Definition of Apostolic fathers. Meaning of Apostolic fathers. Synonyms of Apostolic fathers
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Definition of Apostolic fathers
Apostolic fathersApostolic Ap`os*tol"ic, Apostolical Ap`os*tol"ic*al, a. [L.
apostolicus, Gr. ?: cf. F. apostolique.]
1. Pertaining to an apostle, or to the apostles, their times,
or their peculiar spirit; as, an apostolical mission; the
2. According to the doctrines of the apostles; delivered or
taught by the apostles; as, apostolic faith or practice.
3. Of or pertaining to the pope or the papacy; papal.
Apostolical brief. See under Brief.
Apostolic canons, a collection of rules and precepts
relating to the duty of Christians, and particularly to
the ceremonies and discipline of the church in the second
and third centuries.
Apostolic church, the Christian church; -- so called on
account of its apostolic foundation, doctrine, and order.
The churches of Rome, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem
were called apostolic churches.
Apostolic constitutions, directions of a nature similar to
the apostolic canons, and perhaps compiled by the same
authors or author.
Apostolic fathers, early Christian writers, who were born
in the first century, and thus touched on the age of the
apostles. They were Polycarp, Clement, Ignatius, and
Hermas; to these Barnabas has sometimes been added.
Apostolic king (or majesty), a title granted by the pope
to the kings of Hungary on account of the extensive
propagation of Christianity by St. Stephen, the founder of
the royal line. It is now a title of the emperor of
Austria in right of the throne of Hungary.
Apostolic see, a see founded and governed by an apostle;
specifically, the Church of Rome; -- so called because, in
the Roman Catholic belief, the pope is the successor of
St. Peter, the prince of the apostles, and the only
apostle who has successors in the apostolic office.
Apostolical succession, the regular and uninterrupted
transmission of ministerial authority by a succession of
bishops from the apostles to any subsequent period.
--Hook. Apostolic fatherFather Fa"ther, n. [OE. fader, AS. f[ae]der; akin to OS.
fadar, D. vader, OHG. fatar, G. vater, Icel. Fa?ir Sw. & Dan.
fader, OIr. athir, L. pater, Gr. ?????, Skr. pitr, perh. fr.
Skr. p[=a] protect. ???,???. Cf. Papa, Paternal,
Patriot, Potential, Pablum.]
1. One who has begotten a child, whether son or daughter; a
generator; a male parent.
A wise son maketh a glad father. --Prov. x. 1.
2. A male ancestor more remote than a parent; a progenitor;
especially, a first ancestor; a founder of a race or
family; -- in the plural, fathers, ancestors.
David slept with his fathers. --1 Kings ii.
Abraham, who is the father of us all. --Rom. iv. 16.
3. One who performs the offices of a parent by maintenance,
affetionate care, counsel, or protection.
I was a father to the poor. --Job xxix.
He hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all
his house. --Gen. xiv. 8.
4. A respectful mode of address to an old man.
And Joash the king og Israel came down unto him
[Elisha], . . . and said, O my father, my father!
5. A senator of ancient Rome.
6. A dignitary of the church, a superior of a convent, a
confessor (called also father confessor), or a priest;
also, the eldest member of a profession, or of a
legislative assembly, etc.
Bless you, good father friar ! --Shak.
7. One of the chief esslesiastical authorities of the first
centuries after Christ; -- often spoken of collectively as
the Fathers; as, the Latin, Greek, or apostolic Fathers.
8. One who, or that which, gives origin; an originator; a
producer, author, or contriver; the first to practice any
art, profession, or occupation; a distinguished example or
The father of all such as handle the harp and organ.
--Gen. iv. 21.
Might be the father, Harry, to that thought. --Shak.
The father of good news. --Shak.
9. The Supreme Being and Creator; God; in theology, the first
person in the Trinity.
Our Father, which art in heaven. --Matt. vi. 9.
Now had the almighty Father from above . . . Bent
down his eye. --Milton.
Adoptive father, one who adopts the child of another,
treating it as his own.
Apostolic father, Conscript fathers, etc. See under
Apostolic, Conscript, etc.
Father in God, a title given to bishops.
Father of lies, the Devil.
Father of the bar, the oldest practitioner at the bar.
Fathers of the city, the aldermen.
Father of the Faithful.
(a) Abraham. --Rom. iv. --Gal. iii. 6-9.
(b) Mohammed, or one of the sultans, his successors.
Father of the house, the member of a legislative body who
has had the longest continuous service.
Most Reverend Father in God, a title given to archbishops
and metropolitans, as to the archbishops of Canterbury and
Natural father, the father of an illegitimate child.
Putative father, one who is presumed to be the father of an
illegitimate child; the supposed father.
(a) A religious teacher or guide, esp. one instrumental in
leading a soul to God.
(b) (R. C. Ch.) A priest who hears confession in the
sacrament of penance.
The Holy Father (R. C. Ch.), the pope.
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