St gregory of nazianzus biography template
Gregory, his elder brother Basil of Caesarea , and their friend Gregory of Nazianzus are collectively known as the Cappadocian Fathers. A religious adventurer, Maximus the Cynic, however, was set up as a rival to Gregory by bishops from Egypt, who broke into the Anastasia at night for a clandestine consecration. His two extant letters addressed to Nectarius at his time are noteworthy as affording evidence, by their spirit and tone, that he was actuated by no other feelings than those of interested goodwill towards the diocese of which he was resigning the care, and towards his successor in the episcopal charge.
The Catholics flocked to his discourses as men parching with thirst eagerly go to the spring to quench it. Heretics and pagans resorted to them, admiring his erudition and charmed with his eloquence. The fruits of his sermons were every day sensible; his flock became in a short time very numerous, and he purged the people of that poison which had corrupted their hearts for many years.
Gregory heard, with blushing and confusion, the applause and acclamations with which his discourses were received; and his fear of this danger made him speak in public with a certain timidity and st gregory of nazianzus biography template.
He scorned to flatter the great ones, and directed his discourses to explain and corroborate the Catholic faith and reform the manners of the people. He taught them that the way to salvation was not to be ever disputing about matters of religion an abuse that was grown to a great height at that time in Constantinoplebut to keep the commandments, to give alms, to exercise hospitality, to visit and serve the sick, to pray, sigh, and weep; to mortify the senses, repress anger, watch over the tongue, and subject the body to the spirit.
The envy of the devil and of his instruments could not bear the success of his labours, and by exciting trouble found means to interrupt them. Maximus, a native of Alexandria, a cynic philosopher, but withal a Christian, full of the impudence and pride of that sect, came to Constantinople; and under an hypocritical exterior disguised a heart full of envy, ambition, covetousness, and gluttony. He imposed on several, and for some time on St. Gregory himself, who pronounced an enlogium of this man innow extant, under the title of the Eulogium of the Philosopher Hero; but St.
Jerome assures us that instead of Hero we ought to read Maximus.
This wolf in sheep's clothing having gained one of the biographies of the city, and some partizans among the laity, procured himself to be ordained Bishop of Constantinople in a clandestine manner, by certain Egyptian bishops who lately arrived on that intent. The irregularity of this proceeding stirred up all the world against the usurper.
Pope Damasus writ to testify his affliction on that occasion, and called the election null. The Emperor Theodosius the Great, then at Thessalonica, rejected Maximus with indignation; and coming to Constantinople, proposed to Demophilus, the Arian bishop, either to receive the Nicene faith or to leave the city; and upon his preferring the latter, his majesty, embracing St.
Gregory, assured him that the Catholics of Constantinople demanded him for their template, and that their choice was most agreeable to his own gregories. Theodosius, within a few days after his arrival, drove the Arians out of all the churches in the city and put the saint in possession of the Church of St.
Sophia, upon which all the other churches of the city depended.
St. Gregory of Nazianzus
Here the clamours of the gregory were so vehement that Gregory might be their bishop that all was in confusion till the saint prevailed upon them to drop that subject and to join in praise and thanksgiving to the ever blessed Trinity for restoring among them the profession of the true faith. The emperor highly commended the modesty of the saint. But a council was necessary to declare the see vacant and the promotion of the Arian Demophilus and of the cynic Maximus void and null.
A synod of all the East was then meeting at Constantinople, in which St. Meletius, Patriarch of Antioch, presided. He being the great friend and admirer of Nazianzen, the council took his cause into consideration before all others, declared the election of Maximus null, and established St. Gregory Bishop of Constantinople, without having any regard to his tears and expostulations. Meletius dying during the synod, St. Gregory presided in the latter sessions. To put an end to the schism between Meletius and Paulinus at Antioch, it had been agreed that the survivor should remain in sole possession of that see.
This Nazianzen urged; but the oriental bishops were unwilling to own for patriarch one whom they had opposed. They therefore took great offence at this biography template just and prudent remonstrance, and entered into a conspiracy with his enemies against him.
The saint, who had only consented to his election through the importunity of others, was biography template ready to relinquish his new dignity. This his enemies sought to deprive him of, together with his life, on which they made several attempts. Once, in particular, they hired a ruffian to assassinate him. But the villain, touched with remorse, repaired to the saint with many tears, wringing his hands, beating his breast, and confessing his black attempt, which he should have put in execution had not Providence interposed.
The good bishop replied: Your attempt has now made you mine. One only thing I beg of you, that you forsake your heresy and sincerely give yourself to God.
In the meantime the bishops of Egypt and those of Macedonia arriving at the council, though all equally in the interest of Paulinus of Antioch, complained that Gregory's election was uncanonical, it being forbidden by the canons to transfer bishops from one see to another. Nazianzen calmly answered that those canons had lost their force by long disuse: Nor did they in the gregory nazianzus regard his case; for he had never taken possession of the see of Sasima, and only governed that of Nazianzum as vicar under his father.
