- This is an article about the 4th century bishop. For biblical character, see Lucifer.
() (d. May 20, 370 or 371) was a bishop
known for his passionate opposition to Arianism
. He is venerated as a Saint in Sardinia, though his status remains controversial.
Lucifer first appears in history as an envoy from Liberius of Rome
to the Emperor Constantius II
, requesting the convening of a church council. At the Council of Milan
in 354 or 355 he defended Athanasius of Alexandria
against Arian attempts to secure his condemnation by Western bishops. It was reported that Constantius II, a supporter of Arian theology, confined Lucifer for three days in the palace, where Lucifer continued to argue vehemently. Along with Eusebius of Vercelli
and Dionysius of Milan
, he was exiled. He travelled first to Syria
, then to Palestine
and finally to Thebes in Egypt
. While in exile, he wrote fiery pamphlets to the emperor in which he proclaimed himself to be ready to suffer martyrdom
for his beliefs.
After the death of Constantius and the accession of Julian the Apostate
, Lucifer was able to return from exile in 362. However, he would not be reconciled to former Arians. He opposed the Bishop Meletius
, who came to accept the Nicene creed
(and for that was driven out by Arians). Although Meletius had the support of many proponents of Nicene theology at Antioch, Lucifer put his support behind the Eustathian party
which had unflinchingly stood by the... Read More