Difference between pages "July - Christian Community Year Devotional" and "June - Christian Community Year Devotional"

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<h1 style="text-align: center;">July - The Christian Church, Growth</h1>
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<h1 style="text-align: center;">June - The Christian Church, Watering</h1>
<h2 class="chapter-title">July 1</h2>
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<h2 class="chapter-title">June 1</h2>
<h3>John Wycliffe - The Morning Star of the Reformation</h3>
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<h3>Late Antiquity and Middle Ages</h3>
<h4>John Wycliffe (1320 - December 1384 AD) "The Morning Star of the Reformation"</h4>
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<h4>Late Antiquity Through the Middle Ages of the Christian Church Era</h4>
John Wycliffe was an English Scholastic philosopher, theologian, lay preacher, translator, reformer and university teacher at Oxford in England, who was known as an early dissident in the Roman Catholic Church during the 14th century. His followers were known as Lollards, a somewhat rebellious movement, which preached anticlerical and biblically-centred reforms. The Lollard movement was a precursor to the Protestant Reformation (for this reason, Wycliffe is sometimes called "The Morning Star of the Reformation"). He was one of the earliest opponents of papal authority influencing secular power.
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<blockquote>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</blockquote>
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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).
  
Wycliffe was also an early advocate for translation of the Bible into the common language. He completed his translation directly from the Vulgate into vernacular English in the year 1382, now known as Wycliffe's Bible. It is probable that he personally translated the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John; and it is possible he translated the entire New Testament, while his associates translated the Old Testament. Wycliffe's Bible appears to have been completed by 1384, with additional updated versions being done by Wycliffe's assistant John Purvey and others in 1388 and 1395.
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<small>Source: wiki.com</small>
  
Conflict with the Church
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Continuing with the Middle Ages until the Protestant Reformation of 1517 AD.
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<h2 class="chapter-title">June 2</h2>
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<h3>2nd Church Council - Antioch 264-269 AD</h3>
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<h4>The Church Council of Antioch - Christological (is Jesus really God) Controversies</h4>
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The Church Council of Antioch resolving the ongoing Christological (is Jesus really God) controversies 264-269 AD.
  
Theologically, his preaching expressed a strong belief in predestination that enabled him to declare an "invisible church of the elect", made up of those predestined to be saved, rather than in the "visible" Catholic Church.
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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 sharper the strife became, the more Wycliffe had recourse to his translation of Scripture as the basis of all Christian doctrinal opinion, and expressly tried to prove this to be the only norm for Christian faith. To refute his opponents, he wrote the book in which he endeavored to show that Holy Scripture contains all truth and, being from God, is the only authority. He referred to the conditions under which the condemnation of his 18 theses was brought about; and the same may be said of his books dealing with the Church, the office of king, and the power of the pope - all completed within the space of two years (1378-79 AD). To Wycliffe, the Church is the totality of those who are predestined to blessedness. It includes the Church triumphant in heaven, those in purgatory, and the Church militant or men on earth. No one who is eternally lost has part in it. There is one universal Church, and outside of it there is no salvation. Its head is Christ. No pope may say that he is the head, for he cannot say that he is elect or even a member of the Church.
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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.
  
It would be a mistake to assume that Wycliffe's doctrine of the Church - which made so great an impression upon famous priest Jan Hus - was occasioned by the western schism (1378-1417). The principles of the doctrine were already embodied in his De civili dominio. The contents of the book dealing with the Church are closely connected with the decision respecting the 18 theses. The attacks on Pope Gregory XI grow ever more extreme. Wycliffe's stand with respect to the ideal of poverty became continually firmer, as well as his position with regard to the temporal rule of the clergy. Closely related to this attitude was his book De officio regis, the content of which was foreshadowed in his 33 conclusions: One should be instructed with reference to the obligations in regard to the kingdom - <b>to see how the two powers, royal [state] and ecclesiastical [church], may support each other in harmony in the body corporate of the Church</b>. The royal power, Wycliffe taught, is consecrated through the testimony of Holy Scripture and the Fathers. Christ and the apostles rendered tribute to the emperor. It is a sin to oppose the power of the king, which is derived immediately from God. Subjects, above all the clergy, should pay him dutiful tribute. The honors which attach to temporal power hark back to the king; those which belong to precedence in the priestly office, to the priest. The king must apply his power with wisdom, his laws are to be in unison with those of God. From God laws derive their authority, including those which royalty has over the clergy. If one of the clergy neglects his office, he is a traitor to the king who calls him to answer for it. It follows from this that the king has an "evangelical" control. Those in the service of the Church must have regard for the laws of the State. In confirmation of this fundamental principle the archbishops in England make sworn submission to the king and receive their temporalities. The king is to protect his vassals against damage to their possessions; in case the clergy through their misuse of the temporalities cause injury, the king must offer protection. When the king turns over temporalities to the clergy, he places them under his jurisdiction, from which later pronouncements of the popes cannot release them. If the clergy relies on papal pronouncements, it must be subjected to obedience to the king.
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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.
  
At Oxford
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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.
  
Wycliffe was Master of Balliol College, Oxford in 1361. In this same year, he was presented by the college with the parish of Fylingham in Lincolnshire. For this he had to give up the leadership of Balliol College, though he could continue to live at Oxford. He is said to have had rooms in the buildings of The Queen's College, Oxford. As baccalaureate at the university, he busied himself with natural science and mathematics, and as master he had the right to read in philosophy. Obtaining a bachelor's degree in theology, Wycliffe pursued an avid interest in Biblical studies. His performance led Simon Islip, Archbishop of Canterbury, to place him at the head of Canterbury Hall in 1365, where twelve young men were preparing for the priesthood. Islip had designed the foundation for secular clergy; but when he died in 1366, Islip's successor, Simon Langham, a man of monastic training, turned the leadership of the college over to a monk. Though Wycliffe appealed to Rome, the outcome was unfavourable to him.
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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
  
Between 1372 and 1384, he became a Doctor of Divinity, making use of his right to lecture upon systematic divinity, but these lectures were not the origin of his Summa. In 1376, Wycliffe received a letter from his parents suggesting he join a different university; he declined to take their advice. In 1368 (chronology), he gave up his living at Fylingham and took over the rectory of Ludgershall, Buckinghamshire, not far from Oxford, which enabled him to retain his connection with the university. Six years later, in 1374, he received the crown living of Lutterworth in Leicestershire, which he retained until his death. He had already resigned as prebendary of Aust in Westbury-on-Trym.
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<b>Note:</b> 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.
  
 
<small>Source: wiki.com</small>
 
<small>Source: wiki.com</small>
 
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<h2 class="chapter-title">July 2</h2>
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<h2 class="chapter-title">June 3</h2>
<h3>Reformation Review</h3>
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<h3>Desert Fathers</h3>
<h4>A Review of the Protestanstant Reformation</h4>
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<h4>Anthony the Great launches the Desert Monk Monastic Movement in about 270 AD</h4>
<b>The Need for Reformation a Reforming of the Church</b>
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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.
  
Throughout the existence of the Christian Church the original and true Church doctrines have at times been estranged, isolated and even removed from within the confines of Church practices and traditions.
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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 new replacement doctrines consisting of Greek philosophy, Gnostic heresy, cultural traditions, political pressures and even occultic practices have had such a diluting effect on the actual Christian Church that a reformation a splitting away became the only viable option.
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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.
  
<b>Reformation and Counter Reformation Bibles</b>
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<small>Source: wiki.com</small>
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<h2 class="chapter-title">June 4</h2>
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<h3>Desert Monks of Sinai, Egypt</h3>
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<h4>The Ancient Desert Monks of Sinai, Egypt</h4>
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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.
  
King James Version (1611) - Revelation 5:10 And hast made <u>us</u> unto our God kings and priests: and <u>we</u> shall reign on the earth.
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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.
  
Douay-Rheims (1899) - Revelation 5:10 And hast made <u>us</u> to our God a kingdom and priests, and <u>we</u> shall reign on the earth.
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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.
  
<b>Modern Bibles</b>
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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.
  
Modern Catholic Bible - Revelation 5:10 You made <u>them</u> a kingdom and priests for our God, and <u>they</u> will reign on earth.
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<b>Heretical, Non-Theological Teachings of the Desert Monks</b>
  
New International Version (NIV) - Revelation 5:10 You have made <u>them</u> to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and <u>they</u> will reign on the earth.
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"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."
  
English Standard Version (ESV) - Revelation 5:10 and you have made <u>them</u> a kingdom and priests to our God, and <u>they</u> shall reign on the earth.
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Abba (father) Moses, "Sit in thy cell and thy cell will teach thee all."
  
<b>Note:</b> where Christianity seeks to make us "Children of God" a Kingdom of Priest and Prophets to God. The philosophy, secularism and Gnosticism of ancient religions, as revealed in the new modern bible translations of today, seek to make "them" a kingdom and priests unto an unknown god. The difference in religions is very distinct and very real.
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"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.'"
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<h2 class="chapter-title">July 3</h2>
 
<h3>The 3 Solas by Martin Luther</h3>
 
<h4>Theological Issues of the Reformation "The 3 Solas" by Martin Luther</h4>
 
The theology of the Reformers departed from the Roman Catholic Church primarily on the basis of three great principles:
 
  
• Sole authority of Scripture
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"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.'"
  
• Justification by faith alone
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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."
  
• Priesthood of the believer
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An Elder, "A man who keeps death before his eyes will at all times overcome his cowardliness."
  
<b>By Scripture Alone (Sola Scriptura)</b>
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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."
  
Sola Scriptura (by Scripture alone) was one of the watchwords of the Reformation. This doctrine maintains that Scripture, as contained in the Bible, is the only authority for the Christian in matters of faith, life and conduct. The teachings and traditions of the church are to be completely subordinate to the Scriptures. Roman Catholicism, on the other hand, holds Scripture and Tradition to be of the same inspired Deposit of Faith.
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"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.'"
  
<b>By Faith Alone (Sola Fide)</b>
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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.”
  
Sola Fide (by faith alone) was the other watchword of the Reformation. This doctrine maintains that we are justified before God (and thus saved) by faith alone, not by anything we do, not by anything the church does for us, and not by faith plus anything else. It was also recognized by the early Reformers that Sola Fide is not rightly understood until it is seen as anchored in the broader principle of Sola Gratia, by grace alone. Hence the Reformers were calling the church back to the basic teaching of Scripture where the apostle Paul states that we are "saved by grace through faith and that not of ourselves, it is the gift of God," Eph. 2:8.
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<small>Source: wiki.com</small>
 
 
<b>Priesthood of All Believers - 'one priesthood of believers' (Sola Sacerdos)</b>
 
 
 
The third great principle of the Reformation was the priesthood of all believers. The Scriptures teach that believers are a "holy priesthood," 1 Pet. 2:5. All believers are priests before God through our great high priest Jesus Christ. "There is one God and one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus," 1 Tim. 2:5. As believers, we all have direct access to God through Christ, there is no necessity for an earthly mediator. The Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox concept of the priesthood was seen as having no warrant in Scripture, viewed as a perversion and mis-application of the Old Testament Aaronic or Levitical priesthood [the O.T. having been successfully accomplished, completed and fulfilled in the bringing in and establishing of the Messiah, Jesus Christ and His N.T.] which was clearly fulfilled in Christ and done away with by the New Testament.
 
  
<small>Source: Theopedia.com</small>
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<b>Note:</b> 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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<h2 class="chapter-title">July 4</h2>
 
<h3>The Believer's Priesthood</h3>
 
<h4>The Believer's Priesthood "The Royal Priesthood"</h4>
 
<b>The Believer's Priesthood</b>
 
<blockquote>All of you (Redeemed) also, as lively stones (Members of the Eternal Temple), are built up a Spiritual House (Eternal Temple), an Holy [Melchizedek] Priesthood, to offer up spiritual
 
sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. ~ 1 Peter 2:5</blockquote>
 
The main difference between the Levitical Priesthood of the Old Testament and the Royal Priesthood of the New Testament is that the Levitical Priesthood is physical in nature while the Royal Priesthood is Spiritual in nature otherwise the two priesthoods are nearly identical in that the physical sacrifices the Levitical Priests offered up to God are actually models and types of the Spiritual sacrifices that we now offer up to God.
 
<blockquote>For if He (Jesus) were on earth, He should not be a Priest, seeing that there are priests (Levitical) that offer gifts according to the law: Who (Levitical Priests) serve unto the example and Shadow of Heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the Tabernacle: for, See, says He (God), that you make all things according to the pattern showed to you in the mount. But now has He (Jesus) obtained a more excellent [than the Levitical] Ministry, by how much also He is the mediator of a better [New] Covenant, which was established upon better [blood of Jesus and the Resurrection of Jesus] promises. ~ Hebrews 8:4-6</blockquote>
 
Jesus instructed that the entire teaching of the Old Testament Law and of the Prophets is not physical but is Spiritual to direct mankind into a relationship of loving God and of loving our fellow neighbor.
 
<blockquote>Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, You shall love your neighbour as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. ~ Matthew 22:36-40</blockquote>
 
This is now fulfilled in the Royal Law of the New Testament's Royal Priesthood.
 
<blockquote>If all of you fulfil the Royal [Melchizedek] Law according to the scripture, You shall love your neighbor as yourself, all of you do well: ~ James 2:8</blockquote>
 
<blockquote>But all of you are a chosen generation, a Royal Priesthood, an Holy Nation, an exclusive people; that all of you should show forth the praises of Him (God) who has called you out of
 
darkness into His marvelous light; ~ 1 Peter 2:9</blockquote>
 
Both Priesthoods require a High Priest and for the Royal Priesthood it is Jesus that is the High Priest as Jesus occupies All three offices of King, Priest and Prophet and therefore His Priesthood derives the name of "Royal" Kingly Priesthood.
 
<blockquote>But [Jesus] Christ being come [incarnate] an High Priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect [Heavenly] Tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;
 
Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood He entered in once into the Holy Place (Heaven), having obtained eternal redemption for us. ~ Hebrews 9:11-12</blockquote>
 
<b>Conclusion: The Royal Priesthood</b>
 
<blockquote>I plead to you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that all of you present your bodies a living [Melchizedek] sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. ~ Romans 12:1</blockquote>
 
<small>Source: BasicChristian.org</small>
 
 
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<h2 class="chapter-title">July 5</h2>
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<h2 class="chapter-title">June 5</h2>
<h3>House of Medici</h3>
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<h3>Cyprian Bishop of Carthage 248-258 AD</h3>
<h4>The Occult - House of Medici</h4>
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<h4>Moving from the Early Apostolic Church to the Modern Institutional Church</h4>
The House of Medici [Occult Family] was a political dynasty, banking family and later royal house that first began to gather prominence under Cosimo de' Medici in the Republic of Florence during the late 14th century. The family originated in the Mugello region of the Tuscan countryside, gradually rising until they were able to fund the Medici Bank. The bank was the largest in Europe during the 15th century, seeing the Medici gain political power in Florence - though officially they remained citizens rather than monarchs.
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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.
  
The Four Medici Popes
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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.).
  
The Medici produced four Popes of the Catholic Church - Pope Leo X (1513-1521) [the Pope Martin Luther opposed], Pope Clement VII (1523-1534) [presided during the sacking of Rome (1527)], Pope Pius IV (1559-1565), and Pope Leo XI (1605); two regent queens of France-Catherine de' Medici (1547-1559) and Marie de' Medici (1600-1610); and, in 1531, the family became hereditary Dukes of Florence. In 1569, the duchy was elevated to a grand duchy after territorial expansion. They ruled the Grand Duchy of Tuscany from its inception until 1737 AD, with the death of Gian Gastone de' Medici. The grand duchy witnessed degrees of economic growth under the earlier grand dukes, but by the time of Cosimo III de' Medici, Tuscany was fiscally bankrupt.
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<b>Cyprian Bishop of Carthage</b>
  
Their wealth and influence initially derived from the textile trade guided by the guild of the Arte della Lana. Like other signore families they dominated their city's government, they were able to bring Florence under their family's power, allowing for an environment where art and humanism could flourish. They fostered and inspired the birth of the Italian Renaissance along with other families of Italy, such as the Visconti and Sforza of Milan, the Este of Ferrara, and the Gonzaga of Mantua.
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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.
  
