“The Church has ever proved indestructible. Her persecutors have failed to destroy her; in fact, it was during times of persecution that the Church grew more and more; while the persecutors themselves, and those whom the Church would destroy, are the very ones who came to nothing… Again, errors have assailed her; but in fact, the greater number of errors that have arisen, the more has the truth been made manifest… Nor has the Church failed before the assaults of demons: for she is like a tower of refuge to all who fight against the devil.” ~St. Thomas Aquinas
“But stranger still, alarming and saddening at the same time, are the audacity and frivolity of men who call themselves Catholics and dream of re-shaping society under such conditions, and of establishing on earth, over and beyond the pale of the Catholic Church, ‘the reign of love and justice’ with workers coming from everywhere, of all religions and of no religion, with or without beliefs, so long as they forego what might divide them – their religious and philosophical convictions; and so long as they share what unites them – a ‘generous idealism and moral forces, drawn from whence they can’. When we consider the forces, knowledge, and supernatural virtues which were necessary to establish the Christian City, and the sufferings of millions of martyrs, and the light given by the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, and the self-sacrifice of all the heroes of charity, and a powerful hierarchy ordained in heaven, and the streams of Divine Grace – the whole having been built up, bound together, and impregnated by the life and spirit of Jesus Christ, the Wisdom of God, the Word made Man – when we think, I say, of all this, it is frightening to behold new apostles eagerly attempting to do better by a common interchange of vague idealism and civic virtues. What are they going to produce? What is to come out of this collaboration? A mere verbal and chimerical construction in which we see, glowing in a jumble, and in seductive confusion, the words Liberty, Justice, Fraternity, Love, Equality, and human exultation, all resting upon an ill-understood human dignity. It will be a tumultuous agitation, sterile for the end proposed, but which will benefit the less Utopian exploiters of the people.” ~Pope St. Pius X, “Notre Charge Apostolique”, 1910 A.D.
“Therefore, heresy is so called from the Greek word meaning ‘choice,’ by which each chooses according to his own will what he pleases to teach or believe. But we are not permitted to believe whatever we choose, nor to choose whatever someone else has believed. We have the apostles of God as authorities, who did not themselves of their own will choose what they would believe, but faithfully transmitted to the nations the teaching received from Christ. So, even if an angel from heaven should preach otherwise, he shall be called anathema.” ~St. Isidore, 7th century A.D.
“He has not God for father who refuses to have the Church as mother.” ~St. Augustine
“Where Peter is, there is the Church.” ~St. Ambrose
“He founded a single chair, and He established by His own authority a source and an intrinsic reason for that unity. Indeed, the others were that also which Peter was; but a primacy is given to Peter, whereby it is made clear that there is but one Church and one chair… If someone does not hold fast to this unity of Peter, can he imagine that he still holds the faith? If he desert the chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, can he still be confident that he is in the Church?” ~St. Cyprian of Carthage, c. 251 A.D.
“Our Lord Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, so established the worship of divine religion, which He wanted to shine out by God’s grace unto all nations and peoples, that the truth, previously contained in the proclamation of the Law and the Prophets, might go forth through the apostolic trumpet to the salvation of all, as it is written: ‘Their sound has gone forth to all the earth, and their words to the ends of the earth.’ But the Lord desired that the sacrament of this gift should pertain to all the Apostles in such a way that it might be found principally in the most blessed Peter, the highest of all the Apostles. And He wanted His gifts to flow into the entire body from Peter himself, as it from the head, in such a way that anyone who had dared to separate himself from the solidarity of Peter would realize that he has himself no longer a sharer in the divine mystery.” ~Pope St. Leo I the Great, Doctor of the Church, c. 445 A.D
“She [the Catholic Church] is the entrance to life; all the others are thieves and robbers.” ~St. Irenaeus of Lyons
“It is a fact that the Church is called Catholic because it truly embraces the whole of that truth.” ~St. Augustine
“Separate a ray of the sun from its source of light, and its unity will not allow such a division of light. Break a branch from a tree; when broken, it will not be able to bud. Cut off the stream from its spring, and the stream will dry up. Thus also with the Church.” ~St. Cyprian of Carthage
“It is clear that this Church [of Rome] is to all churches throughout the world as the head is to the members, and that whoever separates himself from it becomes an exile from the Christian religion.” ~Pope St. Boniface I, 422 A.D.
