Wednesday, May 17, 2023

St Athanasius, Bishop, Confessor, and Doctor of the Church.

Athanasius was Bishop of Alexandria, and a most vigorous defender of the Catholic religion. When he was still a deacon, he refuted the impiety of Arius at the Council of Nicaea, and earned such hatred from the Arians that, from that time on, they never ceased to lay snares for him. Driven into exile 5 times for a total of 17 years, he went to Treves in Gaul. He endured unbelievable hardships and wandered over a great part of the world, being often driven from his Church, and often restored by the authority of Pope Julius and the decrees of the Councils of Sardica and Jerusalem. All this while, he was persecuted by the Arians. Finally, rescued, by the help of God, from so many great dangers, he died at Alexandria during the reign of Emperor Valens. His life and death are marked by great miracles. He wrote many works, both of devotion and of catechetics, and, with great holiness, he ruled the Church of Alexandria, in those most troubled times, for forty-six years.

Grant, we beseech thee, O Almighty God, that the worshipful Feast of thy blessed Confessor and Bishop Athanasius, may avail us to the increase both of godliness toward thee, and healthfulness to our own souls.