A Garner of Saints – Saint Gregory Nanzianen

detail of a Saint Gregory of Nazianzen stained glass window, Sir Ninian Comper, Ely Cathedral; swiped with permission from the flickr account of Brother Lawrence Lew, OPArticle

Greek doctor of the church. Born in 327 at Arianza, in Cappadocia. His mother dedicated him to God from his birth. In his youth he made great progress in virtue and in the divine sciences. He pursued his studies at Alexandria and afterwards. at Athens. On leaving the latter city he passed some time in solitude, living as a hermit. His father shortly before his death made him a priest in 361, but Gregory fled to Saint Basil, who reconciled him to the priestly duties. In the year 378 he lost his close friend Basil, which caused him inexpressible grief. He preached with wonderful power, and converted many heathen and heretics. In 379 he was elected Bishop of Constantinople by acclamation, though he had endeavoured to avoid the honour. But he was so much beset by the Arians and suffered so many trials that he determined to resign, and he left the see in 381. The ill state of his health led him to retire to his native place, where he lived in complete solitude. He died about the year 389, leaving all his property to the church and to the poor of Nanziana. After many removals his relics found a final resting-place at the Vatican. 9th May.


  • He wears the dress of a Greek bishop, his head is bald and he has a long reddish beard.

MLA Citation

  • Allen Banks Hinds, M.A. “Saint Gregory Nanzianen”. A Garner of Saints, 1900. CatholicSaints.Info. 19 April 2017. Web. 24 February 2020. <>