Bible Dictionaries

A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography

Serapion, Penitent of Alexandria

Serapion (3), a penitent of Alexandria, who fell during the Decian persecution. Dionysius of Alexandria uses his case as an argument against the Novatianist schism, to which his correspondent, Fabius of Antioch, was inclined. Serapion lived a long life without blame, but had sacrificed at last. He often begged for admission to the church, but was refused. He was then taken sick, being three days without speech. When he awoke to consciousness he dispatched his grandson for a presbyter, who was sick and unable to come, but sent a portion of the consecrated Eucharist, telling the boy to moisten it and drop it into Serapion's mouth, who then died in peace. Reservation of the Sacrament must then have been practised in Alexandria. No argument, however, for communion in one kind can be drawn from this, as doubtless the bread had been dipped in the Eucharistic wine, according to Eastern fashion (see Bingham's Antiq. lib. xv. c. v.). Eus. H.E. vi–44.


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Bibliography Information
Wace, Henry. Entry for 'Serapion, Penitent of Alexandria'. A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography. 1911.

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