VEC9 – Diocletian – Villains of the Early Church with Mike Aquilina – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Mike Aquilina Discerning Hearts podcast Villains of the Early Church. MarcionEpisode 9 – Diocletian – “Villains of the Early Church: And How They Made Us Better Christians

In this episode, Mike Aquilina and Kris McGregor discuss Diocletian and the threat of a “police state” to religious freedom.  Mike makes suggestions on what the Christian can do to stay true to the faith in times of religious persecution.

An excerpt from Villains of the Early Church:

IN THE 200s, the Roman Empire fell apart. For decades, disaster after disaster rolled across the Mediterranean world. Civil war was the normal state of political affairs. The economy fell to pieces. Plagues ravaged the cities and countryside. Emperors lasted for a few months and then were assassinated by their own guards, who knew that the next emperor would pay them a hefty bonus to get on their good side and that they could repeat the whole process again in a few months’ time and get another hefty bonus.

And then came Diocletian, and suddenly the world worked again. He came very close to being remembered as one of history’s greatest heroes, the man who saved civilization when it was on the brink of collapse.

Instead, he found himself backed into a corner he couldn’t get out of, and the world of the future would remember him as a monster.

Aquilina, Mike. Villains of the Early Church: And How They Made Us Better Christians. Emmaus Road Publishing. Kindle Edition.

For more episodes in the Villains of the Early Church podcast visit here – Villains of the Early Church – Discerning Hearts Podcast

You can find the book on which this series is based here

Mike Aquilina is a popular author working in the area of Church history, especially patristics, the study of the early Church Fathers.[1] He is the executive vice-president and trustee of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, a Roman Catholic research center based in Steubenville, Ohio. He is a contributing editor of Angelus (magazine) and general editor of the Reclaiming Catholic History Series from Ave Maria Press. He is the author or editor of more than fifty books, including The Fathers of the Church (2006); The Mass of the Early Christians (2007); Living the Mysteries (2003); and What Catholics Believe(1999). He has hosted eleven television series on the Eternal Word Television Network and is a frequent guest commentator on Catholic radio.

 

Mike Aquilina’s website is found at fathersofthechurch.com

 

 

Mike Aquilina – Lent, Prayer, Fasting, Almsgiving, and the Early Church – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Mike Aquilina - Fathers of the Church and so much more... 5There’s nobody I enjoy spending Ash Wednesday with more than Mike Aquilina. Mike offers us rich insights on the practice of prayer, fasting and almsgiving from the perspective of the early church.  He also helps us to see how we can concretely live out all three and further enrich our spiritual lives and help those around us to see Christ more fully in us and the Church.  We like Mike!  He’s awesome!

Be sure to visit Mike’s Discerning Hearts page for more from Mike.

VEC8 – Celsus – Villains of the Early Church with Mike Aquilina – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Mike Aquilina Discerning Hearts podcast Villains of the Early Church. MarcionEpisode 8 – Celsus – “Villains of the Early Church: And How They Made Us Better Christians

In this episode, Mike Aquilina and Kris McGregor discuss Celsus and responding to his “Case against Christianity.”

An excerpt from Villains of the Early Church:

The man’s name was Aulus Cornelius Celsus, and he was one of those remarkable people who seem to know a little bit about everything. Today we remember him most as a physician, because the main work of his that survives is a treatise on medicine; but that book was actually part of a book on practically all the world knowledge that Celsus had put together. He dealt with law, war, politics, farming, and other subjects as well. And if he knew as much about them as he did about medicine, Celsus must have been a one-man Wikipedia.

The fact that Celsus was so insatiably curious about so many things may be why he bothered to try to learn about the Christians. They were a phenomenon to be studied. But his studies did not go so far as to ask the best authorities on the subject—the bishops and teachers he might have found if he had looked around. Instead, he seems to have relied on what he heard secondhand. That was probably because, although he was a scientist, Celsus was, like any good educated man in the Roman Empire, a snob first and foremost.

Aquilina, Mike. Villains of the Early Church: And How They Made Us Better Christians. Emmaus Road Publishing. Kindle Edition.

For more episodes in the Villains of the Early Church podcast visit here – Villains of the Early Church – Discerning Hearts Podcast

You can find the book on which this series is based here

Mike Aquilina is a popular author working in the area of Church history, especially patristics, the study of the early Church Fathers.[1] He is the executive vice-president and trustee of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, a Roman Catholic research center based in Steubenville, Ohio. He is a contributing editor of Angelus (magazine) and general editor of the Reclaiming Catholic History Series from Ave Maria Press. He is the author or editor of more than fifty books, including The Fathers of the Church (2006); The Mass of the Early Christians (2007); Living the Mysteries (2003); and What Catholics Believe(1999). He has hosted eleven television series on the Eternal Word Television Network and is a frequent guest commentator on Catholic radio.

