CHAPTER 6 The Conversion Of The Barbarian Tribes The great evangelizers of this period were fervent in their faith in Jesus and his Church and hoped for everyone to share in the spiritual and moral treasure of Christianity. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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CHAPTER 6 The Conversion Of The Barbarian Tribes The great evangelizers of this period were fervent in their faith in Jesus and his Church and hoped for everyone to share in the spiritual and moral treasure of Christianity.

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Title: CHAPTER 6 The Conversion Of The Barbarian Tribes The great evangelizers of this period were fervent in their faith in Jesus and his Church and hoped for everyone to share in the spiritual and moral treasure of Christianity.


1
CHAPTER 6 The Conversion Of The Barbarian
Tribes The great evangelizers of this period
were fervent in their faith in Jesus and his
Church and hoped for everyone to share in the
spiritual and moral treasure of Christianity.
2
CHAPTER 6 The Conversion Of The Barbarian Tribes
  • After the Fall of the Roman Empire, the Church
    set about the task of converting the Germanic
    invaders and the different tribes surrounding the
    areas of the former Roman frontier.
  • This was a long process that began in the fourth
    century and didnt end until the eleventh
    century, when the last European peoples, the
    Slavs, were converted.
  • These great evangelizers were fervent in their
    faith and hoped to share with all people the
    spiritual and moral treasures of the Church.
  • They worked not only for the salvation of all
    people, but also to share the benefits of a more
    civilized society and a higher human culture.
  • This section examines the unique role that
    monasticism played in creating a Christian
    culture.

3
The Churchs Work of Conversion
  • Although most Germanic tribes did not understand
    the subtleties of theology, they were fervent
    promoters of the Arian heresy, and often
    attempted to destroy Catholicism.
  • During the fifth century, the bishops were gifted
    leaders who exhibited the roles of preacher,
    pastor, father, teacher, leader, administrator,
    liturgist, and sometimes military leader.
  • Because of the chaos of the times, and the vacuum
    created by the Fall of the Roman Empire, Church
    leaders often had to take on leadership positions
    in society, as they worked to preserve the safety
    of the people.
  • Monks and bishops had to build churches,
    monasteries, and Catholic institutions from
    scratch.
  • Two forces were soon at work in these lands
    first, missionaries emerged from the peoples that
    were most recently evangelized and second,
    Christian queens influenced their husbands to
    convert, with the general population soon
    following.

4
PART I Conversion of France, the Churchs
Eldest Daughter
  • In time the Franks would be the Churchs
    greatest defender, and this relationship resulted
    in the formation of the Papal States.

5
CONVERSION OF THE FRANKS
  • A bishop introduced the Burgundian princess, St.
    Clotilda, a Christian, to the Frankish chief,
    Clovis.
  • Although she worked tirelessly for his
    conversion, the death of their first child and
    the near death of a second convinced Clovis that
    the Christian God was ineffective.
  • However, when faced with certain defeat by the
    Alemanni, Clovis promised God that he would
    convert and be baptized, if he was given victory.
  • When the Franks emerged triumphant, Clovis kept
    his promise and was baptized, along with 3000 of
    his soldiers.

6
CONVERSION OF THE FRANKS
  • By this act, the Franks became the first Germanic
    tribe to embrace the Catholic Faith, making
    France the Churchs eldest daughter.
  • By the middle of the sixth century, all of France
    was Christianized.
  • At this time, only France, Italy, Ireland, and a
    small part of England made up the Churchs
    faithful in the West.

7
ST. GREGORY OF TOURS
  • St. Gregory was elected Bishop of Tours AD 573.
  • He became one of the leading Churchmen following
    the collapse of the Roman Empire, and is
    responsible for writing the history of France.

