Bishop and Monastic Author (d. ca. 395)
+ It was because of the influence of his brother, Basil, and his friend Gregory Nazianzen that Gregory was ordained a priest and later chosen as bishop of Nyssa.
+ Naturally easygoing, trusting, and sometimes tactless, Gregory struggled in his early years as a bishop but would go on to become the chief opponent of the Arian heresy after Basil’s death. He came to be seen as the “common mainstay of the Church”—to be on his side was to be an orthodox Christian.
+ Gregory helped establish a school of spirituality that formed part of the foundation for monastic life and became a unique mystical tradition. His Life of Moses was a particularly influential work that was widely circulated throughout the Middle Ages.
+ This important bishop and writers, honored as one of the “Cappadocian Fathers,” died around the year 395. Although largely overshadowed by Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzen, recent decades have witness a renewed appreciation for his theological and mystical writings.
On this day, the Church also remembers Saint Dominic Savio. A student and spiritual son of Saint John Bosco, Dominic died in Mondonio, Italy, in 1457, at the age of 14. His is honored as a patron saint of children’s choirs and choirboys.
“Let us then, consider who were the venerable doctors and indomitable champions of the Church… [including] Gregory, primate of Nyssa, who all have called father of fathers.”—Second Council of Nicaea
God our Father, Saint Gregory, your bishop, praised you by the splendor of his life and teaching. In your kindness, as we forget what is past and reach out to what is before us, help us to attain that vocation to which we are called. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who live and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from Benedictine Supplement: Proper Masses for the Use of he Benedictine Confederation)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.