Firmilian of Caesarea

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Chiefly remembered for his intemperate support of St. cyprian against St. stephen i; bishop from c. 230;d. Tarsus, 268 (feast in the Greek Church, Oct. 28). A friend of origen, he was highly esteemed throughout the East. He took part in various synods: at Iconium (c. 230) against Montanist baptism (see montanism); at Antioch where (c. 252) the bishops rallied in condemning the Novatianist schism (see novatian and novatianism); and again (c. 264) for the protracted trial of its heretical bishop, paul of samosata. His known views contributed to Paul's deposition, though Firmilian himself had died at Tarsus on his way to the synod's final session. In his sole surviving letter (preserved in translation as Ep. 75 among Cyprian's letters) he commended Cyprian for repudiating any baptism administered outside the Church, and poured fresh scorn on Pope Stephen's more favorable attitude and on his claims. Stephen threatened to excommunicate Firmilian and many other Eastern bishops, but dionysius of alexandria pleaded on their behalf with both Stephen and his successor Sixtus II.

Bibliography: cyprian, Opera omnia, ed. g. hartel, 3 v. (Corpus scriptorum ecclesiasticorum latinorum 3.13.3; 186871). eusebius, Historia Ecclesiastica 6:27, 46.3; 7:5.1, 14, 28.1,30.45. j. chapman, Catholic Encyclopedia 6:8081. g. bardenhewer, Geschichte der altkirchlichen Literatur 2:312314.

[m. bÉvenot]