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Early Christian Lives

Item Number: 21952

Catalog Code: 9780140435269

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Early Christian Lives

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By Athanasius, Jerome, Sulpicius Severus, and Gregory the Great

These pioneering Lives are central sources for the major Christian monastic figures from St Antony, who died in 356, to St Benedict (c. 480-547). They also shed light on the beliefs and values of their celebrated authors. Athanasius' Life of Antony reveals the man who many believe was the first to set out into the Egyptian desert to pursue the path of poverty, abstinence and solitary prayer. St Jerome fought for the cause of chastity and asceticism in writing about Paul of Thebes, Hilarion and Malchus, while in his Life of Martin Sulpicius Severus described the achievements of a man who combined the roles of monk, bishop and missionary. Almost two hundred years later, Pope Gregory the Great in his Dialogues focused above all on St Benedict, whose Rule became the template for every subsequent form of monasticism. Full of vivid incidents and astonishing miracles, all these works proved hugely popular and influential and also inspired much of the visual imagery of the Middle Ages.



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9780140435269
288
0"  More Penguin Books Gifts
1998


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St. Athanasius of Alexandria

St. Athanasius of Alexandria Feast Day:
Roman Rite Calendar - 5/2


Also known as

    * Athanasius of Egypt
    * Athanasius the Great
    * Champion of Christ’s Divinity
    * Champion of Orthodoxy
    * Father of Orthodoxy
    * Greek Doctor of the Church
    * Holy Hierarch
    * Pillar of the Church

Memorial

    * 2 May

Profile

    Studied the classics and theology in Alexandria, Egypt. Deacon, secretary, and student of bishop Alexander of Alexandria. Attended the Council of Nicea in 325 where he fought for the defeat of Arianism and acceptance of the divinity of Jesus. Formulated the doctrine of homo-ousianism which says that Christ is the same substance as the Father; Arianism taught that Christ was different from and a creation of the Father, a creature and not part of God. Bishop of Alexandria c.328; he served for 46 years. When the dispute over Arianism spilled over from theology to politics, Athanasius got exiled five times, spending more than a third of his episcopate in exile. Biographer of Saint Anthony the Abbot. Confessor of the faith and Doctor of the Church, he fought for the acceptance of the Nicene Creed.

Born

    * c.295 at Alexandria, Egypt

Died

    * 2 May 373 at Alexandria, Egypt of natural causes
    * relics in San Croce, Venice, Italy

Canonized

    * Pre-Congregation

Representation

    * bishop arguing with a pagan
    * bishop holding an open book
    * bishop standing over a defeated heretic

 



All information used with permission of the Patron Saint Index.

   

St. Gregory the Great

St. Gregory the Great Feast Day:
Roman Rite Calendar - 09/03
Tridentine Calendar - 09/03


Patron Of: Choir Members, Educators, Masons, Musicians, School Children, Singers, Students, Teachers

Profile
    Son of Gordianus, a Roman regionarius, and Saint Silvia of Rome. Nephew of Saint Emiliana and Saint Tarsilla. Great-grandson of Pope Saint Felix III. Educated by the finest teachers in Rome. Prefect of Rome for a year, then he sold his possessions, turned his home into a Benedictine monastery, and used his money to build six monasteries in Sicily and one in Rome. Benedictine monk. Upon seeing English children being sold in the Roman Forum, he became a missionary to England.

    Elected 64th Pope by unanimous acclamation on 3 September 590, the first monk to be chosen. Sent Saint Augustine of Canterbury and a company of monks to evangelize England, and other missionaries to France, Spain, and Africa. Collected the melodies and plain chant so associated with him that they are now known as Gregorian Chants. One of the four great Doctors of the Latin Church. Wrote seminal works on the Mass and Office.

Born
    c.540 at Rome, Italy

Papal Ascension
    3 September 590

Died
    12 March 604 at Rome, Italy


All information used with permission of the Patron Saint Index.

   

St. Jerome

Feast Day:
Roman Rite Calendar - 09/30


Patron Of: Librarians, Libraries, Archeologists, Archivists

Also Known As
    Eusebius Hieronymus Sophronius
    Girolamo
    Hieronymus
    Man of the Bible
Memorial
    30 September
Profile
    Born to a rich pagan family, he led a misspent youth. Studied in Rome. Lawyer. Converted in theory, and baptised in 365, he began his study of theology, and had a true conversion. Monk. Lived for years as a hermit in the Syrian deserts. Reported to have drawn a thorn from a lion's paw; the animal stayed loyally at his side for years. Priest. Student of Saint Gregory of Nazianzen. Secretary to Pope Damasus I who commissioned him to revise the Latin text of the Bible. The result of his 30 years of work was the Vulgate translation, which is still in use. Friend and teacher of Saint Paula, Saint Marcella, and Saint Eustochium, an association that led to so much gossip, Jerome left Rome to return to the desert solitude. Lived his last 34 years in the Holy Land as a semi-recluse. Wrote translations of Origen, histories, biographies, and much more. Doctor of the Church, Father of the Church. Since his own time, he has been associated in the popular mind with scrolls, writing, cataloging, translating, etc. This led to those who work in such fields taking him as their patron - a man who knew their lives and problems.
Born
    347 at Strido, Dalmatia
Died
    419; relics at the Basilica of Saint Mary Major in Rome, Italy



All information used with permission of the Patron Saint Index.

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