New Catholic Dictionary – Saint Athanasius of Alexandria

Byzantine icon of Saint Athanasius of Alexandria, author unknownArticle

(Greek: immortality) Confessor, Doctor of the Church (296373), Bishop of Alexandria, called Father of Orthodoxy, as the chief champion of belief in the Divinity of Christ, born and died Alexandria. As secretary to Bishop Alexander of Alexandria, he attended the Council of Nicea, 325, and upon Alexander’s death, 328, succeeded as bishop; he spent seventeen of the forty-six years of his episcopate in exile and fought for the acceptance of the Nicene Creed. Refusing to readmit Arius to ecclesiastical communion, he was accused on false charges by Eusebius of Nicomedia, and brought to trial at Tyre, 335; but, as he could not hope for a fair trial, he withdrew from Tyre, appealing to the Emperor Constantine who banished him to Trier. He returned to his see, 337, with the permission of Constantine II, but again met with opposition by the Eusebian faction, and fled to Rome, where his innocence was proclaimed by Pope Julius. After the death of Gregory, Bishop of Alexandria, in 345, Athanasius again returned to his see. Condemned at a council in Milan, 355, in which his enemies predominated, he was exiled to Egypt, where he lived among the monks for seven years. After another short occupancy of his see he was banished, 364, by Emperor Valens. He was recalled by his flock after four months, and spent the remainder of his life proclaiming the Divinity of Christ, thus well deserving the title Father of Orthodoxy. Writings: History of the Arians and On the Incarnation. Relics in San Croce, Venice. Feast, Roman Calendar, 2 May.

MLA Citation

  • “Saint Athanasius”. New Catholic Dictionary. CatholicSaints.Info. 30 July 2012. Web. 19 January 2019. <>