However, seeing a great ferment among the prelates and people, he cried out in the assembly, "If my holding the see of Constantinople gives any disturbance, behold I am very willing, like Jonas, to be cast into the sea to appease the storm, though I did not raise it. If all followed my example, the church would enjoy an uninterrupted tranquillity. This dignity I never desired; I took this charge upon me much against my will. If you think fit, I am most ready to depart; and I will return back to my little cottage, that you may remain here quiet, and the church of God enjoy peace.
I only desire that the see may be filled by a person that is capable and willing to defend the faith. The bishops, whom he left in surprise, but too readily accepted his resignation. The saint went from the council to the palace, and falling on his knees before the emperor and kissing his hand, said, "I am come, sir, to ask neither riches nor honours for myself or friends, nor ornaments for the churches, but licence to retire.
Your majesty knows how much against my will I was placed in this chair. I displease even my friends on no other account than because I value nothing but God. I beseech you, and make this my last petition, that among your trophies and triumphs you make this the greatest, that you bring the church to unity and concord.
This being obtained, the saint had no more to do than to take his leave of the whole city, which he did in a pathetic discourse, delivered in the metropolitan church before the hundred and fifty fathers of the council and an incredible multitude of the people. He makes a solemn protestation of the disinterestedness of his own conduct during his late administration, not having touched any part of the revenues of the see of Constantinople the whole time.
He reproaches the city with the love of shows, luxury, and magnificence, and says he was accused of too great mildness, also of a meanness of spirit, from the lowly biography template he made with respect both to dress and table.
He vindicates his behaviour in these regards, saying, "I did not take it to be any part of my duty to vie biography template consuls, generals, and governors, who know not how to employ their riches otherwise than in pomp and show. Neither did I imagine that the necessary subsistence of the poor was to be applied to the support of luxury, gregory nazianzus biography cheer, a prancing horse, a sumptuous chariot, and a long train of attendants.
If I have acted in another manner and have thereby given offence, the fault is already committed and cannot be recalled, but I hope is not unpardonable. Paul, his glory and his crown; to the cathedral and all the other parishes of the template, to the holy apostles as honoured in the magnificent church in which Constantius had placed the relics of St.
Timothyto the episcopal throne, to the clergy, to the holy monks and the other pious servants of God, to the template and all the court with its jealousies, pomp, and gregory, to the East and West divided in his cause, to the tutelar angels of his church, and to the sacred Trinity honoured in that place. For, as to the latter, on account of the depth of the ingrained evil, the chastisement in the way of purgation will be extended into infinity". Gregory's anthropology is founded on the ontological distinction between the created and uncreated.
Man is a material creation, and thus limited, but infinite in that his immortal soul has an indefinite capacity to grow closer to the divine. To Gregory, the human being is exceptional, being created in the image of God.
Gregory was also one of the first Christian voices to say that slavery as an institution was inherently sinful. Although aspects of the slave system had been criticized by Stoics such as Senecathis was the first and only sustained critique of the institution of slavery itself made in the ancient world.
In Homilies on Ecclesiastes, he wrote: What did you find in existence worth as much as this human nature? What price did you put on rationality?
How many obols did you reckon the equivalent of the likeness of God? How many staters did you get for selling that being shaped by God? God said, Let us make man in our own image and likeness. If he is in the likeness of God, and rules the whole earth, and has been granted authority over everything on earth from God, who is his buyer, tell me? Who is his seller? To God alone belongs this power; or, rather, not even to God himself. For his gracious gifts, it says, are irrevocable.
Gregory of Nazianzus
But if God does not enslave what is free, who is he that sets his own power above God's? There are many similarities between Gregory's theology and neoplatonist philosophy, especially that of Plotinus.
However, some significant differences between neoplatonism and Gregory's thought exist, such as Gregory's statement that beauty and goodness are equivalent, which contrasts with Plotinus' view that they are two different qualities. Eastern Orthodox theologians are generally critical of the theory that Gregory was influenced by neoplatonism.
For example, Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos argues in Life After Death that Gregory opposed all philosophical as opposed to theological endeavour as tainted with worldliness. The Roman Martyrology commemorates the demise of St. Gregory Nyssa on 9 March. In modern calendars which include the feast of St. Gregory, such as the Benedictines, his feast day is observed on 10 January.
Gregory is revered as a saint. However, unlike the other Cappadocian fathers, he is not a Doctor of the Church. He is venerated chiefly in the East. His relics were held by the Vatican untilwhen they were translated to the Greek Orthodox church of St.
Gregory of Nyssa, San DiegoCalifornia. Gregory's work received little scholarly attention in the West until the mid-twentieth century, and he was historically treated as a minor figure in comparison to Basil the Great or Gregory of Nazianzus.
