St. Irenaeus of Lyons (ēr'ən ā əs)

St. Irenaeus was born about the year 120 A.D., of Christian parents. As a young man, he listened to the preaching of St. Polycarp, and went on to learn much from him. After studying in Rome, he was ordained a priest by Bishop Pothinus of Lyons, France, and was sent right back to Rome, with two letters for Pope St. Eleutherius.

Because of this journey, Irenaeus escaped the awful persecution of the Church in Lyons, in which the bishop and many others became martyrs. When he returned, he was chosen to become the next bishop of Lyons. By his preaching, he converted most of that country to the Faith. A great theologian, this Saint wrote several brilliant works, which were translated into many different languages. These are the most well-known: Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching, a work of apologetics, and Against Heresies, refuting the Gnostic heresy. Irenaeus suffered a glorious martyrdom around the year 200 A.D, and was recognized as a Father of the Church. St. Irenaeus, ora pro nobis!

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