Saturday, June 28, 2014Irenaeus
Bishop of Lyons
In his sermon, Apostolic Succession, from 2013, Fr Mead discusses
"... the lesser feast and commemoration of Saint Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons (Gaul, now called France) who died in 170 AD. He was a first-rate theologian and he had the gift of engaging in theological controversy with heretics without getting nasty – a rare gift! Irenaeus also shows us how the apostolic faith was passed along and was a standard of belief in Jesus Christ. Irenaeus was from Ephesus in Asia Minor (Turkey). He was taught as a young man by Bishop Polycarp, who was a heroic martyr. And Polycarp had known Saint John the Evangelist, the Beloved Disciple who wound up his life in Ephesus. So when Irenaeus heard strange teaching, he would say, “Who told you this?” “Where did you get this?” For his part, he could say where he got the orthodox teaching about Jesus Christ! We call this the apostolic succession, not only of bishops leading back to the apostles and the Lord himself, but also of teaching, the teaching of Jesus Christ our Lord and God."
Almighty God, who didst uphold thy servant Irenaeus with strength to maintain the truth against every blast of vain doctrine: Keep us, we beseech thee, steadfast in thy true religion, that in constancy and peace we may walk in the way that leadeth to eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.