(Saint) Bishop, (May 9) Doctor of the Church. (4th century) Saint Gregory the Elder, himself later Bishop of Nazianzus, a small town of Cappadocia in Asia Minor, and Saint Nonna, were the parents of Gregory, who during his brilliant course of studies at Caesarea, Alexandria and Athens (the fourth century centres of learning), had for fellow-student, Saint Basil the Great, his compatriot, and contracted with him an intimate friendship. It was not till after this that, in accordance with the imperfect Church discipline of his age, he was even baptised. He then retired with Saint Basil for a time to live a monastic life in a secluded spot in Pontus on the Black Sea. Recalled by his father, who ordained him priest (A.D. 361), he was by Saint Basil, his Metropolitan, eleven years later, consecrated Bishop of Sasima, a mere village, but in reality became Coadjutor to his own father at Nazianzus, the government of which See he however persistently refused to accept. The troubled Church of Constantinople was to be his chief field of work. Saint Basil was dead, when Saint Gregory was called there (A.D. 379 about). The Arian intruder was expelled, and Gregory, raised to the Patriarchate, was recognised as legitimate holder of the See in the Second OEcumenical Council, then (A.D. 381) sitting. He spent himself in toiling for peace and sound doctrine, but was soon forced to retire; and ended his days, in company with other Solitaries at Arianzum, not far from his native place. He died in A.D. 389, at an advanced age. With Saints Athanasius, Basil and John Chrysostom, Saint Gregory Nazianzen is reputed a pillar of the Eastern Church. His works in poetry and in prose are voluminous, and apart from their theological significance, show that his was a literary genius of the first order. His relics were translated to Rome in the Middle Ages.
- Monks of Ramsgate. “Gregory of Nazianzen”. , 1921. Saints.SQPN.com. 26 July 2013. Web. 30 January 2015. <>