Non-Catholics teach that Apostolic Succession ended with the death of the last Apostle, or that we
are ALL Apostles, and there is no such thing as Apostolic Succession being handed down over the centuries
to the present day Catholic Church. Either of
these teachings, of course, is not true as Holy Scripture
The Catholic Church, guided and protected by Jesus Christ (Matthew 16:18-18, Matthew 28:20), and through the Holy Spirit, affirms that the Apostles had special authority given to them by Jesus Christ, and that this authority has been passed down in unbroken succession through the Bishops of the Church for almost 2000 years.
'Some (it does not say 'ALL') people GOD has designated in the Church to be, first, Apostles; second, prophets; third, teachers; then, mighty deeds; then, gifts of healing, assistance, administration, and varieties of tongues'. It is GOD's designation which makes someone an Apostle, and they are designated within the Church. Therefore we are all NOT Apostles.
So now let us see if Scripture says anything about Apostolic Succession.
'During those days Peter stood up in the midst of the brothers He said "... For it is written in the Book of Psalms: 'Let his encampment become desolate, and may no one dwell in it.' And: 'May another take his office. Therefore, it is necessary that one of the men who accompanied us the whole time the Lord Jesus came and went among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day on which he was taken up from us, become with us a witness to his resurrection." So they proposed two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also known as Justus, and Matthias. Then they prayed, "You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two YOU have chosen to take the place in this apostolic ministry from which Judas turned away to go to his own place." Then they gave lots to them, and the lot fell upon Matthias, and he was counted with the eleven apostles. Peter, first among the Apostles, declared the problem and the solution. He decided what conditions were necessary for the consecration of one who would "take an office" in the church. How were the successors of the Apostles established?
'They presented these men to the Apostles who prayed and laid hands on them'.
'Then, completing their fasting and prayer, they laid hands on them and sent them off'.
'They appointed presbyters (priests) for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, commended them to the Lord in whom they had put their faith'.
1 Timothy 4:14:
'Do not neglect the gift you have, which was conferred on you through the prophetic word with the imposition of hands of the presbyteriate'.
2 Timothy 1:6:
'For this reason, I admonish you to stir up the grace of God which is in you by the laying on of my hands'.
'But the Lord said to him, "Go, for this man is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before Gentiles, kings, and Israelites." So Ananias went and entered the house; laying his hands on him, he said, "Saul, my brother, the Lord has sent me, Jesus who appeared to you on the way by which you came, that you may regain your sight and be filled with the holy Spirit." Immediately things like scales fell from his eyes and he regained his sight. He got up and was baptized, and when he had eaten, he recovered his strength'. Even Paul, who was called in a special way by God, only became a minister after the laying on of hands by an officer of the Church.
'Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of His body, which is the Church, of which I am a minister in accordance with God's stewardship given to me to bring to completion for you the word of God, the mystery hidden from ages and from generations past'.
2 Timothy 2:2:
'And what you heard from me through many witnesses entrust to faithful people who will have the ability to teach others as well'.
2 Timothy 3:14:
'But you, remain faithful to what you have learned and believed, because you know from whom you learned it'. Paul asserts that he is not 'the' minister, but only 'a' minister, one of those given stewardship. Timothy received it from others who in return received it from Paul, and he is to pass this stewardship on to others in due course. This stewardship comes from the ministry of the Body of Christ, the Church.
Simon Peter said in reply, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God." Jesus said to him in reply, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock i will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." The Church alone is given the keys to the kingdom of heaven.
'If he refuses to listen to them, appeal to the Church. If he refuses to listen even to the church, then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector'. The Church has the ultimate authority to determine the truth or falsehood of a situation. It alone guards the full deposit of faith, for Christ is One with His Bride.
"If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of Truth,, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. But you will know Him, because He remains with you, and will be in you."
For almost 2000 years, the Catholic Church, and only the Catholic Church, still does what the Apostles taught about succession, the passing on of authority. There is an unbroken string of the 'laying on of hands', by Bishops, reaching all the way back to the Apostles.
Can you name another Church that can make this claim?
Many Catholics and non-Catholics alike think that the Roman Catholic Church invented the doctrine of transubtantiation. Transubstantiation means that the bread and wine presented on the altar at the Mass become the the Body and Blood of Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit at the consecration. The consecration is the time when the priest calls upon the Holy Spirit to change the bread and wine into Christ's Body and Blood. However, the Body and Blood retain the appearance of bread and wine. Only Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and a few other churches believe in this Real Presence. All other denominations have interpreted this presence to be either only spiritual, symbolic, or non-existent.