 

Mike Aquilina’s website is found at fathersofthechurch.com

 

 

VEC6 – Marcion – Villains of the Early Church with Mike Aquilina – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Mike Aquilina Discerning Hearts podcast Villains of the Early Church. MarcionEpisode 6 – Marcion – “Villains of the Early Church: And How They Made Us Better Christians

In this episode, Mike Aquilina and Kris McGregor discuss Marcion and the dangers of money…to the extreme!

An excerpt from Villains of the Early Church:

Marcion was a rich businessman who thought he had figured out the real meaning of the Gospel. He used the power of money to found a kind of parallel church, and he was very successful for a while—which tells you a little about the state of Christianity at the time, and a lot about what you could do with money in the Roman Empire in those days.

Aquilina, Mike. Villains of the Early Church: And How They Made Us Better Christians. Emmaus Road Publishing. Kindle Edition.

For more episodes in the Villains of the Early Church podcast visit here – Villains of the Early Church – Discerning Hearts Podcast

You can find the book on which this series is based here

Mike Aquilina is a popular author working in the area of Church history, especially patristics, the study of the early Church Fathers.[1] He is the executive vice-president and trustee of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, a Roman Catholic research center based in Steubenville, Ohio. He is a contributing editor of Angelus (magazine) and general editor of the Reclaiming Catholic History Series from Ave Maria Press. He is the author or editor of more than fifty books, including The Fathers of the Church (2006); The Mass of the Early Christians (2007); Living the Mysteries (2003); and What Catholics Believe(1999). He has hosted eleven television series on the Eternal Word Television Network and is a frequent guest commentator on Catholic radio.

 

Mike Aquilina’s website is found at fathersofthechurch.com

 

 

VEC5 – Nero – Villains of the Early Church with Mike Aquilina – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Episode 5 – Nero – “Villains of the Early Church: And How They Made Us Better Christians

In this episode, Mike Aquilina and Kris McGregor discuss Nero and the hallmarks and dangers of an “antichrist.”

An excerpt from Villains of the Early Church:

Pilate was a waffling dupe. Judas was a tortured soul who didn’t have the courage to repent. But perhaps no villain in Christian legend comes out as completely and utterly villainous as Nero. He isn’t just a sinner who made the wrong choice: in much of Christian legend, and even theology, he is literally the Antichrist.

Aquilina, Mike. Villains of the Early Church: And How They Made Us Better Christians. Emmaus Road Publishing. Kindle Edition.

For more episodes in the Villians of the Early Church podcast visit here – Villains of the Early Church – Discerning Hearts Podcast

You can find the book on which this series is based here

Mike Aquilina is a popular author working in the area of Church history, especially patristics, the study of the early Church Fathers.[1] He is the executive vice-president and trustee of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, a Roman Catholic research center based in Steubenville, Ohio. He is a contributing editor of Angelus (magazine) and general editor of the Reclaiming Catholic History Series from Ave Maria Press. He is the author or editor of more than fifty books, including The Fathers of the Church (2006); The Mass of the Early Christians (2007); Living the Mysteries (2003); and What Catholics Believe(1999). He has hosted eleven television series on the Eternal Word Television Network and is a frequent guest commentator on Catholic radio.

 

Mike Aquilina’s website is found at fathersofthechurch.com

 

 

VEC4 – Simon the Magician – Villains of the Early Church with Mike Aquilina – Discerning Hearts Podcast


Mike Aquilina Discerning Hearts Catholic Podcast Simon the Magician

Episode 4 – Simon the Magician – “Villains of the Early Church: And How They Made Us Better Christians

In this episode, Mike Aquilina and Kris McGregor discuss Simon the Magician and learning from pride and hubris.

An excerpt from Villains of the Early Church:

IF THERE had been supermarket tabloids in Rome of the first century, Simon Magus, or Simon the Magician, would have been on the front pages every week. His story gives us zombies, levitation, a talking dog, a jewel heist, and a prophesying baby, just to name a few of the highlights. But it all begins with a true story in the Acts of the Apostles.

Aquilina, Mike. Villains of the Early Church: And How They Made Us Better Christians (Kindle Locations 528). Emmaus Road Publishing. Kindle Edition.

