The Departure of St. Theonas, 16th Pope of Alexandria
On this day in the year 300 A.D., St. Theonas, 16th Pope of Alexandria, departed. This saint was a righteous, meek scholar, gentle and loving to everyone. By the spirit of friendship and gentleness with everyone, he was able to build a church in Alexandria, dedicated to the name of the Virgin St. Mary, the Theotokos.
Until his time, the faithful were praying and performing their services in homes and in caves for fear of the unbelievers. Pope Theonas dealt with them wisely and gently to achieve what he wanted to do. He converted many of them to believe in the Lord Christ and baptized them. He baptized, in the first year of his papacy, St. Peter, who succeeded him on the apostolic throne of St. Mark and was the 17th Pope. It was said that he ordained St. Peter as a reader at the age of five, then he promoted him to be a deacon at the age of twelve, then as a priest at sixteen.
At the time of this saint, a man by the name of Sabellius appeared in Alexandria who was teaching that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are one person. St. Theonas excommunicated him and he invalidated his heresy by convincing proof.
When he completed his course, he departed in peace, after he had been on the throne of St. Mark for 19 years.
His prayers be with us. Amen.
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