It is also the feast of Saint Victorinus, the bishop of a Pannonian city which is now known as Ptuj, Slovenia. Through reading about him, I learned a new word today: chiliastic.
|Victorinus with martyr's sword|
It is from reading about his work on the Apocalypse that I picked up the adjective chiliastic. Chiliasm, as I understand it, was the controversial doctrine that the reign of God (following the Apocalypse) would last one thousand years. A chiliad is a unit of 1000, just as a myriad is a unit of 10,000. Marcion apparently advocated this, and I am sure he had some chapter and verse he could point to in support. Other theologians, Victorinus included, rejected this view in favor of an eternal kingdom of God. They too probably had chapter and verse on their side; certainly something led the folks at the Council of Nicea to include the line, and His kingdom shall have no end.
Jerome says he was martyred. Folks generally assumed that if you were a martyr from the third century, Diocletian got you, but modern scholarship suggests that Numerian took him down instead. Either way, it might not have distressed him as much as having some of his works listed by Pope Gelasius I as apocrypha, i.e. not free of error and therefore anathematized as doctrine. Maybe that sounds worse than it is, since nobody tried to de-canonize him. In fact, I hope his sainthood is recognized for another chiliad or until the Day of Judgment, whichever comes first.