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Article: May 2 + Saint Athanasius

May 2 + Saint Athanasius - VENXARA®

May 2 + Saint Athanasius

Athanasius, also known as Athanasius the Great and Athanasius the Confessor, was a bishop and Doctor of the Church. He is called the "Father of Orthodoxy," the "Pillar of the Church" and "Champion of Christ's Divinity." Athanasius became one of the most dedicated opponents of the heresy of Arianism — the teaching by Arius that Jesus was not truly divine. Much of his life was a testimony to the Divinity of Jesus Christ.

Born of a Christian family in Alexandria, Egypt, and given a classical education, Athanasius became secretary to Alexander, the bishop of Alexandria, entered the priesthood and was eventually named bishop himself.

Five times Athanasius was exiled for his defense of the doctrine of Christ’s Divinity. During one period of his life, he enjoyed 10 years of relative peace — reading, writing, and promoting the Christian life along the lines of the monastic ideal to which he was greatly devoted. On May 2, 373, having consecrated Peter II, one of his presbyters as his successor, Athanasius died peacefully in his own bed, surrounded by his clergy and faithful supporters.

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.

Athanasius suffered many trials while he was bishop of Alexandria. He was given the grace to remain strong against what probably seemed at times to be insurmountable opposition. Athanasius lived his office as bishop completely. He defended the True Faith for his flock, regardless of the cost to himself. In today’s world we are experiencing this same call to remain true to our Faith, no matter what. It is our Faith that leads us to profess and express our beliefs even with the chance of ridicule, persecution and possibly even death.

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