The Twelve Apostles received a 40 day seminary education between Easter Sunday and Ascension Thursday. We don’t know what those 40 days looked like, but Saint Augustine demonstrates from the Gospels that Christ appeared to His disciples at least ten times.
Christ appeared five times on the first Easter Sunday. However, Christ our Lord continued to meet his disciples and teach them during the forty days between Easter and the Ascension Thursday.
Saint Augustine in his book De Consensu Evangelistarum (Harmony of the Gospels from about AD 400) catalogues ten appearances of Christ.
- first to the women at the sepulchre;
- secondly to the same on the way from the sepulchre;
- thirdly to Peter;
- fourthly to the two disciples going to the town of Emmaus
- fifthly to several of them in Jerusalem when Thomas was not present
- He came again a sixth time when Thomas saw Him (Divine Mercy Sunday)
- a seventh time was by the sea of Tiberias at the capture of the fishes;
- the eighth was on the mountain of Galilee, according to Matthew;
- the ninth occasion is expressed by Mark, ‘at length when they were at table,’ because no more were they going to eat with Him upon earth;
- the tenth was on the very day, when no longer upon the earth, but uplifted into the cloud, He was ascending into heaven (Ascension Thursday)
However, Saint Thomas Aquinas notes, “But, as John admits, not all things were written down. And He visited them frequently before He went up to heaven,” in order to comfort them. Hence it is written (1 Corinthians 15:6-7) that “He was seen by more than five hundred brethren at once . . . after that He was seen by James”; of which apparitions no mention is made in the Gospels.
Question: Do you believe that the Holy Apostles were fully trained in these 40 days or did they continue to receive inspiration from the Holy Spirit in matters of doctrine as the decades progressed? You can leave a comment by clicking here.