8
PART II Spain
  • According to tradition, Spain received
    Christianity from St. James the Greater and St.
    Paul, and from that time until the eighth
    century, Christianity flourished even in times of
    persecution.
  • In 589, Spain was invaded by the Visogoths who
    conquered most of the Iberian peninsula.
  • The Visogoths, who were nominally Arian, were
    intolerant of Christianity.
  • Eventually, the monarchy embraced Catholicism,
    and, in 589, the Third Council of Toledo
    condemned Arianism, and Catholicism became the
    religion of Spain.
  • However, this peace did not last long. The
    monarchies soon weakened, unity was dissolved,
    and the door was opened to a Muslim invasion in
    the eighth century.

9
The Muslim Invasion
  • In 711, the Muslim invaders swept through Spain.
    Within three years they had conquered the entire
    Iberian peninsula.
  • The Spaniards had to choose either to live under
    Muslim rule, or to retreat to the northern
    provinces of Spain, mainly Asturias, where they
    were protected by the Pyrenees Mountains.
  • Those who chose to live under Muslim rule were
    called Mozarabs. At first they were well
    treated, but later, persecutions came.
  • Years of struggle and slow re-conquest followed.
  • It wasnt until 1492, more than 700 years later,
    that the Reconquista was completed and the
    Christians once again ruled Spain.

10
PART III The Conversion of the Celts
  • Christianity in Ireland adapted itself to the
    Celtic culture. It soon spread throughout the
    entire island, and Ireland developed a strong
    monastic tradition that would serve the Church as
    a source of great missionaries.

11
ST. PATRICK THE APOSTLE OF IRELAND
  • Patricius was a Roman Briton born in Southwest
    Britain in the fourth century.
  • When he was sixteen, he was kidnapped by Irish
    pirates who took him to the Northwest of Ireland.
    Working as a slave, his faith gave him great
    strength until he finally escaped six years
    later.
  • Back at home, he had a vision calling him to
    evangelize the Irish people.
  • In 430, St. Patrick, now a priest, was on his way
    back to Ireland with several clerics. He was sent
    by Pope St. Celestine I as an aid to the Bishop
    of Ireland. However, upon the death of the
    bishop, St. Patrick was immediately consecrated
    as the new bishop.

12
ST. PATRICK THE APOSTLE OF IRELAND
  • Within 15 years the entire island had heard the
    Word of God. Thousands were baptized and new
    religious communities were started. Within a
    generation, the entire island had converted to
    Christianity.
  • St. Patricks most important written work, his
    Confessions, tells about his conversion and his
    faith.

13
IRISH MONKS PROTECTORS AND PROMOTERS OF WESTERN
CIVILIZATION
  • Irish monasticism was inspired by both the Rule
    of St. Benedict and by the austere Eastern
    monastic tradition.
  • Irish monks slept on cold stones, prayed in icy
    water, and slept in wet blankets. Anything that
    denied the body comfort was seen as a means of
    bringing the soul closer to God.
  • During the sixth century, the Irish monasteries
    were the most important centers of learning in
    Europe. The scriptoria and libraries in the
    Irish monasteries saved a great deal of the
    Greco-Roman learning.

14
IRISH MONKS PROTECTORS AND PROMOTERS OF WESTERN
CIVILIZATION
  • Celtic Christianity was unique in that it had no
    diocesan priests, only monastic priests. Abbots
    exercised most of the governing power in the
    Church of Ireland.
  • By the eighth century, the influence of the Irish
    Church was declining, partly due to a series of
    Viking attacks on Irish monasteries.
  • By the ninth century, the evangelizing mission of
    the Church was being led by the papacy.

15
ST. COLUMBA THE APOSTLE OF SCOTLAND
  • St. Columba was from a royal Irish family and had
    prepared for the monastic life from an early age.
  • Before arriving in Scotland, he had already
    founded several monasteries in Ireland. Being
    caught in a conflict between families, St.
    Columba left for Scotland. Some traditions
    report that he was exiled, while others say that
    leaving for Scotland was a penance imposed by his
    confessor.

