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Church Fathers
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Origen, Early Church Father, Father of the Early Church, Baptism, Sacrament of BaptismOrigen: His Life and Works

Priest and Early Church Father


Origen, born into a Christian family from Alexandria Egypt around 185AD, was only a teenager when he witnessed his father, Leonidas, dragged from his home by Roman soldiers and ultimately martyred.  He was inspired by his father's heroic example to dedicate himself to a strict life of prayer, fasting and study.  The bishop of Alexandria, Demetrius, recognized the talent and holiness of this young man and named him head of the catechetical school of this great center of early Christianity.  Origen ultimately became one of the greatest Scripture scholars and preachers of the early Church.  Though he began his teaching ministry as a lay catechist, Origen was ultimately ordained a priest and wrote commentaries and homilies that influenced subsequent Early Church Fathers from both East and West.  Though he did not receive the grace of martyrdom, Origen was imprisoned and brutally tortured for his faith during the persecution that took place under the emperor Decius.  Weakened by his ordeal, he died a few years later in 254 AD.


Though several of Origen's teachings were condemned after his death by Church authorities, it must be remembered that his erroneous opinions were expressed in matters that had not yet been defined by official Church teaching.  In his lifetime, Origen was always a loyal son of the Church whose correct opinions far outnumbered his errors.

Origen's writings were profuse indeed, though only a limited number survive.  He wrote commentaries on almost every book of the Bible, with his treatise on Song of Songs, Romans, and many homilies on the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Old Testament) surviving either intact or in large portions.  He was the author of one of the earliest attempts at textual criticism of the Old Testatment, the Hexapla, and was responsible for the first attempt at systematic theology in his famous De Principiis (On First Principles).  His two works of spiritual theology, Exhortation to Martyrdom and On Prayer were widely read in the Early Church and are still read today, with many excerpts used in the Roman Office of Readings.

The Fathers of the Church - Who They Are and Why They MatterFathers of the Church Early Church Fathers CD by Marcellino D'Ambrosio

In a single, upbeat talk, full of examples and fascinating stories about some of the Church's most intriguing personalities, such as Origen, Marcellino D'Ambrosio explains who people are talking about when they refer to the "Fathers of the Church" or "Early Church Fathers.  Though the ranks of the fathers include a tremendous variety of cultures, locales, and personalities, there is surprising consensus that emerges from them on a variety of the most pressing questions of our day.  In this dynamic talk, Marcellino makes clear just how much Origen and other Fathers of the Church have to teach us. 

Title Category Excerpt Download
Abraham's Sacrifice of Isaac-Origen Early Church Fathers,
Catholic Bible Study
Baptism Means Crossing the Jordan - Origen Liturgy and 7 Sacraments,
Catholic Bible Study
Yes Download
Christ's Body, a Temple--Origen Early Church Fathers Yes
Exhortation to Martyrdom--Origen Catholic Saints Yes
Good Friday, the True Day of Atonement--Origen Lenten Season and Holy Week Resources,
Liturgy and 7 Sacraments,
Passion of Christ
Yes Download
Jericho's Walls Come Tumbling Down - Origen Early Church Fathers,
2nd Coming of Christ
Yes Download
Kingdom of God--Origen Prayer and Spirituality Yes Download

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