Justin Martyr A.D. 100-165

In his Dialogue With Trypho he writes “For the prophetical gifts remain with us even to the present time”1

Later in the same work, he says, “Now it is possible to see among us women and men who possess gifts of the Spirit of God.” 2

In another work called The Second Apology of Justin, he speaks of the ability of Christians in his day to cast out demons and minister healing:

“For numberless demoniacs throughout the whole world, and in your city, many of our Christian men exorcising them in the name of Jesus Christ, who was crucified under Pontius Pilate, have healed and do heal, rendering helpless and driving the possessing devils out of the men.” 3


1. Gordon Fee, The First Epistle to the Corinthians, 607.

2. Hans Von Campenhausen, Ecclesiastical Authority and Spiritual Power in the Churches of the First Three Centuries, 58.

3. Hans Kung, Apostolic Succession: Rethinking A Barrier To Unity, 35.

Eddie L Hyatt. 2000 Years Of Charismatic Christianity: A 21st century look at church history from a pentecostal/charismatic prospective

Irenaeus A.D. 125-200

He was a student of Polycarp who was a disciple of the apostle John.

In his work Against Heresies, he writes;

For some do certainly and truly drive out devils, so that those who have been thus cleansed from evil spirits frequently both believe {in Christ}, and join themselves to the Church. Others have foreknowledge of things to come: they see visions and utter prophetic expressions. Others still heal the sick by laying their hands upon them, and they are made whole.

 Yea, moreover, as I have said, the dead even have been raised up, and remained among us for many years. And what shall I more say? It is not possible to name the number of gifts, which the Church throughout the whole world has received from God in the name of Jesus Christ.4

Later in the book he writes; In like manner we do also hear many brethren in the Church who posses prophetic gifts and who through the Spirit speak all kinds of languages, and bring to light for the general benefit the hidden things of men, and declare the mysteries of God. 5


4. Irenaeus, Against Heresies, vol. 1 The Ante-Nicene Christian Library, 409.

5. Ibid., 531

Eddie L Hyatt. 2000 Years Of Charismatic Christianity: A 21st century look at church history from a pentecostal/charismatic prospective

Tertullian A.D. 160-240

A native of Carthage, he was converted in A.D. 192.

In A Treatise on the Soul, Tertullian says, “For seeing that we acknowledge the spiritual charismata, or gifts, we too have merited the attainment of the prophetic gift.” 6

He goes on to tell of a woman in his congregation “whose lot it has been to be favored with sundry gifts of revelation.” According to Tertullian, she often experienced visitations from angels and from the Lord Himself. In addition, she often knew the secrets of people’s hearts and was able to give answers to some of their deepest needs, including physical healing. Tertullian says, “All her communications are examined with the most scrupulous care in order that Their truth may be probed: 7

In To Scapula, Tertullian relates specific instances of healing and deliverance from demonic oppression. He concludes, “And heaven knows how many distinguished men, to say nothing of the common people, have been cured either of devils or of their sicknesses.” 8

In Against Maricon, written to counter the heretic Marcion, Tertullian reveals both his acquaintance with speaking in tongues and his belief that the supernatural gifts of the Spirit were a sign of orthodoxy. This is obvious in his challenge to Marcion.

Let Marcion then exhibit, as gifts of his god, some prophets such as have not spoken by human sense, but with the Spirit of God, such as have predicted things to come and have made manifest the secrets of the heart; let him produce a psalm, a vision, a prayer—only let it be by the spirit, in an ecstasy, that is, in a rapture, whenever an interpretation of tongues has occurred to him. Now all these signs are forthcoming from my side without any difficulty. 9

In On Baptism, Tertullian supports a work of the Spirit in the believer subsequent to conversion. He writes, “Not that in the water we obtain the Spirit; but in the water we are cleansed and prepared for the Holy Spirit.” He also states that following baptism “the hand is laid on us, invoking and inviting the Holy Spirit through benediction” 10


6. Tertullian, A Treatise on the Soul, vol. 3 The Anti-Nicene Christian Library, 189.

7. Ibid., 188.

8. Tertullian, Apologetic Works, vol. 10 The Fathers of the Church, 121.

9. Terullian, Against Marcion, vol. 3 The Ante-Nicene Christian Library, 447.

10. Tertullian, On Baptism, vol. 3 The Ante-Nicene Christian Library, 672.

Eddie L Hyatt. 2000 Years Of Charismatic Christianity: A 21st century look at church history from a pentecostal/charismatic prospective

Origen A.D. 185-284

Origen was a prolific and influential writer, was the church’s first systematic theologian.