1Cor 10:16-17, "The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not the sharing of the blood of Christ? And the bread that we break, is it not the partaking of the Body of the Lord? Because the bread is one, we though many, are one body, all of us who partake of the one bread."
1Cor 11:23-29, 'I received from the Lord what I handed on to you, namely, that the Lord Jesus on the night in which he was betrayed took bread, and giving thanks, broke it and said, "This is my body, which shall be given up for you; do this in remembrance of me." In the same way, after the supper, he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord, until he comes! Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily, will be guilty of the Body and the Blood of the Lord. But let a man prove himself, and so let him eat of that bread and drink of the cup; for he who and eats and drinks unworthily, WITHOUT DISTINGUISHING THE BODY, EATS AND DRINKS JUDGMENT TO HIMSELF."
or "The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles" is a manuscript which was used by 2nd century bishops and priests for the instruction of catechumens. Many early Christian writers have referenced it making this document relatively easy to date.
Chap 9:5, "Let no one eat and drink of your Eucharist but those baptized in the name of the Lord; to this, too the saying of the Lord is applicable: 'Do not give to dogs what is sacred'."
St. Ignatius of Antioch:
St. Ignatius became the third bishop of Antioch, succeeding St. Evodius, who was the immediate successor of St. Peter. He heard St. John preach when he was a boy and knew St. Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna. Seven of his letters written to various Christian communities have been preserved. Eventually, he received the marytr's crown as he was thrown to wild beasts in the arena. Letter to the Smyrneans, "Consider how contrary to the mind of God are the heterodox in regard to the grace of God which has come to us. They have no regard for charity, none for the widow, the orphan, the oppressed, none for the man in prison, the hungry or the thirsty. They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they do not admit that the Eucharist is the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, the flesh which suffered for our sins and which the Father, in His graciousness, raised from the dead."
Letter to the Romans, "I have no taste for the food that perishes nor for the pleasures of this life. I want the Bread of God which is the Flesh of Christ, who was the seed of David; and for drink I desire His Blood which is love that cannot be destroyed."
Letter to the Philadelphians, "Take care, then who belong to God and to Jesus Christ - they are with the bishop. And those who repent and come to the unity of the Church - they too shall be of God, and will be living according to Jesus Christ. Do not err, my brethren: if anyone follow a schismatic, he will not inherit the Kingdom of God. If any man walk about with strange doctrine, he cannot lie down with the passion. Take care, then, to use one Eucharist, so that whatever you do, you do according to God: for there is one Flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ, and one cup in the union of His Blood; one altar, as there is one bishop with the presbytery and my fellow servants, the deacons."
St. Justin Martyr:
First Apology, "This food we call the Eucharist, of which no one is allowed to partake except one who believes that the things we teach are true, and has received the washing for forgiveness of sins and for rebirth, and who lives as Christ handed down to us. For we do not receive these things as common bread or common drink; but as Jesus Christ our Savior being incarnate by God's Word took flesh and blood for our salvation, so also we have been taught that the food consecrated by the Word of prayer which comes from him, from which our flesh and blood are nourished by transformation, is the flesh and blood of that incarnate Jesus."
St. Irenaeus of Lyons:
Against Heresies, 4:17:5, "Christ has declared the cup, a part of creation, to be his own Blood, from which he causes our blood to flow; and the bread, a part of creation, he has established as his own Body, from which he gives increase to our bodies."
Five Books on the Unmasking and Refutation of the Falsely Named Gnosis, book 5:2,"So then, if the mixed cup and the manufactured bread receive the Word of God and become the Eucharist, that is to say, the Blood and Body of Christ, which fortify and build up the substance of our flesh, how can these people claim that the flesh is incapable of receiving God's gift of eternal life, when it is nourished by Christ's Blood and Body and is His member? As the blessed apostle says in his letter to the Ephesians, 'For we are members of His Body, of His flesh and of His bones' (Eph. 5:30). He is not talking about some kind of 'spiritual' and 'invisible' man, 'for a spirit does not have flesh an bones' (Lk. 24:39). No, he is talking of the organism possessed by a real human being, composed of flesh and nerves and bones. It is this which is nourished by the cup which is His Blood, and is fortified by the bread which is His Body. The stem of the vine takes root in the earth and eventually bears fruit, and 'the grain of wheat falls into the earth' (Jn. 12:24), dissolves, rises again, multiplied by the all-containing Spirit of God, and finally after skilled processing, is put to human use. These two then receive the Word of God and become the Eucharist, which is the Body and Blood of Christ."
