St. Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho the Jew (+155 A.D.): “There is not a single race of men – whether barbarians or Greeks, or of whatever name they may be called, either wagon-dwellers or those who are called homeless or herdless who dwell in tents – among whom prayers and thanksgivings are not offered to God the Creator of all things, in the name of the crucified Jesus.”
The fact remains that God has revealed that all who wish to be saved must believe in the Catholic Faith (the Trinity and the Incarnation being “the Catholic Faith” in its simplest mysteries – see the Athanasian Creed). The fact that God will make sure that souls of good will hear His voice and receive the Catholic Faith should not be hard for a Catholic to accept. After all, in the Apostles’ Creed alone, Catholics are required to profess belief in numerous supernatural events: the Virgin Birth, the Resurrection and the Ascension. A Catholic is also required to believe in Sacred Scripture, which is filled with miracles and supernatural phenomena. Transubstantiation (the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist) is also an everyday miracle which Traditional Catholics believe. So why is it hard to believe that God removes ignorance from souls of good will no matter where they are, even miraculously, if necessary? The name of Jesus is the only name under all of heaven (Acts. 4:12) by which one can be saved; and those who enter in not by Jesus are thieves and robbers (John 10).
John 10:1,9: “[Jesus saith] Amen, Amen, I say to you: he that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up another way, the same is a thief and a robber… I am the door.”
In a famous case, Ven. Mary of Agreda is said to have bilocated from her convent in Spain to the wilds of Texas in order to instruct Indians in the true Faith. “There is a large mural over the main entrance to the Cathedral of Ft. Worth depicting this lengthy visitation, as well as its huge original that hangs in the Church of St. Anne in Beaumont, Texas.” Her miraculous bilocations to America are said to have occurred for 11 years (from 1620-1631), from Texas to New Mexico to Arizona, spanning over a thousand miles.
It is also taught in numerous places in the New Testament that the Gospel was, even in the time of the Apostles, preached throughout the entire world.
Acts 1:8: “[Jesus saith]… you shall receive the power of the Holy Ghost coming upon you, and you shall be witnesses unto me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and Samaria, and even to the uttermost part of the earth.”
Colossians 1:23- “If so ye continue in the faith, grounded and settled, and immoveable from the hope of the gospel which you have heard, which is preached in all the creation that is under heaven, whereof I Paul am made a minister.”
Colossians 1:4-6: “Hearing your faith in Christ Jesus… the truth of the gospel: Which is come to you, as also it is in the whole world…”
1 Thessalonians 1:9- “For from you was spread abroad the word of the Lord, not only in Macedonia and in Achaia, but also in every place …”
Romans 10:13-18: “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him, in whom they have not believed? Or how shall they believe him, of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear, without a preacher… Faith then cometh by hearing: and by hearing the word of Christ. But I say: Have they not heard? Yes, verily, their sound went forth over all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the whole earth.”
The New Testament is clear that the Gospel reached “the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1), “all the creation which is under heaven” (Colossians 1) and “unto the ends of the whole earth” (Romans 10). It is quite possible that the Apostles were transported to the “uttermost part of the earth” to preach the Gospel and baptize in the same vessel by which the prophet Elias was miraculously taken from the earth – a fiery chariot.
2 Kings 2:11- “And as they went on, walking and talking together, behold a fiery chariot, and fiery horses parted them both asunder: and Elias went up by a whirlwind into heaven.”
In fact, we know that St. Philip the Apostle was transported in a manner similar to Elias, after Philip baptized the Eunuch of Candace.
Acts 8:38-39: “And Philip commanded the chariot to stand still; and they went down into the water, both Philip and the eunuch: and he baptized him. And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord took away Philip; and the eunuch saw him no more. And he went on his way rejoicing.”
Acts 2 also tells us that on the day of Pentecost, Jews from “every nation under heaven” (who had come to Jerusalem for the day of Pentecost) were converted and baptized.
Acts 2:1-41: “And when the days of the Pentecost were accomplished, they were together in one place… Now there were dwelling at Jerusalem, Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. And when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded in mind, because every man heard them speak in his own tongue. And they were all amazed, and wondered, saying: Behold, are not all these, that speak, Galileans? And now have we heard, every man our own tongue wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and inhabitants of Mesopotamia, Judea, and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, Egypt, and the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews also, and proselytes, Cretes, and Arabians… They therefore that received his word, were baptized; and there were added in that day about three thousand souls.”