The Medici Bank was one of the most prosperous and most respected institutions in Europe. There are some estimates that the Medici family were the wealthiest family in Europe for a period of time. From this base, they acquired political power initially in Florence and later in wider Italy and Europe. A notable contribution to the profession of accounting was the improvement of the general ledger system through the development of the double-entry bookkeeping system for tracking credits and debits. The Medici family were among the earliest businesses to use the system.
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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.
  
<small>Source: wiki.com</small>
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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.
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<h2 class="chapter-title">July 6</h2>
 
<h3>Lorenzo de' Medici</h3>
 
<h4>Lorenzo de' Medici the de facto ruler of the Florentine Republic during the Italian Renaissance</h4>
 
Lorenzo de' Medici (1 January 1449 - 9 April 1492) was an Italian statesman and de facto ruler of the Florentine Republic during the Italian Renaissance. Known as Lorenzo the Magnificent (Lorenzo il Magnifico) by contemporary Florentines, he was a diplomat, politician and patron of scholars, artists, and poets. He is perhaps best known for his contribution to the art world, giving large amounts of money to artists so they could create master works of art. His life coincided with the high point of the mature phase Italian Renaissance and his death coincided with the end of the Golden Age of Florence. The fragile peace he helped maintain between the various Italian states collapsed with his death. Lorenzo de' Medici is buried in the Medici Chapel in Florence.
 
  
Lorenzo's court included artists such as Piero and Antonio del Pollaiuolo, Andrea del Verrocchio, Leonardo da Vinci, Sandro Botticelli, Domenico Ghirlandaio, and Michelangelo Buonarroti who were involved in the 15th-century Renaissance. Although he did not commission many works himself, he helped them secure commissions from other patrons. Michelangelo lived with Lorenzo and his family for five years, dining at the family table and participating in the discussions led by Marsilio Ficino.
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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.
  
Lorenzo was an artist himself, writing poetry in his native Tuscan. In his poetry he celebrates life even while-particularly in his later works-acknowledging with melancholy the fragility and instability of the human condition. Love, feasts and light dominate his verse.
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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.
  
Cosimo de' Medici had started the collection of books which became the Medici Library (also called the Laurentian Library) and Lorenzo expanded it. Lorenzo's agents retrieved from the East large numbers of classical works, and he employed a large workshop to copy his books and disseminate their content across Europe. He supported the development of humanism through his circle of scholarly friends including the philosophers Marsilio Ficino, Poliziano and Giovanni Pico della Mirandola. <b>They studied Greek philosophers, [published the Occult Kabbalah], and attempted to merge the ideas of Plato with Christianity</b>.
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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.
  
Apart from a personal interest Lorenzo also used the Florentine scene of fine arts for his diplomatic efforts. An example includes the commission of Ghirlandaio, Botticelli, Pietro Perugino and Cosimo Rosselli to Rome in order to paint murals in the Sistine Chapel - a move that has been interpreted as sealing the alliance between Lorenzo and Pope Sixtus IV.
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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.
  
In 1471 Lorenzo calculated that since 1434, his family had spent some 663,000 florins (approx. 460 million USD today) for charity, buildings and taxes.
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The Plague of Cyprian is named after him due to his description of it.
  
 
<small>Source: wiki.com</small>
 
<small>Source: wiki.com</small>
 
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&nbsp;
<h2 class="chapter-title">July 7</h2>
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<h2 class="chapter-title">June 6</h2>
<h3>Kabbalah</h3>
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<h3>The Original NT Pentecost</h3>
<h4>Kabbalah - Jewish Occultism</h4>
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<h4>The Original NT Acts 2 Pentecost</h4>
Kabbalah (literally "receiving/tradition" also transliterated Cabala, Qabbala); different transliterations now tend to denote alternative traditions it is an esoteric [secret knowledge] method, discipline, and school of thought that originated in Judaism [by tradition with King Solomon]. A traditional Kabbalist in Judaism is called a Mekubal.
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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.
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<blockquote>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 <u>baked with leaven</u>; they are the First-fruits unto the LORD. ~ Leviticus 23:15-17</blockquote>
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<blockquote>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</blockquote>
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<b>Note:</b> 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.
  
Kabbalah's definition varies according to the tradition and aims of those following it, <b>from its religious origin as an integral part of [occult] Judaism, to its later Christian, New Age, and Occultist syncretic [one world religion] adaptations</b>. Kabbalah is a set of esoteric teachings meant to explain the relationship between an unchanging, eternal, and mysterious Ein Sof (no end) and the mortal and finite universe (God's creation). While it is heavily used by some denominations, it is not a religious denomination in itself. It forms the foundations of mystical religious interpretation. Kabbalah seeks to define the nature of the universe and the human being, the nature and purpose of existence, and various other ontological questions. It also presents methods to aid understanding of these concepts and thereby attain spiritual realisation.
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<b>Also Note:</b> 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.
 
 
Kabbalah originally developed entirely within the realm of Jewish thought, and kabbalists often use classical Jewish sources to explain and demonstrate its esoteric teachings. These teachings are held by followers in Judaism to define the inner meaning of both the Hebrew Bible and traditional Rabbinic literature and their formerly concealed transmitted dimension, as well as to explain the significance of Jewish religious observances.
 
 
 
Traditional practitioners believe its earliest origins pre-date world religions, forming the primordial blueprint for Creation's philosophies, religions, sciences, arts, and political systems. Historically, Kabbalah emerged, after earlier forms of Jewish mysticism, in 12th- to 13th-century Southern France and Spain, becoming reinterpreted in the Jewish mystical renaissance of 16th-century Ottoman Palestine. It was popularised in the form of Hasidic Judaism from the 18th century onwards. 20th-century interest in Kabbalah has inspired cross-denominational Jewish renewal and contributed to wider non-Jewish contemporary spirituality, as well as engaging its flourishing emergence and historical re-emphasis through newly established academic investigation.
 
 
 
<small>Source: wiki.com</small>
 
 
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<h2 class="chapter-title">July 8</h2>
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<h2 class="chapter-title">June 7</h2>
<h3>Michelangelo and the Medici</h3>
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<h3>Emperor Constantine - Church</h3>
<h4>Michelangelo the Great Artist and Painter the Famous Fresco in the Sistine Chapel</h4>
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<h4>Emperor Constantine's Christian Ambitions</h4>
Michelangelo's father sent him to study grammar with the Humanist Francesco da Urbino in Florence as a young boy. The young artist, however, showed no interest in his schooling, preferring to copy paintings from churches and seek the company of painters. At thirteen, Michelangelo was apprenticed to the painter Domenico Ghirlandaio. When Michelangelo was only fourteen, his father persuaded Ghirlandaio to pay his apprentice as an artist, which was highly unusual at the time. When in 1489 Lorenzo de' Medici, de facto ruler of Florence, asked Ghirlandaio for his two best pupils, Ghirlandaio sent Michelangelo and Francesco Granacci. Lorenzo had taken notice of Michelangelo's unusual talent and, wishing to encourage him, proposed for Michelangelo to move into the palace and live there as his son to be educated along with the Medici children. Lorenzo even offered Michelangelo's father Lodovico a respectable position in the palace. Michelangelo was thrown into the midst of the Medici circle where he was involved with poetry, science, philosophy, and art. It was then that Michelangelo first began writing down his deepest thoughts in poetry which he continued to do for the rest of his life.
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<b>Constantine the Pseudo Christian Emperor</b>
  
From 1490 to 1492, Michelangelo attended the Humanist academy which the Medici had founded along Neo Platonic lines. He absorbed Platonist and Neo-Platonist philosophies through his direct contact with some of the great Humanist philosophers of the Medici Court. Consequently, both Michelangelo's outlook and his art were subject to the influence of many of the most prominent philosophers and writers of the day including Marsilio Ficino, Pico della Mirandola and Angelo Poliziano. Michelangelo studied sculpture under Bertoldo di Giovanni. At this time Michelangelo sculpted the reliefs Madonna of the Steps (1490-1492) and Battle of the Centaurs (1491-1492). The latter was based on a theme suggested by Poliziano and was commissioned by Lorenzo de' Medici.
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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.
  
Lorenzo de' Medici's death on April 8, 1492, brought a reversal of Michelangelo's circumstances. Michelangelo left the security of the Medici court and returned to his father's house. In the following months he carved a wooden crucifix (1493), as a gift to the prior of the Florentine church of Santo Spirito, who had permitted him some studies of anatomy on the corpses of the church's hospital. Between 1493 and 1494 he bought a block of marble for a larger than life statue of Hercules, which was sent to France and subsequently disappeared sometime around the 18th century. On January 20, 1494, after heavy snowfalls, Lorenzo's heir, Piero de Medici commissioned a snow statue, and Michelangelo again entered the court of the Medici. The Medici sixty year reign came to an end under the reign of Piero Medici. In the same year, the Medici were expelled from Florence as the result of the rise of Girolamo Savonarola. Michelangelo left the city before the end of the political upheaval, moving to Venice and then to Bologna, where he stayed for more than a year.
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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."
  
Towards the end of 1494, the political situation in Florence was calmer. Upon his return to Florence, he found that things in the city had greatly changed. The city, previously under threat from the French, was no longer in danger as Charles VIII had suffered defeats. Michelangelo returned to Florence but received no commissions from the new city government under Savonarola. He returned to the employment of the Medici. During the half year he spent in Florence he worked on two small statues, a child St. John the Baptist and a sleeping Cupid.
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Constantine is perhaps best known for being the first Christian Roman emperor.
  
In 1527, the Florentine citizens, encouraged by the sack of Rome, threw out the Medici and restored the republic. A siege of the city ensued, and Michelangelo went to the aid of his beloved Florence by working on the city's fortifications from 1528 to 1529. The city fell in 1530, and the Medici were restored to power. <b>Completely out of sympathy with the repressive reign of the ducal [Dukedom] Medici, Michelangelo left Florence for good</b> in the mid-1530s, leaving assistants to complete the Medici chapel. Michelangelo left Florence for the last time at the age of sixty, leaving the Medici chapel unfinished. Michelangelo decided to settle in Rome, where he had hoped to finish Pope Julius II's tomb but was unable to do so, due to a new project that had been assigned to him by Pope Paul III. Thus Michelangelo set the tomb aside to paint a fresco in the Sistine Chapel. Michelangelo was commissioned to do the tombs of Urbino, Lorenzo de' Medici's grandson, Giuliano, duke of Nemours and Lorenzo's third son, and popes Leo X and Clement VII, both Medici; also Lorenzo the Great. Only two were completed: Giuliano's and Lorenzo's.
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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.
 
 
Although the construction of the monument of Pope Julius did not go according to plan, it was officially unveiled in February 1545. The original design had been cut down to something small and manageable with only three sculptured done by Michelangelo. Michelangelo, at seventy years old, had set a high standard for the following artists to come. People were already attempting to sum up his accomplishments and considering his place in history. From this time on, he was known as the 'Divine Michelangelo', a living legend, the master of Renaissance. Yet old though he was, in 1547, Pope Paul III appointed him chief architect of St. Peter's Basilica, which he would work on for the rest of his life. Michelangelo died of old age, leaving the project unfinished. Though he devoted the last seventeen years of his life to this task, Michelangelo refused to accept anything. He said he did it for the good of his soul. Years later his body was brought back from Rome for interment at the Basilica di Santa Croce, fulfilling the maestro's last request to be buried in his beloved Tuscany.
 
  
 
<small>Source: wiki.com</small>
 
<small>Source: wiki.com</small>
  
<b>Note:</b> there are indications that Michelangelo rejected his occult upbringing and converted to a mild form of [works based] Christianity. Before his death Michelangelo requested and later received a Christian burial along with receiving his 'last rites' sacrament from a priest.
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<b>Note:</b> 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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&nbsp;
<h2 class="chapter-title">July 9</h2>
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<h2 class="chapter-title">June 8</h2>
<h3>Pope Leo X - Occult Pope</h3>
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<h3>Emperor Constantine - State</h3>
<h4>Occult Pope - Pope Leo X granted fraudulent financial indulgences for sins and was opposed by Martin Luther's 95 Theses</h4>
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<h4>Emperor Constantine's State Ambitions - The 7th Gentile Kingdom, Revised Rome Begins (Daniel 7:7-8)</h4>
Pope Leo X (11 December 1475 - 1 December 1521), born Giovanni di Lorenzo de' Medici, was Pope from 9 March 1513 to his death in 1521. The second son of Lorenzo the Magnificent, ruler of the Florentine Republic, he was elevated to the cardinalate in 1489; subsequently progressing to the rank of cardinal-deacon.
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In the East - Later Called Byzantium
  
Following the death of Pope Julius II, Giovanni was elected pope after securing the backing of the younger members of the Sacred College. Early on in his reign he oversaw the closing sessions of the Fifth Council of the Lateran, but failed sufficiently to implement the reforms agreed. In 1517 he led a costly war that succeeded in securing his nephew as duke of Urbino, but which damaged the papal finances. He later only narrowly escaped a plot by some cardinals to poison him.
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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.
  
He is probably best remembered for granting indulgences for those who donated to reconstruct St. Peter's Basilica, which practice was <b>challenged by Martin Luther's 95 Theses</b>. He seems not to have taken seriously the array of demands for church reform that would quickly grow into the Protestant Reformation. His Papal Bull of 1520, Exsurge Domine, simply condemned Luther on a number of areas and made ongoing engagement difficult. He did, however, grant establishment to the Oratory of Divine Love.
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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.
  
He borrowed and spent heavily. A significant patron of the arts, upon election Leo is alleged to have said, "Since God has given us the papacy, let us enjoy it". Under his reign, progress was made on the rebuilding of Saint Peter's Basilica and artists such as Raphael decorated the Vatican rooms. Leo also reorganised the Roman University, and promoted the study of literature, poetry and antiquities. His personal arrangements attracted contemporary comment on his possible homosexuality. He died in 1521 and is buried in Santa Maria sopra Minerva, Rome.
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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.
  
<small>Source: wiki.com</small>
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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 <b>ceremony in Milan</b> [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.
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<h2 class="chapter-title">July 10</h2>
 
<h3>Martin Luther</h3>
 
<h4>Martin Luther's posting of his "Ninety-Five Theses" on October 31, 1517 AD is considered the date of the Protestant Reformation</h4>
 
Martin Luther OSA [Order of Saint Augustine] (10 November 1483 - 18 February 1546) was a German monk, former Catholic priest, professor of theology and seminal figure of a reform movement in 16th century Christianity, subsequently known as the Protestant Reformation. He strongly disputed the claim that freedom from God's punishment for sin could be purchased with monetary values. He confronted indulgence salesman Johann Tetzel, a Dominican friar, with his Ninety-Five Theses in 1517. His refusal to retract all of his writings at the demand of Pope Leo X in 1520 and the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V at the Diet of Worms in 1521 resulted in his excommunication by the Pope and condemnation as an outlaw by the Emperor.
 
  
Luther taught that salvation and subsequently eternity in heaven is not earned by good deeds but is received only as a free gift of God's grace through faith in Jesus Christ as redeemer from sin and subsequently eternity in Hell. His theology challenged the authority of the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church by teaching that the Bible is the only source of divinely revealed knowledge from God and opposed sacerdotalism by considering all baptized Christians to be a holy priesthood. Those who identify with these, and all of Luther's wider teachings, are called Lutherans even though Luther insisted on Christian as the only acceptable name for individuals who professed Christ.
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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.
  
His translation of the Bible into the vernacular (instead of Latin) made it more accessible, which had a tremendous impact on the church and on German culture. It fostered the development of a standard version of the German language, added several principles to the art of translation, and influenced the writing of an English translation, the King James Bible. His hymns influenced the development of singing in churches. His marriage to Katharina von Bora set a model for the practice of clerical marriage, allowing Protestant priests to marry.
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In the West - Europe
  
In his later years, in deteriorating health, Luther became increasingly antagonistic toward Jews, writing that Jewish synagogues and homes should be destroyed, their money confiscated, and liberty curtailed. These <b>statements and their influence on antisemitism have contributed to his controversial status</b>. Martin Luther died unrecanted of his beliefs in 1546, while his decree of excommunication by Pope Leo X has never been rescinded.
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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.
  
