Marius Victorinus on Baptism


Hey guys I came accross this quote on from Marius Victorinus. It was labeled as evidence from the fathers that Baptism is not necessary for salvation.

Here’s the quote:

“Every mystery which is enacted by our Lord Jesus Christ asks only for faith. The mystery was enacted at that time for our sake and aimed at our resurrection and liberation, should we have faith in the mystery of Christ and in Christ. For the patriarchs prefigured and foretold that man would be justified from faith. Therefore, just as it was reckoned as righteousness to Abraham that he had faith, so we too, if we have faith in Christ and every mystery of his, will be sons of Abraham. Our whole life will be accounted as righteous.”

Now, besides the fact that this quotes says NOTHING about baptism and is only an argument against baptism if we presuppose a conflict between faith in Christ and faith in the Sacraments. I wanted to ask if anyone has any insight into what Marius means by “mystery”. He says “Every mystery which is enacted by Our Lord Jeuss Christ…” and then says we will be reckoned righteous if we have faith in Christ and every mystery of His. I’m no Greek scholar, and Marius is probably writing in latin, but isn’t sacrament and mystery the same word in greek? Could this quote actually backfire? Is Marius actually saying we should have faith in Christ and Christ’s Sacraments?



I do not know the exact context there. But I will note that “mysteries” referred in one sense to the “Sacraments” (though the word is of course used for the other aspects of our Faith -the Mystery of the Holy Trinity, the Paschal Mystery etc–ie to denote revealed truths that where not part of normal reason). It is still used to refer so to the Sacraments - especially among Eastern Catholic Churches and the Eastern Orthodox.


1115 Jesus’ words and actions during his hidden life and public ministry were already salvific, for they anticipated the power of his Paschal mystery. They announced and prepared what he was going to give the Church when all was accomplished. The mysteries of Christ’s life are the foundations of what he would henceforth dispense in the sacraments, through the ministers of his Church, for “what was visible in our Savior has passed over into his mysteries.”

2014 Spiritual progress tends toward ever more intimate union with Christ. This union is called “mystical” because it participates in the mystery of Christ through the sacraments - “the holy mysteries” - and, in him, in the mystery of the Holy Trinity. God calls us all to this intimate union with him, even if the special graces or extraordinary signs of this mystical life are granted only to some for the sake of manifesting the gratuitous gift given to all.

The Sacrament of Baptism - is the Sacrament of Faith.


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