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.
The writings of St. Irenaeus entitle him to a high place among the fathers of the Church, for they not only laid the foundations of Christian theology but, by exposing and refuting the errors of the ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
Emma was a relative of Emperor St. Henry II and also known as Hemma. She was raised at Henry's court by St. Cunegund, and according to legend was married to Landgrave William of Friesach. Their two children were murdered during an uprising of mines owned by William. ... continue readingMore Female Saints
Saint Michael the Archangel isn't a saint, but rather he is an angel, and the leader of all angels and of the army of God. This is what the title "Archangel" means, that he is above all the others in rank. St. Michael has four main responsibilities or offices, as we ... continue reading
Saint Christopher is one of the most popular, yet most enigmatic Catholic figures. He is considered a saint, although he is not in the official canon of the saints. He is listed as a martyr, possibly named Reprobus, who died under the Roman Emperor Decius, in 251 AD. ... continue reading
St. Jude, known as Thaddaeus, was a brother of St. James the Less, and a relative of Our Saviour. He was one of the 12 Apostles of Jesus and his attribute is a club. Images of St. Jude often include a flame around his head, which represent his presence at Pentecost, ... continue reading
By Deacon Keith Fournier
This great defender of the faith insisted on the central claim of Christianity: God can be known and loved-indeed, that is why He came into our midst in the person of His Son; so that through a relationship with Jesus Christ, man could participate in the very ... continue readingMore Christian Saints & Heroes