St.Irenaeus was born about the year 125, in one of those maritime provinces of Asia Minor where the memory of the apostles was still cherished and where Christians were numerous. He was most influenced by St. Polycarp who had known the apostles or their immediate disciples. Irenaeus came to serve as a priest under its first bishop, St. Pothinus, an oriental like himself to the church of Lyon.In the year 177, Irenaeus was sent to Rome.It was the spread of gnosticism (the doctrine of salvation by knowledge) in Gaul, and the ravages it was making among the Christians of his diocese, that inspired him to undertake the task of exposing its errors. He produced a treatise in five books in which he sets forth fully the inner doctrines of the various sects, and afterwards contrasts them with the teaching of the Apostles and the text of the Holy Scripture. His work, written in Greek but quickly translated to Latin, was widely circulated and succeeded in dealing a death-blow to gnosticism. The date of death of St. Irenaeus is not known, but it is believed to be in the year 202. The bodily remains of St. Irenaeus were buried in a crypt under the altar of what was then called the church of St. John, but was later known by the name of St. Irenaeus himself. This tomb or shrine was destroyed by the Calvinists in 1562, and all trace of his relics seems to have perished.
It is not thou that shapest God. it is God that shapest thee. If thou art the work of God await the hand of the artist, who does all things in due season. Offer Him thy heart, soft and tractable, and keep the form in which the artist has fashioned thee. Let thy clay be moist, lest thou grow hard and lose the imprint of his fingers