16
ST. COLUMBA THE APOSTLE OF SCOTLAND
  • In any event, he arrived in Scotland in 563,
    founding a monastery on the Isle of Iona, where
    he set to work converting the Picts. Successful
    in converting the Picts, he set about his
    evangelizing work throughout all of Scotland.
  • A man of constant prayer and study he wrote some
    300 books.
  • In 574, he anointed the new Scottish King, which
    led to the conversion of the Scottish population.

17
ST. COLUMBANUS AND THE IRISH ON THE CONTINENT
  • St. Columbanus is the most famous among many
    Irish monks who helped to evangelize the northern
    coast of France as well as Switzerland.
  • When leaving by boat for his missionary activity
    it is said that he would go wherever his boat
    happened to take him.
  • The Celtic spirituality that St. Columbanus
    helped to spread around Europe bore many fruits.
    One was the practice of frequent confession,
    which quickly spread to the Universal Church.

18
FREQUENT CONFESSION
  • By the third century, the Church had developed a
    system of austere public penance. The Penitent
    was enrolled publicly with others, and after a
    rigorous and lengthy period of penance (depending
    on the severity of the sin), marked by prayer,
    almsgiving, and fasting, the penitent was
    forgiven his sins. This was seen as a second
    Baptism and could be received only once.
    Furthermore, the penitent had to make a lifelong
    promise of continence. For these reasons many
    people postponed Penance until death approached,
    and the system was in a state of decline.
  • For the Irish, the Penance remained lengthy,
    severe, and public, but the penitent was not
    enrolled with others, was not bound by a promise
    of lifelong continence, and penance could be
    received more than once.
  • Eventually, absolution was granted upon
    confession, with penance to be performed
    afterwards, and the Sacrament became a matter of
    private responsibility.
  • The Fourth Lateran Council in 1215 officially
    taught that each individual was bound to make at
    least one Confession each year if they were
    conscious of having committed a mortal sin.

19
PART IV The Conversion of England
  • It is not known exactly how Christianity was
    first brought to England, but English bishops
    were already present at the Council of Arles (AD
    314) in France.
  • However, with the invasion of the pagan Angles,
    Jutes, and Saxons, the Christian community was
    pushed back to the furtherest regions of England.

20
ST. AUGUSTINE OF CANTERBURY THE APOSTLE OF
ENGLAND
  • By the time of Pope St. Gregory, the
    evangelization of Britain had already begun.
  • The Celts in the North had already converted due
    to the effort of the Irish missionaries, and St.
    Columba had already preached the gospel to the
    Picts in Scotland. However, the invading Saxons,
    Angles, and Jutes had nearly annihilated the
    Celts, and with them the Christian Faith.
  • Before becoming Pope, St. Gregory saw a group of
    blond, blue-eyed slaves. He was told that they
    were Angles. St. Gregory replied, Non Angli,
    sed angeli (Not Angles, but angels).
  • He never forget the Angles and when he became
    Pope he selected St. Augustine as a personal
    emissary and missionary to England.

21
ST. AUGUSTINE OF CANTERBURY THE APOSTLE OF
ENGLAND
  • In 596, St. Augustine left for England with forty
    other monks. In France they heard appalling
    stories about the brutality of the barbarians in
    England. St. Augustine wrote a frantic letter
    asking permission to return to Rome. Pope St.
    Gregory declined the request and St. Augustine
    went on to England.
  • Ethelbert, the king of Kent, had married Bertha,
    a Frankish princess, and the great-granddaughter
    of King Clovis. When St. Augustine arrived, he
    was received well by Ethelbert and was given
    permission to preach the Catholic Faith and to
    make converts. Ethelbert also gave them a
    dwelling in Canterbury, his capital.

22
ST. AUGUSTINE OF CANTERBURY THE APOSTLE OF
ENGLAND
  • On Christmas Day in 597, more than ten thousand
    Saxons were baptized. Ethelbert was baptized, and
    Christianity soon spread rapidly throughout
    England. Monasteries were quickly established and
    St. Augustine was presented with a palace in
    Canterbury, which became the Episcopal see.
  • St. Augustine was named Primate of England and
    was sent the pallium. He consecrated others as
    bishops and sent them to Rochester and London.
  • Upon St. Augustines death, Christianity had a
    strong foundation in England.

