St. Athanasius was born in Alexandria, Egypt 296. Raised with a traditional education under Bishop Alexander, he became a priest, and eventually succeeded Alexander as bishop. Meanwhile, Arius, an outspoken priest, began spreading new ideologies which denied the Divinity of Jesus. St. Athanasius, staying true to the teachings of Alexander, fought against the heresy of Arianism.
Emperor Constantine banished Athanasius to Gaul. After Constantine died, Athanasius reclaimed his position as bishop. Nevertheless, Arian bishops banished him again. Seventeen years of his life was sacrificed in exile in defense of his belief in Christ’s divinity. He authored Life of St. Anthony, among other writings strongly opposing Arianism, which earned him the title of doctor of the Church. His life is indicative of the great strength and grace we must exhibit when faced with opposition. Images often show St. Athanasius holding a bishop’s staff and an open scroll of writings.