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Saint Athenagoras of Athens (24 July)

Saint Athenogoras was a Christian philosopher and apologist of the second century A.D. He probably came from Athens where he studied Middle Platonism and Stoic philosophy. He flourished during the time of the Roman emperors Marcus Aurelius (161-180) and Commodus (180 – 192).

There are some basic facts about Saint Athenagoras, his formation and his work which are drawn from his two works, preserved in a codex from the year 914, which was produced in the literary workshop of Arethas: “Embassy (or Supplication) for the Christians” and “On the Resurrection of the dead.”

Saint Athenagoras stands out among the apologists of his day because of his literary excellence and his clear and eloquent style. His writings contain quotes from poets and philosophers, and from the rhythm of his sentences, and the arrangement of his material, we can deduce that he attended a school of rhetoric. In the field of theology he affirms Orthodox teachings about the Holy Trinity, the divine inspiration of the Holy Scriptures, and reveals a strict ascetical position concerning the moral life of Christians. His work has an important place in the ecclesiastical writings of the first two centuries.