In Against Celsus, Origen speaks of the miracles being performed in his day thought the power of Jesus’ name.

Some give evidence of their having received through this faith a marvelous power by the cures, which they perform, invoking no other name over those who need their help than that of the God of all things, and of Jesus, along with a mention of His history. For by these means we too have seen many persons freed from grievous calamities, and from distractions of mind, and madness, and countless other ills, which could not be cured neither by men nor devils. 11

Further in this work he says,

“To these promises are added strange, fanatical and quite unintelligible words, of which no rational person can find the meaning.” 12

Cecil M. Robeck notes, “Origen must have held that prayer in tongues existed in his day, and it was thought to be beneficial in that it was through this type of prayer that the Spirit interceded exceedingly before God.” 13

In De Principiis, he says;

“For this reason was the grace and revelation of the Holy Spirit bestowed by the imposition of the apostles’ hands after baptism. Our Savior also, after the resurrection, when old things had already passed away and all things had become new…His apostles also being renewed by faith in His resurrection, says, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” 14

He then remarks, “But since that time these signs have diminished.” He cites the lack of holiness and purity among the Christians of his day as the reason. 15


11. Origen, Against Celsus, vol. 4 The Ante-Nicene Christian Library, 473.

12. Ibid., 614.

13. Cecil M. Robeck, Origen's Treatment of the Charismata, Charismatic Experiences in History, 120.

14. Origen, Origen De Pricipiis, vol. 4 The Ante-Nicene Christian Library, 254.

15. Origen, Against Celsus, 614.

Eddie L Hyatt. 2000 Years Of Charismatic Christianity: A 21st century look at church history from a pentecostal/charismatic prospective

Novatian A.D. 210-280

He was a presbyter of the church in Rome and respected theologian.

In his most important surviving work, The Trinity he says;

“This is he (the Holy Spirit) who places prophets in the Church, instructs teachers, directs tongues, gives powers and healings, doesn’t wonderful works, offers discrimination of spirits, affords powers of government, suggests counsels, and orders and arranges whatever other gifts there are of charismata; and thus making the Lord’s Church every where, and in all, perfected and completed.” 

Eddie L Hyatt. 2000 Years Of Charismatic Christianity: A 21st century look at church history from a pentecostal/charismatic prospective

Cyprian A.D. 195-258

He was a prosperous Carhtaginian by birth, and enjoyed the benefits of a good education in rhetoric and law.

He often experienced supernatural visions. He says’  “It seemed best to us through many and clear visions.” 19

“For beside the visions of the night, even in the daytime, the innocent age of boys is among us filled with the Holy Spirit, seeing in an ecstasy with their eyes, and hearing and speaking those things wherby the Lord condescends to war and instruct us.” 20

He saw regeneration as taking place in true baptism and the reception of the Holy Spirit as occurring thereafter through the laying on of hands. 

For he who has been sanctified, his dins being put away in baptism, and has been spiritually reformed into a new man, has become fitted for receiving the Holy Spirit.” 21

“One is not born by the imposition of hands when he receives the Holy Ghost, but in baptism, that so, being already born, he may receive the Holy Spirit, even as it happened to the first man Adam. For first God formed him and then breathed into his nostrils the breath of life.” 22

The reason for the decline of spiritual gifts after this time. Professor James L. Ash, Jr. says that virtually all historians of Christianity agree that the institutionalization of the early church was accompanied by the demise of the charismatic gifts. 1


