Saints and Saintly Dominicans – 9 May

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, OPSaint Gregory of Nazianzus, Bishop, Doctor of the Church

Saint Gregory, whilst studying science at the University of Athens, became united in the bonds of friendship with Saint Basil, whom he resembled in character and temperament as well as in virtue. They soon became of one heart and of one soul in a friendship, which, far from interfering with divine love, helped them in a wonderful way to correct their faults and grew in perfection. Saint Gregory had a marvellous gift of discernment and on seeing Julian, afterwards named the Apostate, he said: “The empire nourishes a monster in its bosom.” After having long labored for the glory of God as Patriarch of Constantinople, the saintly bishop resigned his office to silence certain jealous tongues. “Dear children,” he said in his farewell discourse, “hold fast the gift of faith and remember the stones which have been thrown at me because I strove to plant the true faith in your hearts.” He spent his last years in the monastic life, sacred poetry being his only recreation. He possessed the gift of tears and wept over all the sins of the tongue which he had committed. He is called “the Theologian” by the Eastern Church on account of his profound knowledge of that science. Caesarius, his brother, and Gorgona, his sister, have both been raised to the honors of sanctity (389).

Prayer

O my God, pour out the gift of wisdom on the apostles and pastors of the Church.

Practice

Avoid familiarity with many persons, but choose some pious friend with the approval of your confessor and encourage each other in the love and service of God.