St. Gregory of Nazianzen


St. Gregory of Nazianzen (aka Nazianzus) was the best friend of St. Basil the Great. After studying together in Athens, they returned to their native Cappadocia (now Eastern Turkey) to serve the Lord. It was during the time of the Arian heresy which contested the full divinity of Christ, and orthodox bishops were sorely needed who could teach the true doctrine of the Church with clarity and depth. Gregory, who admirably met these requirements, was made the bishop of the small town of Nazianzen, but later was elevated to the highest ecclesiastical see after Rome, becoming the Patriarch of Constantinople. As such, he presided over the First Ecumenical Council of Constantinople in 381 AD which completed the creed that we commonly call the Nicene Creed, usually recited in Sunday worship by Catholics and Orthodox Christians. St. Gregory’s teaching was so profound and accurate that he is one of the few teachers in the history of the Church known as “the theologian.”  He is one of the most important of the Early Church Fathers and is regarded by Catholics as one of the Doctors of the Church.   For more on Gregory of Nazianzen, see When the Church Was Young: Voices of the Early Fathers by Marcellino D'Ambrosio.  (Biography by Dr. Italy)