Denver, Colo., May 6, 2012 / 05:08 am
On May 12 the Catholic Church honors Saint Epiphanius of Salamis, an early monk, bishop and Church Father known for his extensive learning and defense of Catholic teachings in the fourth century.
During a 2007 visit with the Orthodox Archbishop of Cyprus, Pope Benedict XVI praised Epiphanius as “a good pastor” who “pointed out to the flock entrusted to him by Christ, the truth in which to believe, the way to take and the pitfalls to avoid.”
“At the beginning of this third millennium,” the Pope reflected during the visit, “the Church finds herself facing challenges and problems not at all unlike those which Bishop Epiphanius had to tackle.”
Epiphanius was born in Palestine around 310 or 315, the son of Greek-speaking Jewish parents. He is said to have been drawn to the Church after seeing a monk give away his clothing to a person in need. Not long after his conversion, he became a monk himself, spending time in the Egyptian deserts.