Saint Optatus, also known as Optatus of Milevis, or Saint Optate, is a revered Catholic saint who is venerated for his contribution to the Church as a bishop, theologian, and defender of the faith. He was born in Numidia, North Africa, in the mid-4th century, and his birthdate is estimated to be around 350 AD. Although not much is known of his life, most believe that he was a convert from paganism.
Optatus became a bishop of Milevis, a city in modern-day Algeria, in 370 AD, and he is known for his passionate defense of the Catholic faith against the Donatist heresy, a schismatic movement that plagued North Africa during his time. Optatus wrote extensively against the Donatists, and his works were instrumental in refuting their claims and affirming the Catholic doctrine.
Saint Optatus' major life event was his defense of the Catholic faith against the Donatists. He authored several treatises, including "Against the Donatists" and "On the Schism of the Donatists," which eloquently exposed the errors of the Donatist belief system and defended the Catholic Church's position.
One interesting fact about Optatus is that he was a contemporary and acquaintance of Saint Augustine of Hippo, another celebrated Church Father of the time. Augustine even mentions Optatus in his writings, noting his theological prowess and the esteem in which he was held by his contemporaries.
Optatus died around 386 AD, and his feast day is celebrated on June 4th. He was canonized as a saint by the Catholic Church, and his works continued to be highly regarded by theologians and scholars throughout the centuries.
In addition to being the patron saint of Milevis, Saint Optatus is also considered the patron saint of those who defend the faith against heresy and schism. His teachings and writings continue to inspire and inform Catholics and non-Catholics alike, and his life serves as a shining example of faith, courage, and dedication.