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.
Elizabeth was a Spanish princess who was given in marriage to King Denis of Portugal at the age of twelve. She was very beautiful and very lovable. She was also very devout, and went to Mass every ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
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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
Saint John Gaulbert, Abbot - Feast day is July 12th The city of Florence gave to the world Saint John Gaulbert. Although he enjoyed the benefits of an early Christian education, his youthful heart ... 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