19. Cyprian, Letters, vol. 51 of The Fathers of the Church, 161

20. Cyprian, The Epistles of Cyprian, vol. 5 of the Ante-Nicene Christian Library, 290

21. The Epistles of Cyprian, 387

22. Ibid., 388

23. James L. Ash Jr., The Decline of Ecstatic Prophecy in the Early Church, 227.

Eddie L Hyatt. 2000 Years Of Charismatic Christianity: A 21st century look at church history from a pentecostal/charismatic prospective


Montanus second century

He was orthodox in his faith, accepting all the books of the Canon as well as the Rule of Faith. 8

He emphasized the gift of prophecy and was soon joined by two prophetesses, Prisca and Maximilla. Speaking in tongues was probably also a common occurrence among the Montanists. 10

The emphasis on spiritual gifts brought Montanus into sharp conflict with many church leaders who contended that the newly developing ecclesiastical office held preeminence over any spiritual gift. 11

These leaders also took issue with the manner in which Montanus and his followers delivered their prophecies. Although they found no fault with the content of the prophecies, they accused them of delivering them in a frenzied state of ecstasy. 12

Several regional councils or synods held in the latter half of the second century censured Montanus and his followers. This calling of church councils, however, merely highlights the impact that Montanism was having throughout the church. In their book Christian Initiation and Baptism in the Holy Spirit, Kilian McDonnell and George Montague point out that these were the first councils in the history of the church except for the Jerusalem council of Acts 15, and that “neither the threat of gnosticism, nor Marcionism had ever pressed the Church into calling councils” 13

Support for Montanus and his followers was widespread. Eusebius indicates that Irenaius was sent to Rome by the Gallic Christians to intercede on behalf of the Montanists. 14

Iranaeus must have been referring to the opposers of Montanus when he expressed his dismay at those who “set aside at once both the Gospel and the prophetic Spirit.” These same men, said Irenaeus, could not admit the apostle Paul either, for in his epistle to the Corinthians “he expressly speaks of prophetical gifts, and recognizes men and women prophesying in the Church.” 15

In Against Praxeas, Tertullian says that the bishop of Rome initially “acknowledged the prophetic gifts of Montanus, Prisca and Maximilla” and “bestowed his peace” upon the Montanist churches was to say, “We belong to the same communion; we celebrate the same Eucharist; we hold the same faith.” 17

Paraxeas taught a doctrine called monarchianism that declared the Father, Son and Holy Spirit were one and the same. This influenced the Romans bishop against Montanaeus and he withdrew his letters of peace. Tertullian says that Praxeas dida twofold service for the devil at Rome. “He drove away prophecy, and he brought in heresy; he put to flight the Paraclete, and he crucified the Father.” 18

Tertullian also wrote several books defending ecstatic prophecy, all of which were either lost or destroyed. 19

It is challenging to evaluate the Montanists because most rely on the critics of Montanism rather than their own writings. Tertullian’s seven books on ecstatic prophecy in which Montanists defended themselves, have not survived because they were either lost or destroyed by their enemies.

Montanism has gained a more favorable hearing over time. In 1750, John Lacy wrote a work called The General Delusion of Christians Touching the Ways of God Revealing Himself to and by the Prophets. It gives a positive view of Montanism and refutes many of the traditional accusations. John Wesley wrote the following response in his Jounal on August 15, 1750 after reading this book:

I was fully convinced of what I had once suspected: 1) That the Montanists, in the second and third centuries were real Scriptural Christians; and 2) That the grand reason why the miraculous gifts were so soon withdrawn was not only that faith and holiness were well night lost, but that dry formal, orthodox men began even then to ridicule whatever gifts they had not themselves, and to decry them all as either madness or imposture.20

David Aune refutes the claim that pagan prophecy intruded into second century Christianity in his extensive study of ancient prophecy, Prophecy in the Early Church and the Ancient Mediterranean World. He maintains that all major features of early Montanism, including the ecstatic nature of their prophetic utterances, “are derived from early Christianity.” 22

McDonnell says, “The Church never really recovered its balance after it rejected Montanism.” 24

Origen would then go on to state that; “These signs have diminished.” 28

He was speaking to the fact that after the Church rejected Montanism, the miraculous diminished in the institutionalized church.


