St. Dionysius "the Great" of Alexandria
quotes from Dionysius of Alexandria:→
Dionysius of Alexandria, referred to as “the Great” by Eusebius, Basil of Caesarea and others, is characterized by the Catholic Encyclopedia as “undoubtedly, after St. Cyprian, the most eminent bishop of the third century… like St. Cyprian, less a great theologian than a great administrator.” He joined the Catechetical School of Alexandria and was a student of Origen. He later became Bishop of Alexandria and his one surviving letter is to Pope Dionysius of Rome in response to a demand for an explanation regarding his doctrine on the relationship of God to His Logos. Dionysius is considered the 14th Pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria & Patriarch of the See of St. Mark.
- Epistle to Pope Dionysius, Bishop of Rome
- Epistle to Bishop Basilides
- Epistle to Novatus (see below)
- Epistle to Pope Stephen Bishop of Rome on Baptism (see below)
- Epistle to Bishop Sixtus Concerning Baptism (see below)
Quotes & Excerpts
“Dionysius to Novatus his brother, greeting. If you were carried on against your will, as you say, you will show that such has been the case by your voluntary retirement. For it would have been but dutiful to have suffered any kind of ill, so as to avoid rending the Church of God. And a martyrdom borne for the sake of preventing a division of the Church, would not have been more inglorious than one endured for refusing to worship idols; nay, in my opinion at least, the former would have been a nobler thing than the latter. For in the one case a person gives such a testimony simply for his own individual soul, whereas in the other case he is a witness for the whole Church. And now, if you can persuade or constrain the brethren to come to be of one mind again, your uprightness will be superior to your error; and the latter will not be charged against you, while the former will be commended in you. But if you cannot prevail so far with your recusant brethren, see to it that you save your own soul. My wish is, that in the Lord you may fare well as you study peace.” -Epistle to Novatus
“Understand, however, my brother, that all the churches located in the east, and also in remoter districts, that were formerly in a state of division, are now made one again; and all those at the head of the churches everywhere are of one mind, and rejoice exceedingly at the peace which has been restored beyond all expectation. I may mention Demetrianus in Antioch; Theoctistus in Caesareia; Mazabanes in Aelia, the successor of the deceased Alexander; Marinus in Tyre; Heliodorus in Laodicea, the successor of the deceased Thelymidres; Helenus in Tarsus, and with him all the churches of Cilicia; and Firmilian and all Cappadocia. For I have named only the more illustrious of the bishops, so as neither to make my epistle too long, nor to render my discourse too heavy for you. All the districts of Syria, however, and of Arabia, to the brethren in which you from time to time have been forwarding supplies and at present have sent letters, and Mesopotamia too, and Pontus, and Syria, and, to speak in brief, all parties, are everywhere rejoicing at the unanimity and brotherly love now established, and are glorifying God for the same.” –Epistle to Pope Stephen Bishop of Rome Concerning Baptism.
“1. Previously, indeed, (Stephen) had written letters about Helanus and Firmilianus, and about all who were established throughout Cilicia and Cappadocia, and all the neighbouring provinces, giving them to understand that for that same reason he would depart from their communion, because they rebaptized heretics. And consider the seriousness of the matter. For, indeed, in the most considerable councils of the bishops, as I hear, it has been decreed that they who come from heresy should first be trained in Catholic doctrine, and then should be cleansed by baptism from the filth of the old and impure leaven. Asking and calling him to witness on all these matters, I sent letters. 2. And, moreover, to our beloved co-presbyters Dionysius and Philemon, who before agreed with Stephen, and had written to me about the same matters, I wrote previously in few words, but now I have written again more at length. 3. For since of the doctrine, which lately has been set on foot at Ptolemais, a city of Pentapolis, implores and full of blasphemy against Almighty God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ; full of unbelief and perfidy towards His only begotten Son and the first-born of every creature, the Word made man, and which takes away the perception of the Holy Spirit — on either side both letters were brought to me, and brethren had come to discuss it, setting forth more plainly as much as by God’s gift I was able — I wrote certain letters, copies of which I have sent to you.” –Epistle to Bishop Sixtus Concerning Baptism
“Since, therefore, the Father is eternal, the Son also is eternal, Light of Light. For where there is the begetter, there is also the offspring. And if there is no offspring, how and of what can He be the begetter? But both are, and always are.” –Epistle to Pope Dionysius of Rome 1:4
“You have sent to me, most faithful and accomplished son, in order to inquire what is the proper hour for bringing the fast to a close on the day of Pentecost. For you say that there are some of the brethren who hold that that should be done at cockcrow, and others who hold that it should be at nightfall. For the brethren in Rome, as they say, wait for the cock; whereas, regarding those here, you told us that they would have it earlier. And it is your anxious desire, accordingly, to have the hour presented accurately, and determined with perfect exactness, which indeed is a matter of difficulty and uncertainty. However, it will be acknowledged cordially by all, that from the date of the resurrection of our Lord, those who up to that time have been humbling their souls with fastings, ought at once to begin their festal joy and gladness.” –Epistle to Bishop Basilides Canon 1