Monday, May 2, 2011

Athanasius, Bishop, Confessor

Today, we commemorate Athanasius. Athanasius was one of the strongest supporters for the orthodox doctrine of Christ when the heresy of Arianism was most popular. His Arian enemies had him exiled five times and almost murdered him twice. According to Theodoret on one occasion some of the opponents conspired together and claimed that Athanasius had killed Arsenius. They cut off the hand of a corpse and carried it around in a wooden box claiming that it belonged to Arsenius. Athanasius was put on trial for killing Arsenius and raping a woman. When the woman was brought forward to testify, and Athanasius was told by the court to respond. Athanasius remained silent and one of his friends, Timotheus, stood up and asked the woman if he had ever entered her house or talked with her. The woman started yelling obscenities and accusations against Timotheus thinking he was Athanasius--proving that she had never seen Athanasius before. Next, they brought out the hand. Athanasius' friends managed to track down Arsenius and showed that both hands were still attached.

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