50 – 99 AD
50 – Assumption of Mary into heaven (Apoc. 12:1, 5-6, 14)
No city has ever claimed possession of her mortal remains.
51 – 53 – Paul’s Second Missionary Journey (Acts 15:36)
53 – Peter and Paul meet in Antioch
Paul chastises him for avoiding sitting at table with Gentile converts in the presence of Jewish Christians (Paul’s Letter to the Galatians, 2:11):
“By teaching that superiors should not refuse to be reprehended by inferiors, Saint Peter gave posterity an example more rare and holier than that of Saint Paul as he taught that in the defense of the truth and with charity, inferiors may have the audacity to resist superiors without fear” (Augustine, 405 A.D., Epistle to Jerome 22).
54 – Emperor Claudius dies
54 – 58 – Paul’s Third Missionary Journey (Acts 18:23)
55 – Peter likely returns to Rome to rebuild the faith community there
58 – Paul composes his Letter to the Romans from Corinth
In the Letter he explains why he has not yet visited Rome, being hesitant to visit “where Christ has already been named, lest I build on another man’s foundation” (15:20). According to Tradition, this “other man” was Peter. This is substantiated in the writings of the Early Church Fathers.
61 – 63 – Paul’s First Roman Imprisonment: composes Letters to the Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon
That Mark is with Paul, at least during the last part of the imprisonment, likely indicates Peter’s presence in the city as well, though his whereabouts would have been kept secret to avoid persecution.
63 – Peter composes his First Letter from Rome
He conceals his presence in the city by use of the codeword “Babylon”: “She who is at Babylon [i.e., the Church of Rome], who is likewise chosen, sends you greetings; and so does my son Mark” (1 Pet. 5:13; cf. Apoc. 17:5; 18:2).
63 – Paul consecrates Saint Titus Bishop of Crete
64 – 67 – The Emperor Nero blames Christians for the Great Fire of Rome; many are martyred
65 – Paul consecrates Saint Timothy Bishop of Ephesus
67 – Paul’s Second Roman Imprisonment: composes Second Letter to Timothy
He mentions Saint Linus (4:21), who would succeed Peter as the Bishop of Rome. He requests Mark to be brought to Rome, stating “Luke alone is with me” (2 Tim. 4:11). This statement does not necessarily prove anything regarding Peter’s presence or absence from the city at this time. Paul is essentially requesting another assistant be sent to him as he has only one with him.
67 – Martyrdom of Saints Peter and Paul in Rome
Peter was crucified (cf. John 21:18-19) upside-down in the Circus of Caligula on Vatican Hill. Paul was beheaded (cf. 2 Tim. 4:6-8) outside the walls of the city. Verifying this, the Roman presbyter Caius wrote around 200 A.D.: “I can point out the trophies of the Apostles. For if you are willing to go to the Vatican or to the Ostian Way, you will find the trophies of those who founded this Church” (Disputation with Proclus; Eusebius, History of the Church 2:25:7). The Muratorian Fragment (c. 170 A.D.) explains that Luke “omits the passion of Peter” from Acts because he chose to record only those events which he witnessed personally.
67 – Saint Linus succeeds Peter as the Bishop of Rome (i.e., the Pope)
70 – Destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem by General Titus (cf. Matt. 24:1-2)
70 – 150 – Composition of the Didache
Church manual gives instruction on Baptism (by immersion or pouring), refers to Eucharistic Sacrifice, and prohibits contraception and abortion: “You shall not commit fornication. … You shall not use potions [pharmakeia, i.e., oral contraceptives]. You shall not procure abortion, nor destroy a new-born child. … In regard to Baptism—baptize thus: After the foregoing instructions: baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit (Matt. 28:19), in living water [i.e., a flowing stream]. If you have no living water, then baptize in other water; and if you are not able in cold, then in warm. If you have neither, pour water three times on the head, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. … Assemble on the Lord’s Day [i.e., Sunday] (cf. Acts 20:7), and break bread and offer the Eucharist; but first make confession of your faults, so that your sacrifice may be a pure one” (2, 7, 14).
95 – Saint John composes his Apocalypse, the last book of the Bible, in exile on the Isle of Patmos
96 – Pope Saint Clement I, disciple of the Apostles Peter and Paul, writes to the Christians in Corinth
He admonishes them to remain obedient to the Church hierarchy, writing about the inspiration of the Bible, the Eucharistic Sacrifice, and the ministerial priesthood. He also speaks of the authority of the Church of Rome, declaring, “If anyone disobey the things which have been said by him [God] through us [the Church of Rome], let them know that they will involve themselves in transgression and in no small danger” (Letter of Clement to the Corinthians 59:1).