St. Firmilian of Caesarea

quotes from Firmilian of Caesarea: →

Firmilian (died 269) was a Bishop of Caesarea Mazaca from ca. 232, was a disciple of Origen and a contemporary of Cyprian of Carthage.  Gregory of Nyssa tells that Gregory Thaumaturgus, when still a pagan, having completed his secular studies, “fell in with Firmilian.”  According to Eusebius, when Firmilian was Bishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia, he invited Origen to his own country for the benefit of the Churches, around 232.  Firmilian was an opponent of the stringent policies of antipope Novatian, for Dionysius the Great writes that he had been invited to a synod at Antioch in 252 by the bishops of Cilicia, Cappadocia, and Palestine to repudiate Novatianism.  A single letter of Firmilian to Cyprian survives among Cyprian’s correspondence.

Extant Writings:

  • Letter to Cyprian

Quotes & Excerpts:

“And other heretics as well, if they have parted themselves from the Church, can have nothing to do with power and grace, since all power and grace is settled in the Church, where preside presbyters, who possess the power of both baptizing and imposing of hands, and of ordaining.” – Letter to Cyprian (Written in 255 A.D.)

“But what his error is… who says that the remission of sins can be given in the synagogues of heretics, who do not remain on the foundation of the one Church founded upon the Rock by Christ…. can be learned from this, which Christ said to Peter alone:
‘Whatever things you shall bind on earth shall be bound also in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth, they shall be loosed in heaven’ and… “if you forgive the sins of any, they shall be forgiven; and if you retain the sins of any, they shall be retained.’
Therefore, the power of forgiving sins was given to the Apostles and the Churches they founded and the Bishops who succeeded them.” – Letter to Cyprian (Written in 255 A.D.)