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Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary

The Paradoxical Prestige of the Deacon in the Early Church

By Mike Aquilina ( bio - articles - email ) | Apr 25, 2022 | In Way of the Fathers (Podcast)

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Most lowly and most loved, deacons played supremely important roles in the early Church. Think Lawrence of Rome. Think Ephrem of Syria. They were consistently voted most likely to be pope. Jerome wryly observed that when a bishop wanted to demote a deacon, he ordained him to the priesthood.

LINKS

Ignatius of Antioch, The Epistle to the Trallians https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/fathers/view.cfm?recnum=1630

Ignatius of Antioch, The Epistle to the Philadelphians https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/fathers/view.cfm?recnum=1632

Jerome, Letter 146 https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/fathers/view.cfm?recnum=2403

Mike Aquilina’s website https://fathersofthechurch.com

Mike Aquilina’s books https://catholicbooksdirect.com/writer/mike-aquilina/

Theme music: Gaudeamus (Introit for the Feast of All Saints), sung by Jeff Ostrowski. Courtesy of Corpus Christi Watershed http://www.ccwatershed.org

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Mike Aquilina is a popular author working in the area of Church history, especially patristics. He is executive vice-president and trustee of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, a contributing editor of Angelus (magazine) and general editor of the Reclaiming Catholic History Series from Ave Maria Press. See full bio.

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