The scion of a noble Anatolian family, St. Gregory was born, probably at Constantinople, c. 1296. After his father's death, he became a monk, as did several members of his family. He entered a monastery on Mt. Athos and followed the rule of St. Basil. He lived on Athos in solitude for most of the following twenty years. In the 1330's, he began to defend the practice of hesychasm against the attacks of people like Barlaam of Calabria, who denied, among other things, that the light of Tabor which hesychasts experience is the uncreated light. Athough the 1341 council of Constantinople upheld Gregory's teachings about theosis, he was excommunicated in 1344. Three years later, he was consecrated bishop of Thessaloniki. Because hesychasm had come to have political as well as theological associations, the choice was not popular, and he entered his see with the aid of the Byzantine emperor. The Turks captured Gregory in 1354 and kept him captive for a year. He died in 1359. Gregory believes that although God is ultimately unknowable, man can experience his energies through the sacraments and mystical experience, which are possible because of the Incarnation of Christ. The practice of the Jesus prayer opens one to God's energies.
St. Rita was born at Spoleto, Italy in 1381. At an early age, she begged her parents to allow her to enter a convent. Instead they arranged a marriage for her. Rita became a good wife and mother, but ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
Little is known of her life, and the information was received by private revelation from her. Martyred at about age 14 in the early days of the Church. In 1802 the remains of a young woman were found in the catacomb of Saint Priscilla on the Via Salaria. It was ... continue readingMore Female Saints
St. Michael the Archangel - Feast day - September 29th The name Michael signifies "Who is like to God?" and was the warcry of the good angels in the battle fought in heaven against satan and his followers. Holy Scripture describes St. Michael as "one of the chief ... continue reading
The name Gabriel means "man of God," or "God has shown himself mighty." It appears first in the prophesies of Daniel in the Old Testament. The angel announced to Daniel the prophecy of the seventy weeks. His name also occurs in the apocryphal book of Henoch. He was the ... continue reading
St. Catherine of Alexandria, Virgin and Martyr whose feast day is November 25th. She is the patroness of philosophers and preachers. St. Catherine is believed to have been born in Alexandria of a ... continue reading
By Justin Soutar
During his visit to the United States this coming September, Pope Francis will canonize Blessed Junipero Serra, the heroic 'Apostle of California.' Once that happens, the Golden State will have its own patron saint and the Church will have another great missionary role ... continue readingMore Christian Saints & Heroes