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Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73). Volume I: January. The Lives of the Saints. 1866.

January 15

St. Isidore of Alexandria, Priest and Hospitaller

HE 1 was taken from his cell where he had passed many years in the desert, ordained priest, and placed in the dignity of hospitaller, by St. Athanasius. He lived in that great city a perfect model of meekness, patience, mortification, and prayer. He frequently burst into tears at table, saying: “I who am a rational creature, and made to enjoy God, eat the food of brutes instead of feeding on the bread of angels.” Palladius, afterwards bishop of Helenopolis, on going to Egypt to embrace an ascetic life, addressed himself first to our saint for advice: the skilful director bade him go and exercise himself for some time in mortification and self-denial, and then return for further instructions. St. Isidore suffered many persecutions, first from Lucius the Arian intruder, and afterwards from Theophilus, who unjustly accused him of Origenism. 2 He publicly condemned that heresy at Constantinople, where he died in 403, under the protection of St. Chrysostom. See Palladius in Lausiac, c. 1. and 2. Socrates, l. 6. c. 9. Sozomen, c. 3. and 12. St. Jerom, Ep. 61. c. 15. ad Princip. Theodoret, l. 4. c. 21. Pallad, de Vitâ S. Chrys. Bulteau, Hist. Mon. d’Orient. l. 1. c. 15.  1
Note 1. An hospitaller is one residing in an hospital, in order to receive the poor and strangers. [back]
Note 2. St. Jerom’s zeal against the Origenists was very serviceable to the church; yet his translation of Theophilus’s book against the memory of St. Chrysostom, (ap. Fac. herm. l. 6. c. 4.) is a proof that it sometimes carried him too far. This weakens his charge against the holy hospitaller of Alexandria, whom Theophilus expelled Egypt, with the four long brothers, (Dioscorous, Ammonias, Eusebius, and Euthymius,) and about three hundred other monks. Some accuse Theophilus of proceeding against them out of mere jealousy. It is at least certain, that St. Isidore and the four long brothers anathematized Origenism at Constantinople, before St. Chrysostom received them to his communion, and that Theophilus himself was reconciled to, them at Chalcedon, in the council at the Oak, without requiring of them any confession of faith, or making mention of Origen. (Sozom. l. 8. c. 17.) Many take the St. Isidore, mentioned in the Roman Martyrology, for the hospitaller; but Bulteau observes, that St. Isidore of Scété is rather meant; at least the former is honoured by the Greeks. [back]