8. Tertullian, On Fasting, vol.4 of the Ante-Nicene Christian library, 102. Ronald E. Heine, The Montanist Oracles and Testimonia, 27. Phillip Schaff, Ante-Nicene Christianity, vol. 2 of History of the Christian Church 421.

10. F.C. Klawiter, The New Prophecy in Early Christianity: The Origin, Nature, and Development of Montanism, A.D. 165-200

11. Schaff, Ante-Nicene Christianity, vol. 2 History of the Christian Church, 424.

13. Kilian McDonnell and George Montague, Christian Initiation and Baptism in the Holy Spirit, 108.

14. Eusebius, The History of the Church, 206. Schaff, Ante-Nicene Christianity, vol. 2 of History of the Christian Church, 420. Robert M. Grant, Augustus to Constantine, 136. McDonnell and Montague, Christian Initiation and Baptism in the Holy Spirit, 108. David Wright, Montanism: A Movement of Spiritual Renewal? Theological Renewal 25.

15. Irenaeus, Against Heresies, vol. 1 The Ante-Nicene Christian Library, 429.

17. McDonnell and Montague, Christian Initiation and the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, 108.

18. Tertullian, against Praxeas, 597.

19. Jerome, Illustrious Men of the Church, vol. 3 Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, 373.

20. Nehemiah Curnack, ed., vol. 3 The Journal of the Rev. John Wesley A.M., 8 vols. 490.

24. Kilian McDonnell, The Baptism in the Holy Spirit, 44.

28. Origen, Against Celsus, 614.

Antony A.D. 251-356

He is considered the founder of monasticism. The Life of Antony, written by the bishop of Athanasius, is filled with accounts of the supernatural.

Athanasius speaks of one occasion when many gathered at the entrance of Antony’s cave seeking prayers. Antony finally emerged, and “through him the Lord healed the bodily ailments of many present and cleansed others from evil spirits.”2


2. Athanasius, Life of Antony, vol. 4 Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, 200.

Pachomius A.D. 292-346

One day he was sitting in his cell, an angel appeared to him, saying, “Go and gather together unto thyself those who are wandering and be thou dwelling with them, and lay down for them such laws as I shall tell unto thee.”3

 One ancient writer described Pachomius as “a man endowed with apostolic grace both in teaching and in performing miracles.”4


3. Ann Freemantle, A Treasury of Early Christianity, 389.

4. Jerome and Gennadius, Illustrious Men of the Church, vol.3 Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, 387.


Athanasius A.D. 295-373

He was known as the Father of Orthodoxy and was the bishop of Alexandria in Egypt. He is best known for his wrtings against Arianism. Ariustaught that Christ was a created being who was different from and less than the Father.

 Athanasius concluded his account of Antony by saying:

And we ought not to doubt whether such marvels were wrought by the and of a man. For it is the promise of the Saviour, when He saith, “If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say to this mountain, remove hence and it shall remove, and nothing shall be impossible unto you.”5

 “We know bishops who work wonders miracles and monks who do not.”6


5. Athanasius, Life of Anthony, 218.

6. Athanasius, Letters of Athanasius, vol. 4 Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, 560.

Hilarion A.D. 305-385

He was born in the city of Gaza in Palestine to pagan parents who provided him with a good education. After visiting Anthony in the desert of Egypt he dedicated himself to live in the wilderness of Palestine and gained a reputation for holiness and power in prayer. Jerome said of him “Time would fail me if I wished to relate all the miracles which were wrought by him.”7

Hilarion once found a paralyzed man lying near where he lived and then the following;

…weeping much and stretching out his hand to the prostrate man he said, “I bid you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, arise and walk,: The words were still on the lips of the speaker when, with miraculous speed the limbs were strengthened and the man arose and stood firm.9


7. Jerome, The Life of Saint Hilarion, vol. 6 Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, 309.

9. Augustine, The City of God, vol. 2 Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, 485.

Ambrose A.D. 340-397

He became bishop of Milan in A.D. 374, after he gave up a successful political career.

