View more saints

Saint Athanasius of Alexandria

About Saint Athanasius of Alexandria

Saint Athanasius of Alexandria, often termed the "Father of Orthodoxy," stands as a colossus in the annals of Christian history. His unwavering defense of Trinitarian theology during the Arian controversy earned him respect and admiration, solidifying his position as one of Christianity's principal theologians.

Feast Day

January 18

Birth Place

Alexandria, Egypt




May 2, 373
Saint Athanasius of Alexandria

Photo credit to

Early Life and Education


Early Life and Education

Born in AD 296 or 298 in Alexandria, Egypt, Athanasius exhibited a precocious theological acumen from a young age. Under the tutelage of Bishop Alexander of Alexandria, he imbibed the tenets of Christian faith, which prepared him for the theological battles he would later wage.


Ecclesiastical Career

Athanasius is best known for his relentless opposition to Arianism, a heresy that denied the full divinity of Jesus Christ. His seminal work, "On the Incarnation," offered a robust defense of Christ's divine and human natures, becoming a foundational text for Christian theology.

During the First Council of Nicaea in AD 325, Athanasius played a crucial role in articulating and defending the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, which led to the formulation of the Nicene Creed—a declaration of faith still recited in Christian liturgies worldwide.

Ecclesiastical Career

Later Life and Canonization


Later Life and Canonization

For his unyielding stance against Arianism, Athanasius faced numerous challenges, including five exiles ordered by four Roman emperors. Despite the political and ecclesiastical machinations against him, he remained resolute in his defense of Orthodoxy, earning him the moniker "Athanasius Contra Mundum" or "Athanasius Against the World."

Saint Athanasius' contributions extend beyond his theological treatises. He's also credited with identifying the 27 books of the New Testament that are accepted today, establishing the Christian biblical canon.



He reposed in AD 373, leaving behind a rich legacy of theological writings and pastoral letters. His defense of the Christian faith during its formative years ensured that Orthodoxy would withstand the test of time and heresy.

The impact of Saint Athanasius on Christian theology is immense. His clarion call to orthodoxy and the preservation of the Trinitarian doctrine safeguarded the foundational beliefs of Christianity. To this day, theologians, scholars, and believers turn to his works for insight and guidance.

For a deeper exploration of the teachings and life of Saint Athanasius of Alexandria, we invite you to peruse our collection here. Engage with the writings of a saint who shaped the course of Christian history.



Where are the relics of Saint Athanasius of Alexandria

In the 8th century, his relics were transferred from Alexandria to Italy. They were eventually placed in the Basilica di San Zaccaria in Venice, Italy. Today, the Basilica di San Zaccaria is believed to house the relics of Saint Athanasius, and it serves as a place of veneration for those who revere this early Church Father and theologian.

Other Saints from this region

Saint Catherine of Alexandria

Saint Catherine of Alexandria

Saint Catherine of Alexandria, also known as Saint Catherine of the Wheel, is one of the early Christian martyrs and a prominent saint venerated in both the Eastern and Western Christian traditions. Famous for her profound intellect, unwavering faith, and tragic martyrdom, she remains an enduring symbol of Christian sanctity and fortitude.
Read More

Written Works

Credit card mockups
Subscribe to receive news, articles and more from the Orthodox Calendar Company
Thanks for joining our newsletter.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
History of Orthodoxy in Egypt

Eastern Orthodoxy in Egypt: A Journey Through Millennia in the Land of the Nile

Delve into the intriguing world of Eastern Orthodoxy in Egypt, a country renowned for its ancient civilization and rich religious history. While the Coptic Orthodox Church is the largest Christian body in Egypt, there exists a vibrant and diverse community of Eastern Orthodox Christians as well.
Orthodox Church

Amazon Kindle - Digital

Download the 2024 Lives of the Saints Calendar

This 365-page daily calendar book features the life of an Orthodox saint, insightful teachings from the Saints and elders of the Church, a list of all commemorations for the day, Gospel and Epistle readings, fasting guidelines, and references to feasts. The stories include the lives of Greek, Russian, Georgian, Romanian, Ukrainian, Serbian, English, Celtic, and American saints.

Download Now