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Way of the Fathers with Mike Aquilina

Religion-and-spirituality • History

A podcast about the Fathers of the Church—the foundational figures in Christian history. Hosted by popular Patristics author Mike Aquilina.

Popular episodes

52—Benedict of Nursia: The Elusive Man Behind the Rule

Nov 29 • 15:44

Benedict was not the first monk to compose a rule for living in community — but he's certainly the most influential. He wrote the Rule that the Emperor Charlemagne would propose as guidebook for all monks in the West. Yet Benedict himself was self-effacing in the extreme, and he remains elusive for historians. Lately, he has emerged as a patron and model for people whose c...

51—St. Patrick: Paternal and Patristic

Nov 11 • 18:25

Forget the shamrocks. Pour the green beer down the sink, and drive the snakes from the Emerald Isle of your imagination. Listen up and encounter the real St. Patrick, author of two passionate, fascinating Christian works—deserving of a place with the Church Fathers. Patrick arrived in pagan Ireland in the fifth century, first as a slave and then as an itinerant bishop. By ...

50—Peter Chrysologus: The Doctor of (Short) Sermons

Oct 27 • 16:22

Peter Chrysologus is known as the “Doctor of Homilies,” and he always preached with brevity. Every word was golden. He was archbishop of Ravenna during that city's brief term as capital of the Western empire. His sermons rang like poems, rich with biblical insight and glimpses of ordinary life in a fifth-century urban center.


Peter Chrysologus, a sermon in the Office o...

49—Romanus the Melodist: Through Hymns, with Hymns, in Hymns

Oct 14 • 14:33

Romanus the Melodist looms large from his lifetime in the sixth century. Today he is much sung and little known—at least with certainty. Beautiful legends have filled in the cracks of his biography. According to one, he was tone-deaf and non-musical when heaven granted him the gifts of composition and vocal performance. He went on to compose many verse homilies, kontakia, ...

48—Leo the Great: Who Roared with the Voice of Peter

Sep 28 • 21:20

Though prolific in his words and prodigious in his deeds, Leo was utterly self-effacing. Classically educated, he never quoted the classics. He preached with Gospel simplicity. He strove always to let Christ shine through his sermons and his letters. Yet he made history for three world-changing interventions. It was Leo who stopped Attila the Hun’s rampage through Europe. ...

47—Vincent of Lerins: Believed Everywhere, Always, by All

Sep 15 • 15:37

All Christians respected the authority of Scripture, but already in the fifth century the Church was riven by conflicting interpretations of Scripture. A monk in Gaul, Vincent of Lerins, developed a formula to determine true doctrine from false. "All possible care must be taken," he said, "that we hold that faith which has been believed everywhere, always, by all." Conserv...

46—Cyril of Alexandria: The Fifth-Century Man from Uncle

Aug 25 • 22:47

Cyril's uncle was the notorious Theophilus, a ruthless and fiercely competitive churchman — and the old manhood handpicked his nephew to be his successor as bishop of Alexandria. Cyril learned from Theophilus how to orchestrate an international incident and carry it through to the victorious end. But he was very much his own man: a towering intellect, the mastermind of the...

45—John Cassian, Monk on the Move, Solitary in the City

Aug 10 • 17:49

The great ascetic movement was in its first years of explosive growth when John Cassian journeyed from West to East. He visited the communities of monks and hermits in Palestine and Egypt. Though he sought a quiet life, he got caught up in international intrigue and adventure. In his later years he drew together the memories of his years in the desert, and composed two wor...

BONUS: Interview with Mike Aquilina

Aug 4 • 52:57

In this bonus episode originally from the Catholic Culture Podcast,’s director of podcasts, Thomas V. Mirus, interviews voice actor James T. Majewski (Catholic Culture Audiobooks) and author Mike Aquilina (Way of the Fathers) about how they make their shows and the effect reading and studying the Church Fathers has had on them personally....

44—Prudentius, Poet Laureate of the Western Fathers

Jul 26 • 23:22

Prudentius is the Latin poet most praised from the ancient Church. Phenomenally creative, he invented new poetic forms and genres—and established artistic standards that would hold through the Middle Ages. Scholars as varied as C.S. Lewis and Robert Wilken call him “the first Christian poet,” the first great representative of a real Christian literature. Compared to Pruden...

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