Gregory the Theologian

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[[Image:Gregory the Theologian.jpg|right|thumb|St. Gregory the Theologian]]
 
[[Image:Gregory the Theologian.jpg|right|thumb|St. Gregory the Theologian]]
Our father among the [[saint]]s '''Gregory the Theologian''', also known as '''Gregory of Nazianzus''' (though that name more appropriately refers to his father) and '''Gregory the Younger''', was a great Father and Teacher of the Church. His [[feast day]] is celebrated on [[January 25]], that of the translation of his [[relics]] on [[January 19]].  With Sts. [[Basil the Great]] and [[John Chrysostom]], he is numbered among the [[Three Holy Hierarchs]] whose feast day is celebrated on [[January 30]]. St. Gregory is also known as one of the [[Cappadocian Fathers]].
+
Our father among the [[saint]]s '''Gregory the Theologian''', also known as '''Gregory of Nazianzus''' (though that name more appropriately refers to his father) and '''Gregory the Younger''', was a great father and teacher of the Church. His [[feast day]] is celebrated on [[January 25]] and that of the [[Translation (relics)|translation]] of his [[relics]] on [[January 19]].  With Sts. [[Basil the Great]] and [[John Chrysostom]], he is numbered among the [[Three Holy Hierarchs]], whose feast day is celebrated on [[January 30]]. St. Gregory is also known as one of the [[Cappadocian Fathers]].
  
 
==Life==
 
==Life==
 
He was born in 329 in Arianzus, a village of the second district of Cappadocia, not far from Nazianzus. His father, who later became [[Bishop]] of Nazianzus, was named [[Gregory Nazianzen the Elder|Gregory]] (commemorated [[January 1|Jan. 1]]), and his mother was named [[Nonna]] ([[August 5|Aug. 5]]); both are among the saints, and so are his brother Caesarius ([[March 9|Mar. 9]]) and his sister [[Gorgonia]] ([[February 23|Feb. 23]]).
 
He was born in 329 in Arianzus, a village of the second district of Cappadocia, not far from Nazianzus. His father, who later became [[Bishop]] of Nazianzus, was named [[Gregory Nazianzen the Elder|Gregory]] (commemorated [[January 1|Jan. 1]]), and his mother was named [[Nonna]] ([[August 5|Aug. 5]]); both are among the saints, and so are his brother Caesarius ([[March 9|Mar. 9]]) and his sister [[Gorgonia]] ([[February 23|Feb. 23]]).
  
At first he studied in Caesarea of Palestine, then in Alexandria, and finally in Athens. As he was sailing from Alexandria to Athens, a violent sea storm put in peril not only his life but also his salvation, since he had not yet been [[baptism|baptized]]. With tears and fervour he besought God to spare him, vowing to dedicate his whole self to Him, and the tempest gave way to calm. At Athens Saint Gregory was later joined by St. [[Basil the Great]], whom he already knew; but now their acquaintanceship grew into a lifelong brotherly love. Another fellow student of theirs in Athens was the young Prince Julian, who later as Emperor was called the [[Apostate]] because he denied Christ and did all in his power to restore paganism. Even in Athens, before Julian had thrown off the mask of piety; St. Gregory saw what an unsettled mind he had, and said, "What an evil the Roman State is nourishing" (Orat. V, 24, PG 35:693).
+
At first he studied in [[Caesarea]] of Palestine, then in Alexandria, and finally in Athens. As he was sailing from Alexandria to Athens, a violent sea storm put in peril not only his life but also his salvation, since he had not yet been [[baptism|baptized]]. With tears and fervor he besought God to spare him, vowing to dedicate his whole self to Him, and the tempest gave way to calm. At Athens St. Gregory was later joined by St. [[Basil the Great]], whom he already knew, but now their acquaintanceship grew into a lifelong brotherly love. Another fellow student of theirs in Athens was the young Prince Julian, who later as emperor was called the [[Apostate]] because he denied Christ and did all in his power to restore paganism. Even in Athens, before Julian had thrown off the mask of piety, St. Gregory saw what an unsettled mind he had, and said, "What an evil the Roman State is nourishing" (Orat. V, 24, PG 35:693).
  
