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Saint Epiphanius

Saint Epiphanius
  • Century: 4th & 5th Century
  • Patronage: -
  • Feast Day: May 12th

St. Epiphanius is believed to have been born in 310, and was the Bishop of Salamis, Cyprus.  He gained a reputation as a strong defender of Orthodoxy.  He is best known for composing the Panarion, a very large compendium of the heresies up to his time.  He is also believed to be the first cleric to have taken up the matter of Christian religious images as a major issue.  

He was born into a Christian family in the small settlement of Besanduk, near modern day Beit Guvrin, Israel.  He lived as a monk in Egypt, where he was educated and came into contact with Valentinian groups.  He returned to Palestine around 333, when he was still a young man, and he founded a Monastery.  He was ordained a Priest, and lived and studied as superior of the Monastery in Ad that he founded, for thirty years and gained much skill and knowledge in that position.  In that position he gained the ability to speak in several tongues including Hebrew, Syriac, Egyptian, Greek and Latin.  

His reputation for learning prompted his nomination and consecration as Bishop of Salamis, Cyprus, and he remained there until his death.  He served as Bishop for nearly forty years, as well as traveling near and far to combat unorthodox beliefs.  He was present at a synod in Antioch in 376 where the Trinitarian questions were debated against the heresy of Apollinarianism.  He upheld the position of Bishop Paulinus, who had the support of Rome.  In 382, he was present at the Council of Rome, again, upholding the cause of Bishop Paulinus.  

He died in 403 on his way back from Constantinople, at the age of 80.  He was going to Constantinople by invitation, to support Bishop John Chrysostom’s anti-Origenist views.   

Practical Take Away

St. Epiphanius is believed to have been born in 310, and was the Bishop of Salamis, Cyprus.  He gained a reputation as a strong defender of Orthodoxy.  He is best known for composing the Panarion, a very large compendium of the heresies up to his time.  He is also believed to be the first cleric to have taken up the matter of Christian religious images as a major issue.  He founded a Monastery in Ad, and was the Superior for many years.  His defense of the Faith prompted his nomination and Consecration as Bishop of Salamis, Cyprus, where he remained until his death.