Dionysius of Corinth

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Our father among the saints Dionysius of Corinth was the Bishop of Corinth during the last half of the second century. The dates of his tenure as Bishop of Corinth is not known, but part of it overlapped that of Soter of Rome. His [feast day]] is April 8.

Life

Little is known of the life of Dionysius, and what is known is from Eusebius Pamphilius and text fragments from his letters. It is clear Dionysius was held in high esteem as a writer of letters by the second century churches, not only from Eusebius’ statement, but also from the fact that heretics thought it worthwhile to circulate interpolated and mutilated copies of his letters. That he wrote epistles to churches so widely scattered shows that he possessed a widely held reputation. Most of these letter are no longer extant.

Dionysius can be dated to the second half of the second century from the dating of his letters to noted Christians of the time, such as to the Bishop of Rome Soter who served from about 167 to 175, a period of service overlapping that of Dionysius.

Eusebius knew of a collection of seven Catholic Epistles by Dionysius, a letter to him from Bishop Pinytus of Knossus, a private letter of spiritual advice to a lady named Chrysophora, who had written to him, and his letter to Bp. Soter. In his letter to Bp. Soter, Dionysius lauds the practice of the Church of Rome for its practice of sending alms and gifts for the needy to churches in many cities.

In a letter to Nicomedia, Bp. Dionysius praises the Nicomedians for their standing fast in the truth and condemnation of the heresy of Maricion of Sinope that was active in his day.

The date and cause of Dionysius' death is unknown. He reposed before the year 199. While traditionally Dionysius has been held by some in the Eastern Church to be a martyr, there is no historical foundation for his martyrdom.

Sources

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