St. Athanasius of Alexandria

quotes from 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).

Quotes & Excerpts:

“If you see with your own eyes men and women and children, even, thus welcoming death for the sake of Christ’s religion, how can you be so utterly silly and incredulous and maimed in your mind as not to realize that Christ, to Whom these all bear witness, Himself gives the victory to each, making death completely powerless for those who hold His faith and bear the sign of the cross?​” –On the Incarnation 5:29

“Then, too, demons used to deceive men’s minds by taking up their abode in springs or rivers or trees or stones and imposing upon simple people by their frauds. But now, since the Divine appearing of the Word, all this fantasy has ceased, for by the sign of the cross, if a man will but use it, he drives out their deceits. Again, people used to regard as gods those who are mentioned in the poets—Zeus and Kronos and Apollo and the heroes, and in worshipping them they went astray.” –On the Incarnation 8:47

“In the very presence of the fraud of demons and the imposture of the oracles and the wonders of magic, let him use the sign of the cross which they all mock at, and but speak the Name of Christ, and he shall see how through Him demons are routed, oracles cease, and all magic and witchcraft is confounded.​” –On the Incarnation 8:47

“The Sabbath was the end of the first creation, the Lord’s day was the beginning of the second, in which he renewed and restored the old in the same way as he prescribed that they should formerly observe the Sabbath as a memorial of the end of the first things, so we honor the Lord’s day as being the memorial of the new creation” (On Sabbath and Circumcision 3 [A.D. 345]).

“The Bishops at Nicaea wrote as they did, not as men inventing phrases of them-selves, but as having the witness of the Fathers. Indeed, nearly one hundred and thirty years ago former bishops of Great Rome and of our city wrote and censured those who were saying that the Son was a creature and not of the same substance as the Father.” -Synodal Letter to the Bishops of Africa, Chapter 6 (Written in 360 A.D.)

“The Fathers of the Council of Nicaea wrote..
Thus the Catholic Church believes.
And there they confessed how they believed.
This they did in order to show that their judgment was not of more
recent origin, but was, in fact, of Apostolic times: and that what they wrote was not a discovery of
their own, but is simply that which was taught by the Apostles.”
-Letter Concerning the
Councils of Rimini and Seleucia (Written in 361 A.D.)

“There are other books besides the aforementioned (New Testament canon), which, however, are not canonical.
Yet they have been designated by the Fathers to be read by those who join us and wish to be instructed by the word of piety,..
The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles (Also known as the Didache) and The Shepherd of Hermas.” -The Thirty-Ninth Festal Letter (Written 367 A.D.)

“Mary, who gave birth to God, remained a virgin until the end in order that she may be a model to all who came after her.” -De Virginitate, in le Museon 42: 243-44 (Written 350 A.D.)

“In regards to the Word’s eternal coexistence with the Father and that He is not of other substance or essence, as they declared in the Council of Nicaea… we are proving that this same opinion has been handed down from Father to Father.  But you modern
Jews and disciples of Caiphas, how many Fathers can you cite for your phrases? Indeed,
you can not even quote one.” – Letter concerning
Council of Nicaea (Written 350 A.D.)

“Accordingly, the Son of God became Son of Man, so that the sons of man, that is, of Adam, might become sons of God. . . He that is born in time here below, of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God. . . He, then, has on earth only a Mother, while we have in heaven only a Father.” —Incarnation of the Word, Chapter 8 (Written 365 A.D.)

“Let us note that the very tradition, teaching, and faith of the Catholic Church from the beginning, which the Lord gave, was preached by the Apostles, and preserved by the Fathers.
On this the Church was founded; and if anyone departs from this, he neither is nor should he be called a Christian.” -Four Letters to Serapion of Thmuis 1:28 (Written 359 A.D.)

“For, if she had had other children, the Savior would not have ignored them and entrusted his mother to someone else; nor would she have become someone else’s mother. She would not have abandoned her own to live with another as it is ill becoming to abandon a husband or children. But, since she was a virgin, and His Mother, he gave her as a mother to his disciple, even though she was not John’s mother, because of his great purity and understanding and because of her untouched virginity.” -De Virginitate 42:243-244 (Written ca 350 A.D.)

