Athanasius (a-tha-na'-shus), Saint, born in Egypt about the year 296. Entered the church at an early age, and was chosen Bishop of Alexandria in 326. He is esteemed one of the most eminent among the ancient fathers of the church. He was a violent opponent of Arius, and his earnest advocacy of the Catholic faith, more particularly of the doctrine of the Trinity, subjected him to much persecution from the emperors Constantine and Julian. By both he was several times exiled, but he finally closed his days in tranquility in 373, in the 48th year of his prelacy. His works are numerous, but consist chiefly of invectives against his enemies, and controversial treatises against Arianism. The more important of his writings are his "Apologies," "Two Books on the Incarnation," "Conference with the Arians," "The Life of St. Anthony," "The Abridgment of the Holy Scriptures," "Letters to Those That Lead a Monastic Life," and "Letters to Serapion."