Peter of Alexandria (2)

Peter Of Alexandria (2)

another patriarch of that see, was born near the beginning of the 4th century, during the life of Athanasius, whom he for many years accompanied, sharing his variable fortunes, as presbyter of the Church at Alexandria. He was designated by Athanasius as his successor, and upon the death of that celebrated Church father (A.D. 373) was appointed to the place, to the great satisfaction of the orthodox among the people, and with the approval of the neighboring bishops. The Arians, however, who had, either from fear or reverence, conceded quiet possession to Athanasius, were by no means disposed to acquiesce in the appointment of an orthodox successor; and Peter was at once deposed and imprisoned. Making his escape, he fled to Rome, where he was kindly received by pope Damasus I, leaving his Arian competitor, Lucius, in possession of the Church of Alexandria. After five years' absence, Peter returned with letters from the pope confirming his title to the see, and regained possession of the church by favor of the people, who deposed Lucius, and forced him to flee to Constantinople. Peter enjoyed the highest esteem of his contemporaries, but survived his restoration only a short time. He died February 14, 381, and was succeeded by his brother Timothy. Valesius speaks of him as the abettor of Maximus the Cynic in his usurpation of the see of Constantinople in place of St. Gregory (Nazianzen), but this is scarcely probable, since Gregory himself eulogizes him. Theodoret ascribes this act to Timothy. Of the writings of Peter, parts of two letters have been preserved to us by Theodoret and Facundus; the first giving an account of the persecutions and acts of violence perpetrated by Lucius and the Arians; the second, Epistola ad Episcopos et Presbyteros atque Diacones pro vera Fide in exsilio constitutes, s. ad Episcopos, Presbyteros, atque Diacones qui sub Valente Imperatorae Diocaesaream fuerant exules missi. See Ceillier, Hist. des Auteurs sacres et eccles. 8:464 sq.; Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Generale, 40:138; Smith, Dict. of Gr. and Rom. Biog. and Mythol. 3:220.

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