Dionysius of Alexandria, Saint

Dionysius of Alexandria, Saint
("the Great")
A.D. c190-265, patriarch of Alexandria 247?-265?.

* * *

▪ Christian theologian
also called  Saint Dionysius The Great  
born c. 200, Alexandria
died c. 265, Alexandria; feast day November 17

      bishop of Alexandria, then the most important Eastern see, and a chief opponent of Sabellianism (q.v.).

      A Christian convert, Dionysius studied in Alexandria at the catechetical school headed by Origen, whom in 231/232 he was elected to succeed. In 247/248 he became bishop of Alexandria. During the persecution (250–251) of Christians by the Roman emperor Decius, Dionysius fled to the Libyan Desert, and he was again exiled in the Valerian persecution (257–260).

      On his return to Alexandria in about 260, Dionysius favoured readmitting penitent apostates to the church in opposition to those who wanted to exclude them permanently. Engaged in the bitter controversy over baptism performed by heretics, Dionysius did not insist on rebaptizing converts who had received heretical baptism, but he recognized the right of communities to rebaptize if they preferred. He denied that the Book of Revelation was written by St. John the Evangelist and denounced the Millenarians, who, basing their argument on a literal reading of Revelation, believed that after 1,000 years Jesus Christ would return and establish his kingdom on Earth.

      Dionysius was especially noted for his attacks on the Sabellians, who accused him of separating the persons of the Trinity (tritheism) and other heresies. Protests were sent to Pope St. Dionysius (Dionysius, Saint) in Rome, who condemned those who denied any distinction between the persons of the Trinity and those who acknowledged three separate persons. Dionysius of Alexandria accepted the Pope's judgment and repudiated the Sabellians' charges, but he insisted that the Trinity consisted of three inseparable persons. His position has since been vindicated by the church.

      Dionysius also wrote a treatise on nature against the atomism of the Greek philosopher Epicurus. Though highly esteemed and often cited by the leading Byzantine theologians, his works are known only from quotations, many of them extensive, preserved by Bishop Eusebius of Caesarea and other ecclesiastical writers.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Dionysius of Alexandria, Saint — ( the Great ) A.D. c190 265, patriarch of Alexandria 247? 265? …   Useful english dictionary

  • Dionysius of Alexandria — • Also called Dionysius the Great. Bishop, d. 264 or 265 Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Dionysius of Alexandria     Dionysius of Alexandria      …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Dionysius of Alexandria — biographical name Saint circa 200 circa 265 theologian & bishop of Alexandria (247) …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Theophilus of Alexandria, Saint — ▪ Egyptian theologian flourished 5th century; feast day, Egyptian Coptic Church, October 15; in the Syrian Church, October 17       theologian and patriarch of Alexandria, Egypt, violent opponent of non Christian religions, severe critic of… …   Universalium

  • Pope Dionysius of Alexandria — Martyrs Born late 2nd, early 3rd century Died November 17, 265 …   Wikipedia

  • Dionysius, Saint — ▪ pope born , Greece? died Dec. 26, 268, Rome; feast day December 6       pope from 259/260, to Dec. 26, 268.       While a presbyter during the pontificate of Pope Stephen I (254–257), he took part in the controversy on rebaptism of converts and …   Universalium

  • Saint Dionysius (disambiguation) — Saint Dionysius may refer to:* Pope Saint Dionysius (died 268), Greek pope * Saint Dionysius of Alexandria (died 265), Oriental Orthodox Patriarch * Saint Dionysius of Paris (died circa 250), Christian martyr * Saint Dionysius the Areopagite (1st …   Wikipedia

  • Saint Faustus — can refer to:*Faustus, Abibus and Dionysius of Alexandria *Martyred with Placidus (martyr) *Faustus of Riez …   Wikipedia

  • Dionysius — The Graeco Roman name Dionysius, deriving from the name of the Thracian god Dionysus, was exceedingly common, and many ancient people, famous and otherwise, bore it. It remains a common name today in the form Dennis (Denys, Denis, Denise). The… …   Wikipedia

  • Dionysius — Folgende Personen namens Dionysios (oder Dionysius) sind bekannt (in zeitlich aufsteigender Reihenfolge): Dionysios I. von Syrakus, Tyrann (430–367 v. Chr.) Dionysios II. von Syrakus, Tyrann (367–344 v. Chr.) Dionysios von Herakleia (* um 360 v.… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”