Today's Doctor of the Church: Saint Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria
St. Athanasius of Alexandria was born around 297 and died in 373. He is often called the ‘Father of Orthodoxy’ and his feast day is May 2. St. Gregory of Nazianzen called him ‘the pillar of the Church’ and he is forever immortalized in the painted apse at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. His greatest contribution to our Church is the clarity of language he used to describe the true nature of Jesus Christ: he is true God and true Man. Athanasius helped write the Nicene Creed in 325; the same creed we profess every Sunday. Athanasius was a fervent defender of the Catholic Faith going head-on against kings, emperors and heretics that caused him to be exiled from his diocese several times. He was also a strong supported of western monasticism and the spiritual renewal that it engendered in the early church. Pope Benedict XVI, our current Holy Father, has this to say about St. Athanasius: “The fundamental idea of Athanasius’ entire theological battle was precisely that God was accessible. He is not a secondary God; he is true God, and it through our communion with Christ that we can truly be united to God. He has really become ‘God-with-us’”(cf. Church Father, Vol. 1).
Let us ask St. Athanasius to pray for us; may he inspire in us a fervent fidelity to the Truths our Faith and to explore their great depth of mystery and to enter into them where we hope to find the Risen Savior, Jesus our Lord. Amen.
Peace to you today!