After their studies at Athens, Gregory became Basil's fellow [[ascetic]], living the monastic life together with him for a time in the [[hermit]]ages of Pontus. His father [[ordination|ordained]] him [[presbyter]] of the Church of Nazianzus, and St. Basil consecrated him Bishop of Sasima (or Zansima), which was in the [[archdiocese]] of Caesarea. This consecration was a source of great sorrow to Gregory, and a cause of misunderstanding between him and Basil; but his love for Basil remained unchanged, as can be plainly seen from his ''Funeral Oration on Saint Basil'' (Orat. XLIII).
+
After their studies at Athens, Gregory became Basil's fellow [[ascetic]], living the monastic life together with him for a time in the [[hermit]]ages of Pontus. His father [[ordination|ordained]] him [[presbyter]] of the Church of Nazianzus, and St. Basil consecrated him Bishop of Sasima (or Zansima), which was in the [[archdiocese]] of Caesarea. This consecration was a source of great sorrow to Gregory and a cause of misunderstanding between him and Basil, but his love for Basil remained unchanged, as can be plainly seen from his ''Funeral Oration on Saint Basil'' (Orat. XLIII).
  
About the year 379, Saint Gregory came to the assistance of the [[Church of Constantinople]], which had already been troubled for forty years by the [[Arianism|Arians]]; by his supremely wise words and many labours he freed it from the corruption of [[heresy]], and was elected Archbishop of that city by the [[Second Ecumenical Council]], which assembled there in 381, and condemned Macedonius, Archbishop of Constantinople, as the enemy of the [[Holy Spirit]]. When St. Gregory came to Constantinople, the Arians had taken all the churches and he was forced to serve in a house chapel dedicated to St. Anastasia the [[Martyr]]. From there he began to preach his famous five [[sermon]]s on the [[Trinity]], called the ''Triadica''. When he left Constantinople two years later, the Arians did not have one church left to them in the city. St. Meletius of Antioch (see [[February 12|Feb. 12]]), who was presiding over the Second Ecumenical Council, died in the course of it, and St. Gregory was chosen in his stead; there he distinguished himself in his expositions of dogmatic theology.
+
About the year 379, St. Gregory came to the assistance of the [[Church of Constantinople]], which had already been troubled for forty years by the [[Arianism|Arians]]; by his supremely wise words and many labors he freed it from the corruption of [[heresy]]. He was elected archbishop of that city by the [[Second Ecumenical Council]], which assembled there in 381, and condemned [[Macedonius I of Constantinople|Macedonius]], Archbishop of Constantinople, as an enemy of the [[Holy Spirit]]. When St. Gregory came to Constantinople, the Arians had taken all the churches, and he was forced to serve in a house chapel dedicated to St. Anastasia the [[Martyr]]. From there he began to preach his famous five [[sermon]]s on the [[Trinity]], called the ''Triadica''. When he left Constantinople two years later, the Arians did not have one church left to them in the city. St. Meletius of Antioch (see [[February 12|Feb. 12]]), who was presiding over the Second Ecumenical Council, died in the course of it, and St. Gregory was chosen in his stead; there he distinguished himself in his expositions of dogmatic theology.
  
Having governed the Church until 382, he delivered his farewell speech—the ''Syntacterion'', in which he demonstrated the Divinity of the Son—before 150 bishops and the Emperor [[Theodosius the Great (emperor)|Theodosius the Great]]; in this speech he requested, and received from all, permission to retire from the see of Constantinople. He returned to Nazianzus, where he lived to the end of his life, and reposed in the Lord in 391, having lived some sixty-two years.
+
Having governed the Church until 382, he delivered his farewell speech-the ''Syntacterion'', in which he demonstrated the Divinity of the Son—before 150 bishops and the Emperor [[Theodosius the Great (emperor)|Theodosius the Great]]. Also in this speech he requested, and received from all, permission to retire from the See of Constantinople. He returned to Nazianzus, where he lived to the end of his life. He reposed in the Lord in 391, having lived some sixty-two years.
  
