Sunday, April 24, 2022

Irenaeus of Lyon

IRENAEUS OF LYON (Greek, c. 130-202 CE)

Irenaeus was a Greek bishop noted for guiding and expanding Christian communities in what is now southern France, as well as for his opposition to heresy and definitions of orthodoxy. He is said to have heard Polycarp preach, and Polycarp heard John the Evangelist, making Irenaeus the last-known living link with the Apostles. As bishop of Lugdunum (Lyon), he wrote a refutation of Gnosticism, especially as taught by Valentinus. He established three pillars of orthodoxy: the scriptures, the apostles' traditions, and the teachings of the apostles' successors. The surest source of Christian guidance, he said, is the Church of Rome, and he is the earliest to affirm the importance of the now-canonical gospels. He is the 37th and most recent (January 21, 2022) saint  to be named a Doctor of the Church.


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