Ibid book 4.18, "For just as the bread which comes from the earth, having received the invocation of God, is no longer ordinary bread, but the Eucharist, consisting of two realities, earthly and heavenly, so our bodies, having received the Eucharist, are no longer corruptible, because they have the hope of the resurrection."
St. Clement of Alexandria:
The Instructor of the Children, "The Blood of the Lord, indeed, is twofold. There is His corporeal Blood, by which we are redeemed from corruption; and His spiritual Blood, that with which we are anointed. That is to say, to drink the Blood of Jesus is to share in His immortality. The strength of the Word is the Spirit just as the blood is the strength of the body. Similarly, as wine is blended with water, so is the Spirit with man. The one, the Watered Wine, nourishes in faith, while the other, the Spirit, leads us on to immortality. The union of both, however, - of the drink and of the Word, - is called the Eucharist, a praiseworthy and excellent gift. Those who partake of it in faith are sanctified in body and in soul. By the will of the Father, the divine mixture, man, is mystically united to the Spirit and to the Word."
Ibid, "The Word is everything to a child: both Father and Mother, both Instructor and Nurse. 'Eat My Flesh,' He says, 'and drink My Blood.' The Lord supplies us with these intimate nutrients. He delivers over His Flesh, and pours out His Blood; and nothing is lacking for the growth of His children. O incredible mystery!"
St. Cyprian of Carthage:
The Unity of the Catholic Church, "So too the the sacred meaning of the Pasch lies essentially in the fact, laid down in Exodus, that the lamb - slain as a type of Christ - should be eaten in one single home. God says the words: 'In one house shall it be eaten, ye shall not cast its flesh outside.' The flesh of Christ and the Lord's sacred body cannot be cast outside, nor have believers any other home but the one Church."
The Lord's Prayer, As the prayer proceeds, we ask and say: 'Give us this day our daily bread.' This can be understood both spiritually and simply, because either understanding is of profit in divine usefulness for salvation. For Christ is the bread of life and the bread here is of all, but is ours. And as we say 'Our Father,' because He is the Father of those who understand and believe, so too we say 'our Bread,' because Christ is the bread of those of us who attain to His body. Moreover, we ask that this bread be given daily, lest we, who are in Christ and receive the Eucharist daily as food of salvation, with the intervention of some more grievous sin, while we are shut off and as non-communicants are kept from the heavenly bread, be separated from the body of Christ as He Himself declares, saying: 'I am the bread of life which came down from heaven. If any man eat of my bread he shall live forever. Moreover, the bread that I shall give is my flesh for the life of the world.' Since then He says that, if anyone eats of His bread, he lives forever, as it is manifest that they live who attain to His body and receive the Eucharist by right of communion, so on the other hand we must fear and pray lest anyone, while he is cut off and separated from the body of Christ, remain apart from salvation, as He Himself threatens, saying: 'Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink His blood, you shall not have life in you.' And so we petition that our bread, that is Christ, be given us daily, so that we, who abide and live in Christ, may not withdraw from His sanctification and body."
Homilies, "Our Lord Jesus took in His hands what in the beginning was only bread; and He blessed it, and signed it, and made it holy in the name of the Father and in the name of the Spirit; and He broke it and in His gracious kindness He distributed it to all His disciples one by one. He called the bread His living Body, and did Himself fill it with Himself and the Spirit., And extending His hand, He gave them the Bread which His right hand had made holy: 'Take, all of you eat of this; which My word has made holy. Do not now regard as bread that which I have given you; but take, eat this Bread, and do not scatter the crumbs; for what I have called My Body, that it is indeed. One particle from its crumbs is able to sanctify thousands and thousands, and is sufficient to afford life to those who eat of it. Take, eat, entertaining no doubt of faith, because this is My Body, and whoever eats it in belief eats in it Fire and Spirit. But if any doubter eat of it, for him it will be only bread. And whoever eats in belief the Bread made holy in My name, if he be pure, he will be preserved in his purity; and if he be a sinner, he will be forgiven.' But if anyone despise it or reject it or treat it with ignominy, it may be taken as certainty that he treats with ignominy the Son, who called it and actually made it to be His Body."