His extant writings, both prose and poems in every type of metre, demonstrate his lofty eloquence and his wondrous breadth of learning. In the beauty of his writings, he is considered to have surpassed the Greek writers of antiquity, and because of his God-inspired theological thought, he received the surname "Theologian." Although he is sometimes called Gregory of Nazianzus, this title belongs properly to his father; he himself is known by the Church only as Gregory the Theologian. He is especially called "Trinitarian [[Theologian]]," since in virtually every homily he refers to the Trinity and the one [[Homoousios|essence]] and nature of the [[Godhead]]. Hence, Alexius Anthorus dedicated the following verses to him:
+
His extant writings, both prose and poems in every type of meter, demonstrate his lofty eloquence and his wondrous breadth of learning. In the beauty of his writings, he is considered to have surpassed the Greek writers of antiquity, and because of his God-inspired theological thought, he received the surname "Theologian." Although he is sometimes called Gregory of Nazianzus, this title belongs properly to his father; he himself is known by the Church only as Gregory the Theologian. He is especially called "Trinitarian [[Theologian]]," since in virtually every homily he refers to the Trinity and the one [[Homoousios|essence]] and nature of the [[Godhead]]. Hence, Alexius Anthorus dedicated the following verses to him:
  
 
:Like an unwandering star beaming with splendour,
 
:Like an unwandering star beaming with splendour,
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:Clothed in this, the Church now cries out to your children, with us,  
 
:Clothed in this, the Church now cries out to your children, with us,  
 
:"Hail Father, the consummate theological mind."
 
:"Hail Father, the consummate theological mind."
 +
 +
{{start box}}
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{{succession |
 +
  before=[[Maximus the Cynic|Maximus]]?|
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  title=[[List of Patriarchs of Constantinople|Archbishop of Constantinople]]|
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  years=379–381|
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  after=[[Nectarius of Constantinople|Nectarius]]}}
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{{end box}}
  
 
== Source ==
 
== Source ==
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*[http://www.comeandseeicons.com/g/pds15.htm Icon and Troparion of St. Gregory of Nazianzos]
 
*[http://www.comeandseeicons.com/g/pds15.htm Icon and Troparion of St. Gregory of Nazianzos]
 
*[http://www.ec-patr.org/list/index.php?lang=en&id=34 Gregory I of Nazianzen] - [[Church of Constantinople]] website   
 
*[http://www.ec-patr.org/list/index.php?lang=en&id=34 Gregory I of Nazianzen] - [[Church of Constantinople]] website   
 +
*[http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf207.toc.html Christian Classics Ethereal Library, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Series II, Vol. VII] Select orations (including the ''Funeral Oration on St. Basil the Great'') and letters written by Gregory
  
 
 
{{start box}}
 
{{succession |
 
  before=[[Maximus of Constantinople|Maximus ]]|
 
  title=[[List of Patriarchs of Constantinople|Archbishop of Constantinople]]|
 
  years=379–381|
 
  after=[[Nectarius of Constantinople|Nectarius]]}}
 
{{end box}}
 
  
  
  
 
[[Category:Bishops]]
 
[[Category:Bishops]]
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[[Category:4th-century bishops]]
 
[[Category:Church Fathers]]
 
[[Category:Church Fathers]]
 
[[Category:Patriarchs of Constantinople]]
 
[[Category:Patriarchs of Constantinople]]
 
[[Category:Saints]]
 
[[Category:Saints]]
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[[Category:Byzantine Saints]]
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[[Category:4th-century saints]]
  
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[[fr:Grégoire le Théologien]]
 
[[mk:Свети Григориј Богослов]]
 
[[mk:Свети Григориј Богослов]]
 
[[ro:Grigorie Teologul]]
 
[[ro:Grigorie Teologul]]

Latest revision as of 11:15, October 22, 2012

St. Gregory the Theologian

Our father among the saints Gregory the Theologian, also known as Gregory of Nazianzus (though that name more appropriately refers to his father) and Gregory the Younger, was a great father and teacher of the Church. His feast day is celebrated on January 25 and that of the translation of his relics on January 19. With Sts. Basil the Great and John Chrysostom, he is numbered among the Three Holy Hierarchs, whose feast day is celebrated on January 30. St. Gregory is also known as one of the Cappadocian Fathers.

