Athanasius, Patriarch of Alexandria, one of the most renowned of the Fathers of the Church, was the heroic and successful defender of Catholic Doctrine against Arius and the heresy named after him that taught that taught that Jesus was not God. After many sufferings in the cause of God”s Church, he died in 373.
While living in Rome during his exile he described to the Romans the wonderful life of Anthony and Pachomius in Egypt, sowing the seed of monasticism in Rome. He taught with great power the independence of the Church from civil authority.
(Source: The New Roman Missal by Father Lasance)
Commentary: For a period of time during the rage of the Arian heresy it seemed that St. Athanasius was the only Catholic priest still clinging to the true faith. This is where the expression of “Athanasius against the world” came from. He is a great example to us today in these times of great confusion in the Church when we must, as St. Paul instructed, “hold fast to the traditions.”
St. Athanasius wrote to his followers the following which is still pertinent today:
May God console you! What saddens you … is the fact that others have occupied the churches by violence