Which Church Father Are You?

Which Church Father

Are You?

Icon from the 1st Council of Nicea - you know, the Nicene Creed - featuring some Early Church Fathers (and Emperor Constantine), taken from Wikipedia 

(N.B. – As this will be my last post – I think – for a while, I thought I’d leave you with one that will really give you a lot to sink your teeth into.) 

The Church Fathers are those holy men who were the early theologians and writers of the first 500 years of Christianity who greatly influenced the Church.  These men – though not all saints – do not include the Apostles or New Testament authors.  The study of these men is called Patristics.

If you’d like to know which Church Father you’re most like, well, here’s a handy, dandy little quiz.

For the best information about the Church Fathers, there’s no source quite as thorough as the Catholic Encyclopedia.  New Advent also has a GREAT collection of their writings on-line.

These articles are very good; but sometimes a little dense.  For easier reading, there is a pretty good Wikipedia article that briefly discusses the Fathers of the Church.  This article includes a helpful division of the Early Church Fathers into a few distinctive categories (all of these link to the Catholic Encyclopedia article):

Icon of the martyrdom of St. Ignatius - taken from Wikipedia

  • Apostolic Fathers – those who lived and wrote within the first two generations of the Apostles
    • St. Clement of Rome – 4th Pope, his writing clearly show the authority of the Bishop of Rome over the Church at Corinth
    • St. Ignatius of Antioch – a student of St. John the Evangelist; martyred in Rome
    • St. Polycarp – a disciple of St. John the Evangelist; martyred by stabbing because burning at the stake wouldn’t work
    • the writings in the Didache – one of the first “catechisms” of the Church; it was considered inspired scripture by some during the 2nd and early 3rd centuries

 Mosaic of St. John Chrysostom - taken from www.byzantines.net

  • The Greek Fathers – those who wrote in Greek and lived (roughly) in the Eastern Church

 St. Augustine by Sandro Botticelli - taken from Wikipedia

(St. Augustine in his Studio by Sandro Botticelli, the great Renaissance artist
  • The Latin Fathers – those who wrote in Latin and lived (roughly) in the Western (Latin Rite) Church

 That’s just a short taste of the Fathers.  If you want to actually read some of their work, New Advent has a collection of the “best of the best” of their writings.  If you are at all interested to know whether or not Jesus Christ established a Church; and is that Church indeed the Catholic Church, then read the Church Fathers.  Their writings are dripping with Catholic teachings.  The men who lived Christianity just generations after Christ lived (some at the feet of the Apostles) held very “Catholic” positions.

Tertullian - taken from Wikipedia

Anyway, take the quiz to find out which Church Father you are.  I’m Tertullian (but the orhodoxTertullian 🙂 ).

You’re Tertullian!

You possess many gifts, but patience isn’t one of them. You’re tough on yourself — and on others. You’re independent, too, and you don’t like to be told what to do. You wish the Church would be a little tighter in discipline. As for the s, you’ve pretty much written them off. Sometimes you think the Church would be a better place if you were in charge.

Find out which Church Father you are at The Way of the Fathers!

 

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