† Hieromartyr Irenaeus, bishop of Lyons (202)
He was born in Asia Minor around the year 120, and was a
disciple of Saint Polycarp, who was in turn a
disciple of St John the Evangelist. He succeeded the
martyred St Pothinus as Bishop of Lyons in Gaul (now France). He produced many writings
contesting not only against paganism but against Gnostic heresies that were
then troubling the Church.
When Victor, Bishop of Rome, planned to
excommunicate the Christians of Asia Minor for celebrating Pascha on a
different date than the Church of Rome, Irenaeus
persuaded him to stay his hand and maintain unity and peace in the Church.
(This was before the date of Pascha had been set by the Ecumenical Councils).
By his efforts Lyons became for centuries a center and bastion of Orthodoxy in the West.
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