23
THE MISSION IN ENGLAND CONTINUES
  • Christianity soon spread throughout all of the
    kingdoms in England. However, there were
    occasional setbacks as the successors of
    Christian kings sometimes reverted back to
    paganism.
  • Celtic Christianity, brought by the Irish monks,
    dominated the north of England, and Roman
    Christianity predominated south of the Thames.
    Soon these two traditions would clash, especially
    over the date for the observance of Easter.
  • Seeking to reconcile the two traditions, a synod
    was held in Northumbria (AD 644).
  • St. Wilfrid, later Bishop of York, led the party
    advocating the Roman tradition.

24
THE MISSION IN ENGLAND CONTINUES
  • The synod decided that England would follow the
    Roman tradition for the observance of Easter, and
    that the monks would follow the Benedictine form
    of monasticism.
  • The Celtic monks eventually withdrew to a Celtic
    monastery on the island of Iona and to other
    monasteries in Ireland.
  • From this point on, of all the countries that had
    converted to Christianity, England was most
    closely identified with Rome, and became the
    strongest supporter of Benedictine monasticism.

25
ST. BEDE THE FATHER OF ENGLISH HISTORY
  • St. Bede (673-735) was the most important
    Anglo-Saxon scholar of his time, and much of his
    work became the standard for the Medieval
    curriculum.
  • His works included Latin grammar and poetry,
    astronomy and the tides, chronology, a biography
    of St. Cuthbert, commentaries on Scripture, and
    history. His Ecclesiastical History of the
    English People places the Catholic Church at the
    foundation of the development of English culture.
  • His spirituality and scholarship was based on the
    biblical-patristic tradition, and he developed
    the BC / AD system of dating the years.
  • Although England produced many great Saints and
    evangelizers, such as St. Boniface, the disunity
    of its kings, coupled with the invasion of the
    Vikings, caused an eventual spiritual decline,
    making England a backward country, and it
    eventually lost its momentum in deepening and
    spreading Catholic culture.

26
PART V The Conversion of Germany and the Low
Countries.
  • Although some Roman cities, such as Cologne, were
    evangelized during the time of the Roman Empire,
    it wasnt until the seventh century, and the
    arrival of English missionaries, that northwest
    and central Germany was converted. Some Germanic
    tribes were still being converted as late as the
    second millennium, when the German church began
    to focus its energies on converting the Slavs.

27
ST. WILLIBRORD THE APOSTLE OF FRISIA
  • St. Willibrord was one of the first Anglo-Saxon
    missionaries to evangelize Germanic lands.
  • With papal support for his mission, he succeeded
    in converting the people of Frisia (Northwestern
    Germany and parts of the Netherlands). His work
    suffered a temporary setback when a pagan king
    re-conquered the territory, and St. Willibrord
    had to flee to Luxembourg.
  • From there he continued his work in Denmark and
    central Germany.

28
ST. BONIFACE THE APOSTLE OF GERMANY
  • St. Boniface was born with the name Winfrid in
    Wessex, England, and entered a monastery at age
    seven. He felt that God was calling him to leave
    England and to evangelize the German peoples.
  • Before the arrival of St. Boniface, all of the
    conversion efforts in Germany had failed. Not
    only did St. Boniface succeed in converting the
    Germans, but he laid the foundation of a church
    based on the monastic model that would flourish
    for three centuries.
  • In 716, he left to bring the Frisians fully into
    the Church, but met formidable obstacles. Feeling
    discouraged, he researched the lives of the early
    Christians and found that no Saint was exempt
    from suffering, so he struggled to be courageous
    and look upon barbarians as his brothers.

