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Dogma: Saint Theophrastus, the first Rector of the Lyceum

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Saint Theophrastus, the first Rector of the Lyceum

The child prodigy

In the year 371 before Christos, Tyrtame was born the son of Yiorgos and Elenitsa in the town of Erese on the island of Lesbos. The young child quickly showed great development, he walked before the other children, he said his first words at the age of eight months before his astonished parents. They were even more surprised that his first words were: "God." From an early age, Tyrtame was tutored by Petros. Petros was talented and he taught writing, mathematics and scientific foundations. Petros had never seen as good a student and remained amazed to see how easily the boy assimilated knowledge.

Petros, who had some knowledge of Athens, proposed to the parents of the young prodigy to take him to Athens so that he could have the best teaching. Yiorgos and Elenitsa and had knew that for Tyrtame to develop his full potential he would need to go. They thus decided to let him leave the family home with his tutor, Petros. Tyrtame and his tutor, became friends as they journeyed into the great city of Athens. Petros thought it appropriate to present his young student at Plato's Academy, although it normally required an excellent reference to get in, he knew that the talent of the young child would leap out at the eyes of teachers.

The academy and knowledge

Luck was with the young Tyrtame, despite his working-class origins, he was chosen to join the ranks of the academy. Attracted by the talent of the young man, Plato himself came to see the phenomenon. So he attended the master at the gym, thus getting to know the philosophy and his knowledge.

It is in this mecca that Tyrtame met Aristotle. The young man was overwhelmed by the oratory of the prophet, he listened to his words and teachings so that he understood better than anyone. Aristotle quickly noticed the predisposition of the young man and gave him lessons in private, telling him how he had heard God as a young child. Tyrtame learned and understood many things in this world, he discussed constantly with his masters, Plato and Aristotle. They both witnessed first hand that, the young man was very good, was an excellent speaker and sharp of wit.

When the time came for the conflict between Plato and his disciple Aristotle about "The copy of Ideas", Tyrtame remained stunned at seeing how this was a devasting blow to Aristotle the philosopher. He found the evidence with which Aristotle had demonstrated the uniqueness of God, and he decided to leave the academy to follow the prophet. With the approval of his master, Plato, he left Athens. He had learned a lot and had developed many talents, including that of botanical science and he spent many hours studying plants of all kinds. But what still prevailed, was his love of theology. He felt drawn to this science as an insect is drawn to the light, he had to find the answers to his questions and follow Aristotle, for only then would his thirst for knowledge be satisfied.

The Lyceum, Aristotle, and theology

Tyrtame landed on the coast of Troas at Axos, not far from Athens, where Aristotle had founded the Lyceum and taught theology to his many followers. He then invested heavily in the study of this new science, listening to long speeches of the prophet on the unique nature of God, virtue and friendship. Tyrtame thus became the best disciple and friend of Aristotle, who saw in him a great future. Often Aristotle and Trytame could be found together talking:

Tyrtame: - "Master, we know that God is one, he is the engine of the world and the cosmic order of the universe, but if we are children, our essence is divine, are we not the instrument. His will? "

Aristotle: - "You see my friend, God is the one who sees all, hears all, and it was his will to create us and this earth. He gave us what we have to meet our needs, but, has He decided to impose his will? Did He want to force us to love him? "

Tyrtame: - "Certainly not, he asked you to enlighten mankind of His own nature."

Aristotle: - "And why this choice? Why did it not simply appear to man?"

Tyrtame: - "The Almighty has chosen you among men because you are not divine. The choice was left to the care of a man to guide others. For this choice, He gave us freedom.. believe in your words and, ultimately, to believe in Him. "

Aristotle: -
'You're right my dear friend, If God had imposed on men, then we would not have been men, we would have been like the sheep who blindly follows. That He has left us the will to choose proves that He believes in us, and therefore, He sees us as His children and are able to learn and understand. "

Tyrtame thus became indispensable as a voice of the prophet, broadcasting and transmitting what he learned to scholars in Greek circles. In Athens, he studied deeply at the Lyceum, and his classmates saw him for the prodigy he had always been. Tyrtame made numerous trips through Greece, also traveling as far as Thebes and Corinth. Each time, his lectures and speeches on the Most High had the support and full attention of his listeners. The Clarity, conciseness and accuracy of his statements were always noticed, and they saw him as a kind of apostle of Aristotle, who was now seen as the prophet of the Most High. Tyrtame was much appreciated by Aristotle, and he was moved by the charm of his speech. In return, the latter gave him the name of Theophrastus, which means Divine Speaker in Greek. The young man grew in stature and his reputation rose to such heights that only the prophet enjoyed even greater recognition.

Theophrastus remained in Greece when the prophet left Athens with his pupil Alexander to conquer the world. He was appointed teacher of Aristotle, and was in charge of training young disciples the word of God as revealed by Aristotle. This lasted for several years and he taught and grew the divine love in the heart of Greek faithful through the words of the prophet and his teachings.

The succession of the Prophet

Aristotle returned to Greece, aged sixty years, he had traveled far with Alexander and was exhausted. In the meantime, Theophrastus had perfectly managed the Lyceum and the Prophet could only recognize, once again, the talent, enthusiasm, and thoroughness of his disciple.