Ibid, "After the disciples had eaten the new and holy Bread, and when they understood by faith that they had eaten of Christ's body, Christ went on to explain and to give them the whole Sacrament. He took and mixed a cup of wine. The He blessed it, and signed it, and made it holy, declaring that it was His own Blood, which was about to be poured out. ...Christ commanded them to drink, and He explained to them that the cup which they were drinking was His own Blood: 'This is truly My Blood, which is shed for all of you. Take, all of you, drink of this, because it is a new covenant in My Blood, As you have seen Me do, do you also in My memory. Whenever you are gathered together in My name in Churches everywhere, do what I have done, in memory of Me. Eat My Body, and drink My Blood, a covenant new and old."
Commentaries on Sacred Scripture, On Joel 2:24, "'And your floors shall be filled with wheat, and the presses shall overflow equally with wine and oil.' ...This has been fulfilled mystically by Christ, who gave to the people whom He had redeemed, that is, to His Church, wheat and wine and oil in a mystic manner. For the wheat is the mystery of His sacred Body; and the wine His saving Blood; and again, the oil is the sweet unguent with which those who are baptized are signed, being clothed in the armaments of the Holy Spirit."
Sermon to the Newly Baptized, 'You shall see the Levites bringing loaves and a cup of wine, and placing them on the table. So long as the prayers of supplication and entreaties have not been made, there is only bread and wine. But after the great and wonderful prayers have been completed, then the bread is become the Body, and the wine the Blood, of our Lord Jesus Christ. 'And again:' Let us approach the celebration of the mysteries. This bread and this wine, so long as the prayers and supplications have not taken place, remain simply what they are. But after the great prayers and holy supplications have been sent forth, the Word comes down into the bread and wine - and thus His Body is confected."
St. Cyril of Jerusalem:
Catechetical Lectures, "`I have received of the Lord that which I also delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus, the same night in which He was betrayed, took bread, etc. [1 Cor 11:23]'. This teaching of the Blessed Paul is alone sufficient to give you a full assurance concerning those Divine Mysteries, which when ye are vouchsafed, ye are of (the same body) [Eph 3:6] and blood with Christ. For he has just distinctly said, (That our Lord Jesus Christ the same night in which He was betrayed, took bread, and when He had given thanks He brake it, and said, Take, eat, this is My Body: and having taken the cup and given thanks, He said, Take, drink, this is My Blood.) [1 Cor 11:23-25] Since then He Himself has declared and said of the Bread, (This is My Body), who shall dare to doubt any longer? And since He has affirmed and said, (This is My Blood), who shall ever hesitate, saying, that it is not His blood? -"
Ibid, "Therefore with fullest assurance let us partake as of the Body and Blood of Christ: for in the figure of Bread is given to thee His Body, and in the figure of Wine His Blood; that thou by partaking of the Body and Blood of Christ, mightest be made of the same body and the same blood with Him. For thus we come to bear Christ in us, because His Body and Blood are diffused through our members; thus it is that, according to the blessed Peter, (we become partaker of the divine nature.) [2 Peter 1:4] "
Ibid, "Contemplate therefore the Bread and Wine not as bare elements, for they are, according to the Lord's declaration, the Body and Blood of Christ; for though sense suggests this to thee, let faith stablish thee. Judge not the matter from taste, but from faith be fully assured without misgiving, that thou hast been vouchsafed the Body and Blood of Christ."
Mystagogic Catechesis, "These things having learnt, and being fully persuaded that what seems bread is not bread, though bread by taste, but the Body of Christ; and that what seems wine is not wine, though the taste will have it so, but the Blood of Christ; and that of this David sung of old, saying, (And bread which strengtheneth man's heart, and oil to make his face to shine) [Ps. 104:15], `strengthen thine heart', partaking thereof as spiritual, and `make the face of thy soul to shine'. And so having it unveiled by a pure conscience, mayest thou behold as in a glass the glory of the Lord, and proceed from glory to glory [2 Cor 3:18], in Christ Jesus our Lord:--To whom be honour, and might, and glory, for ever and ever. Amen."
