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.
Nothing is known of St. James the Greater's early life, though it has been established that he is the son of Zebedee and Salome and brother of John the disciple. The title "the Greater" was added to ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
An elder Mexican man makes his way to Mass in the early morning twilight of December 9, 1531. He is a peasant, a simple farmer and laborer, and he has no education. Born under Aztec rule, he is a convert to Catholicism, and each step he takes this morning is a step ... 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
Lucy's history has been lost and all we really know for certain is that this brave woman who lived in Syracuse lost her life during the persecution of Christians in the early fourth century. Her veneration spread to Rome so that by the sixth century the whole Church ... continue reading
So often we hear people or even ourselves excuse an action by saying "I was only following orders." But for Nereus and Achilleus this excuse could not stand in the face of the cross. Everything we know from authority about the two first- century martyrs comes from ... 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