Skip to comments.St. Athanasius, Patriarch of Alexandria, Doctor of the Church 296-373 A.D.
Posted on 05/01/2005 9:39:45 PM PDT by Salvation
"Athanasius against the world"
Increasingly I find that the Patristic fathers, including Augustine, Patrick, and Boniface have become my heroes. Our times mirror theirs, and it is time that faithful teachers and Pastors stand firm contra mundum for truth.
Amen to that idea!
The Creed of Athanasius
The Athanasian Creed is that latest of the ecumenical creeds, dating back to the early dark ages. Though seldom used in worship, it is one of the clearest definitions of the Trinity and the incarnation ever written.
Bump for an Athanasius thread!
He is one of the greats!
May 2, 2005
Athanasius led a tumultuous but dedicated life of service to the Church. He was the great champion of the faith against the widespread heresy of Arianism. The vigor of his writings earned him the title of doctor of the Church.
Born of a Christian family in Alexandria, Egypt, and given a classical education, Athanasius entered the priesthood, became secretary to Alexander, the bishop of Alexandria, and eventually was named bishop himself. His predecessor, Alexander, had been an outspoken critic of a new movement growing in the EastArianism.
When Athanasius assumed his role as bishop of Alexandria, he continued the fight against Arianism. At first it seemed that the battle would be easily won and that Arianism would be condemned. Such, however, did not prove to be the case. The Council of Tyre was called and for several reasons that are still unclear, the Emperor Constantine exiled Athanasius to northern Gaul. This was to be the first in a series of travels and exiles reminiscent of the life of St. Paul.
After Constantine died, his son restored Athanasius as bishop. This lasted only a year, however, for he was deposed once again by a coalition of Arian bishops. Athanasius took his case to Rome, and Pope Julius I called a synod to review the case and other related matters.
Five times Athanasius was exiled for his defense of the doctrine of Christs divinity. During one period of his life, he enjoyed 10 years of relative peacereading, writing and promoting the Christian life along the lines of the monastic ideal to which he was greatly devoted. His dogmatic and historical writings are almost all polemic, directed against every aspect of Arianism.
Among his ascetical writings, his Life of St. Anthony achieved astonishing popularity and contributed greatly to the establishment of monastic life throughout the Western Christian world.
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Written 1700 years ago and still makes perfect sense.
He fought the good fight for the truth.
BTTT on the Memorial of St. Anthanasious, May 2, 2006!
|Reading||From a discourse Against the Pagans by Saint Athanasius, bishop|
|The word of the Father gives order, direction and unity to creation|
|By his own wisdom and Word, who is our Lord and Saviour Christ, the all-holy Father (whose excellence far exceeds that of any creature), like a skilful steersman guides to safety all creation, regulating and keeping it in being, as he judges right. It is right that creation should exist as he has made it and as we see it happening, because this is his will, which no one would deny. For if the movement of the universe were irrational, and the world rolled on in random fashion, one would be justified in disbelieving what we say. But if the world is founded on reason, wisdom and science, and is filled with orderly beauty, then it must owe its origin and order to none other than the Word of God.
He is God, the living and creative God of the universe, the word of the good God, who is God in his own right. The Word is different from all created things: he is the unique Word belonging only to the good Father. This is the Word that created this whole world and enlightens it by his loving wisdom. He who is the good Word of the good Father produced the order in all creation, joining opposites together, and forming from them one harmonious sound. He is God, one and only-begotten, who proceeds in goodness from the Father as from the fountain of goodness, and gives order, direction and unity to creation.
By his eternal Word the Father created all things and implanted a nature in his creatures. He did not want to see them tossed about at the mercy of their own natures, and so be reduced to nothingness. But in his goodness he governs and sustains the whole of nature by his Word (who is himself also God), so that under the guidance, providence and ordering of that Word, the whole of nature might remain stable and coherent in his light. Nature was to share in the Fathers Word, whose reality is true, and be helped by him to exist, for without him it would cease to be. For unless the Word, who is the very image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation, kept it in existence it could not exist. For whatever exists, whether visible or invisible, remains in existence through him and in him, and he is also the head of the Church, as we are taught by the ministers of truth in their sacred writings.
The almighty and most holy Word of the Father pervades the whole of reality, everywhere unfolding his power and shining on all things visible and invisible. He sustains it all and binds it all together in himself. He leaves nothing devoid of his power but gives life and keeps it in being throughout all of creation and in each individual creature.
BTTT on the Memorial of St. Anthanasious, May 2, 2007!
Bishop and Doctor of the Church
Saint Athanasius was the greatest champion of Catholic belief on the subject of the Incarnation that the Church has ever known and in his lifetime earned the characteristic title of "Father of Orthodoxy", by which he has been distinguished every since.
(Principal source - Catholic Encyclopedia - 1913 edition)
Saint Athanasius writings can be found at http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/
Prayer to Mary, Mother of Grace
It becomes you to be mindful of us, as you stand near Him who granted you all graces, for you are the Mother of God and our Queen. Help us for the sake of the King, the Lord God and Master who was born of you. For this reason, you are called full of grace. Remember us, most holy Virgin, and bestow on us gifts from the riches of your graces, Virgin full of graces.
St Athanasius, Bishop and Doctor
you raised up Saint Athanasius
to be an outstanding defender
of the truth of Christ's divinity.
By his teaching and protection
may we grow in your knowledge and love.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
First Reading: 1 John 5:1-5
Every one who believes that Jesus is the Christ is a child of God, and every one who loves the parent loves the child. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that overcomes the world, our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
Gospel Reading: Matthew 10:22-25
You will be hated by all for My name's sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved. When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next; for truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel, before the Son of man comes.
"A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master; it is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Be-elzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household.
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