This fourth century Bishop was a leading defender of the Church against the Arian heresy. He was exiled from his Diocese of Poitiers to Phrygia.

In his Treatise on the Trinity, he said: ‘The privilege of our Church is such that it is never stronger than when it is attacked, never better known than when it is accused, never more powerful than when it appears forsaken’.

These words strike powerfully in our own day, amid persecution of the Church in many places. May St Irenaeus pray for us, and we pray too that his prayers may strengthen all those whose under persecution at this time. May God bless you this day.