ATHANASIUS I (295-372 a.d)

A Saint and patriarch. He was the 20th patriarch of Alexandria (326-372). He is commemorated on the 7th of Bashons. Born in Alexandria in 295 a.d., he probably studied at the School of Alexandria. He assisted at the Council of Nicaea (325 a.d.) as a deacon and secretary to his , Alexander.

He succeeded his in 328. He suffered exile several times in Upper Egypt and in Europe. He was a prolific writer; his works could be categorized as apologetic and dogmatic writings, including his treatise against the Arians, On the Incarnation of the Word; ascetical writings such as the Life of Antony; correspondence, including several festal letters; and exegetical works on the Psalms. One of the sources of his life is a homily of Gregory of Nazianzus and part of it survives in Coptic, as well as a Coptic homily ascribed to Cyril of Alexandria.

The corpus of Athansius includes several works, which believed were written originally in Coptic. Among the most complete texts are the Life of Antony; a homily on the Nativity, where we find an autobiographical section; exegetical works on the Psalms, the Gospels of Matthew, Luke, John, and the Epistle to the Romans; and the festal letters. Other works ascribed to him include the canons, homilies on the Archangel Michael, some ascetical works, and an apocalypse on future times.