29
ST. BONIFACE THE APOSTLE OF GERMANY
  • Believing that he had failed in Frisia, he
    consulted the Pope as to whether he should
    continue. The Pope was so impressed with his
    sanctity that he gave Winfrid the name
    Boniface, meaning doer of good.
  • Returning to Germany he sought the conversion of
    the Hessians, and the Pope consecrated him as a
    bishop.
  • After cutting down the Oak of Thor, the sacred
    tree of the pagans of Hesse, he gained so much
    moral authority among the people that he was able
    to establish several monasteries.
  • He spent much time building the ecclesiastic
    structure of the Church by establishing new
    dioceses, and reforming the clergy who had become
    corrupt.
  • At 76 years of age, he returned to Frisia where
    he was martyred along with his companions.

30
PART VI Conversion of Scandinavia Just as
England had supplied missionaries for the
conversion of the German people, the German
missionaries in turn led the evangelization of
Scandinavia and of the Slavs.
31
ST. ANSGAR THE APOSTLE OF THE NORTH
  • St. Ansgar was born in France where he became a
    monk. He soon moved on to Denmark and Sweden
    where he built the first Christian church.
  • The Pope made him Bishop of Hamburg and later of
    Bremen.
  • He successfully converted Erik, king of Jutland.
    However, his missionary work crumbled when the
    converted Scandinavians returned to paganism.

32
DENMARK
  • St. Ansgar was invited to Denmark by a defeated
    Danish chieftain, Harold, who sought the help of
    Louis the pious, son of Charlemagne, to regain
    his position.
  • Louis the Pious and St. Ansgar agreed to help him
    on the condition that he was baptized. Harold
    was soon baptized and set off for Denmark to
    recover his kingdom, but was decisively defeated
    in battle.
  • St. Ansgar had to move on to other missionary
    fields.
  • A century later the Danish ruler Cnut the Great
    (1014-1035) declared Christianity the official
    religion of Denmark.

33
SWEDEN
  • Christianitys progress in Sweden was as
    difficult as it had been in Denmark.
  • St. Ansgars initial efforts failed as did later
    attempts.
  • Finally, in about the year 1000, King Olaf III
    was baptized.
  • In 1078, the Christian chieftain, Inge, defeated
    the pagan chieftain and destroyed the pagan
    temple.
  • It wasnt until the twelfth century that the
    Christianization of Sweden was complete.

34
ST. OLAF PATRON SAINT OF NORWAY
  • The evangelization of Norway began in the tenth
    century.
  • Several kings favorable to Christianity, along
    with Anglo-Saxon monks, brought Christianity to
    the people.
  • Pagan successors to the king left Christianity
    vulnerable.
  • The establishment of Christianity seemed certain,
    but the reigning king used many inhumane methods
    in establishing the religion.
  • In contrast, St. Olaf (king 1016-1028) used
    stern, but civil methods to spread Christianity.
    He invited missionaries to his land. He
    destroyed pagan temples and built Christian
    churches on their sites.
  • Wars between the clans led to his exile, and he
    was killed in a battle against Canute the Great
    of Denmark. Within a year he was proclaimed a
    Saint.

35
ICELAND
  • Missionaries reached Iceland from Norway around
    AD 980. Twenty years later the ruling tribal
    council accepted Christianity.
  • The groundwork had been laid years earlier by
    Irish Christian slaves, and some of the native
    aristocracy had already accepted Christianity.
  • In the year 1000 the ruling tribal council gave
    the Law Giver, Thorgeir of Ljosvatn, the
    authorization to decide which religion the island
    would follow. Thorgeir, a pagan, after spending a
    night in prayer, decided for Christianity.
  • The island was united, and by 1056 had received
    its own bishop.

36
FINLAND AND ST. HENRY OF UPPSALA
  • The origin of Christianity in Finland is not
    clear. It arrived in the twelfth century, later
    than in the other Scandinavian countries.
  • St. Henry of Uppsala, a bishop and an Englishman,
    was the major evangelizer.
  • By 1220, the Church was firmly established.

