The Post-apostolic Age - Lucius Waterman - Google Books

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The Post-Apostolic Age

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  • From the earliest days of the Christian Church the deacon has been intimately associated with the ministry of the Bishop and Priests. In the primitive Church of the Apostolic and Post Apostolic age, as witnessed to in the Christian Scriptures, the deacon was described as a minister in the liturgical assembly and preacher of the word. The deacon prepared catechumens for entrance into the Church and was a dispenser of aid and food to the poor and distressed. The very term "Diakonia" announces the central characteristic of this Order, the deacon is called to service. The witness of Saint Irenaeus already understood the apostolic appointment of the "seven" men in Acts 6: 1-6 to take care of the Greek speaking widows and orphans as the institution of the diaconate. Saint Paul refers to deacons in his exhortation in Philippians (1:1) and Saint Timothy lists the qualities and virtues which all deacons are expected to possess and exercise in their ministry (Tim 3:8-13).

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Post-Apostolic Fathers of the Church