St. Hilary of Poiters:
The Trinity, "When we speak of the reality of Christ's nature being in us, we would be speaking foolishly and impiously - had we not learned it from Him. For He Himself says: 'My Flesh is truly Food, and My Blood is truly Drink. He that eats My Flesh and drinks My Blood will remain in Me and I in him.' As to the reality of His Flesh and Blood, there is no room left for doubt, because now, both by the declaration of the Lord Himself and by our own faith, it is truly the Flesh and it is truly Blood. And These Elements bring it about, when taken and consumed, that we are in Christ and Christ is in us. Is this not true? Let those who deny that Jesus Christ is true God be free to find these things untrue. But He Himself is in us through the flesh and we are in Him, while that which we are with Him is in God."
St. Basil the Great:
The Morals, "What is the mark of a Christian? That he be purified of all defilement of the flesh and of the spirit in the Blood of Christ, perfecting sanctification in the fear of God and the love of Christ, and that he have no blemish nor spot nor any such thing; that he be holy and blameless and so eat the Body of Christ and drink His Blood; for 'he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgement to himself.' What is the mark of those who eat the Bread and drink the Cup of Christ? That they keep in perpetual remembrance Him who died for us and rose again."
Concerning Baptism, "He, therefore, who approaches the Body and Blood of Christ in commemoration of Him who died for us and rose again must be free not only from defilement of flesh and spirit, in order that he may not eat drink unto judgement, but he must actively manifest the remembrance of Him who died for us and rose again, by being dead to sin, to the world, and to himself, and alive unto God in Christ Jesus, our Lord."
St. Epiphanius of Salamis:
The Man Well Anchored, "We see that the Saviour took [something] in His hands, as it is in the Gospel, when He was reclining at the supper; and He took this, and giving thanks, He said: 'This is really Me.' And He gave to His disciples and said: 'This is really Me.' And we see that It is not equal nor similar, not to the incarnate image, not to the invisible divinity, not to the outline of His limbs. For It is round of shape, and devoid of feeling. As to Its power, He means to say even of Its grace, 'This is really Me.'; and none disbelieves His word. For anyone who does not believe the truth in what He says is deprived of grace and of a Savior."
St. Gregory of Nazianz:
Letter to Amphilochius, Bishop of Iconium, "Cease not to pray and plead for me when you draw down the Word by your word, when in an unbloody cutting you cut the Body and Blood of the Lord, using your voice for a sword."
St. Gregory of Nyssa:
The Great Catechism, "Rightly then, do we believe that the bread consecrated by the word of God has been made over into the Body of the God the Word. For that Body was, as to its potency bread; but it has been consecrated by the lodging there of the Word, who pitched His tent in the flesh."
Orations and Sermons, "He offered Himself for us, Victim and Sacrifice, and Priest as well, and 'Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.' When did He do this? When He made His own Body food and His own Blood drink for His disciples; for this much is clear enough to anyone, that a sheep cannot be eaten by a man unless its being eaten be preceded by its being slaughtered. This giving of His own Body to His disciples for eating clearly indicates that the sacrifice of the Lamb has now been completed."
Ibid, "The bread is at first common bread; but when the mystery sanctifies it, it is called and actually becomes the Body of Christ."
St. John Chrysostom:
Homilies on the Gospel of St. Matthew, "When the word says, 'This is My Body,' be convinced of it and believe it, and look at it with the eyes of the mind. For Christ did not give us something tangible, but even in His tangible things all is intellectual. So too with Baptism: the gift is bestowed through what is a tangible thing, water; but what is accomplished is intellectually perceived: the birth and the renewal. If you were incorporeal He would have given you those incorporeal gifts naked; but since the soul is intertwined with the body, He hands over to you in tangible things that which is perceived intellectually. How many now say, 'I wish I could see His shape, His appearance, His garments, His sandals.' Only look! You see Him! You touch Him! You eat Him!"
Homilies on the Second Epistle to Timothy, "I wish to add something that is plainly awe-inspiring, but do not be astonished or upset. This Sacrifice, no matter who offers it, be it Peter or Paul, is always the same as that which Christ gave His disciples and which priests now offer: The offering of today is in no way inferior to that which Christ offered, because it is not men who sanctify the offering of today; it is the same Christ who sanctified His own. For just as the words which God spoke are the very same as those which the priest now speaks, so too the oblation is the very same."
Homilies on the Treachery of Judas, "It is not the power of man which makes what is put before us the Body and Blood of Christ, but the power of Christ Himself who was crucified for us. The priest standing there in the place of Christ says these words but their power and grace are from God. 'This is My Body,' he says, and these words transform what lies before him."
