Saint Athanasius of Naples
|Confessor and Bishop of Naples|
Naples, Duchy of Naples
Veroli, Bishopric of Veroli
|Venerated in||Roman Catholic Church|
|Major shrine||Naples Cathedral, Naples, Italy|
Athanasius was the second son of Sergius I of Naples and not quite twenty years old when he became Bishop of Naples in 849, at the same time his brother, Gregory, became co-duke. He was consecrated bishop in Rome by Pope Leo IV. Athanasius led a life of austerity and prayer, and was particular concerned with the proper education and training of the clergy in his diocese. He oversaw the restoration of the monastery of the Most Holy Saviour, and established a monastery dedicated to Sts. Januarius and Agrippinus. He also established a hospice for pilgrims, and set up a process for ransoming prisoners captured by the Saracens.
He attended the Lateran Council of 863.
Athanasius was an intimate of both the court of the Western Emperor and that of the Pope. He was a familiaris of emperors Lothair I and Louis II and was made a Papal legate because of his connections with the Roman curia.
Before dying, Sergius bade Gregory to follow the counsel of his brother the bishop. Gregory did, but his son, Sergius II, did not. He persecuted Athanasius, who was opposed to the alliance with the Aghlabids of Sicily, and took possession of the treasures of the cathedral. In 870 Duke Sergius II imprisoned his uncle Caesar, admiral of the Neapolitan fleet, who similarly opposed his closeness to the Aghlabids, Caesar died in prison.
The bishop was exiled to a small island, only to be rescued by Amalfitan ships sent by the Emperor Louis. While travelling to Rome, Athanasius died at Veroli, and was buried at Monte Cassino. His body was soon afterwards translated to the Cathedral of Naples.
- “Saint Athanasius of Naples”. New Catholic Dictionary. CatholicSaints.Info. 30 July 2012.
- Butler, Alban. "St. Athanasius of Naples, bishop", Butler's Lives of the Saints, Vol. 7, (revised by Peter Doyle) London. Burns & Oates/Liturgical Press, 2000, ISBN 9780814623831
- Vasi, Mariano. A New Picture of Naples and Its Environs, Leigh, 1820, p. 63
- De Ferrari, Giovan Battista. A New Guide of Naples, George Glass, 1852, p. 40
- Kreutz, Barbara M., Before the Normans: Southern Italy in the Ninth and Tenth Centuries. University of Pennsylvania Press. (1996). ISBN 978-0-8122-1587-8, p. 73
- Monks of Ramsgate. “Athanasius”. Book of Saints, 1921. CatholicSaints.Info. 2 August 2012 This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.