The Vatican newspaper reported Tuesday that 29 previously unpublished homilies said to be the work of one of the most important and prolific early church fathers have been discovered in a German library.
The 3rd Century theologian Origen of Alexandria is considered to have played a critical role in the development of Christian thought. Pope Benedict XVI, himself a theologian, dedicated two of his 2007 weekly church teaching sessions to the importance of Origen's life and work.
Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano said that despite Origen's importance, few of his original texts remain in part because he was condemned by the Ecumenical Council of Constantinople in 553.
The newspaper said an Italian scholar, Marina Molin Pradel, discovered the homilies in the Bavarian State Library in April while reading an 11th Century Byzantine code. She noticed that some homilies were similar to a Latin translation of Origen's work. After further study, the newspaper said, she concluded the originals were his.
The library did not immediately respond to emails seeking comment Tuesday.