Alexander had died a few months ago and there was already raging a conspiracy to divide the unified territories. Many people everywhere and on the outskirts of Athens, held Aristotle responsible. They accused him of having encouraged Alexander to ever more conquests. Those who wanted to preserve the worship of Greek gods attacked him, burning his house, bursting the eyes of his son, Nicomachus. Exhausted and tired, the old man preferred to leave the area and moved to Chalcis to live the rest of his life.

However, He did not forget to appoint his successor, and Theophrastus was officially appointed Rector in -322. Although he was devastated by the departure of Aristotle and the way that his enemies called him, Theophrastus decided to fight for the survival of the prophet's message. He Promised to fight and it was a struggle at all times against the advocates of polytheism, so he often took to speaking in public place to trample their theories and spread the word of Aristotle.

Theophrastus: -
"My friends, do not you see that these men are deceiving. They persecute the prophet, and with violence, they seek to silence. They say that the gods are angry, that Zeus, Hades and Pluto and others smash our land to punish us for believing in one God. These are trifles and rubbish!! Aristotle showed, there can be only one God, unique, omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent. Its what made us, it is what surrounds us. If they refuse to see the truth, it is only because they are among the sheep in the mob. The power of the mob stopped when was proved the uniqueness of the Most High by Aristotle. The mob lost this parcel of control they had over us and it follows that they are frustrated. For too long we have listened to their nonsense, too long we have given offerings and money to the polytheistic priests. Today we know because God has sent his message by the voice of Aristotle. The Almighty gave us the choice to believe in Him, yet the polytheistic priests impose their gods by hatred and injustice, removing you of this choice. Do not listen to their hollow speeches, do not agree with their rhetoric because it is treacherous and spiteful. "

The more Theophrastus spoke to the common people, the more they refuted the existence of many gods. Long scholarly lectures by the Rector had a huge impact on the Greeks, especially because of his oratory talent. He disconstructed the arguments of the Greek Priests who believed in Many Gods, demonstrating clearly how God revealed himself to Aristotle and how each was a part of God in him.

Aristotle had received word of performance of his successor and told his son that now, hope was born and no one could ever erase what had been done.

When he died, Theophrastus was struck by grief, and he vowed to maintain the Aristotle legacy and his work for ever and ever. He wrote his memoirs which were published and circulated, in among the memories were the many dialogues that the two men had shared.

The Rector then seemed to have an aura about him, his style of preaching had much grandeur and finesse, and his mind was so subtle and a thorough knowledge of theology. He attracted more and more followers to the Lyceum so it was not uncommon to see him teach over a thousand students. The Lyceum became a must for anyone wanting to learn theology and understand the message that Aristotle had issued to humanity. With the greatest fervor, Theophrastus used what he had learned. More importantly, he extended to all classes of people the message of the Almighty, accepting students from all walks of life, preferring to educate rather than forming a cultural elite of theologian.

For over twenty years, Theophrastus is spread the idea that God was one, explaining what virtue and friendship, showing that man was endowed with a mind and a soul. His many students relayed his teachings all over Greece, allowing the belief in the Almighty to spread and take root deeper into the heart of the people.

Then came Antiochus, son of Seleucus, the friend of Alexander and Aristotle, whose reputation for devotion and virtue had spread from Syria to Greece. There were many among the scholars, who thought Antiochus was the new prophet.

Theophrastus had heard of this brilliant young man, who was so convincing and Religious. He also knew that Nicomachus, the son of the Prophet, was his tutor. He decided to go in person to meet Antiochus, to get to know the one who had the favor of Aristotle. He returned from Syria, asserting that he had met a great man, wise and an expert theologian. The two kept in touch, meeting a few times but normally exchanging regular letters. Antiochus learned from Theophrastus and the Rector learned from Antiochus. So it was until the death of the Rector.

The last days of the Scholar

Theophrastus was Rector the School for thirty-four long years, years during which he trained many disciples including one in particular that caught his attention - Strato of Lampsacus.

When Theophrastus wrote his will, he asked earnestly that Strato be his successor. He had great confidence in the gifted student, who had come to Athens partly to teach the Alexandria court to King Ptolemy II.

The Rector during those long years, had managed to reduce and weaken the the polytheistic cult that was poisoning Greece, he managed the School and formed a generation of theologians and devout followers of the one God. He wrote many books on Aristotle but also on his life and teaching of theology. He had tremendous prestige among the Greeks who saw him as a wise and good man, a worthy successor of Aristotle. During the last months of his life, the Rector bustled to finish his work by completing the writings he had not finished. He donated the money he had amassed to the Lyceum with the aim of promulgating the message of the prophet.

It is at the advanced age of eighty-three years that Theophrastus died in his sleep, with a public who venerated him. In honor of his memory, philosophers and scholars of the School of Athens declared a period of mourning. Theophrastus had been visited by the greatest men of his time, and they all paid tribute a final tribute. His body was buried in Athens, in a small square with an olive tree planted over his grave. The tree gave good fruit early, and some saw this as a sign of the power of the Divine Speaker.

Translated from the Greek by Bishop Bender.B.Rodriguez into French
and the into English by Cardinal Teagan July 1461

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