Today Christians Celebrate the Feast of St. Gregory of Nyssa

St Gregory of NyssaSt. Gregory of Nyssa (330-395) –Image: 1 Timothy 3:15@Twitter

(Franciscan Media) The son of two Saints, Basil the Elder and Emilia of Caesarea young Gregory was raised by his older brother St. Basil the Great and sister, Marcinia in modern day Turkey.

Gregory’s success in his studies, suggested that great things were ahead for him. After becoming a professor of rhetoric, he was persuaded to devote his learning and efforts to the church.

By then married, Gregory went on to study for the Priesthood and become Ordained–that was at a time when celibacy was not a matter of law for priests.

Gregory was elected Bishop of Nyssa in 372, a period of great tension over the Arianism heresy , which denied the Divinity of Jesus Christ. Arrested after being falsely accused of embezzling Church funds, Gregory was restored to his See in 378, an act met with great joy.

It was after the death of Fr. Gregory’s beloved brother Basil, that Gregory really came into his own. Gregory wrote with great effectiveness against Arianism and other questionable doctrines, gaining a reputation as a defender of orthodoxy.

Gregory was subsequently sent on missions to counter other heresies and held a position of prominence at the ‘Council of Constantinople’ his fine reputation stayed with him for the rest of his life but over the centuries it gradually declined as the authorship of his writings became less-and-less certain but thanks to the work of scholars in the 20th century, his stature is once again appreciated.

Indeed, St. Gregory of Nyssa is seen not simply as a pillar of orthodoxy but as one of the great contributors to the mystical tradition in Christian spirituality and to monasticism itself.

More here on St. Gregory of Nyssa from EWTN

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