Gregory the Theologian Greek Orthodox Icon
Commemorates on: January 25
This great Father and Teacher of the Church was born in 329 in Arianzus. At first, he studied in Caesarea of Palestine, then in Alexandria, and finally in Athens. As he was sailing from Alexandria to Athens, a violent sea storm put in peril not only his life but also his salvation, since he had not yet been baptized. With tears and fervor, he besought God to spare him, vowing to dedicate his whole self to Him, and the tempest gave way to calm. At Athens Saint Gregory was later joined by Saint Basil the Great, whom he already knew. After their studies at Athens, Gregory became Basils fellow ascetic, living the monastic life together with him for a time in the hermitages of Pontus. About the Year 379, Saint Gregory came to the assistance of the Church of Constantinople. Having governed the Church until 38z, he delivered his farewell speech - the Syntacterion, in which he demonstrated the Divinity of the Son - before 150 bishops and the Emperor Theodosius the Great; in this speech he requested, and received from all, permission to retire from the see of Constantinople. He returned to Nazianzus, where he lived to the end of his life, and reposed in the Lord in 391, having lived some sixty-two years.