2nd-century Greek bishop and Doctor of the Church / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Irenaeus (/ɪrɪˈnəs/; Greek: Εἰρηναῖος Eirēnaios; c.130 – c.202 AD)[4] was a Greek bishop noted for his role in guiding and expanding Christian communities in the southern regions of present-day France and, more widely, for the development of Christian theology by combating heterodox or Gnostic interpretations of Scripture as heresy and defining proto-orthodoxy. Originating from Smyrna, he had seen and heard the preaching of Polycarp,[5] who in turn was said to have heard John the Evangelist,[6] and thus was the last-known living connection with the Apostles.

Quick facts: Saint Irenaeus of Smyrna, Diocese, See, Prede...

Irenaeus of Smyrna
Doctor Unitatis
20th century Greek icon depicting Saint Irenaeus.
Ordinationby Polycarp
Personal details
Bornc.130 AD
Smyrna in Asia Minor (modern-day İzmir, Turkey)
Diedc. 202 AD
Lugdunum in Gaul (modern-day Lyon, France)
Theology career
Notable workAgainst Heresies
Theological work
EraPatristic Age
Tradition or movementTrinitarianism
Main interestsTheodicy, millennialism
Notable ideasIrenaean theodicy
Recapitulation theory of atonement
Feast dayJune 28 (Roman Catholic Church, Anglican Communion, Orthodox Church); August 23 (Eastern Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox Churches);
Monday after fourth Sunday of the Exaltation of the Cross (Armenian Apostolic Church)[1]
Venerated inRoman Catholic Church and Eastern Catholicism
Assyrian Church of the East
Eastern Orthodox Church
Lutheran Church
Oriental Orthodox Church
Anglican Communion
Title as SaintBishop, Martyr, Bishop of Lyons, Teacher of the Faith and Doctor of the Church.
Quick facts: Irenaeus, Influences, Influenced...
InfluencesClement, Ignatius,[2] Justin Martyr, Papias, Polycarp, The Shepherd of Hermas
InfluencedAgapius, Augustine,[3] Basil the Great, Epiphanius, Hippolytus, Tertullian

Chosen as bishop of Lugdunum, now Lyon, his best-known work is Against Heresies, often cited as Adversus Haereses, a refutation of gnosticism, in particular that of Valentinus.[7] To counter the doctrines of the gnostic sects claiming secret wisdom, he offered three pillars of orthodoxy: the scriptures, the tradition handed down from the apostles, and the teaching of the apostles' successors.[8][9] Intrinsic to his writing is that the surest source of Christian guidance is the Church of Rome,[7] and he is the earliest surviving witness to regard all four of the now-canonical gospels as essential.[10]

He is recognized as a saint in the Catholic Church, which celebrates his feast on 28 June,[11] and in the Eastern Orthodox Churches, which celebrates the feast on 23 August.

Irenaeus is honored in the Church of England and in the Episcopal Church on 28 June.[12][13] Pope Francis declared Irenaeus the 37th Doctor of the Church on 21 January 2022.[14]