Saint of the Day – 2 November – St Victorinus of Pettau (Died c 304) Bishop Martyr, learned Exegetists on both the Old and the New Testament, ecclesiastical writer, theologian. Born in the 3rd Century in Greece and died in 303 or 304 (records vary), he suffered Martyrdom probably in 303, under Diocletian. Also known as – Victorinus Petravionensis, Victorinus von Pettau, Victorinus Pictaviensis, Victorinus of Patawii, Victorinus of Petta, Victorinus of Ptuj. Victorin… Additional Memorial – 12 November on some calendars.
Born probably in Byzantine Greece or in Poetovio with rather mixed population, due to its military character, Victorinus spoke Greek better than Latin, which explains why, in St Jerome’s opinion, his works written in the latter tongue were more remarkable for their content than for their style. Bishop of the City of Pettau, he was the first theologian to use Latin for his exegesis.
His works are mainly exegetical. Victorinus composed commentaries on various books of Sacred Scripture, such as Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Habakkuk, Ecclesiastes, the Canticle of Canticles, St Matthew and the Apocalypse, besides treatises against the heresies of his time. All that has survived is his Commentary on Apocalypse and the short tract On the construction of the world (De fabrica mundi). Some believe he is also the author of two poems, “De Jesu Christo” and “De Pascha,” although this is contested.
Like many of his contemporaries he shared the errors of the Millenarians and for this reason his works were ranked with the apocrypha by Pope Gelasius. Nevertheless, by contrast, St Jerome gives him an honourable place in his catalogue of ecclesiastical writers. St Jerome cites the opinion of Victorinus in some of his works but considered him to have been affected by the opinions of the Chiliasts or Millenarians (they believed that Christ would return to the earth to rule for a thousand years..)
According to Saint Jerome, Victorinus died a Martyr in 304.