I am with you always until the end of this world - Jesus (Matthew 28:20).

Preach the Word in season and out of season reproving, rebuking or advising always with patience and providing instructions (2 Timothy 4:2).

Do not fear, Mary, for God has looked kindly on you (Luke 1:30).

Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly. - G. K. Chesterton

Monday, March 24, 2008

How did the word CATHOLIC came into being?

The original existing reference to the “Catholic Church” occurred in a letter written by St. Ignatius of Antioch.

In his Letter to the Smyrnaeans written in 107 AD the following statement was written: “Wherever the bishop is, let the people be there; just as wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church.” This declaration is interesting for numerous reasons. One reason is that the name “Catholic” used to designate Jesus’ Church was apparently not new. St. Ignatius felt no need to clarify or defend the name. This points to an earlier year for the beginning of the name Catholic. It is not a stretch to conceive the beginning of the name “Catholic” to the first century. Another reason that this statement is remarkable is that the man that first wrote that the Church was called “Catholic” was from Antioch. It was also in Antioch that the followers of Jesus were first called “Christians” (Acts 11:26). One other reason that this statement from St. Ignatius is interesting is that Jesus and the Catholic Church are united as one. “Wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church.” In other words, Jesus is always found with the Catholic Church. This fulfills the words of our Lord, “Behold, I am with you always even until the end of the world!” (Matthew 28:20).

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