For the Church Fathers, friendship was at the heart of the Gospel. It was the way to salvation and the most effective means of evangelization. God had taken flesh in order to befriend mankind. Jesus had called his Apostles friends. The first Christians, in turn, spread salvation through friendships of their own. Evangelizing the world was done through one friend bringing another into the Church—where both could be friends with God.
Friendship and the Fathers brings together, for the first time, the Fathers’ doctrine and stories of friendship—mostly in their own words. You’ll meet many giants of the early Church, including
- Minucius Felix, and walk with him as he brings a pagan friend to faith.
- Basil and Gregory, best friends from school whose friendship was shattered and then restored.
- Ambrose, who encouraged his clergy to cultivate strong friendships.
- Augustine, whose grief for a lost friend led him to profound insights—and whose friendship with St. Jerome was fraught with emotional baggage.
- Rabanus Maurus, the great biblical commentator and writer of hymns, whose counsels on friendship have never before appeared in English.
Mike Aquilina is executive vice-president of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology and a contributing editor for Angelus News. He is author of more than fifty books, including The Fathers of the Church and Villains of the Early Church. He hosts the “Way of the Fathers” podcast for CatholicCulture.org and edits the Reclaiming Catholic History series for Ave Maria Press.
Roger Finke, Author of The Churching of America and Professor of Sociology and Religious Studies, Penn State University
Tim O’Malley, Director of Online Education, McGrath Institute for Church Life, Notre Dame University
Patrick Fagan, Director of the Marriage and Religion Research Initiative, Catholic University of America
Jeffrey Morrow, Professor of Theology, Seton Hall University
Stephen Hildebrand, Professor of Theology, Franciscan University