St. Ireneaus Bishop of Lyons

Essay by steven1987High School, 11th gradeA, May 2004

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Much of the information about Irenaeus is supposed to be fact or is believed to be probable and in some cases is accepted because it was possible. This is so because there are such small amounts of information about Ireneaus that are known to be factual. This leaves the rest of his life and actions to be "guessed at". Which leaves me to conclude that the next pages you are about to read may or may not be true.

Even the time of Ireneaus' birth is unknown. It is thought by many scholars that Ireneaus' birth was around 125 AD. Many others say that Ireneaus' birth was an entire century before that time while others say his birth was a century after 125 AD.

Ireneaus is thought to have been saved in Smyra while he was a young man. He was saved after having heard the teachings of Poly Carp.

Poly Carp was a man that was and still is believed to be the only person alive in Ireneaus' time to have had contact with the disciples. Poly Carp was not only the last to have had contact with the disciples, but was also the disciple, Johns', Apostle.

Around the time of Araliuses' persecution of the Christian faith, Ireneaus was serving the Lord by being the priest of The Church of Lyons. It was during this time that Pathinus the Bishop of Lyons sent Ireneaus to the Bishop of Rome with a letter pleading for leniency toward the Montanists, which were under the threat of being exiled from the other churches for their belief on the date of Easter.

While Ireneaus was in Rome a surge of unusually severe persecution swept through Lyons very rapidly and ferociously. The persecution claimed the lives of many believers including Pathinus, the...