|Why We Name SACS After St. Athanasius|
|Thursday, 13 October 2011 19:20|
We name the organization in honor of St. Athanasius of Alexandria because the exemplary life of this giant of the early church fathers encapsulates the quintessential characteristics of Christian leaders in times of persecution.
St. Athanasius courageously stood against the onslaught of Arianism in defense of the doctrine of the Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ. When, at the height of the Arian ascendancy, he was told that the “whole world” was against him, the fearless St. Athanasius proclaimed that he would then have to stand alone “against the whole world.” The term – against the world – came to represent the greatest quality of a leader in times of great adversity.
St. Athanasius’ tireless defense of the church resulted in his being exiled five times by Roman emperors. He bore all for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ and the church, which Jesus tells us that even “the gates of hell shall not prevail against.” For his tenacious faith and the defense of the church, St. Athanasius is held in the highest esteem by all – Roman Catholics, Orthodox and Protestant churches.
Particularly for the Christians of Eritrea and Ethiopia, there is another dimension to the story of St. Athanasius. He was the Patriarch who ordained St. Frumentius in 329 A.D, the first missionary bishop to this part of Africa. It was St. Frumentius who is credited with the first evangelization of present day Ethiopia and Eritrea nearly 1700 years ago.