Saint of the Day – 8 April – Saint Dionysius of Corinth (Died in the 2nd Century) Bishop of Corinth, Greec, Confessor, e in about 170.
The Roman Martyrology reads: “At Corinth, the Bishop, St Denis, who instructed not only the people of his own City and Province by the learning and unction with which he preached the word of God but, also the Bishops of other Cities and Provinces, by the l;etters which he wrote to them. His veneration for the Roman Pontiff was such that he used to read their epistles publicly in the Church on Sundays. He lived in the time of Marcus Antoninus Verus and Lucius Aurelius Commodus.”
We have little personal information of Dionysius, bar that which we discover from his letters, which were known to the Historia Eusebius.. We gather a date for his Episcopate – around 170 – by the fact that he wrote to Pope Soter (c168 to 176). Eusebius of Caesarea, in his Chronicle, placed Dionysius’ period of activity in the eleventh year of Marcus Aurelius (171), while Bacchylus was Bishop of Corinth at the time of the Paschal controversy (about 190–8).
Eusebius knew a collection of seven of the Catholic Letters to the Churches of Dionysius, together with a letter to him from Pinytus, Bishop of Knossos and a private letter of spiritual advice to a lady named Chrysophora. Most of his letters to Bishops in his region contain instruction on dealing with heretics and warning of various unorthodox views which could lead to heresy. He also praised where such was due but generally most of his letters were of instruction or warnings to persist in the One Truth.
But the most important letter is the seventh one, addressed to the Romans and the only one from which extracts have been preserved. Pope Soter had sent alms and a letter to the Corinthians and in response, Dionysius wrote:
“For this has been your custom from the beginning, to do good to all the brethren in many ways and to send alms to many Churches in different cities, now relieving the poverty of those who asked aid, now assisting the brethren in the mines by the alms you send,
Romans keeping up the traditional custom of Romans, which your blessed Bishop, Soter, has not only maintained,but has even increased, by affording to the brethren, the abundance which he has supplied, and by comforting with blessed words the brethren who came to him, as a father to his children.”
“You also by this instruction have mingled together the Romans and Corinthians, who are the planting of Peter and Paul. For they both came to our Corinth and planted us and taught alike and alike, going to Italy and teaching there, were Martyred at the same time.”
“Today we have kept the Holy Lord’s day, on which we have read your letter, which we shall ever possess to read and to be admonished, even as the former one, written to us through Clement.”