In his work Of the Holy Spirit he wrote, “You see the Father and Christ also set teachers in the churches, and as the Father gives the gift of healings, so too does the Son give; as the father gives the gift of tongues, so too has the Son also granted it. In like manner we have heard also above concerning the Holy Spirit that He too grants the same kinds of graces. So, then, the Spirit gives the same gifts as the Father and the Son also gives them.10


10. Ambrose, Of the Spirit, vol. 10 Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, 134.

Jerome A.D. 347-420

He became a Christian in S.D. 360. After seeing a vision of Christ during an illness he became hermit not far from Antioch and was said of him, “the ablest scholar the ancient Western Church could boast.”11

He is most famous for his Latin translation of the Scriptures, The Vulgate. From the Council of Trent (1545-1563) until recently, this was the only official Bible of the Roman Catholic Church.

The miraculous is often mentioned by him, especially in his work The Life of Saint Hilarion. In it he records that Jerome calmed a raging sea caused by an earthquake as the water was about to destroy the village of Epidarurus. Jerome then remarks:

Verily, what was said to the Apostles, “If ye have faith, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove into the sea, and it shall be done. May even be literally fulfilled if one has such faith as the Lord commanded the Apostles to have.12


11. Williston Walker, A History of the Christian Church, 485.

12. Jerome, The lIfe of Saint Hilarion, 313.

Augustine A.D. 354-430

He became the bishop of Hippo in North Africa some time after 387. Much theology of both Catholicism and Protestantism is rooted in his thought.13

Early in his Christian experience, Augustine seems to have denied the miraculous as in his homily The Epistle of Saint John. In it he referred to the tongues of Pentecost as a sign “adapted to the time” that had passed away.14

Later in life he seems to have changed. In his work The City of God he says, “For even now, miracles are wrought in the name of Christ, whether by His sacraments or by prayer or the relics of His saints.”15

Augustine then describes the various miracles of which he is personally aware. These include healings from blindness, cancer, gout, hemorrhoids, demon possession and even the raising of the dead. He even says, “I am so pressed by the promise of finishing this work that I cannot record all the miracles I know.”16

According to Augustine, a person begins to jubilate when the mouth is not able to express with words what the heart is singing. The person continues to make sounds, but the sounds are inarticulate because the heart is giving utterance to what it cannot say in works. He then says:

And for whom is such jubilation fitting if not for the ineffable God” For he is ineffable whom one cannot express in words; and if you cannot express him in words, and yet you cannot remain silent either, then what is left but sing in jubilation, so that your heart may rejoice without words, and your unbounded joy may not be confined by the limits of syllables.17

Augustine’s interest in the miraculous has led some writers to conclude correctly that, in later life, he changed his views on the miraculous ministry of the Holy Spirit.18


13. Cairns, Christianity Through the Centuries, 146.

14. Augustine, The Epistle of Saint John, vol. 12 Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, 497-498.

15. Augustine, The City of God, 485.

16. Ibid., 489.

17. Francis Sullivan, Charism and Charismatic Renewal, 147. Eddie Ensley, Sounds of Wonder.

18. Richard Chenevix Trench, Notes on the Miracles of Our Lord 44.

Benedict A.D. 480-547

In about 529 he founded the monastery of Monte Cassino.

One of Benedict’s lasting contributions was The Rule of Benedict, which became one of the most important plans for monastic life in the Middle Ages throughout Europe.