Monastic and Academic Life
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Early rule
  
Luther dedicated himself to monastic life, devoting himself to fasting, long hours in prayer, pilgrimage, and frequent confession. He would later remark, "If anyone could have gained heaven as a monk, then I would certainly have done so." Luther described this period of his life as one of deep spiritual despair. He said, "I lost touch with Christ the Savior and Comforter, and made of him the jailer and hangman of my poor soul." Johann von Staupitz, his superior, pointed Luther's mind away from continual reflection upon his sins toward the merits of Christ. He taught that true repentance does not involve self-inflicted penances and punishments but rather a change of heart.
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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 1507, he was ordained to the priesthood, and in 1508 von Staupitz, first dean of the newly founded University of Wittenberg, sent for Luther, to teach theology. He received a Bachelor's degree in Biblical studies on 9 March 1508, and another Bachelor's degree in the Sentences by Peter Lombard in 1509. On 19 October 1512, he was awarded his Doctor of Theology and, on 21 October 1512, was received into the senate of the theological faculty of the University of Wittenberg, having been called to the position of Doctor in Bible. He spent the rest of his career in this position at the University of Wittenberg.
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In Rome
  
Later Life
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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.
  
Luther wrote about the Jews throughout his career, though only a few of his works dealt with them directly. Luther rarely encountered Jews during his life, but his attitudes reflected a theological and cultural tradition which saw Jews as a rejected people guilty of the murder of Christ, and he lived within a local community that had expelled Jews some ninety years earlier. He considered the Jews blasphemers and liars because they rejected the divinity of Jesus, whereas Christians believed Jesus was the Messiah. But Luther believed that all human beings who set themselves against God were equally guilty. As early as 1516, he wrote that many people "are proud with marvelous stupidity when they call the Jews dogs, evildoers, or whatever they like, while they too, and equally, do not realize who or what they are in the sight of God". In 1523, Luther advised kindness toward the Jews in That Jesus Christ was Born a Jew, but only with the aim of converting them to Christianity. When his efforts at conversion failed, he grew increasingly bitter toward them.
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<small>Source: wiki.com</small>
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<h2 class="chapter-title">June 9</h2>
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<h3>Emperor Constantine - Personal</h3>
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<h4>Emperor Constantine's Personal Ambitions</h4>
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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.
  
Luther had been suffering from ill health for years, including Ménière's disease, vertigo, fainting, tinnitus, and a cataract in one eye. From 1531 to 1546, his health deteriorated further. The years of struggle with Rome, the antagonisms with and among his fellow reformers, and the scandal which ensued from the bigamy of the Philip of Hesse incident, in which Luther had played a leading role, all may have contributed. In 1536, he began to suffer from kidney and bladder stones, and arthritis, and an ear infection ruptured an ear drum. In December 1544, he began to feel the effects of angina.
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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.
  
His poor physical health made him short-tempered and even harsher in his writings and comments. His wife Katharina was overheard saying, "Dear husband, you are too rude," and he responded, "They are teaching me to be rude." In 1545 and 1546 Luther preached three times in the Market Church in Halle, staying with his friend Justus Jonas during Christmas.
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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.
  
His last sermon was delivered at Eisleben, his place of birth, on 15 February 1546, three days before his death. It was "entirely devoted to the obdurate Jews, whom it was a matter of great urgency to expel from all German territory," according to Léon Poliakov. James Mackinnon writes that it concluded with a "fiery summons to drive the Jews bag and baggage from their midst, unless they desisted from their calumny and their usury and became Christians." Luther said, "we want to practice Christian love toward them and pray that they convert," but also that they are "our public enemies ... and if they could kill us all, they would gladly do so. And so often they do." {Complete lies of unfounded, disoriented, misinformation.}
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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.
  
An apoplectic stroke deprived him of his speech, and he died shortly afterwards at 2:45 a.m. on 18 February 1546, aged 62, in Eisleben, the city of his birth. He was buried in the Castle Church in Wittenberg, beneath the pulpit. The funeral was held by his friends Johannes Bugenhagen and Philipp Melanchthon. A year later, troops of Luther's adversary Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor entered the town, but were ordered by Charles not to disturb the grave.
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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).
  
A piece of paper was later found on which Luther had written his last statement. The statement was in Latin, apart from "We are beggars," which was in German.
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<small>Source: wiki.com</small>
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<h2 class="chapter-title">June 10</h2>
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<h3>Constantius Chlorus</h3>
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<h4>Constantine's Father (March 31, 250 – July 25, 306 AD)</h4>
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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.
  
1. No one can understand Virgil's Bucolics unless he has been a shepherd for five years. No one can understand Virgil's Georgics, unless he has been a farmer for five years.
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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.
  
2. No one can understand Cicero's Letters (or so I teach), unless he has busied himself in the affairs of some prominent state for twenty years.
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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.
  
3. Know that no one can have indulged in the Holy Writers sufficiently, unless he has governed churches for a hundred years with the prophets, such as Elijah and Elisha, John the Baptist, Christ and the Apostles. -- {Possibly a later addition} (Do not assail this divine Aeneid [Greek gods]; nay, rather prostrate revere the ground that it treads.) We are beggars: this is true.
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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.
  
 
<small>Source: wiki.com</small>
 
<small>Source: wiki.com</small>
 
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<h2 class="chapter-title">July 11</h2>
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<h2 class="chapter-title">June 11</h2>
<h3>Pope Clement VII - Occult Pope</h3>
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<h3>Saint Helena</h3>
<h4>Pope Clement VII - The Sacke of Rome 1527 AD</h4>
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<h4>Constantine's Mother</h4>
Pope Clement VII (26 May 1478 - 25 September 1534), born Giulio di Giuliano de' Medici, was Pope from 19 November 1523 to his death in 1534.
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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.
  
Sack of Rome 1527 AD
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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.
  
The Pope's wavering politics also caused the rise of the Imperial party inside the Curia: Cardinal Pompeo Colonna's soldiers pillaged Vatican Hill and gained control of the whole of Rome in his name. The humiliated Pope promised therefore to bring the Papal States to the Imperial side again. But soon after, Colonna left the siege and went to Naples, not keeping his promises and dismissing the Cardinal from his charge. From this point on, Clement VII could do nothing but follow the fate of the French party to the end.
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Helena, claimed during her visit to Jerusalem to have found the True Cross of Jesus Christ.
  
Soon he found himself alone in Italy too, as Alfonso d'Este, duke of Ferrara, had sided with the Imperial army, allowing the horde of Landsknechts led by Charles III, Duke of Bourbon and Georg von Frundsberg to reach Rome without harm.
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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.
  
Charles of Bourbon died while mounting a ladder during the short siege and his starving troops, unpaid and left without a guide, felt free to ravage Rome from 6 May 1527. The many incidents of murder, rape, and vandalism that followed ended the splendours of Renaissance Rome forever. Clement VII, who had displayed no more resolution in his military than in his political conduct, was shortly afterwards (6 June) obliged to surrender himself together with the Castel Sant'Angelo, where he had taken refuge. He agreed to pay a ransom of 400,000 ducati in exchange for his life; conditions included the cession of Parma, Piacenza, Civitavecchia, and Modena to the Holy Roman Empire. (Only the last could be occupied in fact.) At the same time, Venice took advantage of his situation to capture Cervia and Ravenna while Sigismondo Malatesta returned in Rimini.
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Saint Catherine's Monastery - Mt. Sinai, Egypt
  
Clement was kept as a prisoner in Castel Sant'Angelo for six months. After having bought off some Imperial officers, he escaped disguised as a peddler and took shelter in Orvieto and then in Viterbo. He came back to a depopulated and devastated Rome only in October 1528.
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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.
  
During his half-year imprisonment in 1527, Clement VII grew a full beard as a sign of mourning for the sack of Rome. This was a violation of Catholic canon law, which required priests to be clean-shaven; however, it had the precedent of the beard which Pope Julius II had worn for nine months in 1511-12 as a similar sign of mourning for the loss of the papal city of Bologna.
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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.
  
Unlike Julius II, however, Clement VII kept his beard until his death in 1534. His example in wearing a beard was followed by his successor, Paul III, and indeed by twenty-four Popes who followed him, down to Innocent XII, who died in 1700. Clement VII was thus the unintentional originator of a fashion that lasted well over a century.
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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.
  
Meanwhile, in Florence, Republican enemies of the Medici took advantage of the chaos to again expel the Pope's family from the city.
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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.
  
In June of the next year the warring parties signed the Peace of Barcelona. The Papal States regained some cities, and Charles V agreed to restore the Medici to power in Florence. In 1530, after an eleven-month siege, the Tuscan city capitulated, and Clement VII installed his illegitimate son Alessandro as duke. Subsequently the Pope followed a policy of subservience to the emperor, endeavouring on the one hand to induce him to act with severity against the Lutherans in Germany and on the other to avoid his demands for a general council.
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According to one tradition, Helena acquired the Holy Tunic on her trip to Jerusalem and sent it to Trier.
  
The English Reformation
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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.
  
Clement's dependence on Charles V led indirectly to the break between the Kingdom of England and the Catholic Church. By the late 1520s, King Henry VIII wanted to have his marriage to Catherine of Aragon annulled. The royal couple had not produced a male heir who survived into adulthood, and Henry wanted a son to secure the Tudor dynasty. Henry claimed that this lack of a male heir was because his marriage was "blighted in the eyes of God". Catherine had been his brother's widow, and it was therefore against Biblical teachings for Henry to have married her. Indeed, a special dispensation from Pope Julius II had been needed to allow the wedding in the first place. Henry argued that this had been wrong and that his marriage had never been valid. In 1527 Henry asked Pope Clement to annul the marriage, but the Pope refused. According to canon law, the Pope cannot annul a marriage on the basis of a canonical impediment previously dispensed. Clement also feared the wrath of Catherine's nephew, Charles V, whose own troops were responsible for the episode earlier that year that included the sack of Rome. In the matter of the annulment, no progress seemed possible: the Pope seemed more afraid of Emperor Charles V than of Henry. Many people close to Henry VIII wished simply to ignore the Pope; but in October 1530 a meeting of clergy and lawyers advised that the English Parliament could not empower the Archbishop of Canterbury to act against the Pope's prohibition. In Parliament, Bishop John Fisher was the Pope's champion.
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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.
  
Henry was married to Anne Boleyn at some debated point between the end of 1532 and the beginning of 1533. One 16th century chronicler put the wedding service on the feast of Saint Erkenwald in Dover Castle, around 14 November, whilst others have suggested a second or perhaps sole Nuptial Mass at the Palace of Whitehall in Westminster on 25 January 1533. The name of the celebrant is unknown, although various sources suggest it was Father Rowland Lee, future Bishop of Lichfield, or Prior George Browne, future Archbishop of Dublin. The marriage was made easier by the death of Archbishop William Warham, a stalwart friend of the Pope, after which Henry persuaded Clement to appoint Father Thomas Cranmer, a friend of the Boleyn family, as his successor as Archbishop of Canterbury. The Pope granted the papal bulls necessary for Cranmer's promotion to Canterbury, as Henry had personally financed them. Cranmer was prepared to grant the annulment of the marriage to Catherine as Henry required. Anne gave birth to a daughter, the future Queen Elizabeth I, three months after her public coronation as queen in Westminster Abbey. The Pope responded to the marriage by excommunicating both Henry and Cranmer from the Catholic Church. For some time, the news was kept from the new queen, for fear it would bring about a miscarriage.
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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.
 
 
Consequently in England, in the same year, the Act of First Fruits and Tenths transferred the taxes on ecclesiastical income from the Pope to the English Crown. The Peter's Pence Act outlawed the annual payment by landowners of one penny to the Pope. This act also reiterated that England had "no superior under God, but only your Grace" and that Henry's "imperial crown" had been diminished by "the unreasonable and uncharitable usurpations and exactions" of the Pope. Ultimately Henry led the English Parliament to pass the Act of Supremacy (1534) that established the independent Church of England and breaking from the Catholic Church.
 
  
 
<small>Source: wiki.com</small>
 
<small>Source: wiki.com</small>
 
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<h2 class="chapter-title">July 12</h2>
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<h2 class="chapter-title">June 12</h2>
<h3>John Calvin</h3>
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<h3>In This Sign (X-P) Conquer</h3>
<h4>John Calvin the Father of the dubious Modern Reformed Theology</h4>
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<h4>Conquer what? The Christian Church is mostly what Constantine conquered</h4>
John Calvin (French: Jean Calvin, born Jehan Cauvin: 10 July 1509 - 27 May 1564) was an influential French theologian and pastor during the Protestant Reformation. He was a principal figure in the development of the system of Christian theology later called Calvinism. Originally trained as a humanist (i.e. professionalism) lawyer, he broke from the Roman Catholic Church around 1530. After religious tensions provoked a violent uprising against Protestants in France, Calvin fled to Basel, Switzerland, where he published the first edition of his seminal work Institutes of the Christian Religion in 1536.
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War against Maxentius - The Roman Emperor from 306 to 312 AD
  
In that year, Calvin was recruited by William Farel to help reform the church in Geneva. The city council resisted the implementation of Calvin's and Farel's ideas, and both men were expelled. At the invitation of Martin Bucer, Calvin proceeded to Strasbourg, where he became the minister of a church of French refugees. He continued to support the reform movement in Geneva, and was eventually invited back to lead its church.
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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.
  
Following his return, Calvin introduced new forms of church government and liturgy, despite the opposition of several powerful families in the city who tried to curb his authority. During this period, Michael Servetus, a Spaniard known for his heretical views, arrived in Geneva. He was denounced by Calvin and executed by the city council. Following an influx of supportive refugees and new elections to the city council, Calvin's opponents were forced out. Calvin spent his final years promoting the Reformation both in Geneva and throughout Europe.
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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.
  
Calvin was a tireless polemic and apologetic writer who generated much controversy. He also exchanged cordial and supportive letters with many reformers, including Philipp Melanchthon and Heinrich Bullinger. In addition to the Institutes, he wrote commentaries on most books of the Bible, as well as theological treatises and confessional documents. He regularly preached sermons throughout the week in Geneva. Calvin was influenced by the Augustinian tradition, which led him to expound the doctrine of predestination and the absolute sovereignty of God in salvation of the human soul from death and eternal damnation.
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Constantine's army adopts the Constantinian, Chi [Greek] (X "Ch") traversed by Rho [Greek] (P "R") cross
  
Calvin's writing and preachings provided the seeds for the branch of theology that bears his name. The Reformed, Congregational, and Presbyterian churches, which look to Calvin as the chief expositor of their beliefs, have spread throughout the world.
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The Battle of the Milvian Bridge by Giulio Romano
  
Opposition
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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
  
Calvin encountered bitter opposition to his work in Geneva. Around 1546, the uncoordinated forces coalesced into an identifiable group whom he referred to as the libertines, but who preferred to be called either Spirituels or Patriots. According to Calvin, these were people who felt that after being liberated through grace, they were exempted from both ecclesiastical and civil law. The group consisted of wealthy, politically powerful, and interrelated families of Geneva. At the end of January 1546, Pierre Ameaux, a maker of playing cards who had already been in conflict with the Consistory, attacked Calvin by calling him a "Picard", an epithet denoting anti-French sentiment, and accused him of false doctrine. Ameaux was punished by the council and forced to make expiation by parading through the city and begging God for forgiveness. A few months later Ami Perrin, the man who had brought Calvin to Geneva, moved into open opposition. Perrin had married Françoise Favre, daughter of François Favre, a well-established Genevan merchant. Both Perrin's wife and father-in-law had previous conflicts with the Consistory. The court noted that many of Geneva's notables, including Perrin, had breached a law against dancing. Initially, Perrin ignored the court when he was summoned, but after receiving a letter from Calvin, he appeared before the Consistory.
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<small>Source: wiki.com</small>
  
By 1547, opposition to Calvin and other French refugee ministers had grown to constitute the majority of the syndics, the civil magistrates of Geneva. On 27 June an unsigned threatening letter in Genevan dialect was found at the pulpit of St. Pierre Cathedral where Calvin preached. Suspecting a plot against both the church and the state, the council appointed a commission to investigate. Jacques Gruet, a Genevan member of Favre's group, was arrested and incriminating evidence was found when his house was searched. Under torture, he confessed to several crimes including writing the letter left in the pulpit which threatened the church leaders. A civil court condemned Gruet to death and he was beheaded on 26 July. Calvin was not opposed to the civil court's decision.
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<b>Note:</b> 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?
 
