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St. Gregory the Sinaite

Facts

Birth: 1260
Death: 1346

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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.

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