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Fathers of the Church

Epistles on the Arian Heresy and the Deposition of Arius: III.—epistle


Alexander writes to the priests and deacons of Alexandria and Mareotis to call them together to pronounce judgment upon the heretics Arius and Pistus (who denied the Divinity of Christ), even though they had already agreed to his letter that condemned these heretics. (See EPISTLES ON THE ARIAN HERESY AND THE DEPOSITION OF ARIUS: II.—EPISTLE CATHOLIC.)


Alexander was the patriarch of Alexandria, who died in 326 A.D. His appointment as patriarch excluded the ambitious heretic Arius from the position. The Arian heresy was condemned in Alexandria, and later at the Council of Nicaea, whose statements Alexander composed. During his priesthood Alexander heroically persevered under the persecutions of Galerius, Maximinus, and others. Before Peter of Alexandria's martyrdom, Alexander and Achillas interceded for Arius to the Pope. When Achillas succeeded Peter, Arius was ordained a priest, and he continued to be tolerated under Alexander until his heresy was finally condemned.

by Alexander of Alexandria in Early fourth century. | translated by Rev. James B. H. Hawkins, M.A

Alexander, to the priests and deacons, Alexandria and Mareotis, being present to them present, brethren beloved in the Lord, sends greeting:

Although you have been forward to subscribe the letters that I sent to those about Arius, urging them to abjure their impiety, and to obey the wholesome and Catholic faith; and in this manner have shown your orthodox purpose, and your agreement in the doctrines of the Catholic Church; yet because I have also sent letters to all our fellow-ministers in every place with respect to the things which concern Arius and his companions; I have thought it necessary to call together you the clergy of the city, and to summon you also of Mareotis; especially since of your number Chares and Pistus, the priests; Sarapion, Parammon, Zosimus, and Irenaeus, the deacons, have gone over to the party of Arius, and have preferred to be deposed with them; that you may know what is now written, and that you should declare your consent in these matters, and give your suffrage for the deposition of those about Arius and Pistus. For it is right that you should know what I have written, and that yon should each one, as if he had written it himself retain it in his heart.

Taken from "The Early Church Fathers and Other Works" originally published by Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co. in English in Edinburgh, Scotland beginning in 1867. (ANF 6, Roberts and Donaldson). The digital version is by The Electronic Bible Society, P.O. Box 701356, Dallas, TX 75370, 214-407-WORD.

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