For more episodes in the Villians of the Early Church podcast visit here – Villains of the Early Church – Discerning Hearts Podcast

You can find the book on which this series is based here

Mike Aquilina is a popular author working in the area of Church history, especially patristics, the study of the early Church Fathers.[1] He is executive vice-president and trustee of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, a Roman Catholic research center based in Steubenville, Ohio. He is a contributing editor of Angelus (magazine) and general editor of the Reclaiming Catholic History Series from Ave Maria Press. He is the author or editor of more than fifty books, including The Fathers of the Church (2006); The Mass of the Early Christians (2007); Living the Mysteries (2003); and What Catholics Believe(1999). He has hosted eleven television series on the Eternal Word Television Network and is a frequent guest commentator on Catholic radio.

 

Mike Aquilina’s website is found at fathersofthechurch.com

 

 

VEC3 – Pontius Pilate – Villains of the Early Church with Mike Aquilina – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Mike Aquilina Discerning Hearts Catholic Podcast Pontius PilateEpisode 3 – Pontius Pilate – “Villains of the Early Church: And How They Made Us Better Christians

In this episode, Mike Aquilina and Kris McGregor discuss Pontius Pilate and learning from his weakness.

An excerpt from Villains of the Early Church:

Jesus was crucified under Pontius Pilate. Countless millions of Christians recite that simple historical fact when they profess their faith. It reminds us that this is real history we’re dealing with. The death and Resurrection of Jesus are not just metaphors or allegories: they really happened at a particular moment in history.

Pilate is our anchor to that historical moment. He is our grounding in historical fact.

But he’s also one of the most fascinating characters in the Gospels. His doubt and dithering in the face of an unpredictable mob make him more than just a villain. They make him human, and we feel real sympathy for him. He’s doing a bad job, but in his position it was nearly impossible to do a good job.

For more episodes in the Villians of the Early Church podcast visit here – Villains of the Early Church – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Aquilina, Mike. Villains of the Early Church: And How They Made Us Better Christians (Kindle Locations 391). Emmaus Road Publishing. Kindle Edition.

You can find the book on which this series is based here

Mike Aquilina is a popular author working in the area of Church history, especially patristics, the study of the early Church Fathers.[1] He is the executive vice-president and trustee of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, a Roman Catholic research center based in Steubenville, Ohio. He is a contributing editor of Angelus (magazine) and general editor of the Reclaiming Catholic History Series from Ave Maria Press. He is the author or editor of more than fifty books, including The Fathers of the Church (2006); The Mass of the Early Christians (2007); Living the Mysteries (2003); and What Catholics Believe(1999). He has hosted eleven television series on the Eternal Word Television Network and is a frequent guest commentator on Catholic radio.

 

Mike Aquilina’s website is found at fathersofthechurch.com

 

 

VEC2 – Caiaphas – Villains of the Early Church with Mike Aquilina – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Mike Aquilina Discerning Hearts Catholic Podcast CaiaphasEpisode 2 – Caiaphas – “Villains of the Early Church: And How They Made Us Better Christians

In this episode, Mike Aquilina and Kris McGregor discuss Caiaphas and the temptation of unholy compromises.

An excerpt from Villains of the Early Church:

CAIAPHAS IS mentioned everywhere in the Church Fathers, but almost as furniture—“ and Jesus was brought before Caiaphas.” If the early Christian writers are interested in anything about him, it’s that he could prophesy truly because of his office. Otherwise, they don’t seem to find much remarkable in him. He’s the banality of evil. A bureaucrat.

Yet, Caiaphas, like many of the characters caught up in the Passion story, was in a complicated position—more complicated than we may realize when we hear the story in the Gospels.

Aquilina, Mike. Villains of the Early Church: And How They Made Us Better Christians (Kindle Locations 304). Emmaus Road Publishing. Kindle Edition.

For more episodes in the Villians of the Early Church podcast visit here – Villains of the Early Church – Discerning Hearts Podcast

You can find the book on which this series is based here

Mike Aquilina is a popular author working in the area of Church history, especially patristics, the study of the early Church Fathers.[1] He is the executive vice-president and trustee of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, a Roman Catholic research center based in Steubenville, Ohio. He is a contributing editor of Angelus (magazine) and general editor of the Reclaiming Catholic History Series from Ave Maria Press. He is the author or editor of more than fifty books, including The Fathers of the Church (2006); The Mass of the Early Christians (2007); Living the Mysteries (2003); and What Catholics Believe(1999). He has hosted eleven television series on the Eternal Word Television Network and is a frequent guest commentator on Catholic radio.

 

Mike Aquilina’s website is found at fathersofthechurch.com

 

 

VEC1 – Judas – Villains of the Early Church with Mike Aquilina – Discerning Hearts Podcast

Mike Aquilina Discerning Hearts Catholic Podcast JudasEpisode 1 – Judas – “Villains of the Early Church: And How They Made Us Better Christians

In this episode, Mike Aquilina and Kris McGregor discuss the “mystery of Judas.”

