Saint Epiphanius

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Saint Epiphanius
Saint Epiphanius

Bishop of Salamis (Cyprus) Oracle of Palestine

Bornca. 310-320, Judea
Died403, at sea
Venerated inEastern Orthodoxy
FeastMay 12, 17 Pashons (Coptic Orthodox)
AttributesEpiscopal insignia

Ecclesiastical Life
He was born into a Jewish family in the small settlement of Besanduk, near Eleutheropolis, Judaea, but converted to Christianity, and lived as a monk in Egypt, where he was educated and came into contact with Valentinian groups. Returning to Judaea around 333, when still a young man, he founded a monastery at Ad nearby[1] which is often mentioned in the polemics of Jerome with Rufinus and John, Bishop of Jerusalem. He was ordained a priest, and lived and studied as superior of the monastery for thirty years. He became versed in several languages including Hebrew, Syriac, Egyptian, Greek, and Latin and was called by Jerome on thay account Pentaglossis, "Five tongued."

His reputation for learning prompted his nomination and installation as Bishop of Salamis, Cyprus[2] in 367. He was also the Metropolitan of Cyprus. He served as bishop for nearly forty years, as well as traveling widely to combat unorthodox beliefs. He was present at a synod in Antioch (376) where the Trinitarian questions were debated against the heresy of Apollinarianism. He upheld the position of Bishop Paulinus, who had the support of Rome, over that of Meletius of Antioch, who was supported by the Eastern Churches. In 382 he was present at the Council of Rome, again upholding the cause of Paulinus. During a visit to Palestine in 394 he attacked Origen's followers and urged the Bishop of Jerusalem to condemn his writings. Origen's writings were eventually condemned at the Fifth Ecumenical Council in 553. When Epiphanius was nearly 80, in 402, at the behest of Bishop Theophilus of Alexandria, the saint went to Constantinople to support Theophilus in his campaign against Saint John Chrysostom, and the four "Tall Brothers." When he realized he was being used as a tool by Theophilus against Saint John Chrysostom, who had given refuge to the monks persecuted by Theophilus and who were appealing to the emperor, Epiphanius started back to Salamis, only to die on the way home in 403.