The use of holy water in the earliest days of the Christian Era is attested by documents of only comparatively late date. Juliani", II, iii, xxv, xxvi; "Liber de Passione S. This belief spread from East to West; and scarcely had baptism been administered, when the people would crown around with all sorts of vessels and take away the water, some keeping it carefully in their homes whilst others watered their fields, vineyards, and gardens with it ("Ordo rom. Some was permanently retained at the entrance to Christian churches where a clerk sprinkled the faithful as they came in and, for this reason, was called hydrokometes or "introducer by water", an appellation that appears in the superscription of a letter of Synesius in which allusion is made to "lustral water placed in the vestibule of the temple".The "Apostolic Constitutions", the redaction of which goes back to about the year 400, attribute to the Apostle St. The letter written under the name of Pope Alexander I , who lived in the second century, is apocryphal and of more recent times; hence the first historical testimony does not go back beyond the fifth century. 82) tells of a recluse named Eusitius who lived in the sixth century and possessed the power of curing quartan fever by giving its victims to drink of water that he had blessed ; we might mention many other instances treasured up by this same Gregory ("De Miraculis S. This water was perhaps blessed in proportion as it was needed, and the custom of the Church may have varied on this point.However, it is permissible to suppose for the sake of argument that, in the earliest Christian times, water was used for expiatory and purificatory purposes, to a way analogous to its employment under the Jewish Law. Balsamon tells us that, in the Greek Church, they "made" holy water at the beginning of each lunar month.As, in many cases, the water used for the Sacrament of Baptism was flowing water, sea or river water, it could not receive the same blessing as that contained in the baptisteries. It is quite possible that, according to canon 65 of the Council of Constantinople held in 691, this rite was established for the purpose of definitively supplanting the pagan feast of the new moon and causing it to pass into oblivion.Chance is said to have furnished the opportunity for the enterprise which was destined to link his name for all time with that of his friend and patron, St.Gregory, as the "true beginner" of one of the most important Churches in Christendom and the medium by which the authority of the Roman See was established over men of the English-speaking race.
Headed by the Bishop of Rome, known as the Pope, the church's doctrines are summarised in the Nicene Creed.
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First Archbishop of Canterbury, Apostle of the English; date of birth unknown; d. Symbols: cope, pallium, and mitre as Bishop of Canterbury, and pastoral staff and gospels as missionary.
Some five years after his elevation to the Roman See (590) Gregory began to look about him for ways and means to carry out the dream of his earlier days.
He naturally turned to the community he had ruled more than a decade of years before in the monastery on the Cælian Hill.