Journey from 500 – 1000 (Early Middle Ages) The Church continued to spread the gospel. It also preserved Western Civilization. This period is known as “ the Dark Ages ” where barbarian invasions were destroying the Roman Empire. Nevertheless, the Church remained a LIGHT in the midst of the upheaval.
Missionary Activity <ul><li>In the sixth century, Pope Gregory the Great </li></ul><ul><li>sent many missionaries to bring the light of faith to the barbarian tribes. </li></ul><ul><li>Missionaries from the British Isles traveled to continental Europe to restore Christianity in those places which had been invaded by barbarians. </li></ul>
Gregorian Chant St. Gregory, born at Rome about the year 540, was the son of Gordianus, a wealthy senator, who later renounced the world and became one of the seven deacons of Rome. After he had acquired the usual thorough education, Emperor Justin the Younger appointed him, in 574, Chief Magistrate of Rome, though he was only thirty-four years of age. After the death of his father, he built six monasteries in Sicily and founded a seventh in his own house in Rome, which became the Benedictine Monastery of St. Andrew. Here, he himself assumed the monastic habit in 575, at the age of thirty-five.
Gregorian Chant After the death of Pelagius, St. Gregory was chosen Pope by the unanimous consent of priests and people. Now began those labors which merited for him the title of Great. His zeal extended over the entire known world, he was in contact with all the Churches of Christendom and, in spite of his bodily sufferings, and innumerable labors, he found time to compose a great number of works. He is known above all for his magnificent contributions to the Liturgy of the Mass and Office. He is one of the four great Doctors of the Latin Church. He died March 12, 604. He is the patron of teachers.
Monasteries <ul><li>From the 6 th to 11 th centuries, monasteries for women (nuns) and men (monks) were essential to the preservation of Christianity and Western Civilization. </li></ul><ul><li>They were centers of learning and offered hospitality for travelers, the poor, and the sick. </li></ul>
"seek first the kingdom [of God] and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you..." (Mtt. 6:33).
Saints to Know <ul><li>St. Brigid </li></ul><ul><li>Sts. Benedict and Scholastica </li></ul><ul><li>St. Augustine of Canterbury </li></ul><ul><li>St. Boniface </li></ul><ul><li>Sts. Cyril and Methodius </li></ul>Put Christ before everything: St. Benedict
Struggles and Upheavals In the early centuries of Christianity, Syria, Egypt and North Africa had given the Church some of its greatest leaders. In the decades following the death of Mohammad in 632, however, Muslims from Arabia conquered all these areas, and within a few centuries, Christians had become a minority in these lands.
Struggles and Upheavals In the early eighth century, Spain was also taken over by the followers of Muhammad, and the Christian populations of France and Constantinople were threatened by Muslim conquest as well. Nevertheless, the Church continued to grow in Europe