Dionysius the Areopagite

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Saint Dionysius the Areopagite
Menologion of Basil 025.jpg
Depiction of St. Dionysius from the illuminated Menologion of Basil II, c. 1000 AD.
Hieromartyr and Bishop of Athens
Bornc. 1st century AD
Diedc. 1st century AD
Venerated inRoman Catholicism
Eastern Orthodoxy
Armenian Orthodox Church
Feast3 October (EO), 9 October (RC)
AttributesVested as a bishop, holding a Gospel Book
PatronageAthens, Lawyers
Dionysiou Ta Sozomena Panta (1756)
Fresco of Dionysius in Hosios Loukas monastery

Saint Dionysius the Areopagite (/ˌdəˈnɪsiəs/; Greek: Διονύσιος ὁ Ἀρεοπαγίτης) was a judge at the court Areopagus in Athens who lived in the first century. As related in the Acts of the Apostles, (Acts 17:34), he was converted to Christianity by the preaching of the Paul the Apostle during the Areopagus sermon. According to Dionysius, Bishop of Corinth, as 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. His name day in the Eastern Orthodox Church is October 3[2] and in the Roman Catholic Church is October 9.[3]

Historic confusions[edit]

In the early sixth century, a series of writings of a mystical nature, employing Neoplatonic language to elucidate Christian theological and mystical ideas, was ascribed to the Areopagite.[4] 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, Denis. However, this mistake by a ninth century writer is ignored and each saint is commemorated on his respective day.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Eusebius, Historia Ecclesiae III: iv
  2. ^ "Dionysios the Areopagite - Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America". www.goarch.org. Retrieved 2018-10-04.
  3. ^ Online, Catholic. "St. Dionysius the Areopagite - Saints & Angels - Catholic Online". Catholic Online. Retrieved 2018-10-04.
  4. ^ Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy on the confusion between Dionysius and Pseudo-Dionysius
  5. ^ "Hieromartyr Dionysius of Paris, Bishop". oca.org. Retrieved 2015-10-16.


External links[edit]