This quotation of St Irenaeus of Lyons helped to bring me into the Catholic Church:
Therefore we will refute those who hold unauthorized assemblies–either because of false self importance, or pride, or blindness and perversity–by pointing to the tradition of the greatest and oldest church, a church known to all men, which was founded and established at Rome by the most renouwned Apostles Peter and Paul. this tradition the church has from the Apostles, and this faith has been proclaimed to all men, and has come down to our own day through the succession of bishops. for thsi church has a position of leadership and authority; and therefore every church, that is, the faithful everywhere, must needs agree with the church at Rome; for in her the apostolic tradition has ever been preserved byu the faithful from all parts of the world.
I think it’s a beautiful detail in this great passage that Ireaeus actually seems to quote St Paul’s epistle to the Romans. In Romans 1:8 St Paul praises the Romans because their faith is ‘known all over the world’ and Irenaeus says that the faith of the Roman church is ‘known to all men.”
It’s also a fine thing to celebrate St Irenaeus the day before we commemorate SS Peter and Paul. How beautiful to say Mass with the Roman Canon on these days with the resounding prayer to God for all those who teach the Catholic Faith, “that comes to us from the Apostles.