Ruffinus

, orRUFINUS, a very celebrated priest of Aquileia, called by some Toranius, was born about the middle of the fourth century, at Concordia, a small city in Italy. He retired to a monastery in Aquileia, and devoted himself wholly to reading and meditating on the sacred scriptures and the writings of the holy fathers. St. Jerome passing that way became much attached to him, and vowed an indissoluble friendship. When St. Jerome retired into the east some years after, Ruffinus, inconsolable for their separation, resolved to quit Aquileia in search of his friend. He accordingly embarked for Egypt, visited the hermits who inhabited the deserts, and having been told much of the chamy of St. Melania the elder, had the satisfaction of seeing ner at Alexandria, where he went to hear the celebrated Didymus. The piety which Melania observed in | Ruffinus induced her to make him her confident, which he continued to be while they remained iti the East, which was about thirty years. But the Arians, who ruled in the reign of Valens, raised a cruel persecution against Ruffinus, cast him into a dungeon, and loaded him with chains, where he suffered the torments of hunger and thirst, and they afterwards banished him to the most desolate part of Palestine. Melania ransomed him, with several other exiles, and returned to Palestine with him. It was at this period, that St. Jerome, supposing Ruffinus would go directly to Jerusalem, wrote to a friend in that city to congratulate him on the occasion, in the following terms: “You will see the marks of holiness shine in the person of Ruffinus, whereas I am but his dust. It is enough for my weak eyes to support the lustre of his virtues. He has lately been further purified in the crucible of persecution, and is now whiter than snow, while I am defiled with all manner of sins.Ruffinus built a monastery on mount Olivet, converted numbers of sinners, re-united to the church above 400 solitaries, who had engaged in the schism of Antioch, and persuaded several Macedonians and Arians to renounce their errors. He, at the same time, translated such Greek books as appeared to him the most interesting; but his translations of Origen’s works, particularly “the Book of principles,” occasioned that rupture between him and St. Jerome, which made so much noise in the church, and so deeply afflicted St. Augustine, and all the great men of their time. Ruffinus was cited to Rome by pope Anastatius, who is said to have condemned his translation of “the Book of principles.” Being accused of heresy, he published some very orthodox apologies, which discover great ingenuity. His chief plea was, “That he meant to be merely a translator, without undertaking to support or defend any thing reprehensible in Origen’s works.” He went afterwards into 'Sicily, and died there about the year 410. He translated from Greek into Latin, “Josephus;” “The Ecclesiastical History,” by Eusebius, to which he added, two books; several of Origen’s writings, with his “Apology” by St. Pamphilius; ten of St. Gregory of Nazianzen’s Discourses, and eight of St. Basil’s, in all which he has been accused of taking great liberties, and in some of them acknowledges it. He has also left a Tract in defence of Origen; two “Apologies” against St. Jerome; “Commentaries” on Jacob’s Benedictions, on | Hosea, Joel, and Amos; several “Lives of the Fathers of the desert,” and “An Exposition of the Creed,” which has always been valued. His works were printed at Paris, 1580, fol.; but the “Commentary on the Psalms,” which bears his name, was not written by him. The abbe“Gervase has published a” Life of Ruffinus," 2 vols. 12mo. 1

1 Cave, vol. I.Dupin,-—Moreri, —Saxii Onomast.