 
The Spirituels and Patriots continued organizing opposition, insulting the appointed ministers, and challenging the authority of the Consistory. The council straddled both sides of the conflict, alternately admonishing and upholding Calvin. When Perrin was elected first syndic in February 1552, Calvin's authority appeared to be at its lowest point. After some losses before the council, Calvin believed he was defeated; on 24 July 1553 he asked the council to allow him to resign. Although the libertines controlled the council, his request was refused. The opposition realised that they could curb Calvin's authority, but they did not have enough power to banish him.
 
 
 
<small>Source: wiki.com</small>
 
 
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<h2 class="chapter-title">July 13</h2>
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<h2 class="chapter-title">June 13</h2>
<h3>TULIP</h3>
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<h3>Thomas Aquinas</h3>
<h4>T-U-L-I-P - The Five Points of Calvinism</h4>
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<h4>Thomas Aquinas, Synthetized Aristotelian (Plato) Philosophy with Christianity</h4>
Calvinism, also called the Reformed tradition or the Reformed faith, is a major branch of Protestantism that follows the theological tradition and forms of Christian practice of John Calvin and other Reformation-era theologians. Calvinists broke with the Roman Catholic Church but differed with Lutherans on the real presence of Christ in the Lord's Supper, theories of worship, and the use of God's law for believers, among other things.
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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.
 
 
Calvinism can be a misleading term because the religious tradition it denotes is and has always been diverse, with a wide range of influences rather than a single founder. The movement was first called "Calvinism" by Lutherans who opposed it, and many within the tradition would prefer to use the word Reformed. Since the Arminian controversy, the Reformed (as a branch of Protestantism distinguished from Lutheranism) are divided into Arminians and Calvinists, however it is now rare to call Arminians Reformed, as many see these two schools of thought as opposed, making the terms Calvinist and Reformed synonymous.
 
 
 
While the Reformed theological tradition addresses all of the traditional topics of Christian theology, the word Calvinism is sometimes used to refer to particular Calvinist views on soteriology and predestination, which are summarized in part by the five points of Calvinism. Some have also argued that Calvinism as a whole stresses the sovereignty or rule of God in all things - in salvation but also in all of life.
 
  
Early influential Reformed theologians include John Calvin, Ulrich Zwingli, Martin Bucer, Heinrich Bullinger, Peter Martyr Vermigli, Theodore Beza, and John Knox. In the twentieth century, Abraham Kuyper, Herman Bavinck, B. B. Warfield, Karl Barth, and Cornelius Van Til were influential, while contemporary Reformed theologians <b>[hoaxers and agents of disinformation]</b> include J. I. Packer, R. C. Sproul {epicenter of disinformation - inventor of the modern 5 Solas hoax}, N. T. Wright [Occultist], Timothy J. Keller [Occultist], Alister McGrath, and Michael Horton.
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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, <b>Thomas embraced several ideas put forward by Aristotle</b> [a star pupil of Plato] — whom he referred to as "the Philosopher" — and <b>attempted to synthetize Aristotelian philosophy [via the ancient schools of Alexandria, Egypt] with the principles of Christianity</b>. 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.
  
The biggest Reformed association is the World Communion of Reformed Churches with more than 80 million members in 211 member denominations around the World. There are more conservative Reformed federations like the World Reformed Fellowship and the International Conference of Reformed Churches.
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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).
  
Most objections to and attacks on Calvinism focus on the "five points of Calvinism," also called the doctrines of grace, and remembered by the mnemonic "TULIP." The five points are popularly said to summarize the Canons of Dort, however there is no historical relationship between them, and some scholars argue that their language distorts the meaning of the Canons, Calvin's theology, and the theology of 17th-century Calvinistic orthodoxy, particularly in the language of total depravity and limited atonement. The five points were popularized in the 1963 booklet The Five Points of Calvinism Defined, Defended, Documented by David N. Steele and Curtis C. Thomas. The origin of the five points and the acronym is uncertain, but it was used by Cleland Boyd McAfee as early as circa 1905. An early printed appearance of the T-U-L-I-P acronym is in Loraine Boettner's 1932 book, "The Reformed Doctrine Of Predestination". The acronym was very cautiously if ever used by Calvinist apologists and theologians before the booklet by Steele and Thomas.
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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."
  
 
<small>Source: wiki.com</small>
 
<small>Source: wiki.com</small>
  
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<b>Note:</b> 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.
 
 
<h3>The Five Points of Calvinism --- {TULIP Refuted}</h3>
 
 
 
Total depravity --- {Acts 10:1-4, 1 Corinthians 6:11, 1 Timothy 6:17-19}<br />
 
Unconditional election --- {Romans 2:10-11, Colossians 3:23-25, 1 Peter 1:16-17}<br />
 
Limited atonement --- {John 3:16, Romans 5:18, 1 Timothy 2:6, Titus 2:11}<br />
 
Irresistible grace --- {1 Timothy 2:3-4, 2 Timothy 2:12, Titus 3:4-7}<br />
 
Perseverance of the saints --- {John 15:6, Jude 1:12-13, Hebrews 10:39-39, 2 Peter 2:20-21}
 
  
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<b>Also Note:</b> 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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<h2 class="chapter-title">July 14</h2>
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<h2 class="chapter-title">June 14</h2>
<h3>Huldrych (Ulrich) Zwingli</h3>
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<h3>Reformation Bibles</h3>
<h4>Huldrych Zwingli - Early Reformer</h4>
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<h4>Reformation Bibles i.e. The Geneva Bible and The KJV 1611 Bible</h4>
Huldrych (Ulrich) Zwingli (1 January 1484 - 11 October 1531) was a leader of the Reformation in Switzerland. Born during a time of emerging Swiss patriotism and increasing criticism of the Swiss mercenary system, he attended the University of Vienna and the University of Basel, a scholarly centre of humanism. He continued his studies while he served as a pastor in Glarus and later in Einsiedeln, where he was influenced by the writings of Desiderius Erasmus.
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<b>The Geneva Bible</b>
  
In 1518, Zwingli became the pastor of the Grossmünster in Zurich where he began to preach ideas on reforming the Catholic Church. In his first public controversy in 1522, he attacked the custom of fasting during Lent. In his publications, he noted corruption in the ecclesiastical hierarchy, promoted clerical marriage, and attacked the use of images in places of worship. In 1525, Zwingli introduced a new communion liturgy to replace the Mass. Zwingli also clashed with the Anabaptists, which resulted in their persecution.
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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.
  
The Reformation spread to other parts of the Swiss Confederation, but several cantons resisted, preferring to remain Catholic. Zwingli formed an alliance of Reformed cantons which divided the Confederation along religious lines. In 1529, a war between the two sides was averted at the last moment. Meanwhile, Zwingli's ideas came to the attention of Martin Luther and other reformers. They met at the Marburg Colloquy and although they agreed on many points of doctrine, they could not reach an accord on the doctrine of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. In 1531 Zwingli's alliance applied an unsuccessful food blockade on the Catholic cantons. The cantons responded with an attack at a moment when Zurich was ill prepared. Zwingli was killed in battle at the age of 47. His legacy lives on in the confessions, liturgy, and church orders of the Reformed churches of today.
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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.
 
 
<small>Source: wiki.com</small>
 
<p style="text-align: center;">~ ~ ~ ~ ~</p>
 
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<h2 class="chapter-title">July 15</h2>
 
<h3>William Tyndale</h3>
 
<h4>William Tyndale translated the first English Bible from the Ancient Greek</h4>
 
William Tyndale translated the first English Bible from Greek notably using in part the Greek Textus Receptus of Desiderius Erasmus.
 
  
William Tyndale (1494-1536 AD) was an English scholar who became a leading figure in Protestant reform in the years leading up to his execution. He is well known for his translation of the Bible into English. He was influenced by the work of Desiderius Erasmus, who made the Greek New Testament available in Europe, and by Martin Luther. While a number of partial and incomplete translations had been made from the seventh century onward, the grass-roots spread of Wycliffe's Bible resulted in a death sentence for any unlicensed possession of Scripture in English-even though translations in all other major European languages had been accomplished and made available. Tyndale's translation was the first English Bible to draw directly from Hebrew and Greek texts, the first English one to take advantage of the printing press, and first of the new English Bibles of the Reformation. It was taken to be a direct challenge to the hegemony of both the Roman Catholic Church and English Laws to maintain church rulings. In 1530 AD, Tyndale also wrote The Practyse of Prelates, opposing Henry VIII's divorce on the grounds that it contravened Scripture.
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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".
  
Tyndale had to learn Hebrew in Germany due to England's active Edict of Expulsion against the Jews. He worked in an age where Greek was available to the European scholarly community for the first time in centuries. Erasmus compiled and edited Greek Scriptures into the Textus Receptus - ironically, to improve upon the Latin Vulgate-following the Renaissance-fueling Fall of Constantinople in 1453 and the dispersion of Greek-speaking intellectuals and texts into a Europe which previously had access to none. Sharing Erasmus' translation ideals, Tyndale took the ill-regarded, unpopular and awkward Middle-English "vulgar" tongue, improved upon it using Greek and Hebrew syntaxes and idioms, and formed an Early Modern English basis that Shakespeare and others would later follow and build upon as Tyndale-inspired vernacular forms took over. When a copy of The Obedience of a Christian Man fell into the hands of Henry VIII, the king found the rationale to break the Church in England from the Roman Catholic Church in 1534.
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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.
  
In 1535 AD, Tyndale was arrested and jailed in the castle of Vilvoorde (Filford) outside Brussels for over a year. In 1536 he was convicted of heresy and executed by strangulation, after which his body was burnt at the stake. His dying request that the King of England's eyes would be opened seemed to find its fulfillment just two years later with Henry's authorization of The Great Bible for the Church of England-which was largely Tyndale's own work. Hence, the Tyndale Bible, as it was known, continued to play a key role in spreading Reformation ideas across the English-speaking world and eventually, on the global British Empire.
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<b>The KJV (AV) 1611 Bible</b>
  
Notably, in 1611, the 54 independent scholars who created the King James Version, drew significantly from Tyndale, as well as translations that descended from his. One estimate suggests the New Testament in the King James Version is 83% Tyndale's, and the Old Testament 76%. With his translation of the Bible the first ever to be printed in English, and a model for subsequent English translations, in 2002, Tyndale was placed at number 26 in the BBC's poll of the 100 Greatest Britons.
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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.
<p style="text-align: center;">~ ~ ~ ~ ~</p>
 
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<h2 class="chapter-title">July 16</h2>
 
<h3>Desiderius Erasmus</h3>
 
<h4>Desiderius Erasmus in 1516 AD, published the Greek (Textus Receptus) New Testament</h4>
 
Desiderius Erasmus in 1516, published his (Textus Receptus) Greek New Testament - [Note: the (Textus Receptus) was a coalition of various existing Greek Texts aligned to the newly received more ancient Greek texts from the recently fallen region of Constantinople hence the name "Textus Receptus" or simply Texts Received.
 
  
<b>Desiderius Erasmus</b>
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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.
  
Over the years, Erasmus became intimately acquainted with biblical manuscripts available throughout Europe, particularly of the New Testament. Because the Word of God is quick and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword, it is evident as Erasmus began to search the Scriptures, they had a profound effect upon his life. By the time of his death, the theology of Erasmus had shifted closer to that of the Anabaptists than that of Rome. This will shortly be documented.
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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.
  
As noted above, in 1516, Erasmus published from Basel, Switzerland, his Greek New Testament which he called the Novum Instrumentum. In English that means the "New Instrument. Contrary to popular misconception, Erasmus had more than a handful of manuscripts at his disposal. Preserved Smith, the noted expert on the life of Erasmus, comments, "For the first edition Erasmus had before him ten manuscripts, four of which he found in England, and five at Basle. . . . <b>The last codex was lent him by John Reuchlin . . . [and] appeared to Erasmus so old that it might have come from the Apostolic Age</b>." He was aware of Vaticanus in the Vatican Library and had a friend by the name of Bombasius research that for him (165). He, however, rejected the characteristic variants of Codex Vaticanus which distinguishes itself from the Received Text (RT).
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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.
  
<small>Source: av1611.com</small>
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<small>Source: wiki.com</small>
  
Desiderius Erasmus (27 October 1466 AD - 12 July 1536 AD), known as Erasmus of Rotterdam, or simply Erasmus, was a Dutch Renaissance humanist (i.e. professionalism), Catholic priest, social critic, teacher, and theologian.
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<b>Note:</b> 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.
  
Erasmus was a classical scholar who wrote in a pure Latin style. He was a proponent of religious toleration, and enjoyed the sobriquet "Prince of the Humanists"; he has been called "the crowning glory of the Christian humanists". Using humanist techniques for working on texts, he prepared important new Latin and Greek editions of the New Testament. These raised questions that would be influential in the Protestant Reformation and Catholic Counter-Reformation. He also wrote On Free Will, The Praise of Folly, Handbook of a Christian Knight, On Civility in Children, Copia: Foundations of the Abundant Style, Julius Exclusus, and many other works.
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<b>Also Note:</b> 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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<p style="text-align: center;">~ ~ ~ ~ ~</p>
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<h2 class="chapter-title">June 15</h2>
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<h3>Edict of Toleration</h3>
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<h4>Edict of Toleration by Galerius in 311 AD</h4>
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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.
  
Erasmus lived against the backdrop of the growing European religious Reformation; but while he was critical of the abuses within the Church and called for reform, he kept his distance from Luther and Melanchthon and continued to recognise the authority of the pope. Erasmus emphasized a middle way, with a deep respect for traditional faith, piety and grace, and rejected Luther's emphasis on faith alone. Erasmus therefore remained a member of the Catholic Church all his life. Erasmus remained committed to reforming the Church and its clerics' abuses from within. He also held to Catholic doctrines such as that of free will, which some Reformers rejected in favor of the doctrine of predestination. His middle road approach disappointed and even angered scholars in both camps.
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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."
  
Erasmus died suddenly in Basel in 1536 while preparing to return to Brabant, and was buried in the Basel Minster, the former cathedral of the city. A bronze statue of him was erected in his city of birth in 1622, replacing an earlier work in stone.
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Christianity [and all religions were] officially legalized in the Roman Empire two years later in 313 AD by Constantine in his Edict of Milan.
  
 
<small>Source: wiki.com</small>
 
<small>Source: wiki.com</small>
 
<b>Note:</b> though Erasmus had about a dozen Greek NT text Manuscripts available to him after comparing the various Manuscripts and confirming their uniformity he only heavily used a couple of them to complete his Greek NT Edition the Textus Receptus - not many repetitive Texts are needed if they all say the same thing because they are supposed to say the same thing. Only a couple of reliable Manuscripts were needed in order to combine them into the Greek Textus Receptus that we have today.
 
 
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<h2 class="chapter-title">July 17</h2>
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<h2 class="chapter-title">June 16</h2>
<h3>King James Version</h3>
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<h3>Edict of Milan</h3>
<h4>The King James Version 1611</h4>
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<h4>The Edict of Milan by Emperor Constantine in 313 AD</h4>
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 AD 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 AD), and the second was the Bishops' Bible of 1568 AD. In January 1604 AD, 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.
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The Edict of Milan
  
King James gave the translators instructions intended to guarantee that the new version would conform to the ecclesiology and reflect the episcopal structure of the Church of England and its belief in an ordained clergy. The translation was done by 47 scholars, all of whom were members of the Church of England. In common with most other translations of the period, the New Testament was translated from Greek, the Old Testament was translated from Hebrew text, while the Apocrypha were translated from the Greek and Latin. In the Book of Common Prayer (1662 AD), the text of the Authorized Version replaced the text of the Great Bible - for Epistle and Gospel readings - and as such was authorized by Act of Parliament. By the first half of the 18th century, the Authorized Version was effectively unchallenged as the English translation used in Anglican and Protestant churches. Over the course of the 18th century, the Authorized Version supplanted the Latin Vulgate as the standard version of scripture for English speaking scholars. Today, the most used edition of the King James Bible, and often identified as plainly the King James Version [and even KJV 1611], especially in the United States, closely follows the standard text of 1769 AD, edited by Benjamin Blayney at Oxford.
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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.
  
