Born near the end of the XIII Century, St. Gregory was a native of Asia Minor. The Turks captured him when he was a young man, and after he was ransomed, he travelled to Cyprus, where he became a rasophore. He was professed a monk at Sinai and became on Crete a disciple of Arsenios, from whom he learned the practice of the Jesus prayer. Gregory was also influenced by Sts. John Climacus and Symeon the New Theologian. Around the turn of the century, he moved to Mount Athos, to the Magoula skete near Philotheou monastery. He and his contemporary Gregory Palamas helped to establish Athos as a center of hesychasm. When the Turks began to raid Athos c. 1325/1328, Gregory sought refuge in Bulgaria, where he established a monastery at Paroria in the Stranozka mountains. Gregory, who died in 1346, returned briefly to Athos in the 1330's but seems not to have participated in the debates about hesychasm. Gregory sees prayer as a continuation of the work of the Holy Spirit that was begun in baptism. He follows the teaching of the Fathers about knowledge: prayer purifies the mind. The intellect then sees and understands in the depth of love.
Saint Birgitta was the daughter of Uppland's Lagman, Birger Petersson and his wife, Ingeborg, who was a member of the same clan as the reigning family. Birgitta's family was pious; her father went to ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
St. Joan of Arc is the patroness of soldiers and of France. On January 6, 1412, Joan of Arc was born to pious parents of the French peasant class in the obscure village of Domremy, near the province of Lorraine. At a very early age, she was said to have heard the ... 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
The holy men and women are also called the "Protomartyrs of Rome." They were accused of burning Rome by Nero , who burned Rome to cover his own crimes. Some martyrs were burned as living torches at evening banquets, some crucified, others were fed to wild animals. ... continue reading
Lazarus is the poor man at the gate of the rich man in Christ's parable related in Luke. (Luke 16:19-31) His name was perpetuated in the Middle Ages by such words as Lazaretto (hospital), Lazarone (a beggar in the street), and the Order of St. Lazarus, which though a ... 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