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Why Athanasius Rocks

Today the pope turned his attention to St. Athanasius. This is the summary he presented in various languages. I’ll post the full text, once it’s up.

Continuing our catechesis on the great teachers of the ancient Church, we turn today to Saint Athanasius of Alexandria. Athanasius is venerated in East and West alike as a pillar of Christian orthodoxy. Against the followers of the Arian heresy, he insisted on the full divinity and consubstantiality of the Son with the Father, and defended the faith of the Church as expressed in the Creed of the Council of Nicaea. The Arian crisis did not end with the Council; indeed, for his resolute defence of the Nicene dogma, Athanasius was exiled from his see five times in thirty years. His many writings include the treatise On the Incarnation of the Word, which defends the full divinity of the Son, whose incarnation is the source of our salvation: “he became man so that we could become God”. Athanasius also wrote a celebrated Life of Anthony, a spiritual biography of Saint Anthony Abbot, whom he had known personally. This popular book had an immense influence in the spread of the monastic ideal in East and West. Like Anthony, Athanasius stands out as one of the great figures of the Church in Egypt, a “lamp” whose teaching and example even today light up the path of the entire Church.

2 thoughts on “Why Athanasius Rocks

  1. Good for Benedict. Unfortunately not only are there rather more people around in churches who don’t know they’re Arians (but are) than there should be, but there are some people actively trying to create their own Arian church (with some bizarre twists. I’ve summarised a rather bizarre new cult here

  2. I’ve mentioned this before, but Ignatius Press is going to release a collection of Benedict’s patristic addresses when he completes them. (OSV will release a volume of his collected addresses on the Apostles next month.)

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