“‘Guard.’ [St. Paul] says, ‘what has been committed’ (1 Tm. 6:20). What does it mean, ‘what has been committed’? It is what has been faithfully entrusted to you, not what has been discovered by you; what you have received, not what you have thought up; a matter not of ingenuity, but of doctrine; not of private acquisition, but of public Tradition; a matter brought to you, not put forth by you, in which you must not be the author but the guardian, not the founder but the sharer, not the leader, but the follower. ‘Guard,’ he says, ‘what has been committed.’ Keep the talent (cf. Mt. 25:14-30) of the Catholic Faith inviolate and unimpaired. What has been faithfully entrusted, let it remain in your possession, let it be handed on by you. You have received gold, so give gold. For my part, I do not want you to substitute on thing for another; I do not want you imprudently to put lead in place of gold, or fraudulently, brass. I do not want the appearance of gold, but the real thing. O Timothy, O priest, O interpreter, O teacher, if a divine gift has made you suitable in genius, in experience, in doctrine to be the Bezalel [i.e. “master craftsman”] of the spiritual tabernacle, cut out the precious gems of divine dogma, shape them faithfully, ornament them wisely, add splendor, grace and beauty to them! By your expounding it, may that now be understood more clearly which formerly was believed even in its obscurity. May posterity, be means of you, rejoice in understanding what in times past was venerated without understanding. Nevertheless, teach the same that you have learned, so that if you say something anew, it is not something new that you say.” ~St. Vincent of Lerins, c. 434 A.D.
“He cannot be accounted a Catholic who does not agree with the Roman Church.” ~Pope St. Gregory VII, 11th century A.D.
“Every baptized person should consider that it is in the womb of the Church where he is transformed from a child of Adam to a child of God.” ~St. Vincent Ferrer
“The Catholic Church is infallible, and hence those who reject her definitions lose the faith and become heretics.” ~Catechism of Pope St. Pius X
“The Church is of God, for He Himself built it with His blood.” ~St. Thomas Aquinas
“Supernatural force has never during the flight of ages been found wanting in the Church, nor have Christ’s promises failed.” ~Pope St. Pius X
“Just as God’s creature, the sun, is one and the same the world over, so also does the Church’s preaching shine everywhere to enlighten all men who want to come to the knowledge of truth.” ~St. Irenaeus of Lyons
“I will go peaceably and firmly to the Catholic Church: for if Faith is so important to our salvation, I will seek it where true Faith first began, seek it among those who received it from God Himself.” ~St. Elizabeth Ann Seton
“He who is a member of the Catholic Church and does not put her teaching into practice is a dead member, and hence will not be saved; for towards the salvation of an adult not only Baptism and faith are required, but, furthermore, works in keeping with faith.” ~Catechism of Pope St. Pius X
“The Catholic Church is the Union or Congregation of all the baptized who, still living on earth, profess the same Faith and the same Law of Jesus Christ, participate in the same Sacraments, and obey their lawful Pastors, particularly the Roman Pontiff.” ~Catechism of Pope St. Pius X
“It is the peculiar property of the Church that when she is buffeted, she is triumphant; when she is assaulted with argument she proves herself in the right; when she is deserted by her supporters, she holds the field.” ~St. Hilary of Poitiers
“There is one God, and Christ is one, and there is one Church, and one chair founded upon Peter by the word of the Lord. Another altar cannot be constituted nor a new priesthood except the one altar and the one priesthood.” ~St. Cyprian
“The Church is the ensemble of men united by the profession of the same Christian Faith and the communion of the same sacraments, under the government of the legitimate pastors and principally the one Vicar of Christ on earth, the Roman Pontiff.” ~St. Robert Bellarmine
“And so that it might walk more confidently to truth, the Truth itself, God, the Son of God, having taken up humanity without destroying His divinity, established and founded this same faith, so that there might be a path for man to man’s God through the God-man.” ~St. Augustine
“Let us love our Lord God, let us love His Church: Him as a Father, her as a Mother; Him as a Master, her as His Handmaid; for we are the children of the Handmaid herself. But this marriage is held together by a great love; no one offends the one and gains favor with the other.” ~St. Augustine
“Inquire not simply where the Lord’s house is, for the sects of the profane also make an attempt to call their own dens the houses of the Lord; nor inquire merely where the ‘church’ is, but where the Catholic Church is. For this is the peculiar name of this Holy Body, the mother of all, which is the Spouse of Our Lord Jesus Christ.” ~St. Cyril of Jerusalem
“Christian is my name, and Catholic my surname. The former qualifies me, the latter manifests me for what I am. The later demonstrates what the former signifies. And, if I finally must explain the word ‘Catholic’ and translate it from the Greek into the Roman idiom, Catholic means ‘one everywhere’ or, as the more learned think, ‘obedience to all the commandments of God.” ~St. Pacian of Barcelona, 4th century A.D.