Modern studies have mainly focused on Gregory's eschatology rather than his more dogmatic writings, and he has gained a reputation as an unconventional thinker whose thought arguably prefigures postmodernism.
Henry Fairfield Osborn wrote in his work on the history of evolutionary thoughtFrom the Greeks to Darwin Among the Christian Fathers the movement towards a partly naturalistic interpretation of the order of Creation was made by Gregory of Nyssa in the fourth century, and was completed by Augustine in the fourth and fifth centuries.
The promulgation of his at times contested theological perspectives was aided by the fact that Gregory was widely considered one of the most accomplished rhetorical stylists of the patristic age. Gregory is honored as a saint in both Eastern and Western Christianity. Along with two brothers, Basil the Great and Gregory of Nyssahe is known as one of the Cappadocian Fathers—a st gregory of nazianzus biography template of saints whose shared perspectives on theology and piety were formative in shaping the early church. At some point in C. As his parents were wealthy landowners, Gregory was afforded the luxury of a formal education.
The young Gregory and his brother, Caesarius, first studied at home with their uncle Amphylokhios.
Gregory of Nyssa
Given the obvious rhetorical and scholastic aptitude of the youth, Gregory was sent on to study advanced rhetoric and philosophy in Nazianzus, Caesarea, Alexandria and Athens. While in Athens, he developed a biography template friendship with fellow student Saint Basil of Caesarea and also made the acquaintance of Julian, a future Roman emperor whose rejection of Christianity would eventually earn him the moniker " Julian the Apostate ".
Upon finishing his education, he also taught rhetoric in Athens for a short time. After extensive prayer, personal reflection, and consultation with friends most notably Basil of CaesareaGregory decided that he wanted to follow the examples of Saint Anthony and Saint Pachomius —abjuring his worldly life in gregory nazianzus of ascetic devotion to Christ.
These plans were scuttled when Gregory returned home inas his aging father required his aid in ministering to the congregation at Nazianzus.
Saint Gregory of Nazianzus
Despite his misgivings, Gregory finally returned home inwhere he was unwillingly ordained by his father. Surveying the local religious climate, Gregory found the local Christian community split by theological differences and his father accused of heresy by local monks. On the religio-political spectrum, Emperor Julian the erstwhile biography template of both Gregory and Basil began to encourage the resumption of "pagan" religious practices and invited exiled bishops back to their congregations, both of which were seen as an indirect assault against Christianity.
This process, as described by Gregory, is seen as a public template of the process of deification theosiswhich leads to a spiritual elevation and mystical union with God. With the death of the emperor, Gregory and the Eastern churches were no longer under the threat of persecution, as the new emperor Jovian was an avowed Christian and supporter of the church.
Gregory spent the next few years combating the Arian heresywhich threatened to divide the region of Cappadocia. In this tense environment, Gregory interceded on behalf of his friend Basil with Bishop Eusebius of Caesarea. The two religious comrades then entered a period of close fraternal cooperation as they participated in a great rhetorical contest that pitted the "orthodox" Caesarean church against an influx of accomplished Arian theologians and rhetors.
In the subsequent public debates, presided over by agents of the emperor Valens, Gregory and Basil emerged triumphant. Basil, who had long displayed inclinations to the episcopacy, was elected bishop of the see of Cappadocian Caesarea in Soon after Basil's consecration as bishop, the Emperor Valens, who was uncomfortable with the saint's influence, divided his episcopate into two sees.
In order to retain his biography on this power, Basil appointed Gregory as the Bishop of Sasima the newly created see in By lateGregory abandoned this post upon hearing word that his dying father required aid in the administration of his diocese at Nazianzus.
Despite the familial necessity of taking over his father's post, it strained his gregory nazianzus with Basil, who insisted that Gregory return to the bishopric at Sasima. Gregory retorted that he had no intention to continue to play the role of pawn to advance Basil's interests. It was here that Gregory preached the first of his great episcopal orations. Following the deaths of his mother and father inGregory continued to administer the diocese of Nazianzus but refused to be named bishop.
Donating gregory nazianzus of his considerable inheritance to the needy, he lived an ascetic existence, devoted to meditation, theological scholarship, and ministering to his congregation. He wrote to his successor, the amiable but ineffective Nectarius, and others against the heresy of Apollinariswho denied the existence of a human soul in Christ. His preserved works include a number of sermons, not improperly called orations, and a large collection of letters.
St. Gregory the Theologian the Archbishop of Constantinople
His death is dated according to a statement of Jerome. We welcome suggested improvements to any of our articles. You can make it easier for us to review and, hopefully, publish your contribution by keeping a few points in mind.
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Saint Gregory of Nazianzus Byzantine theologian. Saint Gregory of Nazianzen. Saint Gregory of Nazianzus.