SAINT IRENAEUS, BISHOP OFLYON, FULL BODY 9228 St Irenaeus was born in the year 125, in Asia Minor. To this church of Lyon, Irenaeus came to serve as a priest under its first bishop, St. Pothinus, an oriental like himself. It was the spread of gnosticism in Gaul, and the ravages it was making among the Christians of his diocese, that inspired him to undertake the task of exposing its errors. He produced a treatise in five books in which he sets forth fully the inner doctrines of the various sects, and afterwards contrasts them with the teaching of the Apostles and the text of the Holy Scripture. His work, written in Greek but quickly translated to Latin, was widely circulated and succeeded in dealing a death-blow to gnosticism. At any rate, from that time onwards, it ceased to offer a serious menace to the faith. St Iranaeus died in the year 202.