37
PART VII The Conversion of the Slavs Central and
Eastern Europe were the scenes of competing
missionary interests. German missionaries
converted the rest of Germany and Poland, while
Greek missionaries evangelized much of Eastern
Europe. The conversion of the Bohemians,
Moravians, Slovenes, Croates, and Poles was
directed from Rome, while the Serbs, Bulgarians,
Ruthenians (Ukrainians), and Russians received
Christianity from Constantinople.
38
STS. CYRIL AND METHODIUS THE APOSTLES OF THE
SLAVS
  • Two brothers, Sts. Cyril and Methodius were the
    first missionaries among the Slavs. Coming from a
    senatorial Greek family, both decided to enter
    the priesthood.
  • St. Cyril, after becoming a priest, became part
    of the philosophy faculty in Constantinople, but
    gave up a promising career to evangelize southern
    Russia.
  • Later, the emperor commissioned them both as
    missionaries to Slovakia. Before leaving, they
    developed the Glagolithic script for use with the
    Slavs.

39
STS. CYRIL AND METHODIUS THE APOSTLES OF THE
SLAVS
  • The brothers used the vernacular Slavonic
    language for the liturgy, and translated the
    Bible into Slavonic. Although this was a vital
    tool for the conversion of Slovakia, German
    missionaries denounced them as heretics for not
    using Latin.
  • The brothers went to Rome for guidance from the
    Pope, who granted them permission to use Slavonic
    in the liturgy. St. Cyril died while in Rome, but
    the Pope made St. Methodius Bishop of the
    Moravians and he continued his missionary
    activity.
  • Arrested by German missionaries and held in
    captivity for three years, Pope John VIII
    eventually gained his release and reaffirmed the
    use of Slavonic in the liturgy.
  • Later Popes who refused to recognize the use of
    Slavonic turned many of the Slovakians away from
    Rome to Constantinople.

40
STS. LUDMILA AND WENCESLAUS PATRON SAINTS OF
THE CZECH REPUBLIC
  • In 871, St. Methodius baptized St. Ludmilla and
    her husband, Duke Borzwoi, the first Christian
    Duke of Bohemia. St. Ludmilla worked to spread
    the Faith among the Bohemian people.
  • She replicated the model often used in Europe
    the conversion of the ruling family through the
    influence of a Christian woman, and the
    subsequent conversion of the subjects.

41
STS. LUDMILA AND WENCESLAUS PATRON SAINTS OF
THE CZECH REPUBLIC
  • She had two grandsons St. Wenceslaus and
    Boleslaus. When St. Wenceslaus turned to Germany
    for political and religious support, it caused
    resentment among many Bohemians. In the
    atmosphere of political unrest, Boleslaus killed
    his brother while he was on his way to Mass.
  • Boleslaus later repented and converted to
    Christianity, bringing his brothers relics to
    Prague where they became an object of veneration.
  • Otto the Great of the Holy Roman Empire compelled
    him to reinstate Christianity, and his son,
    Boleslaus II, made Christianity the religion of
    the Bohemians.

42
ST. ADALBERT OF PRAGUE THE APOSTLE OF THE
PRUSSIANS
  • St. Adalbert worked among the Bohemians, the
    Hungarians, and the Poles.
  • Born of a noble Bohemian family, he studied in
    Germany and was later made Bishop of Prague.
  • Twice he had to flee Prague due to hostility
    caused by his attempts to reform the clergy.
    Both times he went to Rome to seek counsel.
  • While away from Prague, he became the confessor
    for the teenage Holy Roman Emperor Otto III,
    making a deep impact on the emperor by his
    example and teaching.

43
ST. ADALBERT OF PRAGUE THE APOSTLE OF THE
PRUSSIANS
  • Fleeing Prague the second time he went to
    Hungary, where he baptized the Hungarian leader
    and his son, and later to Poland and Prussia.
  • The pagan Prussians martyred him AD 997.
  • When Otto III visited his grave, he granted
    ecclesiastical independence to the Polish church
    from the Germans.

