for the Catholic Christian Faith that say otherwise. At the end of this page is a list of more than 50 other First Christians that either gave up their lives or were model examples of holiness for the Catholic Faith founded by Jesus on St. Peter.
St. Ignatius of Antioch, Syrian; ecclesiastical writer, bishop, martyr Saint Ignatius of Antioch 50-107AD
Syrian; ecclesiastical writer, bishop, martyr Wrote several very early Church documents.
Ignatius uses the word "Catholic" in his letter to the Smyrnaeans.
   
St. Clement of Rome, Third Pope of the Church St. Clement of Rome, 4th Pope of the Catholic Church 60-99AD
pope: (88-97) Roman; pope, martyr. The oldest extant Christian homily we have is attributed to him: Second letter of Clement of Rome to the Corinthians (150)
   
St. Polycarp of Smyrna, Disciple of St. John, bishop, defender of orthodoxy, martyr St. Polycarp of Smyrna 69-165AD
Asia Minor; bishop, defender of orthodoxy, martyr
   
St. Justin Martyr, Catholic Apologist of the Church, Samaritan; philosopher, and martyr St. Justin Martyr 100-165AD
Samaritan; philosopher, apologist, martyr
   
St. Irenaeus of Lyons, bishop, missionary, theologian, defender of orthodoxy

St. Irenaeus of Lyons 125-203AD
Asia Minor; bishop, missionary, theologian, defender of orthodoxy

   
Tertullian, North African; ecclesiastical writer and Christian apologist

Tertullian160-230AD
North African; ecclesiastical writer, Christian apologist, son of a centurion and trained as a lawyer in Rome. Pagan for half his life.

   
St. Jerome, Doctor of the Church and Catholic Bible Scholar

St. Jerome 342-420AD
Dalmatian; priest, hermit, abbot, biblical scholar and translator, Doctor of the Church— Translated the Holy Scriptures for the Catholic Church by order of Pope Damasus I.

   
St. Augustine of Hippo, well-liked, even among Protestants! St. Augustine of Hippo 354-430AD
North African; bishop, theologian, Doctor of the Church. Well loved saint, even among Protestants!
   
St. Gregory the Great, 64th Pope of the Catholic Church St. Gregory I (the Great), 64th Pope of the Catholic Church 540-604AD
Roman; pope, abbot, liturgist, reformer, statesman, Doctor of the Church. He helped the poor while spreading and strengthening the faith. He wrote extensively on moral and theological subjects.


Listed as follows: { Saints name (life span) }

St. Cyprian of Carthage
(200-258)

St. Athanasius of Alexandria
(297-373)

St. Aphraates/Aphrahat
(336-345)

St. Gregory the Wonderworker
(of Neocaesarea) (213-275)

St. Serapion the Scholastic
(300-370)

St. James of Nisibis
(338-340)

St. Lucy
(225-304)

Saint Nilus the Elder
( ? - 430)

St. John the Short
(339-515)

St. Venantius of Camerino
(233-250)

St. Theonas
(300-395)

St. Ambrose of Milan
(340-397)

Lactantius
(240-323)

Sayings of the Desert Fathers (pdf) (300-500)

St. John Chrysostom
(347-407)

Dionysius of Alexandria
(247-265)

St. Ephrem of Syria
(306-373)

Commodianus
(350-400)

St. Crispina of Thacora
(250-304)

St. Gregory of Elvira
(307-392)

St. Chromatius of Aquileia
(350-407)

St. Methodius of Olympus
(250-311)

Didymus the Blind
(313-398)

St. Paulinus of Nola
(354-431)

St. Alexander of Alexandria
(250-328)

St. Hilary of Poitiers
(315-368)

St. Arsenius the Great
(355-450)

St. Anthony the Great
(251-356)

Nemesius of Emesa
(315-386)

St. Pacianus of Barcelona
(360-390)

St. Pior
(251-395)

St. Cyril of Jerusalem
(315-386)

Sulpicius Severus
(360-425)

Pope St. Stephen I
(254-257)

St. Epiphanius of Salamis
(315-403)

St. John Cassian
(360-435)

St. Macra
(260-287)

St. Martin or Tours
(316-397)

Synesius of Cyrene
(370-414)

St. Febronia of Nisibis (280-304)

St. Syncletice (Abbess)
(316-400)

St. Isidore of Pelusium
(375-450)

St. Eusebius of Vercelli
(283-371)

St. Basil the Great
(329-379)

St. Cyril of Alexandria
(376-444)

Arnobius
(284-305)

St. Gregory of Nazianzen
(329-389)

St. Theophilus of Alexandria
(385-412)

St. Anthony of Egypt
(286-356)

St. Gregory of Nyssa
(330-395)

St. Mark the Ascetic
(385-451)

St. Ammonas the Hermit
(288-350)

St. Moses the Black
(330-405)

St. Patrick of Ireland
(389-461)

St. Agnes
(291-304)

St. Monica
(331-387)

St. Poemen (Abbot)
(390-460)

St. Hilarion
(291-371)

St. Niceta of Remesiana
(335-414)


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The Early Church Fathers Church Fathers on the Primacy of Peter. The Early Church Fathers on the Catholic Church and the term Catholic. The Early Church Fathers on the importance of the Roman Catholic Church centered in Rome.