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Chapter XVII.—Of the death of the great Athanasius and the election of Petrus.

At Alexandria, Athanasius the victorious, after all his struggles, each rewarded with a crown, received release from his labours and passed away to the life which knows no toil. Then Peter, a right excellent man, received the see. His blessed predecessor had first selected him, and every suffrage alike of the clergy and of men of rank and office concurred, and all the people strove to show their delight by their acclamations. He had shared the heavy labours of Athanasius; at home and abroad he had been ever at his side, and with him had undergone manifold perils. Wherefore the bishops of the neighbourhood hastened to meet; and those who dwelt in schools of ascetic discipline left them and joined the company, and all joined in begging that Peter might be chosen to succeed to the patriarchal chair of Athanasius.728728    “The discussions about the year of his death may be considered as practically closed; the Festal Index, although its chronology is sometimes faulty, confirming the date of 373, given in the Maffeian fragment. The exact day, we may believe, was Thursday, May 2, on which day of the month Athanasius is venerated in the Western Church. He had sat on the Alexandrian throne forty-six complete years. He died tranquilly in his own house.” Canon Bright in Dict. Christ. Biog. S.V.


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