Once these souls from “every nation under heaven” had been converted and baptized, they traveled back to their respective lands and spread the Gospel – facilitating the immediate dissemination of the Gospel to distant lands throughout the world. That is why, for example, there is evidence of Christianity in Parthia that is contemporaneous with the earliest Western contacts in that realm after Christ.
Warren H. Carroll, A History of Christendom, Vol. 1, p. 429: “The importance of this conversion of substantial numbers of pilgrims [on Pentecost] who would soon be returning to their own homes in distant lands and could spread the Faith has often been missed… But this fact probably explains why, for instance, there are indications of Christianity in the Parthian realms as far back as we can trace Western contacts with it, after Christ.”
Since these souls had been converted in a powerful manner, “astonished” (Acts. 2:12) – fear having “come upon every soul: many wonders also and signs were done by the apostles in Jerusalem, and there was great fear in all” (Acts 2:43) – they became zealous missionary instruments God immediately used to spread the Faith and baptize in their distant homelands. And this doesn’t even include the missionary work that the Apostles themselves did in the distant lands outside the Roman Empire. St. Andrew, for instance, preached as far as the Ukraine.
Andrew – preached in Scythia (barbarian Ukraine) and perhaps Greece
Bartholomew – preached in south Arabia (and perhaps India)
Jude Thaddeus – preached in Mesopotamia (and perhaps Armenia and Iran)
Matthew – Media or Ethopia
Matthias – entirely unknown
Philip – Asia Minor (Phrygia)
Simon the Zealous – Iran
Thomas – Parthia and India
“The most striking fact about this list is that, with the single exception of Philip, every one of these Apostles about whose missionary work even the scantiest memory was preserved, went beyond the boundaries of the Roman Empire… The truth therefore seems to be (as we should have expected, though in our narrow vision may find hard to believe) that Christ really meant exactly what He said when He spoke to the disciples after His Resurrection of carrying His message to the ends of the earth, and had no intention of waiting for the development of aircraft and television so that it might be done more easily.”
This is why the celebrated Church fathers St. Justin Martyr (quoted above), St. Irenaeus, St. Clement and many others write:
St. Irenaeus, Against Heresies, +180 A.D.: “For the Church, although dispersed throughout the whole world even to the ends of the earth, has received from the Apostles and from their disciples the faith in one God, Father Almighty… Jesus Christ, the Son of God…and in the Holy Spirit… and the birth from a Virgin, and the passion, and the resurrection…Neither do the Churches among the Germans believe otherwise or have another tradition, nor do those among the Iberians, nor among the Celts, nor away in the East, nor in Egypt, nor in Libya, nor those which have been established in the central regions of the world. But just as the sun… is one and the same throughout the whole world, so also the preaching of the truth shines everywhere and enlightens all men who desire to come to a knowledge of truth.”
St. Clement of Alexandria, Exhortation to the Greeks, c. +190 A.D.: “The Divine Power, moreover, radiating with an unsurpassable speed and with a readily obtainable benevolence, has filled the whole Earth with the seed of salvation… He showed Himself as the herald of truth, our Mediator and Savior…”
We also know that the Holy Ghost specifically forbade the Apostles to preach the Gospel in certain places, most probably because of the bad will that they would encounter.
Acts 16:6- “And when they had passed through Phrygia, and the country of Galatia, they were forbidden by the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia.”
Acts 16:7- “And when they were come into Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, and the Spirit of Jesus suffered them not.”
On the other hand, we know that the Holy Ghost specifically directed the Apostles – by way of supernatural inspiration – to preach the Gospel in places where there were sincere souls in need of it, such as in Macedonia.
Acts 16:9-10: “And a vision was shewed to Paul in the night, which was a man of Macedonia standing and beseeching him, and saying: Pass over into Macedonia, and help us. And as soon as he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go into Macedonia, being assured that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.”
Acts 8:26- “Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying: Arise, go towards the south … And the Spirit said to Philip: Go near, and join thyself to his chariot.”
