Icon of Saint Gregory the Theologian – S125

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Saint Gregory was born in a.d. 329 in Arianzus, near Nazianzus in Cappadocia, and so is also called “Nazianzen.”   His father Gregory was at first a pagan, but later converted in a.d. 325 and became a bishop and a saint.  His mother, Saint Nonna, patiently brought her son up in the Christian faith, and nurtured him by her example and teaching.  Saint Gregory went to Athens to study pagan classical knowledge and was the schoolmate of Saint Basil the Great.

Saint Gregory studied advanced rhetoric and philosophy, and became the most elevated theologian of his age, especially in Trinitarian theology.  He was a great orator, teacher, writer, and careful critic of heresy, including Arianism.  When he returned back home, his father made him a priest, but Gregory fled in a short time to join Saint Basil in living ascetic monasticism.  Saint Basil sent him back, where he helped his father.  Saint Gregory was consecrated the Bishop of Sasima by Saint Basil, and later was asked to become the Patriarch of Constantinople, but stepped down shortly afterwards to quell a dispute.  He retired to Nazianzus, leaving many works behind when he left for the Eternal Kingdom in a.d. 389.

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Egg Tempera


Monk Michael of Athos


20th c. (Late)