Saints who Made History: The First Five Centuries
In these men who were formative influences upon the mind and the structure of the Church we see intellect and holiness united. Yet the saints fell in Adam as we did, and for many of them sanctity meant a fearful struggle, with holiness achieved only near the end. This is the essential drama of these lives which we see magnified against the background of the developing Church, ranging from the first age, in which Ignatius and Polycarp embodied the idea of martyrdom, to the last days of the Roman Empire in the West, with Pope Leo the Great at the centre and St. Patrick at the outermost edge of the Christian world.
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