A Catholic by any other name would be just as pious: early followers of Jesus were known as of the Sect of the Nazarenes, followers of the Way, and Sheep.

The first followers of Jesus Christ were known as Catholics: around 100 A.D. Saint Ignatius in his letter to the Smyrneans says as much.

“Where the bishop appears, there let the people be, just as where Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church.”

In the times of the early Church, Catholics were also known by 4 other names: Christians, followers of the Way, of the Sect of the Nazarenes, and sheep.

Followers of the Way

“and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, that, if he should find any men or women who belonged to the Way, he might bring them back to Jerusalem in chains.” – Acts 9:2


“and when he had found him he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church and taught a large number of people, and it was in Antioch that the disciples were first called Christians.” – Acts 11:26

Sect of the Nazarenes

“We found this man to be a pest; he creates dissension among Jews all over the world and is a ringleader of the sect of the Nazoreans.” – Acts 24:5


“My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” – John 10:27

Get our inspiring content delivered to your inbox every morning - FREE!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here