St. Athanasius of Alexandria

Athanasius of Alexandria was the 20th bishop of Alexandria, a Church Father, and the chief defender of Trinitarianism against Arianism. Athanasius is considered one of the four great Eastern Doctors of the Church in the Catholic Church.

Conflict with Arius and Arianism as well as successive Roman emperors shaped Athanasius’ career. In 325, at the age of 27, Athanasius began his leading role against the Arians as a deacon and assistant to Bishop Alexander of Alexandria during the First Council of Nicaea. Roman emperor Constantine the Great had convened the council in May–August 325 to address the Arian position that the Son of God, Jesus of Nazareth, is of a distinct substance from the Father.  Athanasius upheld the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity not only against the heretic Arius, but also against the Emperors Constantine, Constantius II, Julian the Apostate and Valens. He was known as Athanasius Contra Mundum (Latin for Athanasius Against the World).

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