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.
Born in Corinaldo, Ancona, Italy, on October 16 1890; her farmworker father moved his family to Ferrier di Conca, near Anzio. Her father died of malaria and her mother had to struggle to feed her ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
By tradition Joachim and Anne are considered to be the names of the parents of Mary, the Mother of God. We have no historical evidence, however, of any elements of their lives, including their names. Any stories about Mary's father and mother come to us through legend ... 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
FRANCIS XAVIER, ST. (1506-1552). Born in the family castle of Xavier, near Pamplona in the Basque area of Spanish Navarre on Apr. 7, he was sent to the University of Paris 1525, secured his ... 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