Dionysius the Areopagite

Saint Dionysius the Areopagite
Greek icon of St. Dionysius
Hieromartyr and Bishop of Athens
Born around 1st century A.D.
Died around 1st century A.D.
Venerated in Roman Catholicism
Eastern Orthodoxy
Armenian Orthodox Church
Feast 3 October
Attributes Vested as a bishop, holding a Gospel Book
Patronage Lawyers

Saint Dionysius the Areopagite (Greek Διονύσιος ὁ Ἀρεοπαγίτης) was a judge at the court Areopagus in Athens who lived in the first century AD. As related in the Acts of the Apostles, (Acts 17:34), he was converted to Christianity by the preaching of the Apostle Paul during the Areopagus sermon. According to Dionysius of Corinth, quoted by Eusebius, this Dionysius then became the first Bishop of Athens.[1] He is venerated as a saint in Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches.

Historic confusions

In the early 6th century, a series of writings of a mystical nature, employing Neoplatonic language to elucidate Christian theological and mystical ideas, was ascribed to the Areopagite.[2] They have long been recognized as pseudepigrapha, and their author is now called "Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite".

Dionysius has been misidentified with the martyr of Gaul, Dionysius, the first Bishop of Paris, Saint Denis. However, this mistake by a ninth century writer is ignored and each saint is commemorated on his respective day.[3]

See also


  1. Eusebius, Historia Ecclesiae III: iv
  2. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy on the confusion between Dionysius and Pseudo-Dionysius
  3. "Hieromartyr Dionysius of Paris, Bishop". oca.org. Retrieved 2015-10-16.


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