One miraculous story is told about an incident that occurred during the construction of a wall which collapsed killing one of the workers. The body was brought to Benedict who knelt down and prayed earnestly over the body and within one hour the worker revived and continued work on the wall.19

Benedict reached out beyond the confines of his monastery and was said to heal their sick, relieved the distress and is said to have raised the dead on more than one occasion.”20

Gregory tells about incidences in his Dialogue about Benedict casting evil spirits out of certain individuals. On one occasion, an evil spirit entered one of the monks and threw him to the ground in a violent convulsion. When Benedict saw what was happening he struck the man on the cheek. The evil spirit immediately left and never returned.21


19. Saint Gregory the Great, Dialogues, vol. 39 The Fathers of the Church, 76-77.

20. Michael Walsh, Butler's Lives of the Saints, 212.

21. Gregory, Dialogues, 98.

Gregory the Great A.D. 540-604

He was born of wealthy parents and received a good education. AboutA.D. 570 he became prefect of Rome, a position of significant honor. After his father died, Gregory surrendered his fortune and entered a Benedictine monastery. There he gained recognition as a gifted leader, and subsequently, when Pope Pelagius died in A.D. 590, Gregory was elected to succeed him.

In his Dialogues, Gregory records many miracles of which he had personal knowledge, including the raising of the dead. (Iv). For example, Gregory tells of Bishop Boniface whose garden suffered an invasion of caterpillars. Seeing all his vegetables going to ruin, he turned to the caterpillars and said, "I adjure you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, depart from here and stop eating these vegetables." In obedience to his voice all the caterpillars, down to the very last one, disappeared from the garden.23

Gregory also tells of a boy who, while drawing water from the river, fell in and was being swept away by the current. Benedict, the abbot (leader) of the nearby monastery, aware of the crisis through a word of knowledge, charged Brother Maurus to hurry to the river to rescue the boy. Running to the river's edge, Maurus spotted the frantic boy being swept downstream, and without realizing it, he continued to run on the water until he reached the boy. Grabbing him by the hair, he dragged him to safety on the riverbank. Benedict would take no credit for the miracle but attributed it to the obedience of his disciple. Maurus, however, claimed that the rescue was "due entirely to his abbot's command. "24

Gregory also tells of a man named Marcellus being raised from the dead. Marcellus died on Saturday, and because he could not be buried the same day, his sisters sought the prayers of Fortunatus, the bishop of that area. Fortunatus went to the home of the deceased early Sunday morning and, kneeling near the corpse, began to pray. After praying for some time, he arose and sat down. Then in a subdued voice, he called "Brother Marcellus." Marcellus opened his eyes, looked at Fortunatus and said, "What have you done? What have you done?" Fortunatus then asked, "What have I done?" Marcellus explained how, on the previous day, two people [angels] had come to escort him to the abode of the blessed. A messenger had intervened, however, commanding, "Take him back because Bishop Fortunatus is visiting his home." Marcellus revived, quickly regained his strength and lived for years after this miracle.25


23. Gregory, Dialogues, 98.

24. Ibid., 69.

25. Ibid., 48-49.

Bernard of Clairvaux 1090-1153

He was born of noble parentage in Fontaines, Burgundy, in what is now east-central France. He entered the monastery at Citeaux in 1112. In addition, as his fame increased, noblemen, bishops, princes and popes sought his counsel.

Bernard also gained recognition because of the many miracles that occurred in his ministry It was reported, "From all quarters sick persons were conveyed to him by the friends who sought from him a cure."' The lame were healed, and people were delivered from countless diseases and infirmities.

On one occasion, a deaf-mute boy was instantly able both to hear and to speak as a result of Bernard's prayers. Shouting and cheering arose from the crowd of onlookers who set the boy on a wooden bench so that he could address them.2

The monk Gottfried tells of a young boy who, having been blind from birth, received his sight through the prayers of Bernard. As his eyes opened, the boy shouted, "I see day, I see everybody, I see people with hair." Clapping his hands in delight, he exclaimed, "My God, now I will no more dash my feet against the stones."3


2. Cairns, Christianity Through the Centuries, 155.

3. Schaff, Ante-Nicene Christianity, vol. 5 History of the Christian Church, 317. 

Hildegard of Bingen 1098-1179

Hildegard has been called "the most prominent woman in the Church of her day."4 She was the leader of a Benedictine convent near Bingen on the Rhine in what is now Germany.

Many came to Hildegard seeking healing, some from as far away as Sweden. She had no formula but seemed to rely on the inner leading of the Holy Spirit for the unique solution to each case. "Sometimes the medium used was a prayer, sometimes a simple word of command, sometimes water which, as in one case, healed paralysis of the tongue."

