Saint Athanasius, the doctor of the church, was born in Alexandria, Egypt, in 295, and from his youth was pious, learned, and deeply versed in the sacred writings. He received an excellent education at the catechetical school of Alexandria that encompassed Greek literature and philosophy, rhetoric, law, and Christian doctrine. His intimacy with Biblical texts is extraordinary. He was raised by the bishop of Alexandria like a new Samuel in the Lord’s temple. He became the champion and defender of God Church against the Arian heresy, which denied the Divinity of Christ.
Saint Athanasius stood unmoved against four Roman emperors, was banished five times, was the butt of every insult, calumny and wrong the Arians could devise, and lived in constant peril of death. Though strong as diamond in defense of the Faith, he was meek and humble, pleasant and winning in conversation, beloved by his flock, unwearied in labors, prayer and mortifications, eloquent in speech, and unsurpassed in zeal for souls. From his places of exile he wrote many great works for the instruction and strengthening of his flock, writings rich in thought and learning, clear, keen and stately in expression.