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Pierius

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Pierius, priest and probably head master of the catechetical school at Alexandria conjointly with Achillas, flourished while Theonas was bishop of that city; d. at Rome after 309. His skill as an exegetical writer and as a preacher gained for him the appellation, “Origen the Younger”. Philip of Side, Photius, and others assert that he was a martyr. However, since St. Jerome assures us that he survived the Diocletian persecution and spent the rest of his life at Rome, the term “martyr” can only mean that he underwent sufferings, not death, for his Faith. The Roman Martyrology commemorates him on November 4. He wrote a work (Greek: biblion) comprising twelve treatises or sermons (logoi), in some of which he repeats the dogmatic errors attributed by some authors to Origen (q.v.), such as the subordination of the Holy Ghost to the Father and the Son, and the pre-existence of human souls. His known sermons are: one on the Gospel of St. Luke (eis to kata Loukan); an Easter sermon on Osee (eis to pascha kai ton `Osee); a sermon on the Mother of God (peri tes theotokou); a few other Easter sermons; and a eulogy on St. Pamphilus, who had been one of his disciples (eis ton bion tou agiou Pamthilou). Only some fragments of his writings are extant. They were edited by Routh in “Reliquiae Sacr”, III, 423-35, in P.G., X, 241-6, and, with newly discovered fragments, by Boor in “Texte and Untersuchungen zur Geschichte der altchristlichen Literatur”, V, ii ( (Leipzig, 1888), 165-184. For an English translation see Salmond in “Ante-Nicene Fathers” (New York, 1896), 157.

MICHAEL OTT


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