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Athanasius, known as “the Champion of Orthodoxy,” was born in Alexandria in approximately 297. Nothing is known of his family except that his parents were Christians and that he had a brother, Peter.

From his youth he was close to the hermits of the desert, specially the great St. Anthony whose life he wrote. He was highly educated in Greek, literature, philosophy and rhetoric, jurisprudence and Christian doctrine, and had an exceptional knowledge of the Holy Scriptures. Around 318, he was received into the diaconate and was appointed secretary to Bishop Alexander of Alexandria.

About the year 323, a presbyter of Libyan origins by name Arius, scandalized Christianity by teaching that Christ, although a superlative human, was not divine. Bishop Alexander called a council of Egyptian bishops who condemned the doctrine as heresy, and deposed Arius and eleven priests and deacons. The heresiarch continued to win over prelates and “intellectuals”, disseminating his doctrine in songs set to popular tunes, which chanted in marketplaces and by sailors, spread like wildfire throughout the Mediterranean.

Athanasius was present at the First Council of Nicaea in 325 which formerly defined the heresy and set forth the true doctrine of the divinity of Christ, excommunicated Arius and promulgated the Nicene Creed.

At the death of Bishop Alexander, shortly after the council, Athanasius was nominated his successor though not yet thirty years of age.

In 330, the Arian Bishop Eusebius of Nicomedia persuaded the Emperor Constantine to write to Athanasius bidding him re-admit Arius into communion. Athanasius replied that the Catholic Church could hold no communion with heretics who attacked the divinity of Christ. He was to lead the struggle against Arianism for the rest of his life.

The embattled bishop was accused of everything from exacting a tax on church linen to killing a dissenting bishop (very much alive in hiding). After these accusations, his life was plagued with harassment, banishments, the need to defend himself before councils with periods of reprieve depending on which emperor reigned.

At one point his diocese was even usurped by an Arian bishop.

Five times he was driven from his post, spending a total of seventeen years as a bishop in exile. When banished, Athanasius followed the example of his friend St. Anthony and retired to the desert.

Finally, Emperor Valens, fearing an uprising of the Egyptians who loved their prelate, revoked a fifth edict of banishment, and Athanasius was escorted back to his see in triumph.

He reigned undisturbed for the last seven years of his life, dying in Alexandria on May 2, 373.

His body was later translated first to Constantinople and then to Venice.

 


 

 

DAILY QUOTE for February 23, 2019

Prayer is the conversation of a child with its Father; of a...

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February 23

 

Prayer is the conversation
of a child with its Father; of a subject with his King;
of a servant with his Lord; of a friend with the Friend
to whom he confides
all his troubles and difficulties.

St. John Vianney

  
Tell NETFLIX to CANCEL its EVIL Teenage Witchcraft Series

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Polycarp

A spear was thrust into his side, killing him. A dove flew o...

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St. Polycarp

Polycarp, a holy man and bishop of Smyrna, was part of the group of early bishops. When heresy arose in Asia, violence toward Catholics arose with it, and Polycarp was persuaded by his friends to go into hiding.

Eventually Polycarp was found and arrested. When his persecutors arrived at his hideout, he went to them and served them a meal, asking for a short time to pray before being taken away. Polycarp was sent to trial, where his captors tempted him with freedom and tried to convince him to denounced Our Lord. “Fourscore and six years I have served Him and He hath done me no wrong,” he said, “how then can I blaspheme my King and my Savior?”

Soon after this, in the year 155, Polycarp was burnt at the stake – though there was no odor of burning flesh: instead a smell of incense was in the air. When the fire seemed to do him no harm, a spear was thrust into his side, killing him. A dove flew out of the wound, and Polycarp’s blood quenched the fire, causing part of his body to remain intact. However, his remains were later burned to ash because the heretics feared other Catholics would revere the body as a relic.

WEEKLY STORY

Cause of Our Joy

We are well aware Our Lady is constantly working and spreadi...

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Cause of Our Joy

We are well aware Our Lady is constantly working and spreading her graces as we travel to homes with the statue of Our Lady of Fatima. On a recent visit in south Texas, we were surprised to see Our Lady’s visit to one household as the culmination of a beautiful story of grace, nine months in the making.  

Our hosts had gathered friends and neighbors from their small town on a sunny afternoon to welcome the statue of Our Lady of Fatima. As the program progressed, the lady of the house asked to tell a story about a certain grace she had received.

Two years ago, her daughter had suffered a miscarriage in her first pregnancy, which had a devastating effect on the family. This past year, the same daughter again became pregnant.  However, rather than being a cause for rejoicing, the family was apprehensive due to what had happened previously. Our hostess then explained how she and her husband vowed to take a dozen roses at the beginning of each month of the pregnancy to Our Lady’s shrine at the local parish, asking the Queen of Heaven for a safe delivery.

The florist of the town, upon hearing the story, took great care to make an extra-beautiful bouquet in honor of our Blessed Mother.

For nine months, the couple was faithful in bringing the flowers and asking Our Lady’s powerful help. To their great surprise, the final time coincided with our visit with the statue of Our Lady of Fatima.

Our hostess began to cry tears of joy in telling the story, so honored was she to have such a clear sign of the intercession of the Mother of God. She then told that the doctors all gave reports of a healthy pregnancy, and the child was due any day now. The last bouquet of roses, lovingly arranged by the town’s florist, was placed at the feet of the statue of Our Lady of Fatima in thanksgiving for a healthy pregnancy and their soon to be newborn grandchild.

We later learned that a healthy boy was born two days after the visit. Not only did Our Lady grant new life to a family who was so eager to welcome it, but she also restored the hope and strengthened the faith of this family and all who were gathered to share their joy. This easily brought to mind one of the beautiful titles of Our Lady from the Litany of Loreto: Causa nostrae letitiae, Cause of Our Joy. May Our Lady bring to the fullness of joy all who invoke her with confidence.

By Ben Broussard

Become a Child Of Mary

We are well aware Our Lady is constantly working and spreading her graces as we travel to homes with the statue of Our Lady of Fatima. On a recent visit in south Texas, we were surprised to see Our Lady’s visit to one household as the culmination of a beautiful story of grace, nine months in the making.

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