An excerpt from Villains of the Early Church:

What happened to Judas? Was it simple greed that snapped him? That seems unlikely. Thirty pieces of silver was a good bit of money, but Judas was doing all right with his embezzling racket. The Gospels don’t tell us his motivation most likely because their writers just didn’t know. It was a mystery to them as it is to us. And a lot of the Christian legends that later grew up about Judas seem like popular attempts to psychoanalyze him.

Judas was also present for the Last Supper, having a miserable time as Jesus told the disciples that one of them would betray him: “The Son of man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born” (Matthew 26:24).

John tells us that the disciple whom Jesus loved—John himself—asked Jesus who the betrayer would be. “It is he to whom I shall give this morsel when I have dipped it,” Jesus responded, and then dipped the morsel and handed it to Judas. Yet the others still didn’t understand what Jesus meant when he said to Judas, “What you are going to do, do quickly” (John 13:26–27). Was he sending Judas out to buy more food? Or to make a donation to the poor from the money box?

“So, after receiving the morsel, he immediately went out,” John says, adding the significant detail “and it was night.” Judas walked out of the Last Supper and into the very symbolic darkness (John 13:30).

But he knew where to look for Jesus when he came with the police. Judas and the rest of the disciples had often been with Jesus in that pleasant park across the Kidron Valley, the garden of Gethsemane (see John 18:2; Mark 14:32). That was where Judas led the soldiers to arrest Jesus.

Aquilina, Mike. Villains of the Early Church: And How They Made Us Better Christians (Kindle Locations 190-203). Emmaus Road Publishing. Kindle Edition.

For more episodes in the Villians of the Early Church podcast visit here – Villains of the Early Church – Discerning Hearts Podcast

You can find the book on which this series is based here

Mike Aquilina is a popular author working in the area of Church history, especially patristics, the study of the early Church Fathers.[1] He is the executive vice-president and trustee of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, a Roman Catholic research center based in Steubenville, Ohio. He is a contributing editor of Angelus (magazine) and general editor of the Reclaiming Catholic History Series from Ave Maria Press. He is the author or editor of more than fifty books, including The Fathers of the Church (2006); The Mass of the Early Christians (2007); Living the Mysteries (2003); and What Catholics Believe(1999). He has hosted eleven television series on the Eternal Word Television Network and is a frequent guest commentator on Catholic radio.

 

Mike Aquilina’s website is found at fathersofthechurch.com

 

 

St. Agnes, a lamb for Christ with Mike Aquilina

Mike Aquilina shares with us the story of St. Agnes.Mike Aquilina - Fathers of the Church and so much more... 5

St.-Agnes-300x289A young girl who would help to break open the hearts of many, so that grace could pour in.  She was “a lamb for Christ”.  Mike also discusses the challenges to life, including the “ancient” practice of abortion.

wiki According to tradition, Saint Agnes was a member of the Roman nobility born c. 291 and raised in a Christian family. She suffered martyrdom at the age of twelve or thirteen during the reign of the Roman Emperor Diocletian, on 21 January 304.

The Prefect Sempronius wished Agnes to marry his son, and on Agnes’ refusal he condemned her to death. As Roman law did not permit the execution of virgins, Sempronius had a naked Agnes dragged through the streets to a brothel. Various versions of the legend give different methods of escape from this predicament. In one, as she prayed, her hair grew and covered her body. It was also said that all of the men who attempted to rape her were immediately struck blind. In another the son of the prefect is struck dead, but revived after Agnes prayed for him, causing her release. There is then a trial from which Sempronius excuses himself, and another figure presides, sentencing her to death. When led out to die she was tied to a stake, but the bundle of wood would not burn, or the flames parted away from her, whereupon the officer in charge of the troops drew his swordbeheaded her, or, in some other texts, stabbed her in the throat. It is also said that the blood of Agnes poured to the stadium floor where other Christians soaked up the blood with cloths. and

The daughter of Constantine I, Saint Constance, was also said to have been cured of leprosy after praying at Agnes’ tomb.

A prayer to St. Agnes
Let us gain courage for our own battle
by honoring the martyrdom of the glorious virgin Agnes.
St. Agnes, vessel of honor,
flower of unfading fragrance,beloved of the choirs of Angels,
you are an example to the worth of virtue and chastity.
O you who wear a Martyr’s palm
and a virgin’s wreath,
pray for us that,
though unworthy of a special crown,
we may have our names written in the list of Saints.