44
POLAND
  • Christianity arrived in Poland in the tenth
    century through Moravian refugees who fled to
    Poland from the Hungarian invasion. German monks
    also assisted in the conversion. Although there
    was no organized Church, the transition to a
    Christian nation was smooth and peaceful.
  • Duke Mieszko, a Polish noble, was the first to
    encourage his subjects to become Christian.
  • The duke placed his son under the care of Otto II
    for his education, and sent a locket of his sons
    hair to the Pope to show that he considered his
    son to be under the special protection of the
    Pope.
  • In AD 992, the duke placed all of Poland at the
    service of the Holy See, making Poland a vassal
    land of the popes, thus beginning a unique
    relationship between the Polish people and the
    papacy.

45
ST. STEPHEN THE GREAT, KING OF HUNGARY
  • The Hungarians were an Asian nomadic people
    defeated by Otto I. Afterwards they were a
    sedentary and peasant people who became open to
    the gospel.
  • German missionaries obtained permission to
    evangelize the people, and St. Adalbert was
    instrumental in their conversion.
  • Having been baptized with his father by St.
    Adalbert, St. Stephen became the ruler of Hungary
    and its first King.
  • Opposed by pagans, St. Stephen successfully put
    down a rebellion and set about building up the
    Church in Hungary.
  • He placed Hungary in the hands of the papacy and
    received a royal crown from the Pope, which was
    also recognized by the Holy Roman Emperor.

46
ST. VLADIMIR THE APOSTLE OF THE RUSSIANS AND
UKRAINIANS
  • St. Olga, the wife of the pagan Prince Igor of
    Russia, converted to Christianity in
    Constantinople. However, she was not able to
    convert her husband, nor her children.
  • Her grandson, St. Vladimir, became ruler of all
    Russia after defeating his brothers in battle. He
    lived a typical pagan life, having five wives and
    twelve children, and erecting many idols and
    shrines to pagan gods. He was also known as a
    ruthless ruler.

47
ST. VLADIMIR THE APOSTLE OF THE RUSSIANS AND
UKRAINIANS
  • In order to solidify his rule, he looked to the
    religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
  • His emissaries found Judaism and Islam
    unedifying, and while they found Latin rite
    Christianity acceptable, they were amazed at the
    Byzantine liturgy. While in the Church of Hagia
    Sophia in Constantinople they reported that they
    knew not whether they were in Heaven or on
    earth.
  • St. Vladimir struck a deal with the Byzantine
    emperor, who was in need of military aid. He
    would help the emperor, if he could have the hand
    of his sister in marriage. The emperor agreed on
    the condition that Vladimir became Christian.
  • St. Vladimir agreed. He dismissed his former
    wives, tore down all of the pagan idols and
    shrines that he had built, and erected churches
    in their place. He established monasteries and
    Christian schools. He threw banquets for the
    poor and focused on converting his people. By
    the time of his death, he had firmly established
    the Christian Faith throughout Russia.

48
BULGARIA A DIFFERENT PATH
  • The faith reached Bulgaria when King Boris was
    baptized AD 864/5.
  • He was oriented toward Constantinople but feared
    political and religious domination from the
    Byzantine emperors, and for some time both German
    and Byzantine missionaries worked in the land.
  • He turned to the Pope to seek advice on the
    transition of his country from paganism to
    Christianity, and the Pope gave him counsel.
    Pagan customs that conflicted with Christian
    beliefs had to be abolished, while those not in
    conflict with Christianity could be kept as part
    of the Bulgarian culture.
  • When Boris asked that Bulgaria be made a separate
    patriarchate, the Pope refused, and Boris turned
    to Constantinople. The relationship between the
    two was strained as Bulgaria asserted religious
    and political independence. Constantinople
    finally recognized the independence of the
    Bulgarian Church in the twentieth century.

49
CONCLUSION
  • The Church remained focused on its mission of
    preaching and spreading the Gospel. Not until
    the evangelization of the Americas would the
    Church experience such a growth among new
    peoples. At the same time, tensions began to
    mount between Christianity in the East and the
    West. Seemingly irreconcilable differences drove
    the two traditions further apart, which would
    later lead to a great Schism.

50
The End
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