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The Roman Catholic Church has its beginnings in the Apostle Peter’s profession of faith: “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” Jesus then said to Peter: “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah because flesh and blood have not revealed this to you, but my Father in Heaven. You are Peter and upon this rock I will build my church.”

Below are some of the highlights of Catholic history.

  • Martyrdom of St. Stephen — c. 34 AD
  • Council of Jerusalem — c. 50 AD
  • Nero’s persecution of Christians begins – Rome burns — 64 AD
  • Fall of Jerusalem — c. 70 AD
  • St. John dies at Ephesus — c. 100 AD
  • Edict of Milan — 313 AD — Constantine ends Christian persecutions
  • First Council of Nicaea — 325 AD — Nicene Creed established
  • St. Augustine — 354 – 430 AD
  • Council of Rome — 382 AD — Canon of Scripture established
  • Vulgate — St. Jerome’s Latin Bible published — 400 AD
  • Council of Ephesus — 431 AD — Jesus is true God and true Man; Mary is Theotokos
  • St. Benedict born — 480 AD — Father of Monasticism in the West
  • Pope Gregory the Great. Reforms ecclesiastical structure and administration; establishes Gregorian chant — 590 – 604 AD
  • Charlemange crowned Holy Roman Emperor by Pope Leo III — 800 AD
  • East-West Schism – 1054 AD
  • Crusades — 1095 – 1291 AD
  • Inquisition — 13th – 15th centuries
  • Lateran Councils — 1123, 1139, 1179, 1215 – Transubstantiation
  • Fall of Constantinople — 1453 AD
  • Columbus — 1492 AD
  • Michelangelo completes Sistine Chapel ceiling — 1508 – 1512 AD
  • Martin Luther — 1517 AD
  • Our Lady of Guadalupe — 1531 AD
  • Pope Paul III excommunicates Henry VIII — 1538 AD
  • Council of Trent — 1545 – 1563 AD
  • Gregorian Calendar adopted — 1582 AD
  • Pope Urban VIII solemnly dedicates the New Basilica of St. Peter 1,300 years after the first Constantinian basilica was consecrated by Pope Sylvester I.–  November 18, 1626
  • John Carroll becomes first bishop of Baltimore and first bishop in United States — 1789
  • First Plenary Council of Baltimore – 1852 AD — Bishop John Joseph Chanche was Master of Ceremonies for the Council. He died after the meeting of cholera.
  • Immaculate Conception — 1854 AD
  • Our Lady of Lourdes — 1858 AD
  • Our Lady of Fatima — 1917 AD
  • Assumption of Mary — 1950 AD
  • Second Vatican Council — 1962 – 1965 AD
  • Revision of Roman Missal — 1970 AD
  • Pope John Paul II — 1978 AD
  • Third Christian Millennium — January 1, 2001
  • Pope Benedict XVI — 2005 – First Pope to retire in centuries in Feb. 2013
  • Pope Francis elected Pope — March 13, 2013 — First Pope from the New World