Contemporaries reported that "scarcely a sick person came to her without being healed."' Hildegard was also a visionary whose visions came while she was wide-awake and perfectly conscious. What she saw, she saw by "using the eyes and ears of the inner person according to the will of God."6

In addition, she spoke and sang in tongues. Her colleagues referred to these spiritual songs as "concerts in the Spirit."7 Because her experiences were not understood by some, critics denounced her as being demon possessed. She was defended, however, by her friend, Bernard of Clairvaux, who also commended her to Pope Eugenius III.

In 1148, Eugenius personally visited her and, after investigating her revelations, "recognized the genuineness of her miracles and encouraged her to continue her course."8


4. Suenens, A New Pentecost?, 39.

6. Ibid., 64

7. Ken Blue, Authority to Heal, 21-31.

8. Ruth A. Tucker, From Jerusalem to Irian Jaya, 49.

Dominic 1170-1221

He was a contemporary of Francis of Assisi, began a preaching order known as the Dominicans. They were distinguished for their missionary endeavors and their efforts in education. Many reports of visions and miracles surround the story of Dominic.

On one occasion, when Napoleon, the son of Lord Cardinal Stephen, fell from his horse and instantly died, Dominic immediately went to the scene, stood before the lacerated corpse, raised his hands to heaven and shouted, "Young man, Napoleon, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, I say to thee arise." Before the eyes of all those present, the young man arose and said, "Give me something to eat."9

On a journey through Europe, Dominic and his companions joined with a group of Germans, traveled with them for a time and received their hospitality. Because Dominic did not understand their language, he could not talk to them. On their fourth day together, Dominic reproached himself for being so unconcerned with the eternal needs of his fellow travelers and suggested to his companion that they "kneel down and pray God that He teach us their language for we are not able to announce to them the Lord Jesus."10 God answered their prayer, enabling them to speak to the Germans in their language. Astonished at Dominic's sudden ability to speak their language, the Germans listened intently over a four-day period as Dominic shared the gospel. 


9. Francis c. Lehner, Saint Dominic: Biographical Documents, 165-166.

10. Cutten, Speaking With Tongues: Historically and Psychologically Considered, 39.


He was born the son of a prosperous merchant.

As a young man, while praying in a church outside Assisi, he heard a voice say to him, "Go and repair My house, which is fallen down." Interpreting "house" to mean the building in which he was praying, he immediately went to his father's warehouse, took a horse and a load of cloth, sold both and gave the money to the church for repairs. In retrospect, of course, Francis realized that "my house" actually referred to the church generally.

Francis established the Franciscan order, a monastic order dedicated to studying the Scriptures, preaching the gospel, praying and helping the poor. Interpreting Matthew 10:7-19 literally, they elected to renounce all earthly possessions and to live in poverty. The order was endowed with great spiritual power, and it has been called "perhaps the most
 thoroughly charismatic [order], in its primitive period, that the church has ever known.""

Indeed, Francis's preaching was accompanied by great power. Specifically, reports Butler, God gave Francis the gifts of prophecy and miracles.12 Also, many healings occurred as a result of Francis's prayers.

On one occasion, for example, while preaching in the city of Narni, Francis was taken to a man who was completely paralyzed. The man had expressed assurance that if Francis would come to him, he would be completely healed. When Francis entered the man's room, he made the sign of the cross over the man from his head to his feet. Immediately, the man arose fully recovered.13

According to Jacob de Voragine, a thirteenth-century writer, Francis had originally been named Giovanni (i.e. John), but adopted the name Francis as the result of a miracle from God that had empowered him to speak French. De Voragine says, "Whenever he was filled with the fervor of the Holy Spirit, he burst forth ardently in the French tongue."14


12. Herbert Thurston and Donald Attwater, ed., vol. 2 Butler's Lives of the Saints, 24.

13. Placid Hermann, ed., St. Francis of Assisi, 9-60.

14. Jacobus de Voragine, The Golden Legend, vol. 2, 597.