Saint Lucifero of Cagliari

The bishop who fought Arianism

Lucifero was the Bishop of Cagliari and was celebrated by Catholic Church for his absolute devotion to the original dogma of the divine nature of Jesus Christ.

During 321 A.D. was spread the Trinitarian Doctrine, elaborated by the Presbyter Ario, according to which was denied the consubstantiality, in a supposed subordination of the Son to the Father, that, originated, was the only one who had the divine nature.

So, Arianism did not deny Trinity, but the divine nature of the Son given that he was engendered by the Father, composing of three different figures.

The Council of Nicea (325 A.D.) represented the Catholic turning point, declaring the Nicene Symbol, called Nicene Creed too, in which is definitely attributed to Christ the homooùsios (the same essence), the dogmatic basis of Christianity.

In other words, the Council declared the same nature of the Father and of the Son, excluding the Arian subordinationism and excommunicated the Monk Ario. By now banned, he was led in Illiria.

Lucifero, in compliance with the dictatus legislated by Costantino after the Council, stood opposite to the Arian worship and during the Council of Milan (355) refused to authorize the sentence of death of Saint Anastasio of Alessandria, wanted by the Emperor Costanzo II, philoarian supporter.

His opposition implicated his exile, first of all in Siria, then in Palestina and finally in Egypt.

In 361, the decision of the edict by the Emperor Giuliano, of allowing the reinstatement into the diocese for the expatriated bishops, was connected to the Synod by Anastasio aimed to end the dogmatic diatribes. Lucifero, although he was invited to take part, was not present.

His come back to Cagliari was marked by his opposition to the Synod conclusions of bringing back the Arian bishops towards the episcopal dignity, because he supported the concession of forgiveness. His strict ideas created what was called the “Luciferian split”.

He died about 370 A.D. and then he was canonized. His celebration is on 20th May.

01 March 2016

Veronica Pastore
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