None of this is to suggest, of course, that one should not preach the Gospel to a person without supernatural inspiration. It is merely to illustrate that God is fully aware of the souls of good will and the souls of bad will; He is fully aware of who is truly desirous of the truth of the Gospel and who is not, and there is nothing stopping Him from getting His truth to those who are sincere. The Lord will add daily to the Church those who are to be saved!
Acts 2:47: “And the Lord added daily to their society such as should be saved.” – Haydock Catholic Commentary on this verse: “More and more he added daily to the Church [such as should be saved], as is clearly expressed in the Greek.”
St. Paul further says that men (i.e., men above reason who wish to be saved) cannot have the faith in Christ which is necessary for salvation if they have not heard of Him. “Or how shall they believe in him, of whom they have not heard?” (Romans 10). Since all above the age of reason must hear the word of Christ to have the Faith (Romans 10), they must hear the word of Christ to have salvation, because no one is justified without Faith – the one true Catholic Faith.
Pope Pius IX, Vatican I, Sess. 3, Chap. 3, 1870, on Faith: “But, since ‘without faith it is impossible to please God’ [Heb. 11:6] and to attain to the fellowship of His sons, hence, no one is justified without it…”
Pope Pius IV, Council of Trent, Iniunctum nobis, Nov. 13, 1565, ex cathedra: “This true Catholic faith, outside of which no one can be saved… I now profess and truly hold…”
The fact that no one can be saved without the Catholic Faith is surely why there is evidence of Christianity’s arrival in the New World long before Christopher Columbus ever discovered it. St. Brendan the Navigator (484-577 A.D.) is reported to have made travels across the Atlantic long before Christopher Columbus, and there is archeological evidence that has been unearthed to support this claim.
The fifteenth and sixteenth century Catholic conquistadors of North and South America, who also overthrew the satanic Aztec Empire, found an abundance of evidence of the ancient presence of Christianity in the New World.
“The Indies represented a third of mankind; it was, therefore, theologically impossible that they would not have been evangelized by an apostle of Christ… St. Thomas (who preached supra Gangem, beyond the Ganges)… Since the evangelization of St. Thomas was an integral part of revelation, what material signs do we have of his passage into the New World? These are the indelible marks of his [or some other apostle’s] presence: the miraculous fountains and the amazing crosses found here and there, from Bahia in Brazil up to Gautulco, the assortment of native rites that vaguely evoked Christianity – confession, fasting… the belief in one God and creator, in a Virgin who wonderfully conceived, in the universal flood; the bold interpretation of symbols in the shape of a cross in the temples and manuscripts… Everything seems to attest to the remnants of a Christianity corrupted by time. The omnipresent figure of one called Zume in Paraguay and Brazil, Viracocha in Peru, Bochica in Colombia, Quetzalcoatl in Mexico, Cuculcan among the Mayans, is surrounded by a great number of Christian analogies.”
Evidence has now been uncovered that Christianity reached China as early as the 1st or 2nd century. “A Chinese theology professor says the first Christmas is depicted in the stone relief from the Eastern Han Dynasty (AD 25-220). In the picture… a woman and a man are sitting around what looks like a manger, with allegedly ‘the three wise men’ approaching from the left side, holding gifts, ‘the shepherd’ following them, and ‘the assassins’ queued up, kneeling, on the right.” In fact, both St. Francis Xavier (1506-52) and Fr. Matteo Ricci (1552-1610), two of the most influential missionaries from the Society of Jesus, “claimed in their writings that they found evidence supporting that Thomas had made his way to China successfully.”
Thus, by these four means was the Gospel transmitted even to the ends of the earth during the period of Jesus Christ’s revelation – i.e. the period whose end is officially marked with the death of the last apostle: 1) the preaching of the Apostles which covered the entire Roman Empire and vast areas outside of it, and the preaching of the multitudes converted by them; 2) the preaching of all those converted on Pentecost, who carried the Gospel back to their distant lands; 3) the possible miraculous transportation of Apostles to distant lands where good willed souls were to be found, just as Philip was transported away from the eunuch (Acts 8); 4) the direct supernatural intervention of God telling people what they need to believe and do to be converted to the Christian Faith to be saved. We see this direct supernatural intervention of God to instruct souls of good will in the case of Cornelius and St. Paul:
Acts 10:1-5: “Now there was a certain man in Caesarea, named Cornelius… A religious man, and one that feared God…He saw in a vision manifestly… an angel of God coming in to him, saying to him: Cornelius… send men to Joppe, and call hither one Simon, who is surnamed Peter.”
