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Although not always unswervingly, from antiquity until today, Christians have engaged in charity. As settings changed, compassion evolved, laying in place an ongoing mosaic of Christian ideas and institutions surrounding care. From the antique and medieval to the modern and contemporary, each age offers unique actors and insights into how compassion is viewed and achieved. We consider repeating motifs and novel appearances in the arc of Christian compassion which enlighten and inspire.Encountered on the journey are the formation and sacrifice of ancient Christians; an emphasis on virtues taught through sparing and sharing; the nascent social welfare of the Byzantine church; the sacralization and mobilization of a medieval church; innovative ideas from reformers who advance the role of the state; and modern movements in justice, peace, humanitarianism, mutual aid, and community development.