15 Marks of the Church
Developed by St. Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621)
- Catholicity . The Church’s Name, Catholic, Universal, and world wide, and not confined to any particular nation or people.
- Antiquity. In tracing her ancestry directly to Jesus Christ.
- Constant Duration . In lasting substantially unchanged for so many centuries.
- Extensiveness. In the number of her loyal members.
- Episcopal Succession . Of her Bishops from the first Apostles at the Last Supper to the present hierarchy.
- Doctrinal Agreement. Of her doctrine with the teaching of the ancient Church.
- Unity . Of her members among themselves, and with their visible head, the Roman Pontiff.
- Holiness. Of doctrine in reflecting the holiness of God.
- Efficacy of Doctrine . In its power to sanctify believers, and inspire them to great moral achievement.
- Holiness of Life . Of the Church’s representative writers and defenders.
- Miracles . Worked in the Church and under the Church’s auspices.
- The gift of Prophecy . Found among the Church’s saints and spokesmen.
- Opposition. Aroused On the Same Ground As Christ Was Opposed
- The Unhappy End. Of the Church’s Enemies
- The Temporal Peace and Earthly Happiness. Of those who live by the Church’s teaching and defend her interests.