Acts 9:3-7: “And as he [Saul] went on his journey, it came to pass that he drew near to Damascus: and suddenly a light from heaven shined round about him…And he, trembling and astonished, said: Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said to him: Arise, and go into the city, and there it shall be told thee what thou must do.”
We must also keep in mind a fifth very important factor, which sheds further light on this issue: the teaching of Christ is that the overwhelming majority of mankind is of bad will and therefore damned. Jesus revealed that few find the path to salvation in Matthew 7:13, and the great spiritual teachers of the Catholic Church have taught that not only is most of humanity lost (i.e., all who die as non-Catholics), but even most of those who profess to be Catholic.
Since the sad fact of human history is that few are of the truth – something that is also discovered by reading the Old Testament and the stories about how few were found worthy to enter the promised land, and how few remained faithful to God’s law in proportion to the super-majority of even God’s people who repeatedly fell into idolatry – this helps explain why God leaves segments of Earth’s population in ignorance. It’s because there is not a good-willed soul to be found there. Thus, those parts of the New World which were not reached by the Gospel were not reached because the elect were not to be found there.
The words of the New Testament about the Gospel being preached in all creation under heaven, and Our Lord’s words that the Apostles would witness to Him in “the uttermost part of the earth” in His very last discourse before His Ascension, suggest that perhaps some of the Apostles themselves were miraculously transported to areas in the world where souls of good will were to be found. But regardless of what one takes from the scriptural passages above, the fact is that the Gospel is preached where good willed souls are to be found, and where it is not preached there is no salvation.
Tertullian, Against the Jews (+200 A.D.): “In whom else have all nations believed, if not in the Christ, who has already come? The Parthians and the Medes and the Elamites; and they who inhabit Mesopotamia, Armenia, and Cappodocia; and they who dwell in Pontus and Asia, in Phrygia and Pamphylia; sojourners in Egypt and inhabitants of the parts of Africa beyond Cyrene, Romans and foreign residents; yes, and Jews in Jerusalem, and other peoples: by this time even the various tribes of Gutlians, and the many boundaries of the Moors, and all the confines of Spain, and the various nations of Gaul; and the places of the Britons, inaccessible to the Romans, but already subjugated to Christ; and of the Sarmatians and Dacians and Germans and Scythians, and of the many remote tribes and provinces and islands unknown to us and which we are scarcely able to enumerate…”
St. Louis De Montfort, The Secret of the Rosary, c. +1710: “… no one can possibly be saved without the knowledge of Jesus Christ.”
Luke 24:47: “And that penance and remission of sins should be preached in his name, unto all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.”
“… the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ… Nor is there salvation in any other. For there is no other name, under heaven, given to men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12).
 Jurgens, The Faith of the Early Fathers, Vol. 1: 144a.
 Michael Malone, The Only-Begotten, p. 329.
 Warren H. Carroll, A History of Christendom, Christendom Press, Vol. 1 (The Founding of Christendom), p. 429, note 9.
 Warren H. Carroll, A History of Christendom, Vol. 1 (The Founding of Christendom), p. 435, note 47.
 Warren H. Carroll, A History of Christendom Vol. 1 (The Founding of Christendom), p. 406.
 Warren H. Carroll, A History of Christendom, Vol. 1(The Founding of Christendom), p. 406.
 Jurgens, The Faith of the Early Fathers, Vol. 1: 191-192.
 Jurgens, The Faith of the Early Fathers, Vol. 1: 405.
 Denzinger 1793.
 Denzinger 1000.
 The Catholic Encyclopedia, “Brendan,” Volume 2, 1907, p. 758.
 Francis Anson, Guadalupe: What Her Eyes Say, Manila: Sinag-tila Publishers, Inc., 1994, p. 62.
 Wang Shanshan, “Stones Indicate earlier Christian Link?”, China Daily, http://www2.chinadaily.com.cn/english/doc/2005-12/22/content_505587.htm
 Jurgens, The Faith of the Early Fathers, Vol. 1: 320a.
 St. Louis De Montfort, The Secret of the Rosary, Tan Books, p. 65.
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