Faith & Life

SAINT PROFILE: IRENAEUS

Circa 125 – 202; Feast – June 28

By Catholic News Service     6/15/2015

This early Christian theologian passed on the apostolic tradition to a new generation as he helped evangelize France. Born in Asia Minor, possibly at Smyrna, Irenaeus was taught by St. Polycarp, a pupil of St. John the Apostle. Sent to Gaul as a missionary, he served as a priest under St. Pothinus of Lyons, a martyr whom he succeeded as bishop of the large market city on the Rhone. Irenaeus continued to spread the Gospel and opposed the gnostic heresy, writing a five-book treatise that is extant. During a 20-year episcopate, he spoke the language of Gaul instead of his native Greek, and worked hard to identify with his people. Little else is known about his life or death.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *