Friday, June 28, 2013

St. Irenaeus: Bishop of Lyons and Father of the Church

The saint of the day for June 28th is St. Irenaeus (c.130 - c.200), Bishop of Lyons and Father of the Church.

Irenaeus was born in Smyrna (modern-day Turkey), although he later settled in Rome. He was well educated and was influenced by men who knew the Apostles, especially St. Polycarp, who had been a pupil of St. John the evangelist.  He became Bishop of Lyons (France) in 178. As bishop, he divided his activities between the duties of a pastor and of a missionary. A prolific writer, he is known for his vigorous defense of the faith against Gnosticism, the prevalent heresy of the time. He was the first great Catholic theologian and his most significant work is Against Heresies (Adversus Haereses).

For a more detailed biography, go here.


"For this is why the Word became man, and the Son of God became the Son of man: so that man, by entering into communion with the Word and thus receiving divine sonship, might become a son of God."

"Baptism gives us the grace of new birth in God the Father, through his Son, in the Holy Spirit. For those who bear God's Spirit are led to the Word, that is, to the Son, and the Son presents them to the Father, and the Father confers incorruptibility on them. And it is impossible to see God's Son without the Spirit, and no one can approach the Father without the Son, for the knowledge of the Father is the Son, and the knowledge of God's Son is obtained through the Holy Spirit."

 ~ St. Irenaeus

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