ST. QUADRATUS, BISHOP OF ATHENS, C.
HE was a disciple of the apostles, inherited their
spirit and gifts, and by his miracles and labors exceedingly
propagated the faith, as Eusebius1 testifies; who calls him a divine
man, and assures us that he was endued with an eminent gift of
prophecy, and was one of those by whom the Holy Ghost continued to
work the same miracles as by the apostles. St. Publius, the immediate
successor of St. Dionysius the Areopagite, being crowned with
martyrdom under Adrian, in the year 125, St. Quadratus was placed in
that episcopal chair. By his qualifications in polite literature, he
was esteemed by the heathens as a great ornament to their city, then
the seat of the muses; and by his zeal and piety he assembled the
faithful together, whom the terrors of the persecution had scattered,
and rekindled the fire of their faith, which had begun in many to be
extinguished, says St. Jerom. The emperor Adrian passed the winter at
Athens, in 124, and was initiated in the mysteries of the goddess
Eleusina.† The persecution which then raged grew much sharper
on the occasion of this superstitious festival.* St. Quadratus,
thirsting after martyrdom, wrote an apology for our holy faith, which
he presented to that emperor some time after the martyrdom of St.
Publius, and his own exaltation to the episcopal dignity,
consequently in 126. St. Jerom testifies, that this performance
procured him the highest applause, even among the heathens, and that
it extinguished a violent persecution.2 He calls it, A very
profitable book, and worthy the apostolical doctrine, &c.
Eusebius tells us that it was an excellent monument of the talents
and apostolical faith of the author. On which account its loss is
much to be regretted. In a fragment of this work, preserved us by
Eusebius, St. Quadratus shows the difference between the impostures
of magicians, and the true miracles of Christ, and that the former
were false, but the latter real, because they were permanent. “But
as to the miracles of our Saviour,” says he, “they always
remained, because they were real and true. The sick cured, and the
dead by him raised, did not only appear restored, but they remained
so both while Christ was on earth and long after he was departed, so
that some of them have come down to our time.” See Eusebius,
Hist. b. 3, c. 37; b. 4, ch. 3; b. 5, ch. 10; St. Jerom, Catal. c.
19, et ep. 84; Tillemont, t. 2, p. 253; Grabe, Spicileg. Patr. Præf.
in fragm. Quadrati.