Saint Dionysios the Areopagite

In the Greek Orthodox calendar we celebrate the feast day of Saint Dionysios on October 3rd each year.
He grew up in a notable family in Athens. He attended philosophical school both at home and abroad. He married and had children. He was also a member of the highest court in Greece, the Areopagus. After he became a Christian he was made Bishop of Athens by Saint Paul.
He left his wife and children to follow the Lord and travelled with Saint Paul preaching the Gospel. He met the Mother of God in Jerusalem and was present at her Dormition.He saw Saint Paul martyred in Rome .After this he went to Gaul with his presbyter Rusticus and Eleftherius the deacon . They converted many pagans to the true faith. In the year 96 all the friends were arrested,tortured and beheaded under the Emperor Dormitian. Saint Dionysios was buried by a Christian woman called Catula.

His conversion to Christianity is described in Acts 17. Saint Paul was in Athens preaching in the synagogue and arguing with the Jews and in the city square with the stoic philosophers. The city itself was full of idols.He was taken before the court of Aeropagus and was asked to explain in further detail about the new faith. The Athenians loved nothing more than to talk and debate about the newest ideas. Saint Paul stood up before the court and said ..." as I was going round looking at the objects of your worship , I noticed altar bearing the inscription 'To an unknown God.' What you worship but do not know- this is what I now proclaim."He went on to tell them of the power of the Lord God and what he has done since the beginning of time.
In Acts 17:24-31. ...he " created the world and everything in it ..."
He is " the Lord of heaven and earth ..." and "...does not live in shrines made by men."
"...he is the universal giver of life and breath and all else..."
"..he created every race of men of one stock, to inhabit the whole earth's surface."...
"...he commands mankind, all men everywhere , to repent, because he has fixed the day on which he will have the world judged , by a man of his choosing; of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead."
When the Athenians heard of the raising of the dead they dismissed Saint Paul and he left their assembly.
However , some men joined him and became believers. Amongst them was Dionysios who was baptised. Dionysios is one of the seventy apostles.

(Tone 4) Having learned goodness and maintaining continence in all things,
you were arrayed with a good conscience as befits a priest.
From the chosen Vessel you drew ineffable mysteries; you kept the faith, and finished a course equal to His.
Bishop martyr Dionysius, entreat Christ God that our souls may be saved.

(Tone 8) As a disciple of the apostle caught up to the third heaven,
you spiritually entered the gate of heaven, Dionysius.
You were enriched with understanding of ineffable mysteries and enlightened those who sat in the darkness of ignorance.
Therefore we cry to you: Rejoice, universal Father!

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Last published: :02/11/2011
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