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Church History (Patristic Era, Ecumenical Councils, the Papacy, and Saints): Papacy

The historical development of the Church...Within 400 years after Jesus' passion, Christianity developed from an illegal, persecuted, and underground religion into the sole, official, dominant faith of the Roman Empire.

Papal Documents


For Papal documents, try the Vatican Website and sets of monographs listed below. For more recent encyclicals in paper format, search CLICnet.  For texts and commentary on recent ones, try the Vatican Web site and use CPLI to locate articles in the Osservatore Romano, Origins, or other Catholic publications.


Pope and Saint


Pope Saint Gregory the Great.

(76 Popes have been canonized as saints.)

Acta Apostolicae Sedis

Acta Apostolicae Sedis is the official, polyglot chronological commentary on the actions of the popes.