“And since the Church is founded on faith and the sacraments, the ministers of the Church have no power to publish new articles of faith, or to do away with those which are already published, or to institute new sacraments, or to abolish those that are instituted, for this belongs to the power of excellence, which belongs to Christ alone, Who is the foundation of the Church.” ~St. Thomas Aquinas
“Now the way to reach Christ is not hard to find: it is the Church. Rightly does Chrysostom inculcate: ‘The Church is thy hope, the Church is thy salvation, the Church is thy refuge.’ (Hom. de capto Euthropio, n. 6.) It was for this that Christ founded it, gaining it at the price of His blood, and made it the depositary of His doctrine and His laws, bestowing upon it at the same time an inexhaustible treasury of graces for the sanctification and salvation of men.” ~Pope St. Pius X, “E Supremi”, 1903 A.D.
“There are many other things which rightly keep me in the bosom of the Catholic Church. The unanimity of peoples and nations keeps me, her authority keeps me, inaugurated by miracles, nourished in hope, augmented by love, and confirmed by her age. The succession of priests keeps me, from the very chair of the apostle Peter, to whom the Lord after His resurrection gave charge to feed His sheep, down to the present episcopate, keeps me here.” ~St. Augustine
“There was a wedding feast, and the mother of Jesus was there (Jn. 2:1). Mystically the wedding feast means the Church: this is a great sacrament, but I speak concerning Christ and the Church (Eph. 5:32). That marriage began in the Virgin’s womb, where the Father espoused the Son to human nature in unity of person… It was solemnized when the Church was joined to Him by faith… It will be consummated when the bride, that is, the Church, shall be brought into the bridal chamber of heavenly glory.” ~St. Thomas Aquinas
“By pointing out the tradition which that very great, oldest, and well-known Church – founded and established at Rome by those two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul – received from the apostles, I can put to shame all of those who in any way, either through wicked self-conceit, or thorough vainglory, or through blind and evil opinion, gather together in a way they should not. For every Church must be in harmony with this Church because of its outstanding pre-eminence, that is, the faithful from everywhere, since the apostolic tradition is preserved in it by those from everywhere.” ~St. Irenaeus of Lyons
“It is called Catholic then because it extends over all the world, from one end of the earth to the other; and because it teaches universally and completely one end and all the doctrines which ought to come to men’s knowledge, concerning things both invisible and invisible, heavenly and earthly; and because it brings into subjection to godliness the whole race of mankind, governors and governed, learned and unlearned; and because it universally treats and heals the whole class of sins, which are committed by soul and body, and possesses in itself every form of virtue which is named, both in deeds and words, and in every kind of spiritual gifts.” ~St. Cyril of Jerusalem
“You must all follow the bishop as Jesus Christ follows the Father, and the presbytery as you would the Apostles. Reverence the deacons as you would the command of God. Let no one do anything of concern to the Church without the bishop. Let that be considered a valid Eucharist which is celebrated by the bishop, or by one whom he appoints. Wherever the bishop appears, let the people be there; just as wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church.” ~St. Ignatius of Antioch
“Nor has [the Church] any desire for violent persecution. She knows what persecution is, for she has suffered it in all times and in all places. Centuries passed in bloodshed give her the right to say with a holy boldness that she does not fear it, and that as often as may be necessary she will be able to meet it. But persecution is in itself an evil, for it is injustice and prevents man from worshipping God in freedom. The Church then cannot desire it, even with a view to the good which Providence in its infinite wisdom ever draws out of it. Besides, persecution is not only evil, it is also suffering, and there we have a fresh reason why the Church, who is the best of mothers, will never seek it.” ~Pope St. Pius X, “Une Fois Encore”, 1907 A.D.
“This is the work of Divine Providence, achieved through the prophecies of the prophets, through the humanity and teaching of Christ, through the journeys of the apostles, through the suffering, the crosses, the blood and the death of the martyrs, through the admirable lives of the saints, and in all these, at opportune times, through miracles worthy of such great deeds and virtues. When, then, we see so much help on God’s part, so much progress and such fruit, shall we hesitate to bury ourselves in the bosom of the Church? For starting from the apostolic chair down through successions of bishops, even unto the open confession of all mankind, it has possessed the crown of authority.” ~St. Augustine
A Blessed All Hallows Eve to all!