In your manner a participant,
And in your throne a successor of
You discovered action an entrance into visions,
O inspired one of God.
Therefore directing the Word of Truth,
You suffered for the faith even unto blood.
O Bishop and Martyr Irenaues,
Pray to Christ God that our souls may be saved!
(Troparion, Tone 4)
Give perfection to beginners, O Father; give intelligence to
the little ones; give aid to those who are running their course. Give sorrow to
the negligent; give fervor of spirit to the lukewarm. Give to the perfect a
good consummation; for the sake of Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.
(Prayer of Saint Irenaeus)
Pope Benedict XVI March 28, 2007 catechesis on Saint Irenaeus is helpful to read.
We cling to our faith because of the witnesses that go before us, those who point the way to the Lord. Our Catholic faith is born of the faith of another. Therefore, we hold fast to apostolic faith given to us by the Apostles and we in turn pass the orthodox faith onto others. As Irenaeus said, “Hold in suspicion those who depart from the primitive succession” and “those who put forward their own compositions, boasting that they possess more Gospels than there really are.” One interesting note about Saint Irenaeus is that he is the first theologian to insist that we follow the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John because they were trustworthy, and no others.