Orthodox Saints & Patristic Church Fathers (211)
These little, so to speak, booklets of St. Nicholai, Bishop of Zica, are not the average writings of just any educated theologian. They may be small in format, but they are great in subject matter; for they speak about the fundamental basics of Christian faith and life, the relationship between man and his neighbor.
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Saint Irenaeus was the first great Christian theologian. Born in Asia Minor in about 130 A.D., he became Bishop of Lyons and died as a martyr early in the third century. His main work, Adversus Haereses (Against the Heresies), is as relevant today as it was eighteen hundred years ago. It is a critique of Gnosticism, the `anti-body` heresy, which, far from dying out, continues to flourish as the main threat to the Christian faith in our own day. With serenity and good humor, Irenaeus unfolds the unity of God`s purpose in creation and redemption, in Old and New Testaments. The flesh and blood which Gnosticism so despised has been assumed by God in the womb of the Virgin Mary, and glorified in the Resurrection and the Eucharist.
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Jacob of Serug was born at Curtem on the Euphrates, ca. 451. Very little is known of his life. He probably studies at the school of Edessa. He became a monk and priest. Early in life he began writing and is thought to have composed more than 700 homilies.
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St. Athanasius stood contra mundum for the Trinitarian doctrine ‘whole and undefiled,’ when it looked as if all the civilized world was slipping back from Christianity into the religion of Arius, into one of those `sensible` synthetic religions which are so strongly recommended today and which then, as now, included among their devotees many highly cultivated clergymen. The glory of St. Athanasius is that he did not move with the times; it is his reward that he now remains when those times, like all others, have passed away.
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