ST. PHILOGONIUS was educated for the law, and appeared at the bar with great success. He was admired for his eloquence, but still more for his integrity and the sanctity of his life. This was considered a sufficient motive for dispensing with the canons, which require some time spent among the clergy before a person be advanced to the highest station in the Church. And so Philogonius was placed in the see of Antioch, upon the death of Vitalis in 318.
When Arius broached his heresies at Alexandria in 318, St. Alexander condemned him, and sent the sentence in a synodal letter to St. Philogonius, who strenuously defended the Catholic faith before the assembly of the Council of Nice. In the storms which were raised against the Church, first by Maximin II, and afterward by Licinius, St. Philogonius deserved the title of Confessor; he died in the year 322, the fifth of his episcopal dignity.
Reflection.—St. Philogonius had so perfectly renounced the world, and crucified its inordinate desires in his heart, that he received in this life the earnest of Christ’s Spirit, was admitted to the sacred council of the heavenly King, and had free access to the Almighty. A soul must here learn the heavenly spirit, and be well versed in the occupations of the blessed, that hopes to reign with them hereafter.