<small>Source: wiki.com</small>
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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.
<p style="text-align: center;">~ ~ ~ ~ ~</p>
 
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<h2 class="chapter-title">July 18</h2>
 
<h3>Myles Coverdale</h3>
 
<h4>Myles Coverdale - Coverdale Bible, the first complete English Bible 1535 AD</h4>
 
Myles Coverdale (1488 - January 20, 1569 AD) was a 16th-century Bible translator who produced the first complete [OT and NT] printed translation of the Bible into English.
 
 
 
According to a plaque on the wall of York Minster he was believed to have been born in York in or about 1488. He studied at Cambridge (bachelor of canon law 1513), became priest at Norwich in 1514 and entered the convent of Austin friars at Cambridge, where Robert Barnes was Prior [Monastic superior] in 1523 and probably influenced him in favour of Reform. When Barnes was tried for heresy in 1526, Coverdale assisted in his defence and shortly afterward left the Augustinian house and fled to the Continent. Under the influence of Anglo-Italian senior clerks, Barnes would ultimately be burned at the stake in 1540 after the official passage of the Six Articles.
 
  
Legacy
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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.
  
His legacy was far-reaching and broad, including his English Bible of 1535. It may be an understatement to say that Erasmus, Tyndale, Coverdale, Roy and others laid the foundation for a Reformed Church of England. Further, he was involved with gentle revisions in the Great Bible, retaining much of Tyndale's original work: the entire Tyndalian New Testament, Pentateuch and historical works were essentially retained; he reworked his original work in the poets and prophets. He left his translation of the Psalter alone. His translation of the Psalter is used in the Anglican Book of Common Prayer, and is the most familiar translation of the psalms for many Anglicans all over the world until revisions occurred in the 1960s. The Coverdale Psalter, however, if often used in the Collegiate and Cathedral Churches. As a consequence, many musical settings of the psalms make use of the Coverdale translation. His translation of the Roman Canon is still used in some Anglican and Anglican Use Roman Catholic churches.
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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."
  
Coverdale is honoured, together with William Tyndale, with a feast day on the liturgical calendar of the Episcopal Church (USA) on 6 October. His extensive contacts with English and Continental Reformers was integral to the Edwardean English Reformation: Robert Barnes, John Frith, Martin Luther, Philip Melancthon, Heinrich Bullinger, John Calvin, Peter Martyr, Thomas Cranmer, and Hugh Latimer, to mention a few. Erasmus' Greek New Testament fostered proliferating vernacular Bibles on the Continent and William Tyndale, George Roy and others--at great sacrifice to themselves--joined in that revolutionary stream of activity. Miles Coverdale joined in the translation activity and that stream of Reformers that took England into the modern period with "millions of English Bibles"--a number that probably cannot be calculated. He is remembered by Christians in October.
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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:
  
 
<small>Source: wiki.com</small>
 
<small>Source: wiki.com</small>
 
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<h2 class="chapter-title">July 19</h2>
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<h2 class="chapter-title">June 17</h2>
<h3>Oxford Martyrs</h3>
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<h3>Emperor Julian</h3>
<h4>The Oxford Martyrs of 1555 AD</h4>
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<h4>Emperor Julian the Apostate</h4>
The Oxford Martyrs were tried [during the reign of "Bloody Mary" the Catholic Mary I of England] for heresy [Protestantism] in 1555 AD and burnt at the stake in Oxford, England, for their religious beliefs and teachings. The three martyrs were the Anglican bishops Hugh Latimer, Nicholas Ridley and Thomas Cranmer, the Archbishop of Canterbury.
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Emperor Constantine's Death - Died on Pentecost (May 22) 337 AD
  
The three were tried at University Church of St Mary the Virgin, the official church of Oxford University on the High Street. The martyrs were imprisoned at the former Bocardo Prison near the still extant St Michael at the Northgate church (at the north gate of the city walls) in Cornmarket Street. The door of their cell is on display in the tower of the church.
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Following Constantine's death, his body was transferred to Constantinople and buried in the Church of the Holy Apostles there. He was <b>succeeded by his three sons</b> born of Fausta, <b>Constantine II, Constantius II and Constans</b>. 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.
  
The martyrs were burnt at the stake just outside the city walls to the north, where Broad Street is now located. Latimer and Ridley were burnt on 16 October 1555. Cranmer was burnt five months later on 21 March 1556.
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Constantius II was the last of the three sons of Constantine to remain in power, he was repalced by his cousin Julian.
  
A small area cobbled with stones forming a cross in the centre of the road outside the front of Balliol College marks the site. The Victorian spire-like Martyrs' Memorial, at the south end of St Giles' nearby, commemorates the events. It is claimed that the scorch marks from the flames can still be seen on the doors of Balliol College (now rehung between the Front Quadrangle and Garden Quadrangle).
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Emperor Julian - last non-Christian ruler of the Roman Empire - 361 to 363 AD
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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.
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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.
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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 <b>it was his desire to bring the Empire back to its ancient Roman [Pagan] values</b> 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.
  
 
<small>Source: wiki.com</small>
 
<small>Source: wiki.com</small>
 
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<h2 class="chapter-title">July 20</h2>
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<h2 class="chapter-title">June 18</h2>
<h3>Thomas Cranmer</h3>
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<h3>Emperor Theodosius I</h3>
<h4>Thomas Cranmer Archbishop of Canterbury, Oxford Martyr, compiled the first two editions of the Book of Common Prayer</h4>
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<h4>Emperor Theodosius I (Theodosius the Great) issued decrees that effectively made Nicene Christianity the official state church of the Roman Empire</h4>
Thomas Cranmer (2 July 1489 - 21 March 1556) was a leader of the English Reformation and Archbishop of Canterbury during the reigns of Henry VIII, Edward VI and, for a short time, Mary I. He helped build the case for the annulment of Henry's marriage to Catherine of Aragon, which was one of the causes of the separation of the English Church from union with the Holy See. Along with Thomas Cromwell, he supported the principle of Royal Supremacy, in which the king was considered sovereign over the Church within his realm.
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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.
  
During Cranmer's tenure as Archbishop of Canterbury, he was responsible for establishing the first doctrinal and liturgical structures of the reformed Church of England. Under Henry's rule, Cranmer did not make many radical changes in the Church, due to power struggles between religious conservatives and reformers. However, he succeeded in publishing the first officially authorised vernacular service, the Exhortation and Litany.
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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.
 
 
When Edward came to the throne, Cranmer was able to promote major reforms. He wrote and compiled the first two editions of the Book of Common Prayer, a complete liturgy for the English Church. With the assistance of several Continental reformers to whom he gave refuge, he developed new doctrinal standards in areas such as the Eucharist, clerical celibacy, the role of images in places of worship, and the veneration of saints. Cranmer promulgated the new doctrines through the Prayer Book, the Homilies and other publications.
 
 
 
After the accession of the Roman Catholic Mary I, Cranmer was put on trial for treason and heresy. Imprisoned for over two years and under pressure from Church authorities, he made several recantations and apparently reconciled himself with the Roman Catholic Church. However, on the day of his execution, he withdrew his recantations, to die a heretic to Roman Catholics and a martyr for the principles of the English Reformation. Cranmer's death was immortalised in John Foxe's Book of Martyrs and his legacy lives on within the Church of England through the Book of Common Prayer and the Thirty-Nine Articles, an Anglican statement of faith derived from his work.
 
 
 
While Cranmer was following Charles through Italy, he received a royal letter dated 1 October 1532 informing him that he had been appointed the new Archbishop of Canterbury, following the death of archbishop William Warham. Cranmer was ordered to return to England. The appointment had been secured by the family of Anne Boleyn, who was being courted by Henry. When Cranmer's promotion became known in London, it caused great surprise as Cranmer had previously held only minor positions in the Church. Cranmer left Mantua on 19 November and arrived in England at the beginning of January. Henry personally financed the papal bulls necessary for Cranmer's promotion to Canterbury. The bulls were easily acquired because the papal nuncio was under orders from Rome to please the English in an effort to prevent a final breach. The bulls arrived around 26 March 1533 and Cranmer was consecrated as archbishop on 30 March in St Stephen's Chapel. Even while they were waiting for the bulls, Cranmer continued to work on the annulment proceedings, which required greater urgency after Anne announced her pregnancy. Henry and Anne were secretly married on 24 or 25 January 1533 in the presence of a handful of witnesses. Cranmer did not learn of the marriage until a fortnight later.
 
 
 
It is difficult to assess how Cranmer's theological views had evolved since his Cambridge days. There is evidence that he continued to support humanism; he renewed Erasmus' pension that had previously been granted by Archbishop Warham. In June 1533, he was confronted with the difficult task of not only disciplining a reformer, but also seeing him burnt at the stake. John Frith was condemned to death for his views on the eucharist: he denied the real presence. Cranmer personally tried to persuade him to change his views without success. Although he rejected Frith's radicalism, by 1534 he clearly signalled that he had broken with Rome and that he had set a new theological course. He supported the cause of reform by gradually replacing the old guard in his ecclesiastical province with men who followed the new thinking such as Hugh Latimer. He intervened in religious disputes, supporting reformers to the disappointment of religious conservatives who desired to maintain the link with Rome
 
  
 
<small>Source: wiki.com</small>
 
<small>Source: wiki.com</small>
 
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<h2 class="chapter-title">July 21</h2>
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<h2 class="chapter-title">June 19</h2>
<h3>Book of Common Prayer</h3>
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<h3>3rd Church Council - Nicene Council</h3>
<h4>Book of Common Prayer 1549 AD - A major revision was published in 1662 AD and Later Modernized</h4>
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<h4>Nicene Council the 3rd Historical Church Council was held in 325 AD</h4>
The Book of Common Prayer is the short title of a number of related prayer books used in the Anglican Communion [Church of England], as well as by the Continuing Anglican, "Anglican realignment" and other Anglican churches. The original book, published in 1549 (Church of England 1957), in the reign of Edward VI, was a product of the English Reformation following the break with Rome. Prayer books, unlike books of prayers, contain the words of structured (or liturgical) services of worship. The work of 1549 was the first prayer book to include the complete forms of service for daily and Sunday worship in English. It contained Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer, the Litany, and Holy Communion and also the occasional services in full: the orders for Baptism, Confirmation, Marriage, 'prayers to be said with the sick' and a Funeral service. It also set out in full the "propers" (that is the parts of the service which varied week by week or, at times, daily throughout the Church's Year): the collects and the epistle and gospel readings for the Sunday Communion Service. Old Testament and New Testament readings for daily prayer were specified in tabular format as were the Psalms; and canticles, mostly biblical, that were provided to be said or sung between the readings (Careless 2003, p. 26).
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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.
  
The 1549 book was soon succeeded by a more reformed revision in 1552 under the same editorial hand, that of Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury. It was used only for a few months, as after Edward VI's death in 1553, his half-sister Mary I restored Roman Catholic worship. She herself died in 1558, and in 1559 Elizabeth I reintroduced the 1552 book with a few modifications to make it acceptable to more traditionally minded worshippers, notably the inclusion of the words of administration from the 1549 Communion Service alongside those of 1552 AD.
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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.
  
In 1604 James I ordered some further changes, the most significant of these being the addition to the Catechism of a section on the Sacraments. Following the tumultuous events leading to and including the English Civil War, another major revision was published in 1662 (Church of England 1662). That edition has remained the official prayer book of the Church of England, although in the 21st century, an alternative book called Common Worship has largely displaced the Book of Common Prayer at the main Sunday worship service of most English parish churches.
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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.
  
A Book of Common Prayer with local variations is used in churches inside and outside the Anglican Communion in over 50 different countries and in over 150 different languages (Careless 2003, p. 23). In many parts of the world, other books have replaced it in regular weekly worship.
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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.
  
Traditional English Lutheran, Methodist and Presbyterian prayer books have borrowed from the Book of Common Prayer and the marriage and burial rites have found their way into those of other denominations and into the English language. Like the Authorized King James Bible and the works of Shakespeare, many words and phrases from the Book of Common Prayer have entered common parlance.
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<b>Note:</b> 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.
  
 
<small>Source: wiki.com</small>
 
<small>Source: wiki.com</small>
 
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<h2 class="chapter-title">July 22</h2>
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<h2 class="chapter-title">June 20</h2>
<h3>Oliver Cromwell</h3>
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<h3>Athanasius of Alexandria</h3>
<h4>Oliver Cromwell - 1st Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland</h4>
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<h4>Athanasius the Great "Father of Orthodoxy"</h4>
Oliver Cromwell (25 April 1599 - 3 September 1658) was an English military and political leader and later Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland.
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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.
  
Born into the middle gentry, Cromwell was relatively obscure for the first 40 years of his life. After undergoing a religious conversion in the 1630s, he became an independent puritan, taking a generally (but not completely) tolerant view towards the many Protestant sects of his period. An intensely religious man-a self-styled Puritan Moses-he fervently believed that God was guiding his victories. He was elected Member of Parliament for Huntingdon in 1628 and for Cambridge in the Short (1640) and Long (1640-49) Parliaments. He entered the English Civil War on the side of the "Roundheads" or Parliamentarians. Nicknamed "Old Ironsides", he was quickly promoted from leading a single cavalry troop to become one of the principal commanders of the New Model Army, playing an important role in the defeat of the royalist forces.
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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.
  
Cromwell was one of the signatories of King Charles I's death warrant in 1649, and, as a member of the Rump Parliament (1649-53), he dominated the short-lived Commonwealth of England. He was selected to take command of the English campaign in Ireland in 1649-50. Cromwell's forces defeated the Confederate and Royalist coalition in Ireland and occupied the country - bringing to an end the Irish Confederate Wars. During this period a series of Penal Laws were passed against Roman Catholics (a significant minority in England and Scotland but the vast majority in Ireland), and a substantial amount of their land was confiscated. Cromwell also led a campaign against the Scottish army between 1650 and 1651.
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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.
  
On 20 April 1653 he dismissed the Rump Parliament by force, setting up a short-lived nominated assembly known as the Barebones Parliament, before being invited by his fellow leaders to rule as Lord Protector of England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland from 16 December 1653. As a ruler he executed an aggressive and effective foreign policy. After his death from natural causes in 1658 he was buried in Westminster Abbey, but after the Royalists returned to power in 1660 they had his corpse dug up, hung in chains, and beheaded.
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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.
  
Cromwell is one of the most controversial figures in the history of the British Isles, considered a regicidal dictator by historians such as David Hume, a military dictator by Winston Churchill, but a hero of liberty by Thomas Carlyle and Samuel Rawson Gardiner. In a 2002 BBC poll in Britain, Cromwell was selected as one of the ten greatest Britons of all time.
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<b>Athanasius' Five Exiles</b>
  
English Civil War (1642-1651)
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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.
  
