Dionysius of Alexandria, St.

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Bishop of Alexandria, 247265, disciple of origen, and father of the church; b. c. 190; d. Alexandria, 265. Dionysius, a convert who had studied literature and philosophy at alexandria, succeeded Heraclas in 232 as head of the Didascaleion, or catechetical school, and in 247 followed him as bishop of Alexandria. During the Decian persecution (250) Dionysius went into hiding, but he returned to Alexandria in 251. In the Valerian persecution of 257, Dionysius was exiled to Libya after making a public profession of faith. He participated in the doctrinal disputes caused by the trinitarian controversies, novatianism, chiliasm, and the rebaptism of heretics. His writings have been preserved only in fragments but include a book On Nature written for his son, Refutations and Defense, On the Promises in which he denied the Johannine authorship of the Apocalypse, and two letters (Eusebius, Hist. Eccl. 4.45).

Feast: Nov. 17.

Bibliography: dionysius, The Letters and Other Remains of Dionysius of Alexandria, ed. c. l. feltoe (Cambridge, Eng. 1904); Das erhaltene Werk. Dionysiou leipsana, tr. w. a. bienert (Stuttgart 1972). f. c. conybeare, "Newly Discovered Letters of Dionysius of Alexandria," English Historical Review 25 (1910) 111114. u. heil, Athanasius von Alexandrien: De sententia Dionysii (Berlin 1999). j. quasten, Patrology (Westminster, MD 1950) 2:101109.

[e. g. ryan]

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Dionysius of Alexandria, St.

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