“Let those, therefore, who deny that the Son is by nature from the Father and proper to his essence deny also that he took true human flesh from the ever-virgin Mary” -Discourses Against the Arians 2:70 [A.D. 360])

“The Word begotten of the Father from on high, inexpressibly, inexplicably, incomprehensibly, and eternally, is he that is born in time here below of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God”- The Incarnation of the Word of God 8 [A.D. 365]

“Again we write, again keeping to the apostolic traditions, we remind each other when we come together for prayer; and keeping the feast in common, with one mouth we truly give thanks to the Lord” (Festal Letters 2:7 [A.D. 330]).

“But you are blessed, who by faith are in the Church, dwell upon the foundations of the faith, and have full satisfaction, even the highest degree of faith which remains among you unshaken. For it has come down to you from apostolic tradition, and frequently accursed envy has wished to unsettle it, but has not been able” -Festal Letters 29 

“Mary greets Elizabeth: the Mother of the Master greets [the mother] of the servant; the Mother of the King greets the mother of the soldier; the Mother of God greets the mother of the man; the Virgin greets the married woman. She greets Elizabeth with an outward greeting, and when the two greet each other in a visible man-ner, the Holy Spirit, who dwelt in Mary’s womb, incites him who is in Elizabeth’s womb, as one who urges on his friend, ‘Hurry, get up!’”
-Athanasius, Homily of the Papyrus of Turin, ed. T. Lefort, in Le Muséon 71 (1958):214

O noble Virgin, truly you are greater than any other greatness. For who is your equal in greatness, O dwelling place of God the Word? To whom among all creatures shall I compare you, O Virgin? You are greater than them all O Ark of the Covenant, clothed with purity instead of gold! You are the ark in which is found the golden vessel containing the true manna, that is, the flesh in which divinity resides.” -Athanasius, Homily of the Papyrus of Turin, ed. T. Lefort, in Le Muséon 71 (1958):216-17

“If I say that the angels and archangels are great but you are greater than them all, for the angels and archangels serve with trembling the One who dwells in your womb, and they dare not speak in his presence, while you speak to him freely.”
-Athanasius, Homily of the Papyrus of Turin, ed. T. Lefort, in Le Muséon 71 (1958):216-17

As for Eve, she is the mother of the dead, “for as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (I Cor 15:22). . . Eve took fruit, ate of it, and gave some to her husband. He ate of it, and he died.
In you, instead, O wise Virgin, dwells the Son of God: he who is the tree of life. Truly he has given us his body, and we have eaten of it. That is how life came to all, and all have come to life by the mercy of God, your beloved Son. That is why your spirit is full of joy in God your Savior!” -Athanasius, Homily of the Papyrus of Turin, ed. T. Lefort, in Le Muséon 71 (1958):216-17

“For the Trinity is indivisible, and its Godhead is one; and there is one God over all and through all and in all. This is the faith of the Catholic Church; for on the Trinity the Lord founded it and rooted it, when He said to His disciples, ‘Go out and instruct every people, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.’” -Four Letters to Serapion of Thmuis 3:6 (Written 359 A.D.)

“So long as the prayers of supplication and entreaties have not been made, there is only bread and wine. But after the great and wonderful prayers have been completed, then the bread is become the Body, and the wine the Blood, of our Lord Jesus Christ. And again: Let us approach the celebration of the mysteries. This bread and this wine, so long as the prayers and supplications have not taken place, remain simply what they are. But after the great prayers and holy supplications have been sent forth, the Word comes down into the bread and wine – and thus is His Body confected.” -Sermon to the Newly Baptized (Written 372 A.D.)

“Mary, who gave birth to God, remained a virgin to the end in order to be a model for] all to come after her.” -De Virginitate 42: 244 (Written ca 350 A.D.)

“The Holy Scriptures, which instruct us, and the life of Mary, Mother of God, suffice as an ideal of perfection and the form of the heavenly
life.” -De Virginitate 42: 255 (Written ca 350 A.D.)