Failure to resolve the issues before the Long Parliament led to armed conflict between Parliament and Charles I in late 1642, the beginning of the English Civil War. Before joining Parliament's forces Cromwell's only military experience was in the trained bands, the local county militia. He recruited a cavalry troop in Cambridgeshire after blocking a valuable shipment of silver plate from Cambridge colleges that was meant for the king. Cromwell and his troop then rode to, but arrived too late to take part in the indecisive Battle of Edgehill on 23 October 1642. The troop was recruited to be a full regiment in the winter of 1642 and 1643, making up part of the Eastern Association under the Earl of Manchester. Cromwell gained experience in a number of successful actions in East Anglia in 1643, notably at the Battle of Gainsborough on 28 July. He was subsequently appointed governor of Ely and a colonel in the Eastern Association.
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First exile: under <b>Emperor Constantine</b>, for 2.5 years [11 Jul 335 – 22 Nov 337]; in Trier (Germany)
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Second exile: under Emperor Constantius, for 7.5 years [16 Apr 339 – 21 Oct 346]; lived at Rome
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Third exile: under Emperor Constantius, for 6 years [9 Feb 356 – 21 Feb 362]; in the Egyptian desert
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Fourth exile: under Apostate Emperor Julian, 10 months [24 Oct 362 – 5 Sep 363]; in the Egyptian desert
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Fifth exile: under Emperor Valens, 4 months [5 Oct 365 – 31 Jan 366]; in his father's tomb
  
By the time of the Battle of Marston Moor in July 1644, Cromwell had risen to the rank of Lieutenant General of horse in Manchester's army. The success of his cavalry in breaking the ranks of the Royalist cavalry and then attacking their infantry from the rear at Marston Moor was a major factor in the Parliamentarian victory. Cromwell fought at the head of his troops in the battle and was slightly wounded in the neck, stepping away briefly to receive treatment during the battle but returning to help force the victory. After Cromwell's nephew was killed at Marston Moor he wrote a famous letter to his brother-in-law. Marston Moor secured the north of England for the Parliamentarians, but failed to end Royalist resistance. The indecisive outcome of the Second Battle of Newbury in October meant that by the end of 1644 the war still showed no signs of ending.
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<small>Source: wiki.com</small>
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<h2 class="chapter-title">June 21</h2>
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<h3>Ambrose</h3>
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<h4>Ambrose - Archbishop of Milan - Father of Modern Christianity</h4>
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Aurelius Ambrosius, better known in English as Saint Ambrose (340 AD – 4 April 397 AD), was an <b>Archbishop of Milan, Italy</b> 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.
  
At the critical Battle of Naseby in June 1645, the New Model Army smashed the King's major army. Cromwell led his wing with great success at Naseby, again routing the Royalist cavalry. At the Battle of Langport on 10 July, Cromwell participated in the defeat of the last sizeable Royalist field army. Naseby and Langport effectively ended the King's hopes of victory, and the subsequent Parliamentarian campaigns involved taking the remaining fortified Royalist positions in the west of England. In October 1645, Cromwell besieged and took the wealthy and formidable Catholic fortress Basing House, later to be accused of killing 100 of its 300-man Royalist garrison after its surrender. Cromwell also took part in successful sieges at Bridgwater, Sherborne, Bristol, Devizes, and Winchester, then spent the first half of 1646 mopping up resistance in Devon and Cornwall. Charles I surrendered to the Scots on 5 May 1646, effectively ending the First English Civil War. Cromwell and Fairfax took the formal surrender of the Royalists at Oxford in June.
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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.
  
Second Civil War
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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.
  
The failure to conclude a political agreement with the king led eventually to the outbreak of the Second English Civil War in 1648, when the King tried to regain power by force of arms. Cromwell first put down a Royalist uprising in south Wales led by Rowland Laugharne, winning back Chepstow Castle on 25 May and six days later forcing the surrender of Tenby. The castle at Carmarthen was destroyed by burning. The much stronger castle at Pembroke, however, fell only after a siege of eight weeks. Cromwell dealt leniently with the ex-royalist soldiers, but less so with those who had previously been members of the parliamentary army, John Poyer eventually being executed in London after the drawing of lots.
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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.
  
Cromwell then marched north to deal with a pro-Royalist Scottish army (the Engagers) who had invaded England. At Preston, Cromwell, in sole command for the first time and with an army of 9,000, won a brilliant victory against an army twice as large.
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Soon after acquiring the undisputed possession of the Roman empire, <b>Theodosius [Roman Emperor Theodosius I]</b> 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.
 
 
During 1648, Cromwell's letters and speeches started to become heavily based on biblical imagery, many of them meditations on the meaning of particular passages. For example, after the battle of Preston, study of Psalms 17 and 105 led him to tell Parliament that "they that are implacable and will not leave troubling the land may be speedily destroyed out of the land". A letter to Oliver St John in September 1648 urged him to read Isaiah 8, in which the kingdom falls and only the godly survive. This letter suggests that it was Cromwell's faith, rather than a commitment to radical politics, coupled with Parliament's decision to engage in negotiations with the king at the Treaty of Newport, that convinced him that God had spoken against both the king and Parliament as lawful authorities. For Cromwell, the army was now God's chosen instrument. The episode shows Cromwell's firm belief in "Providentialism"-that God was actively directing the affairs of the world, through the actions of "chosen people" (whom God had "provided" for such purposes). Cromwell believed, during the Civil Wars, that he was one of these people, and he interpreted victories as indications of God's approval of his actions, and defeats as signs that God was directing him in another direction.
 
 
 
Death and Posthumous Execution
 
 
 
Cromwell is thought to have suffered from malaria and from "stone", a common term for urinary/kidney infections. In 1658 he was struck by a sudden bout of malarial fever, followed directly by illness symptomatic of a urinary or kidney complaint. A Venetian physician tracked Cromwell's final illness, saying Cromwell's personal physicians were mismanaging his health, leading to a rapid decline and death. The decline may also have been hastened by the death of one of his daughters, Elizabeth Claypole, in August. He died aged 59 at Whitehall on Friday 3 September 1658, the anniversary of his great victories at Dunbar and Worcester. The most likely cause of Cromwell's death was septicaemia following his urinary infection. He was buried with great ceremony, with an elaborate funeral based on that of James I, at Westminster Abbey, his daughter Elizabeth also being buried there.
 
 
 
On 30 January 1661, (the 12th anniversary of the execution of Charles I), Cromwell's body was exhumed from Westminster Abbey, and was subjected to the ritual of a posthumous execution, as were the remains of Robert Blake, John Bradshaw and Henry Ireton. (The body of Cromwell's daughter was allowed to remain buried in the Abbey.) His disinterred body was hanged in chains at Tyburn, and then thrown into a pit, while his severed head was displayed on a pole outside Westminster Hall until 1685.
 
 
 
In Westminster Abbey, the site of Cromwell's burial was marked during the 19th century by a floor stone in what is now the Air Force Chapel, reading, "THE BURIAL PLACE OF OLIVER CROMWELL 1658-1661".
 
  
 
<small>Source: wiki.com</small>
 
<small>Source: wiki.com</small>
 
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<h2 class="chapter-title">July 23</h2>
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<h2 class="chapter-title">June 22</h2>
<h3>Westminster Confession of Faith</h3>
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<h3>Augustine</h3>
<h4>The Westminster Confession of Faith authored in 1646 and a longer printed version in 1647 AD</h4>
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<h4>Saint Augustine of Hippo (Annaba, Algeria)</h4>
The Westminster Confession of Faith is a Reformed confession of faith. Drawn up by the 1646 Westminster Assembly as part of the Westminster Standards to be a confession of the Church of England, it became and remains the 'subordinate standard' of doctrine in the Church of Scotland, and has been influential within Presbyterian churches worldwide.
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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.
 
 
In 1643, the English Parliament called upon "learned, godly and judicious Divines", to meet at Westminster Abbey in order to provide advice on issues of worship, doctrine, government and discipline of the Church of England. Their meetings, over a period of five years, produced the confession of faith, as well as a Larger Catechism and a Shorter Catechism. For more than three centuries, various churches around the world have adopted the confession and the catechisms as their standards of doctrine, subordinate to the Bible.
 
 
 
The Westminster Confession of Faith was modified and adopted by Congregationalists in England in the form of the Savoy Declaration (1658). Likewise, the Baptists of England modified the Savoy Declaration to produce the Second London Baptist Confession (1689). English Presbyterians, Congregationalists, and Baptists would together (with others) come to be known as Nonconformists, because they did not conform to the Act of Uniformity (1662) establishing the Church of England as the only legally approved church, though they were in many ways united by their common confessions, built on the Westminster Confession.
 
 
 
Contents
 
 
 
The confession is a systematic exposition of Calvinist orthodoxy (which neo-orthodox scholars refer to as "scholastic Calvinism"), influenced by Puritan and covenant theology.
 
 
 
It includes doctrines common to most of Christendom such as the Trinity and Jesus' sacrificial death and resurrection, and it contains doctrines specific to Protestantism such as sola scriptura and sola fide. Its more controversial features include double predestination (held alongside freedom of choice), the covenant of works with Adam, the Puritan doctrine that assurance of salvation is not a necessary consequence of faith, a minimalist conception of worship, and a strict sabbatarianism.
 
  
Even more controversially, it states that the Pope is the Antichrist, that the Roman Catholic mass is a form of idolatry, that the civil magistrates have divine authority to punish heresy, and rules out marriage with non-Christians. These formulations were repudiated by several bodies which adopted the confession (for instance, the Church of Scotland, though its ministers are still free to adhere to the full confession and some do), but the confession remains part of the official doctrine of some other Presbyterian churches. For example, the Presbyterian Church of Australia holds to the Westminster Confession of Faith as its standard, subordinate to the Word of God, and read in the light of a declaratory statement.
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According to his contemporary, Jerome, Augustine "established anew the ancient Faith." In his early years, he was <b>heavily influenced by Manichaeism and afterward by the Neo-Platonism of Plotinus</b>. 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.
  
American Presbyterian Adoption with Revisions
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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.
  
The first American Presbyterian ministers were New England Congregationalists, whose congregations originated with the migration from England to the Dutch colony in America as early as the 1640s, and Presbyterian immigrants from Scotland, Ireland and Wales. The first American presbytery, uniting some of these independent congregations and those of the British immigrants, was formed in 1706. This body grew large enough to form the first synod in Philadelphia in 1716. Prior to 1729, some presbyteries required candidates for the ministry to profess adherence to the Westminster Confession.
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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.
  
When the Synod of Philadelphia met in 1729 to adopt the Westminster Confession as the doctrinal standard, it required all ministers to declare their approval of the Westminster Confession of Faith and catechisms. At the same time, the Adopting Act allowed candidates and ministers to scruple articles within the Confession. Whether or not the article scrupled was essential or nonessential was judged by the presbytery with jurisdiction over the candidate's examination. This allowance implied a difference, within the standards themselves, between things that are essential and necessary to the Christian faith, and things that are not. This compromise left a permanent legacy to following generations of Presbyterians in America, to decide what is meant by "essential and necessary", resulting in permanent controversies over the manner in which a minister is bound to accept the document; and it has left the American versions of the Westminster Confession more amenable to the will of the church to amend it.
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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."
  
 
<small>Source: wiki.com</small>
 
<small>Source: wiki.com</small>
 
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<h2 class="chapter-title">July 24</h2>
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<h2 class="chapter-title">June 23</h2>
<h3>Counter-Reformation</h3>
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<h3>Jerome</h3>
<h4>The Catholic Counter-Reformation initiated in response to the Protestant Reformation</h4>
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<h4>Saint Jerome translated a version of the Bible into Latin (the Vulgate) using the unstable Alexandrian Greek Text</h4>
The Counter-Reformation (also the Catholic Revival or Catholic Reformation) was the period of Catholic revival beginning with the Council of Trent (1545-1563) and ending at the close of the Thirty Years' War (1648), and was initiated in response to [undo] the Protestant Reformation.
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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.
 
 
The Counter-Reformation was a comprehensive effort composed of four major elements:
 
 
 
Ecclesiastical or structural reconfiguration
 
Religious orders
 
Spiritual movements
 
Political dimensions
 
 
 
Such reforms included the foundation of seminaries for the proper training of priests in the spiritual life and the theological traditions of the Church, the reform of religious life by returning orders to their spiritual foundations, and new spiritual movements focusing on the devotional life and a personal relationship with Christ, including the Spanish mystics and the French school of spirituality. It also involved political activities that included the Roman Inquisition.
 
 
 
Policies
 
  
The Catholic Reformation was not only a political and Church policy oriented movement, but it also included major figures such as Ignatius of Loyola, Teresa of Ávila, John of the Cross, Francis de Sales, and Philip Neri, who added to the spirituality of the Catholic Church. Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross were Spanish mystics and reformers of the Carmelite Order, whose ministry focused on interior conversion to Christ, the deepening of prayer, and commitment to God's will. Teresa was given the task of developing and writing about the way to perfection in her love and unity with Christ. Her publications, especially her autobiography The Life of Theresa of Jesus, had multiple effects. It's to be placed besides the Confessions of Augustine.
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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.
  
Thomas Merton called John of the Cross the greatest of all mystical theologians. An important clarification about the word "mystical" is necessary here. When one considers its definition or the nature of "mysticism," a common misunderstanding exists that if one is to become a mystic they are required to seclude themselves physically from the outside world to have this kind of experience. Although such seclusion can, indeed, be the only apostalate (vocation) to which some are called to a life of prayer, there are others who have dual apostalates. In fact, John of the Cross himself served as both confessor/spiritual director within the confines of the cloistered communities that he and Teresa of Ávila worked vigorously to establish, but he also literally helped to build a number of those convents and monasteries. It is true that Ignatius of Loyola and Francis de Sales were called to a more active spirituality or apostalate, but their vocations were not "the opposite" of Teresa of Jesus and John of the Cross as this article previously indicated. Returning to Ignatius of Loyola, "to see God in all things" was a typical expression of Ignatius and a main theme of his Spiritual Exercises. The spirituality of Filippo Neri, who lived in Rome at the same time as Ignatius, was practically oriented, too, but totally opposed to the Jesuit approach. Said Filippo, "If I have a real problem, I contemplate what Ignatius would do ... and then I do the exact opposite". As a recognition of their joint contribution to the spiritual renewal within the Catholic reformation, Ignatius of Loyola, Filippo Neri, and Teresa of Ávila were canonized on the same day, March 12, 1622.
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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.
  
The Virgin Mary played an increasingly central role in Catholic devotions. The victory at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571 was accredited to the Virgin Mary and signified the beginning of a strong resurgence of Marian devotions. During and after the Catholic Reformation, Marian piety experienced unforeseen growth with over 500 pages of mariological writings during the 17th century alone. The Jesuit Francisco Suárez was the first theologian to use the Thomist method on Marian theology. Other well-known contributors to Marian spirituality are Lawrence of Brindisi, Robert Bellarmine, and Francis of Sales.
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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:
  
The sacrament of penance was transformed from a social to a personal experience; that is, from a public community act to a private confession. It now took place in private in a confessional. It was a change from reconciliation with the Church to reconciliation directly with God and from emphasis on social sins of hostility to private sins called "the secret sins of the heart."
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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.
  
 
<small>Source: wiki.com</small>
 
<small>Source: wiki.com</small>
 
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<h2 class="chapter-title">July 25</h2>
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<h2 class="chapter-title">June 24</h2>
<h3>Guy Fawkes - The Gunpowder Plot</h3>
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<h3>Ancient Library of Alexandria</h3>
<h4>Guy Fawkes - The Gunpowder Plot against King James I of England (sponsorer of the KJV (AV) translation of the Bible that was named after him)</h4>
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<h4>The Ancient Library of Alexandria, Egypt</h4>
Guy Fawkes (April 13, 1570 - January 31, 1606 AD), also known as Guido Fawkes, the name he adopted while fighting for the Spanish in the Low Countries, was a member of a group of provincial English Catholics who planned the failed Gunpowder Plot of 1605.
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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 Gunpowder Plot of 1605 AD, in earlier centuries often called the Gunpowder Treason Plot or the Jesuit Treason, was a failed assassination attempt against King James I of England and VI of Scotland by a group of provincial English Catholics led by Robert Catesby.
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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.
  
Gunpowder Plot
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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.
  
In 1604 Fawkes became involved with a small group of English Catholics, led by Robert Catesby, who planned to assassinate the Protestant King James and replace him with his daughter, third in the line of succession, Princess Elizabeth. Fawkes was described by the Jesuit priest and former school friend Oswald Tesimond as "pleasant of approach and cheerful of manner, opposed to quarrels and strife ... loyal to his friends". Tesimond also claimed Fawkes was "a man highly skilled in matters of war", and that it was this mixture of piety and professionalism which endeared him to his fellow conspirators. The author Antonia Fraser describes Fawkes as "a tall, powerfully built man, with thick reddish-brown hair, a flowing moustache in the tradition of the time, and a bushy reddish-brown beard", and that he was "a man of action ... capable of intelligent argument as well as physical endurance, somewhat to the surprise of his enemies."
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<b>Ancient sources differ widely on who is responsible for the destruction and when it occurred</b>
  
The first meeting of the five central conspirators took place on Sunday 20 May 1604, at an inn called the Duck and Drake, in the fashionable Strand district of London. Catesby had already proposed at an earlier meeting with Thomas Wintour and John Wright to kill the King and his government by blowing up "the Parliament House with gunpowder". Wintour, who at first objected to the plan, was convinced by Catesby to travel to the continent to seek help. Wintour met with the Constable of Castile, the exiled Welsh spy Hugh Owen, and Sir William Stanley, who said that Catesby would receive no support from Spain. Owen did, however, introduce Wintour to Fawkes, who had by then been away from England for many years, and thus was largely unknown in the country. Wintour and Fawkes were contemporaries; each was militant, and had first-hand experience of the unwillingness of the Spaniards to help. Wintour told Fawkes of their plan to "doe some whatt in Ingland if the pece with Spaine healped us nott", and thus in April 1604 the two men returned to England. Wintour's news did not surprise Catesby; despite positive noises from the Spanish authorities, he feared that "the deeds would nott answere".
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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.
  
