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<< Today from the Catechism of the Catholic Church

The Early Church Fathers, the very first Christians, that lived from A.D. 100 to A.D. 787.


Important Events within Christendom from the End of the Patristic Age in A.D. 787 to Today.
Important events highlighted in blue.


  • 787: This year is considered by scholars to be the end of the Patristic Age or Age of the Early Church Father, with the death of St. John Damascene also known as St John of Damascus.
  • 793: Sacking of the monastery of Lindisfarne marks the beginning of Viking raids on Christian Europe.
  • December 25, 800: King Charlemagne of the Franks is crowned Holy Roman Emperor of the West by Pope Leo III in St. Peter's Basilica.
  • 829: Ansgar begins missionary work in Sweden near Stockholm.
  • 863: Saint Cyril and Saint Methodius sent by the Patriarch of Constantinople to evangelise the Slavic peoples. They translate the Bible into Slavonic.
  • 869: Fourth Ecumenical Council of Constantinople condemns Photius. This council and succeeding general councils are denied by the Eastern Orthodox Churches.
  • 910: Great Benedictine monastery of Cluny rejuvenates western monasticism. Monasteries spread throughout the isolated regions of Western Europe.
  • 966: Mieszko I of Poland converts to Catholicism, beginning the Baptism of Poland.
  • 988: St. Vladimir I the Great is baptized; becomes the first Christian Grand Duke of Kiev.
  • 1012: Burchard of Worms completes his twenty-volume Decretum of Canon law.
  • July 16, 1054: Liturgical, linguistic, and political divisions cause a permanent split between the Eastern and Western Churches, known as the East-West Schism or the Great Schism. The three legates, Humbert of Mourmoutiers, Frederick of Lorraine, and Peter, archbishop of Amalfi, entered the Cathedral of the Hagia Sophia during mass on a Saturday afternoon and placed a papal Bull of Excommunication on the altar against the Patriarch Michael I Cerularius. The legates left for Rome two days later, leaving behind a city near riots.
  • November 27, 1095: Pope Urban II preaches a sacrum bellum (holy war), a Crusade, to defend the eastern Christians, and pilgrims to the Holy Land, at the Council of Clermont.
  • 1098: Foundation of the reforming monastery of Cîteaux, leads to the growth of the Cistercian order.
  • 1099: Retaking of Jerusalem by the 1st Crusade, followed by a massacre of the remaining non-Christian inhabitants, and the establishment of the Crusader kingdoms, in Latin bishops are appointed to dioceses still largely populated by the Orthodox.
  • 1123: First Ecumenical Lateran Council.
  • 1139: Second Ecumenical Lateran Council.
  • 1144: The Saint Denis Basilica of Abbot Suger is the first major building in the style of Gothic architecture.
  • 1150: Publication of Decretum Gratiani.
  • 1179: Third Ecumenical Lateran Council.
  • 1182: The Maronite Church reaffirms its unbroken communion with the Holy See.
  • October 2, 1187: The Siege of Jerusalem. Ayyubid forces led by Saladin capture Jerusalem, prompting the Third Crusade.
  • January 8, 1198: Lotario de' Conti di Segni elected Pope Innocent III. His pontificate is often considered the height of the temporal power of the papacy.
  • April 13, 1204: Sack of Constantinople by the Fourth Crusade. Beginning of Latin Empire of Constantinople.
  • 1205: Saint Francis of Assisi becomes a hermit, founding the Franciscan order of friars.
  • November 11, 1215: Fourth Ecumenical Lateran Council opened by Pope Innocent III.
  • November 30, 1215: Fourth Ecumenical Lateran Council is closed by Pope Innocent III. Seventy decrees were approved, the definition of transubstantiation being among them.
  • 1216: The Order of Preachers (Dominican Order) founded by Saint Dominic is approved as a body of Canons Regular by Pope Honorius III on December 22 (Pope Innocent III having died in July).
  • 1229: Inquisition founded in response to the Cathar Heresy, at the Council of Toulouse.
  • 1231: Charter of the University of Paris granted by Pope Gregory IX.
  • 1241: The death of Ögedei Khan, the Great Khan of the Mongols, prevented the Mongols from further advancing into Europe after their easy victories over the combined Christian armies in the Battle of Liegnitz (in present-day Poland) and Battle of Mohi (in present-day Hungary).
  • 1245: First Ecumenical Council of Lyons. Excommunicated and deposed Emperor Frederick II.
  • 1274: Second Ecumenical Council of Lyons; Catholic and Orthodox Churches temporarily reunited. Thomas Aquinas dies.
  • 1295: Marco Polo arrives home in Venice.
  • February 22, 1300: Pope Boniface VIII published the Bull "Antiquorum fida relatio"; first recorded Holy Year of the Jubilee celebrated.
  • November 18, 1302: Pope Boniface VIII issues the Papal bull Unam sanctam.
  • 1305: French influence causes the Pope to move from Rome to Avignon.
  • August 12, 1308: Pope Clement V issues the Bull Regnans in coelis calling a general council to meet on
  • October 1, 1310, at Vienne in France for the purpose "of making provision in regard to the Order of Knights Templar, both the individual members and its lands, and in regard to other things in reference to the Catholic Faith, the Holy Land, and the improvement of the Church and of ecclesiastical persons".
  • August 17—20, 1308: The leaders of the Knights Templar are secretly absolved by Pope Clement V after their interrogation was carried out by papal agents to verify claims against the accused in the castle of Chinon in the diocese of Tours.
  • October 16, 1311: The first formal session of the Ecumenical Council of Vienne begins under Pope Clement V.
  • March 22, 1312: Clement V promulgates the Bull Vox in excelsis suppressing the Knights Templar.
  • May 6, 1312: The Ecumenical Council of Vienne is closed on the third formal session.
  • May 26, 1328: William of Ockham flees Avignon. Later, he was excommunicated by Pope John XXII, whom Ockham accused of heresy.
  • 1370: Saint Catherine of Siena calls on the Pope to return to Rome.
  • 1378: Antipope Clement VII (Avignon) elected against Pope Urban VI (Rome) precipitating the Western Schism.
  • 1387: Lithuanians were the last in Europe to accept the Catholic faith.
  • c. 1412 — 1431: St. Joan of Arc, a peasant girl from France, has visions from God telling her to lead her countrymen to reclaim their land from the English. After success in battle she is captured by the English in 1431 and is condemned as a heretic and was executed by burning at the age of 19. Later investigation authorized by Pope Callixtus III would conclude she was innocent and a martyr.
  • 1440: Johannes Gutenberg completes his wooden printing press using moveable metal type revolutionizing the spread of knowledge by cheaper and faster means of reproduction. Soon results in the large scale production of religious books including Bibles.
  • May 29, 1453: Fall of Constantinople.
  • 1492: Christopher Columbus reaches the Americas.
  • 1493: With the Inter caetera, Pope Alexander VI awards sole colonial rights over most of the New World to Spain.
  • January 22, 1506: Kaspar von Silenen and first contingent of Swiss mercenaries enter the Vatican during the reign of Pope Julius II. Traditional date of founding of the Swiss Guards.
  • April 18, 1506: Pope Julius II lays cornerstone of New Basilica of St. Peter.
  • 1508: Michelangelo starts painting the Sistine Chapel ceiling.
  • October 31, 1517: Martin Luther posts his 95 Theses, protesting the sale of indulgences.
  • 1516: Saint Sir Thomas More publishes "Utopia" in Latin.
  • 1519: Spanish conquest of Mexico by Hernando Cortes.
  • January 3, 1521: Martin Luther finally excommunicated by Pope Leo X in the bull Decet Romanum Pontificem. Subsequently, the Lutheran church is founded by Martin Luther.