Contents

Life

He was born in 329 in Arianzus, a village of the second district of Cappadocia, not far from Nazianzus. His father, who later became Bishop of Nazianzus, was named Gregory (commemorated Jan. 1), and his mother was named Nonna (Aug. 5); both are among the saints, and so are his brother Caesarius (Mar. 9) and his sister Gorgonia (Feb. 23).

At first he studied in Caesarea of Palestine, then in Alexandria, and finally in Athens. As he was sailing from Alexandria to Athens, a violent sea storm put in peril not only his life but also his salvation, since he had not yet been baptized. With tears and fervor he besought God to spare him, vowing to dedicate his whole self to Him, and the tempest gave way to calm. At Athens St. Gregory was later joined by St. Basil the Great, whom he already knew, but now their acquaintanceship grew into a lifelong brotherly love. Another fellow student of theirs in Athens was the young Prince Julian, who later as emperor was called the Apostate because he denied Christ and did all in his power to restore paganism. Even in Athens, before Julian had thrown off the mask of piety, St. Gregory saw what an unsettled mind he had, and said, "What an evil the Roman State is nourishing" (Orat. V, 24, PG 35:693).

After their studies at Athens, Gregory became Basil's fellow ascetic, living the monastic life together with him for a time in the hermitages of Pontus. His father ordained him presbyter of the Church of Nazianzus, and St. Basil consecrated him Bishop of Sasima (or Zansima), which was in the archdiocese of Caesarea. This consecration was a source of great sorrow to Gregory and a cause of misunderstanding between him and Basil, but his love for Basil remained unchanged, as can be plainly seen from his Funeral Oration on Saint Basil (Orat. XLIII).

About the year 379, St. Gregory came to the assistance of the Church of Constantinople, which had already been troubled for forty years by the Arians; by his supremely wise words and many labors he freed it from the corruption of heresy. He was elected archbishop of that city by the Second Ecumenical Council, which assembled there in 381, and condemned Macedonius, Archbishop of Constantinople, as an enemy of the Holy Spirit. When St. Gregory came to Constantinople, the Arians had taken all the churches, and he was forced to serve in a house chapel dedicated to St. Anastasia the Martyr. From there he began to preach his famous five sermons on the Trinity, called the Triadica. When he left Constantinople two years later, the Arians did not have one church left to them in the city. St. Meletius of Antioch (see Feb. 12), who was presiding over the Second Ecumenical Council, died in the course of it, and St. Gregory was chosen in his stead; there he distinguished himself in his expositions of dogmatic theology.

Having governed the Church until 382, he delivered his farewell speech-the Syntacterion, in which he demonstrated the Divinity of the Son—before 150 bishops and the Emperor Theodosius the Great. Also in this speech he requested, and received from all, permission to retire from the See of Constantinople. He returned to Nazianzus, where he lived to the end of his life. He reposed in the Lord in 391, having lived some sixty-two years.

His extant writings, both prose and poems in every type of meter, demonstrate his lofty eloquence and his wondrous breadth of learning. In the beauty of his writings, he is considered to have surpassed the Greek writers of antiquity, and because of his God-inspired theological thought, he received the surname "Theologian." Although he is sometimes called Gregory of Nazianzus, this title belongs properly to his father; he himself is known by the Church only as Gregory the Theologian. He is especially called "Trinitarian Theologian," since in virtually every homily he refers to the Trinity and the one essence and nature of the Godhead. Hence, Alexius Anthorus dedicated the following verses to him:

Like an unwandering star beaming with splendour,
Thou bringest us by mystic teachings, O Father,
To the Trinity's sunlike illumination,
O mouth breathing with fire, Gregory most mighty.

Hymns

Apolytikion: (First Tone)

The pastoral flute of your theology conquered the trumpets of orators.
For it called upon the depths of the Spirit
and you were enriched with the beauty of words.
Intercede to Christ our God,
O Father Gregory, that our souls may be saved.

Kontakion: (Third Tone)

O Glorious One, you dispelled the complexities of orators with the words of your theology.
You have adorned the Church with the vesture of Orthodoxy woven from on high.
Clothed in this, the Church now cries out to your children, with us,
"Hail Father, the consummate theological mind."
Succession box:
Gregory the Theologian
Preceded by:
Maximus?
Archbishop of Constantinople
379–381
Succeeded by:
Nectarius
Help with box



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