One of the conspirators, Thomas Percy, was promoted in June 1604, gaining access to a house in London that belonged to John Whynniard, Keeper of the King's Wardrobe. Fawkes was installed as a caretaker and began using the pseudonym John Johnson, servant to Percy. The contemporaneous account of the prosecution (taken from Thomas Wintour's confession) claimed that the conspirators attempted to dig a tunnel from beneath Whynniard's house to Parliament, although this story may have been a government fabrication; no evidence for the existence of a tunnel was presented by the prosecution, and no trace of one has ever been found; Fawkes himself did not admit the existence of such a scheme until his fifth interrogation, but even then he could not locate the tunnel. If the story is true, however, by December 1604 the conspirators were busy tunnelling from their rented house to the House of Lords. They ceased their efforts when, during tunnelling, they heard a noise from above. Fawkes was sent out to investigate, and returned with the news that the tenant's widow was clearing out a nearby undercroft, directly beneath the House of Lords.
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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.
  
The plotters purchased the lease to the room, which also belonged to John Whynniard. Unused and filthy, it was considered an ideal hiding place for the gunpowder the plotters planned to store. According to Fawkes, 20 barrels of gunpowder were brought in at first, followed by 16 more on 20 July. On 28 July however, the ever-present threat of the plague delayed the opening of Parliament until Tuesday, 5 November.
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<b>Rumored Destructions of the Library of Alexandria</b>
  
Overseas
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The Burning of the Library at Alexandria in 391 AD, an illustration from 'Hutchinsons History of the Nations', 1910 AD.
  
In an attempt to gain foreign support, in May 1605 Fawkes travelled overseas and informed Hugh Owen of the plotters' plan. At some point during this trip his name made its way into the files of Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury, who employed a network of spies across Europe. One of these spies, Captain William Turner, may have been responsible. Although the information he provided to Salisbury usually amounted to no more than a vague pattern of invasion reports, and included nothing which regarded the Gunpowder Plot, on 21 April he told how Fawkes was to be brought by Tesimond to England. Fawkes was a well-known Flemish mercenary, and would be introduced to "Mr Catesby" and "honourable friends of the nobility and others who would have arms and horses in readiness". Turner's report did not, however, mention Fawkes's pseudonym in England, John Johnson, and did not reach Cecil until late in November, well after the plot had been discovered.
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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.
  
It is uncertain when Fawkes returned to England, but he was back in London by late August 1605, when he and Wintour discovered that the gunpowder stored in the undercroft had decayed. More gunpowder was brought into the room, along with firewood to conceal it. Fawkes's final role in the plot was settled during a series of meetings in October. He was to light the fuse and then escape across the Thames. Simultaneously, a revolt in the Midlands would help to ensure the capture of Princess Elizabeth. Acts of regicide were frowned upon, and Fawkes would therefore head to the continent, where he would explain to the Catholic powers his holy duty to kill the King and his retinue.
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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.
  
Discovery
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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
  
A few of the conspirators were concerned about fellow Catholics who would be present at Parliament during the opening. On the evening of 26 October, Lord Monteagle received an anonymous letter warning him to stay away, and to "retyre youre self into yowre contee whence yow maye expect the event in safti for ... they shall receyve a terrible blowe this parleament". Despite quickly becoming aware of the letter - informed by one of Monteagle's servants - the conspirators resolved to continue with their plans, as it appeared that it "was clearly thought to be a hoax". Fawkes checked the undercroft on 30 October, and reported that nothing had been disturbed. Monteagle's suspicions had been aroused, however, and the letter was shown to King James. The King ordered Sir Thomas Knyvet to conduct a search of the cellars underneath Parliament, which he did in the early hours of 5 November. Fawkes had taken up his station late on the previous night, armed with a slow match and a watch given to him by Percy "becaus he should knowe howe the time went away". He was found leaving the cellar, shortly after midnight, and arrested. Inside, the barrels of gunpowder were discovered hidden under piles of firewood and coal.
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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.
  
Trial and Execution
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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.
  
The trial of eight of the plotters began on Monday 27 January 1606. Fawkes shared the barge from the Tower to Westminster Hall with seven of his co-conspirators. They were kept in the Star Chamber before being taken to Westminster Hall, where they were displayed on a purpose-built scaffold. The King and his close family, watching in secret, were among the spectators as the Lords Commissioners read out the list of charges. Fawkes was identified as Guido Fawkes, "otherwise called Guido Johnson". He pleaded not guilty, despite his apparent acceptance of guilt from the moment he was captured.
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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.
  
The outcome was never in doubt. The jury found all of the defendants guilty, and the Lord Chief Justice Sir John Popham proclaimed them guilty of high treason. The Attorney General Sir Edward Coke told the court that each of the condemned would be drawn backwards to his death, by a horse, his head near the ground. They were to be "put to death halfway between heaven and earth as unworthy of both". Their genitals would be cut off and burnt before their eyes, and their bowels and hearts removed. They would then be decapitated, and the dismembered parts of their bodies displayed so that they might become "prey for the fowls of the air". Fawkes's and Tresham's testimony regarding the Spanish treason was read aloud, as well as confessions related specifically to the Gunpowder Plot. The last piece of evidence offered was a conversation between Fawkes and Wintour, who had been kept in adjacent cells. The two men apparently thought they had been speaking in private, but their conversation was intercepted by a government spy. When the prisoners were allowed to speak, Fawkes explained his not guilty plea as ignorance of certain aspects of the indictment.
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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.
  
On 31 January 1606, Fawkes and three others - Thomas Wintour, Ambrose Rookwood, and Robert Keyes - were dragged (i.e. drawn) from the Tower on wattled hurdles to the Old Palace Yard at Westminster, opposite the building they had attempted to destroy. His fellow plotters were then hanged and quartered. Fawkes was the last to stand on the scaffold. He asked for forgiveness of the King and state, while keeping up his "crosses and idle ceremonies". Weakened by torture and aided by the hangman, Fawkes began to climb the ladder to the noose, but either through jumping to his death or climbing too high so the rope was incorrectly set, he managed to avoid the agony of the latter part of his execution by breaking his neck. His lifeless body was nevertheless quartered and, as was the custom, his body parts were then distributed to "the four corners of the kingdom", to be displayed as a warning to other would-be traitors
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<b>Legacy</b>
  
<small>Source: wiki.com</small>
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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.
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<h2 class="chapter-title">July 26</h2>
 
<h3>Ignatius of Loyola - Agent of Rome</h3>
 
<h4>Ignatius of Loyola a Catholic agent who founded the militant Jesuits Order (Agency) - a Secret Service/CIA version for the Roman Catholic Church</h4>
 
Ignatius of Loyola (October 27, 1491 - July 31, 1556) was a Spanish knight from a local Basque noble family, hermit, priest since 1537, and theologian, who founded the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) and, on 19 April 1541, became its first Superior General. Ignatius emerged as a religious leader during the Counter-Reformation. Loyola's devotion to the Catholic Church was characterized by absolute obedience to the Pope.
 
  
Ignatius was chosen as the first Superior General of his religious order, invested with the title of Father General by the Jesuits. He sent his companions as missionaries around Europe to create schools, colleges, and seminaries. Juan de Vega, the ambassador of Charles V at Rome had met Ignatius there. Esteeming him and the Jesuits, when Vega was appointed Viceroy of Sicily he brought Jesuits with him. A Jesuit college was opened at Messina; success was marked, and its rules and methods were afterwards copied in other colleges. In 1548 Spiritual Exercises was finally printed, and he was briefly brought before the Roman Inquisition, but was released.
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<b>Modern Day</b>
  
Ignatius wrote the Jesuit Constitutions, adopted in 1554, which created a monarchical organization and <b>stressed absolute self-abnegation and obedience to Pope and Superiors</b> (perinde ac [si] cadaver [essent], "[well-disciplined] like a corpse" as Ignatius put it). His main principle became the Jesuit motto: Ad maiorem Dei gloriam ("for the greater glory of God"). The Jesuits were a major factor in the Counter-Reformation. During 1553-1555, Ignatius dictated his life's story to his secretary, Father Gonçalves da Câmara. This autobiography is a valuable key for the understanding of his Spiritual Exercises. It was kept in the archives for about 150 years, until the Bollandists published the text in Acta Sanctorum. He died in Rome on July 31, 1556, as a result of the Roman Fever, a severe case of malaria that recurred in Rome, Italy, at different points in history.
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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.
  
 
<small>Source: wiki.com</small>
 
<small>Source: wiki.com</small>
 
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<h2 class="chapter-title">July 27</h2>
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<h2 class="chapter-title">June 25</h2>
<h3>Jesuits - Pope Francis the Occult "Black" Pope</h3>
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<h3>The Apostles Creed</h3>
<h4>The Jesuits Agency for "whoever desires to serve as a soldier of God"</h4>
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<h4>The Apostles Creed about 180 AD</h4>
The Society of Jesus (SJ) is a Christian male religious congregation of the Catholic Church. The members are called Jesuits. The society is engaged in evangelization and apostolic ministry in 112 nations on six continents. Jesuits work in education (founding schools, colleges, universities and seminaries), intellectual research, and cultural pursuits. Jesuits also give retreats, minister in hospitals and parishes and promote social justice and ecumenical dialogue.
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The Apostles' Creed, sometimes titled Symbol [a group contribution] of the Apostles, is an early statement of Christian belief, a creed or "symbol".
  
Ignatius of Loyola founded the society after being wounded in battle and experiencing a religious conversion. He composed the Spiritual Exercises to help others follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. In 1534, Ignatius and six other young men, including Francis Xavier and Peter Faber, gathered and professed vows of poverty, chastity, and later obedience, including a special vow of obedience to the Pope. Rule 13 of Ignatius's Rules for Thinking with the Church said: "That we may be altogether of the same mind and in conformity ... if [the Church] shall have defined anything to be black which to our eyes appears to be white, we ought in like manner to pronounce it to be black." Ignatius's plan of the order's organization was approved by Pope Paul III in 1540 by the bull containing the "Formula of the Institute".
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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.
  
Because of the military background of Ignatius and the members' willingness to accept orders anywhere in the world and to live in extreme conditions where required, the opening lines of this founding document would declare that the Society of Jesus was founded for "whoever desires to serve as a soldier of God" (Spanish: "todo el que quiera militar para Dios"), "to strive especially for the defense and propagation of the faith and for the progress of souls in Christian life and doctrine." Therefore Jesuits are sometimes referred to colloquially as "God's Soldiers" or "God's Marines". The Society participated in the Counter-Reformation and later in the implementation of the Second Vatican Council in the Catholic Church.
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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 Society of Jesus is consecrated under the patronage of Madonna Della Strada, a title of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and it is led by a Superior General, currently Adolfo Nicolás.
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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 headquarters of the society, its General Curia, is in Rome. The historic curia of St. Ignatius is now part of the Collegio del Gesù attached to the Church of the Gesù, the Jesuit Mother Church.
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<b>The Apostles Creed about 180 AD</b>
  
<b>Pope Francis - The Jesuit Pope aka The Black [Occult] Pope</b>
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I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth;
  
Francis (Latin: Franciscus; Italian: Francesco; born Jorge Mario Bergoglio, 17 December 1936) is the 266th and current Pope of the Catholic Church, having been elected Bishop of Rome and absolute Sovereign of the Vatican City State.
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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.
  
Popular mainstream media frequently portray Pope Francis either as a progressive papal reformer or with seemingly liberal, moderate values. Western news outlets often seek to portray his message with a less-doctrinal tone of papacy in hopes of extrapolating his words to convey a more merciful and tolerant message. In addition, various media outlets persist with notions that the Pontiff would officially change Catholic doctrine as part of the reform on the Roman Curia. In the news media, both faithful and non-believers often refer to a "honeymoon" phase in which the Pope has seemingly changed the tone on Catholic doctrines and initiated ecclesiastical reform in the Vatican, a position often publicly disputed and negated by Catholic priests and apologists.
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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.
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Amen.
  
 
<small>Source: wiki.com</small>
 
<small>Source: wiki.com</small>
 
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<h2 class="chapter-title">July 28</h2>
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<h2 class="chapter-title">June 26</h2>
<h3>Separatists - Pilgrims</h3>
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<h3>The Nicene Creed 325 AD</h3>
<h4>Separatists also commonly called Pilgrims</h4>
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<h4>The Nicene Creed 381 AD - Modified 325 AD Creed</h4>
Separatists commonly called Pilgrims established the Colony of Plymouth, Massachusetts in North America
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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.
  
Pilgrims (US), or Pilgrim Fathers (UK), is a name commonly applied to early settlers of the Plymouth Colony in present-day Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States.
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<b>The Nicene Creed 381 AD (Nicene Creed 325 AD slightly modified)</b>
  
Their leadership came from the religious congregations of Brownist English Dissenters who had fled the volatile political environment in England for the relative calm and tolerance of 16th-17th century Holland in the Netherlands.
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We believe in one God the Father, the Almighty, creator of heaven and earth, and of all that is, seen and unseen.
  
Concerned with losing their cultural identity, the group later arranged with English investors to establish a new colony in North America. The colony, established in 1620, became the second successful English settlement (after the founding of Jamestown, Virginia, in 1607) and later the oldest continuously inhabited English settlement in what was to become the United States of America.
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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.
  
The Pilgrims' story of seeking religious freedom has become a central theme of the history and culture of the United States.
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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.
  
By this time, non-English European colonization of the Americas was also underway in New Netherland, New France, Essequibo, Colonial Brazil, Barbados, the Viceroyalty of Peru, and New Spain.
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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.
  
Separatists
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Amen.
  
The core of the group that would come to be known as the Pilgrims were brought together by a common belief in the ideas promoted by Richard Clyfton, a Brownist parson at All Saints' Parish Church in Babworth, near East Retford, Nottinghamshire, between 1586 and 1605. This congregation held Separatist beliefs comparable to nonconforming movements (i.e., groups not in communion with the Church of England) led by Robert Browne, John Greenwood and Henry Barrowe.
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<small>Source: wiki.com</small>
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<h2 class="chapter-title">June 27</h2>
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<h3>Athanasian Creed</h3>
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<h4>Athanasian Creed about 480 AD</h4>
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Origins of the Athanasian Creed
  
Unlike the Puritan group who maintained their membership in and allegiance to the Church of England, Separatists held that their differences with the Church of England were irreconcilable and that their worship should be organized independently of the trappings, traditions and organization of a central church. William Brewster, a former diplomatic assistant to the Netherlands, was living in the Scrooby manor house, serving as postmaster for the village and bailiff to the Archbishop of York. Having been favorably impressed by Clyfton's services, he had begun participating in Separatist services led by John Smyth in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire.
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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 Separatists had long been controversial. Under the 1559 Act of Uniformity, it was illegal not to attend official Church of England services, with a fine of one shilling (£0.05; about £16 today) for each missed Sunday and holy day. The penalties for conducting unofficial services included imprisonment and larger fines. Under the policy of this time, Barrowe and Greenwood were executed for sedition in 1593.
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The creed originally was most likely written in Latin, while Athanasius composed in Greek
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Neither Athanasius nor his contemporaries ever mention the Creed
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It is not mentioned in any records of the ecumenical councils
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It appears to address theological concerns that developed after Athanasius died (including the filioque)
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It was most widely circulated among Western Christians.
  
