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Frequently Asked Questions
regarding
THE MEANING OF THE TERM
"APOSTOLIC FATHERS."

Q. 1. What does the term "Apostolic Fathers" mean?

A. 1. "Apostolic Fathers" is a title that was given by the Catholic Church to the men of different centuries.

The first of those men lived near the end of the first and the beginning of the second century, men who recorded faithful versions of apostolic teaching. Some of those writings were The Didache, The Pastor of Hamas, the letter of Pope Clement, and the epistles of the martyr Saint Ignatius of Antioch.

Then there are the writers called the "apologists" in the second century and afterwards. They defended Christianity that was being persecuted for a number of reasons. They defended the faith and destroyed prejudice. Some of these were Saint Justin and Saint Irenaeus.

From the 4th to the 12th century, the Church went through a period of strong controvery in doctrinal matters and heated debates regarding the Trinity and Christiology. Some of the Apostolic Fathers of those days were:

Saint Ambrose,
Saint Athanasius,
Saint Augustine,
Saint Bernard,
Saint Cyprian,
Saint Cyril,
Saint Ephrem,
Saint Gregory of Nazianzus,
Saint Gregory the Great,
Saint Gregory of Nyssa,
Saint Hilary,
Saint Jerome, and
Saint John Chrysostom.



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