The Catholic Church did need a reformation from within, and got one at the Council of Trent, but others instead wanted a revolution. This started with Luther's excommunication and resulted in numerous denominations that broke from the Church Jesus established on St. Peter and his successors in A.D. 33. Before this time, the only previous major schism happen in A.D. 1054, known as the Great Schism. There are over 30.000 denominations that have broken from Our Lord's Catholic Church. Here is a brief summary of the main line Protestant denominations off of which other man-made churches have been founded. Most of them base their theology solely on the Bible, which the Catholic Church gave them : )

  • 1525: Menno Simons founded the Mennonites.
  • 1533: King Henry VIII founded the Anglican church.
  • 1550: John Calvin founded the Presbyterian church.
  • 1609: John Smyth founded the Baptist church.
  • 1729: John and Charles Wesley founded the Methodist church.
  • 1789: Samuel Seabury founded the Episcopalian church.
  • 1807: Thomas Cambell founded the "Church of Christ".
  • 1830: Joseph Smith founded the Church of Jesus Christ or Latter Day Saints, all know as the Mormons. Practicing Mormons believe in many gods. Mormons who know their faith also believe that god was once a mortal man and that a faithful Mormon can become his own god after his death.
  • 1860: Ellen Gould White founded the Seventh Day Adventists.
  • 1865: William Booth founded the Salvation Army.
  • 1872: Charles Russel founded the Jehovah's Witness, who deny the divinity of Christ. They believe Jesus is really Michael, the Archangel, not the Son of God.
  • 1879: Mary Baker Eddy founded the Christian Scientists.
  • 1901: Charles Fox founded the Pentecostal church.
  • 1915: The Milton brothers and Lyman Steward founded Fundamentalism.

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