Mayflower Compact
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<b>Athanasian Creed about 480 AD</b>
  
With the charter for the Plymouth Council for New England incomplete by the time the colonists departed England (it would be granted while they were in transit, on November 3/November 13), they arrived without a patent; the older Wincob patent was from their abandoned dealings with the London Company. Some of the passengers, aware of the situation, suggested that without a patent in place, they were free to do as they chose upon landing and ignore the contract with the investors.
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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.
  
To address this issue, a brief contract, later to be known as the Mayflower Compact, was drafted promising cooperation among the settlers "for the general good of the Colony unto which we promise all due submission and obedience." It organized them into what was called a "civil Body Politick," in which issues would be decided by that key ingredient of democracy, voting. It was ratified by majority rule, with 41 adult male passengers signing for the 102 passengers, seventy-three males and twenty-nine females. There were included in the company nineteen male servants and three female servants, along with some sailors and craftsmen hired for short-term service to the colony. At this time, John Carver was chosen as the colony's first governor. It was Carver who had chartered the Mayflower, and being the most respected and affluent member of the group, his is the first signature on the Mayflower Compact. The Mayflower Compact was the seed of American democracy and has been called the world's first written constitution.
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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.
  
 
<small>Source: wiki.com</small>
 
<small>Source: wiki.com</small>
 
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<h2 class="chapter-title">July 29</h2>
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<h2 class="chapter-title">June 28</h2>
<h3>The Puritans</h3>
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<h3>Pope Leo I</h3>
<h4>The Puritans, English Protestants who desired further reforms after the Reformation</h4>
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<h4>Pope Leo I first modern Pope, first to have been called "the Great"</h4>
The Puritans were a significant group of English Protestants in the 16th and 17th centuries, including, but not limited to, English Calvinists. Puritanism in this sense was founded by some Marian exiles from the clergy shortly after the accession of Elizabeth I of England in 1558, as an activist movement within the Church of England.
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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.
 
 
In modern times, the word 'puritan' is often used to mean 'against pleasure'. Historically, the word was used pejoratively to characterise the Protestant group as extremists, similar to the Cathars of France and, according to Thomas Fuller in his Church History, dated back to 1564. Archbishop Matthew Parker of that time used it and "precisian" with the sense of the modern "stickler".
 
 
 
Puritans were blocked from changing the established church from within, and severely restricted in England by laws controlling the practice of religion. Their views, however, were transported by the emigration of congregations to the Netherlands (and later New England), and by evangelical clergy to Ireland (and later into Wales), and were spread into lay society and parts of the educational system, particularly certain colleges of the University of Cambridge. They took on distinctive views on clerical dress and in opposition to the episcopal system, particularly after the 1619 conclusions of the Synod of Dort were resisted by the English bishops. They largely adopted Sabbatarian views in the 17th century, and were influenced by millennialism.
 
  
In alliance with the growing commercial world, the parliamentary opposition to the royal prerogative, and in the late 1630s with the Scottish Presbyterians with whom they had much in common, the Puritans became a major political force in England and came to power as a result of the First English Civil War (1642-46). After the Restoration of 1660 and the 1662 Uniformity Act, almost all Puritan clergy left the Church of England, some becoming nonconformist ministers. The nature of the movement in England changed radically, although it retained its character for a much longer period in New England.
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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.
  
Puritans, by definition, were dissatisfied with the limited extent of the English Reformation, and the Church of England's tolerance of practices which they associated with the Catholic Church. They formed, and identified with, various religious groups advocating greater "purity" of worship and doctrine, as well as personal and group piety. Puritans adopted a Reformed theology and, in that sense, were Calvinists (as were many of their earlier opponents), but they also took note of radical views critical of Zwingli in Zurich and Calvin in Geneva. In church polity, some advocated for separation from all other Christians, in favour of autonomous gathered churches. These separatist and independent strands of Puritanism became prominent in the 1640s, when the supporters of a Presbyterian polity in the Westminster Assembly were unable to forge a new English national church.
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Teachings on Christ
  
Puritans and Separatists
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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.
  
Puritans who were not satisfied with the Reformation of the Church of England, but who remained within the Church of England advocating further reforms, are known as "non-separating Puritans". This group disagreed among themselves about how much further Reformation was necessary. Those who thought that the Church of England was so corrupt that true Christians should separate from it altogether are known as "separating Puritans" or simply "Separatists". "Puritan," in the wider sense, includes both groups.
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The Apostle Peter and his Heir
  
Separatists were a group who advocated complete separation from the Church of England, but had no particular Church title. Many of the Mayflower Pilgrims were referred to only as Separatists.
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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.
  
John Winthrop and the other main leaders of emigration to New England in 1629 were non-separating Puritans. However, John Robinson and William Brewster, the Pilgrim leaders, were separatists. There is no current consensus among historians whether Separatists can properly be counted as Puritans.
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Dispute with Dioscorus of Alexandria
  
Especially after the English Restoration of 1660, separating Puritans were called "Dissenters". The 1662 Uniformity Act caused almost all Puritan clergy to leave the Church of England. Some became nonconformist ministers. The movement in England changed radically at this time, though this change was not as immediate for Puritans in New England.
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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.
  
 
<small>Source: wiki.com</small>
 
<small>Source: wiki.com</small>
 
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<h2 class="chapter-title">July 30</h2>
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<h2 class="chapter-title">June 29</h2>
<h3>The Quakers</h3>
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<h3>King Charlemagne</h3>
<h4>Quakers are a family of religious movements collectively known as the Religious Society of Friends</h4>
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<h4>King Charlemagne (Charles I) - The Father of Modern Europe</h4>
During and after the English Civil War (1642-1651) many dissenting Christian groups emerged, including the Seekers and others. A young man named George Fox was dissatisfied by the teachings of the Church of England and non-conformists. He had a revelation that there is one, even, Christ Jesus, who can speak to thy condition, and became convinced that it was possible to have a direct experience of Christ without the aid of an ordained clergy. He had a vision on Pendle Hill in Lancashire, England, in which he believed that "the Lord let me see in what places he had a great people to be gathered". Following this he travelled around England, the Netherlands, and Barbados preaching and teaching them with the aim of converting them to his faith. The central theme of his Gospel message was that Christ has come to teach his people himself. His followers considered themselves to be the restoration of the true Christian church, after centuries of apostasy in the churches in England.
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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.
  
In 1650, George Fox was brought before magistrates, Gervase Bennet and Nathaniel Barton, on a charge of religious blasphemy. According to George Fox's autobiography, Bennet "was the first person that called us Quakers, because I bade them tremble at the word of the Lord". It is thought that George Fox was referring to Isaiah 66:2 or Ezra 9:4. Thus, the name Quaker began as a way of ridiculing George Fox's admonition, but became widely accepted and is used by some Quakers. Quakers also described themselves using terms such as true Christianity, Saints, Children of the Light, and Friends of the Truth, reflecting terms used in the New Testament by members of the early Christian church.
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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.
  
Quakerism gained a considerable following in England and Wales, and the numbers increased to a peak of 60,000 in England and Wales by 1680 (1.15% of the population of England and Wales). However the dominant discourse of Protestantism viewed the Quakers as a blasphemous challenge to social and political order, leading to official persecution in England and Wales under the Quaker Act 1662 and the Conventicle Act 1664. This was relaxed after the Declaration of Indulgence (1687-1688) and stopped under the Act of Toleration 1689.
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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.
  
One modern view of Quakerism at this time was that the relationship with Christ was encouraged through spiritualization of human relations, and "the redefinition of the Quakers as a holy tribe, "the family and household of God". Together with Margaret Fell, the wife of Thomas Fell, who was the vice-chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and a pre-eminent judge, Fox developed new conceptions of family and community that emphasized "holy conversation": speech and behavior that reflected piety, faith, and love. With the restructuring of the family and household came new roles for women; Fox and Fell viewed the Quaker mother as essential to developing "holy conversation" in her children and husband. Quaker women were also responsible for the spirituality of the larger community, coming together in "meetings" which regulated marriage and domestic behavior.
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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.
 
 
Quakers (or Friends, as they refer to themselves) are members of a family of religious movements collectively known as the Religious Society of Friends. The central unifying doctrine of these movements is the priesthood of all believers, a doctrine derived from a verse in the New Testament, 1 Peter 2:9. Most (but not all) Friends view themselves as members of a Christian denomination. They include those with evangelical, holiness, liberal, and traditional conservative Quaker understandings of Christianity.
 
 
 
The first Quakers, known as the Valiant Sixty, lived in mid-17th century England. The movement arose from the Legatine-Arians and other dissenting Protestant groups, breaking away from the established Church of England. These Quakers attempted to convert others to their understanding of Christianity, traveling both throughout Great Britain and overseas, preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. Some of the early Quaker ministers were women. They based their message on the religious belief that "Christ has come to teach his people himself," stressing the importance of a direct relationship with God through Jesus Christ, and a direct religious belief in the universal priesthood of all believers. They emphasized a personal and direct religious experience of Christ, acquired through both direct religious experience and the reading and studying of the Bible. Quakers focused their private life on developing behavior and speech reflecting emotional purity and the light of God.
 
 
 
Immigration to America
 
 
 
In search of economic opportunities and a more tolerant environment in which to build communities of "holy conversation," some Friends emigrated to the Northeastern region of the United States in the early 1680s.
 
 
 
While in some areas like New England they continued to experience persecution, they were able to establish thriving communities in the Delaware Valley. The only two colonies that tolerated Quakers in this time period were Rhode Island and Pennsylvania, where Quakers established themselves politically. In Rhode Island, 36 governors in the first 100 years were Quakers. Pennsylvania was established by affluent Quaker William Penn in 1682, and as an American state run under Quaker principles.
 
 
 
Today, around 89% of Friends worldwide practice programmed worship - that is, worship with singing and a prepared message from the Bible, often coordinated by a pastor. Around 11% of Friends practice waiting worship (also known as unprogrammed worship) - that is worship where the order of service is not planned in advance, which is predominantly silent, and which may include unprepared vocal ministry from anyone present, so long as it is credible to those assembled that the speaker is moved to speak by God. Some meetings of both styles have Recorded Ministers [i.e. satellite churches] in their meetings - these are Friends who have been recognised for their gift of vocal ministry.
 
  
 
<small>Source: wiki.com</small>
 
<small>Source: wiki.com</small>
 
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<h2 class="chapter-title">July 31</h2>
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<h2 class="chapter-title">June 30</h2>
<h3>The Mennonites</h3>
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<h3>The Domesday Book</h3>
<h4>The Mennonites are Church Communities formed from Anabaptist Denominations</h4>
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<h4>The Domesday Book of 1086 AD</h4>
The Mennonites are a Christian group based around the church communities of Anabaptist denominations named after Menno Simons (1496-1561) of Friesland (at that time, a part of the Holy Roman Empire). Through his writings, Simons articulated and formalized the teachings of earlier Swiss founders. The teachings of the Mennonites were founded on their belief in both the mission and ministry of Jesus Christ, which they held to with great conviction despite persecution by the various Roman Catholic and Protestant states. Rather than fight, the majority survived by fleeing to neighboring states where ruling families were tolerant of their radical belief in believer's baptism. Over the years, Mennonites have become known as one of the historic peace churches because of their commitment to pacifism.
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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.
 
 
In contemporary society, Mennonites either are described only as a religious denomination with members of different ethnic origins or as both an ethnic group and a religious denomination. There is controversy among Mennonites about this issue, with some insisting that they are simply a religious group while others argue that they form a distinct ethnic group. Some historians and sociologists treat Mennonites as an ethno-religious group, while other historians challenge that perception.
 
 
 
There are about 1.7 million Mennonites worldwide as of 2012. Mennonite congregations worldwide embody the full scope of Mennonite practice from "plain people" to those who are indistinguishable in dress and appearance from the general population. The largest populations of Mennonites are in India, Ethiopia, Canada, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the United States, but Mennonites can also be found in tight-knit communities in at least 82 countries on six continents or scattered amongst the populace of those countries. There are German Mennonite colonies in Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Mexico, Uruguay, and Paraguay, who are mostly descendants of Mennonites from eastern Europe. A small Mennonite congregation continues in the Netherlands where Simons was born.
 
 
 
The Mennonite Disaster Service, based in North America, provides both immediate and long-term responses to hurricanes, floods, and other disasters. The Mennonite Central Committee provides disaster relief around the world alongside their long-term international development programs. Other programs offer a variety of relief efforts and services throughout the world.
 
 
 
Since the latter part of the 20th century, some Mennonite groups have become more actively involved with peace and social justice issues, helping to found Christian Peacemaker Teams and Mennonite Conciliation Service.
 
 
 
Fragmentation and Variation
 
 
 
During the 16th century, the Mennonites and other Anabaptists were relentlessly persecuted. This period of persecution has had a significant impact on Mennonite identity. Martyrs Mirror, published in 1660, documents much of the persecution of Anabaptists and their predecessors. Today, the book is still the most important book besides the Bible for many Mennonites and Amish, in particular for the Swiss-South German branch of the Mennonites. Persecution was still going on until 1710 in various parts of Switzerland.
 
  
Disagreements within the church over the years led to other splits; sometimes the reasons were theological, sometimes practical, sometimes geographical. For instance, near the beginning of the 20th century, some members in the Amish church wanted to begin having Sunday Schools and participate in progressive Protestant-style para-church evangelism. Unable to persuade the rest of the Amish, they separated and formed a number of separate groups including the Conservative Mennonite Conference. Mennonites in Canada and other countries typically have independent denominations because of the practical considerations of distance and, in some cases, language. Many times these divisions took place along family lines, with each extended family supporting their own branch.
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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:
  
The first recorded account of this group is in a written order by Countess Anne, who ruled a small province in central Europe. The presence of some small groups of violent Anabaptists was causing political and religious turmoil in her state, so she decreed that all Anabaptists were to be driven out. The order made an exception for the non-violent branch known at that time as the Menists.
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<p>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.</p>
  
Political rulers often admitted the Menists or Mennonites into their states because they were honest, hardworking and peaceful. When their practices upset the powerful state churches, princes would renege on exemptions for military service, or a new monarch would take power, and the Mennonites would be forced to flee again, usually leaving everything but their families behind. Often, another monarch in another state would grant them welcome, at least for a while.
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<p><small>Source: wiki.com</small></p>
  
While Mennonites in Colonial America were enjoying considerable religious freedom, their counterparts in Europe continued to struggle with persecution and temporary refuge under certain ruling monarchs. They were sometimes invited to settle in areas of poor soil that no one else could farm. By contrast, in The Netherlands the Mennonites (nl: Doopsgezinden) enjoyed a relatively high degree of tolerance. The Mennonites often farmed and reclaimed land in exchange for exemption from mandatory military service. However, once the land was arable again, this arrangement would often change, and the persecution would begin again. Because the land still needed to be tended, the ruler would not drive out the Mennonites but would pass laws to force them to stay, while at the same time severely limiting their freedom. Mennonites had to build their churches facing onto back streets or alleys, and they were forbidden from announcing the beginning of services with the sound of a bell.
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<blockquote><p>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] <u>was diverse [different] from all the beasts [World Governments] that were before it</u>; and [Revised Rome - 7th Kingdom] it had ten horns. ~ Daniel 7:7</p></blockquote>
  
In addition, high taxes were enacted in exchange for both continuing the military service exemption, and to keep the states' best farmers from leaving. In some cases, the entire congregation would give up their belongings to pay the tax to be allowed to leave. If a member or family could not afford the tax, it was often paid by others in the group.
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<p><b>Note:</b> 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.</p>
  
A strong emphasis on "community" was developed under these circumstances. It continues to be typical of Mennonite churches. As a result of frequently being required to give up possessions in order to retain individual freedoms, Mennonites learned to live very simply. This was reflected both in the home and at church, where their dress and their buildings were plain. The music at church, usually simple German chorales, was performed a cappella. This style of music serves as a reminder to many Mennonites of their simple lives, as well as their history as a persecuted people. Some branches of Mennonites have retained this "plain" lifestyle into modern times.
 
 
<small>Source: wiki.com</small>
 
 
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Revision as of 15:46, 30 May 2016

Contents

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

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

Augustine

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

Jerome

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.

Legacy

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.

Amen.

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.

Amen.

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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