Homilies on the First Letter to the Corinthians, "'The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not communion of the Blood of Christ?' Very trustworthily and awesomely does he say it. For what he is saying is this: 'What is in the cup is that which flowed from His side, and we partake of it.' He called it a cup of blessing because when we hold it in our hands that is how we praise Him in song, wondering and astonished at His indescribable Gift, blessing Him because of His having poured out this very Gift so that we might not remain in error, and not only for His having poured out It out, but also for His sharing It with all of us."
St. Ambrose of Milan:
The Sacraments, book 4, "You perhaps say: 'My bread is usual.' But the bread is bread before the words of the sacraments; when consecration has been added, from bread it becomes the flesh of Christ. So let us confirm this, how it is possible that what is bread is the body of Christ. By what words, then, is the consecration and by whose expressions? By those of the Lord Jesus. For all the rest that are said in the preceding are said by the priest: praise to God, prayer is offered, there is a petition for the people, for kings, for the rest. When it comes to performing a venerable sacrament, then the priest uses not his own expressions, but he uses the expressions of Christ. Thus the expression of Christ performs this sacrament."
On the Mysteries, "Let us be assured that this is not what nature formed, but what the blessing consecrated, and that greater efficacy resides in the blessing than in nature, for by the blessing nature is changed. . . . Surely the word of Christ, which could make out of nothing that which did not exist, can change things already in existence into what they were not. For it is no less extraordinary to give things new natures than to change their natures. . . . Christ is in that Sacrament, because it is the Body of Christ; yet, it is not on that account corporeal food, but spiritual. Whence also His Apostle says of the type: `For our fathers ate spiritual food and drink spiritual drink.' [1 Cor 10:2-4] For the body of God is a spiritual body."
The Patriarchs, "His poverty enriches, the fringe of His garment heals, His hunger satisfies, His death gives life, His burial gives resurrection. Therefore, He is a rich treasure, for His bread is rich. And 'rich' is apt for one who has eaten this bread will be unable to feel hunger. He gave it to the Apostles to distribute to a believing people, and today He gives it to us, for He, as a priest, daily consecrates it with His own words. Therefore, this bread has become the food of the saints."
Commentaries on the Gospel of Matthew, "After the type had been fulfilled by the Passover celebration and He had eaten the flesh of the lamb with His Apostles, He takes bread which strengthens the heart of man, and goes on to the true Sacrament of the Passover, so that just as Melchisedech, the priest of the Most High God, in prefiguring Him, made bread and wine an offering, He too makes Himself manifest in the reality of His own Body and Blood."
St. Cyril of Alexandria:
Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew, "Christ said indicating (the bread and wine): 'This is My Body,' and "This is My Blood," in order that you might not judge what you see to be a mere figure. The offerings, by the hidden power of God Almighty, are changed into Christ's Body and Blood, and by receiving these we come to share in the life-giving and sanctifying efficacy of Christ." Catecheses, "We have been instructed in these matters and filled with an unshakable faith, that that which seems to be bread, is not bread, though it tastes like it, but the Body of Christ, and that which seems to be wine, is not wine, though it too tastes as such, but the Blood of Christ . . . draw inner strength by receiving this bread as spiritual food and your soul will rejoice."
Sermons, "You ought to know what you have received, what you are going to receive, and what you ought to receive daily. That Bread which you see on the altar, having been sanctified by the word of God, is the Body of Christ. The chalice, or rather, what is in that chalice, having been sanctified by the word of God, is the Blood of Christ."
City of GOD, "...Christ is both the Priest, offering Himself, and Himself the Victim.
Marcarius the Magnesian:
Apocriticus, "[Christ] took the bread and the cup, each in a similar fashion, and said: 'This is My Body and this is My Blood.' Not a figure of His body nor a figure of His blood, as some persons of petrified mind are wont to rhapsodize, but in truth the Body and the Blood of Christ, seeing that His body is from the earth, and the bread and wine are likewise from the earth."
St. Leo I:
Sermons, "When the Lord says: 'Unless you shall have eaten the flesh of the Son of Man and shall have drunk His blood, you shall not have life in you,' you ought to so communicate at the Sacred Table that you have no doubt whatever of the truth of the Body and the Blood of Christ. For that which is taken in the mouth is what is believed in faith; and in vain do those respond, 'Amen,' who argue against that which is received."
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