Catholic Dictionary

Term

APOSTOLIC FATHERS

Definition

Christian writers of the first centuries thought to have had personal relations with the Apostles or been directly influenced by their writings. Sts. Clement of Rome, Ignatius of Antioch, and Polycarp of Smyrna were the most important of these fathers. Their writings covered the last twenty years of the first century to mid second century, and were concerned mostly with the guidance of individuals or local churches in some pressing need.