New Catholic Dictionary – Saint Gregory of Nazianzus

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: gregoreo, watch, be vigilant) Doctor of the Church, born Arianzus, Asia Minor, c.325; died there, 389. His father, a Hypsistarian heretic, was converted to Catholicity and became Bishop of Nazianzus; his mother was Saint Nonna; his brother, Saint Caesarius, and his sister, Saint Gorgonia. Gregory was educated at Caesarea, where he formed a lasting friendship with Saint Basil, and at Alexandria and Athens. With Basil he lived for a time as a hermit in a secluded part of Pontus; returning to Nazianzus, he was ordained by his father, 361. In 373 Saint Basil, then Bishop of Caesarea and Metropolitan of Cappadocia, consecrated Gregory Bishop of Sasima, but Gregory, finding himself incompatible with that see, abandoned it, thereby becoming estranged from Basil. He was made Archbishop of Constantinople, 381, after the conversion of Emperor Theodosius the Great. That city being almost entirely given over to Arianism, Gregory met with constant opposition, and resigned his see after a few months. He returned to Nazianzus and devoted himself to suppressing heresy. In 383 upon the appointment of his cousin as bishop, he retired to Arianzus to spend his time in literary labors. Renowned in the past as an orator and theologian, he is also famous as a literary genius, his poems, epistles, and orations being among the finest of his age. Relics in Basilica of Saint Peter, Rome. Feast, Roman Calendar, 9 May.

MLA Citation

  • “Saint Gregory of Nazianzus”. New Catholic Dictionary. CatholicSaints.Info. 7 October 2012. Web. 23 January 2022. <>