Loading
March 06, 2012
Christian archeology
By Father Rocky Hoffman *

By Father Rocky Hoffman *

Do we know when the first church building was constructed and where it was located? If not, what is the oldest known church building that has survived — if not intact, then at least in ruins?

You ask a question about Christian Archeology, a very important topic because of the Catholic’s Church claim of apostolic origin. We can trace the Catholic Church back to the time of Christ by means of the unbroken succession of Roman pontiffs.  In fact, we know exactly where St. Peter was buried.
 
There are various archaeological claims for the oldest Catholic Church in the world, and each has its own merits, whether in the Holy Land at Rihab in the Jordan, or in the Vatican at St. Peter’s.  The Church of Saint Simeon Stylites in Syria dates back to the 5th century AD and is well preserved.  Parts of the ancient burial monument of St. Peter are embedded in the foundations of that great basilica and date from around 67 AD;  also parts of the original Constantinian Basilica of St. Peter (@ 320AD) can be found in the current version of St. Peters.
 
But my pick for the oldest known Catholic Church building that has survived and currently in use is the “Pantheon” in Rome, built by Hadrian in 126 AD, and appropriated by the Catholic Church during the 7th century and dedicated to “St. Mary and the Martyrs.”  It is in perfect condition;  a marvel to behold.

Rev. Francis J. Hoffman, JCD (Fr. Rocky) is Executive Director of Relevant Radio.  Ordained as a priest for Opus Dei in 1992 by Blessed John Paul II, he holds a doctorate in Canon Law from the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, an MBA from the University of Notre Dame, and a BA in History from Northwestern University.  His Question and Answer column appears in several Catholic newspapers and magazines across the country.

« Previous entry     Back to index     Next entry »
Ads by Google
(What's this?)
blog comments powered by Disqus

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family
Saint John Paul II on cartoon
Syrian Christian refugees
Papal Foundation Pilgrimage
Exorcism or prayer of liberation?
First meeting of Commission for Protection of Minors
Jul
23

Liturgical Calendar

July 23, 2014

Wednesday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:1-9

Gospel
Date
07/23/14
07/20/14
07/19/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Jer 1:1, 4-10
Gospel:: Mt 13: 1-9

Saint of the Day

St. John Cassian »

Saint
Date
07/23/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 13:1-9

Homily
Date
07/23/14
07/21/14
07/20/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: