Category Archives: St. Gregory the Theologian

Born: 329 in Cappadocia
Repose: 391 in Nazianzus

Feast Day: 25 January (primary), 30 January (Three Holy Hierarchs)

Also known as St. Gregory of Nazianzus.

St. Gregory Nazianzen: But as the old Confusion of tongues was laudable, when men who were of one language in wickedness and impiety . . .

Icon of St. Gregory the Theologian“But as the old Confusion of tongues was laudable, when men who were of one language in wickedness and impiety, even as some now venture to be, were building the Tower; for by the confusion of their language the unity of their intention was broken up, and their undertaking destroyed; so much more worthy of praise is the present miraculous one. For being poured from One Spirit upon many men, it brings them again into harmony. And there is a diversity of Gifts, which stands in need of yet another Gift to discern which is the best, where all are praiseworthy.”

+ St. Gregory Nazianzen, Oration on Pentecost

St. Gregory of Nazianzus: Human beings have accumulated in their coffers gold and silver . . .

Icon of St. Gregory the Theologian“Human beings have accumulated in their coffers gold and silver, clothes more sumptuous than useful, diamonds and other objects that are evidence of war and tyranny; then a foolish arrogance hardens their hearts; for their brothers in distress, no pity. What utter blindness! . . . Attend not to the law of the strong but to the law of the Creator. Help nature to the best of your ability, honor the freedom of creation, protect your species from dishonor, come to its aids in sickness, rescue it from poverty …. Seek to distinguish yourself from others only in your generosity. Be like gods to the poor, imitating God’s mercy. Humanity has nothing so much in common with God as the ability to do good.”

– St. Gregory of Nazianzus, On Love of the Poor

St. Gregory the Theologian: All who have lived according to God still live . . .

Icon of St. Gregory the Theologian“All who have lived according to God still live unto God, though they have departed this life. For this reason, God is called the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, since He is the God, not of the dead, but of the living (cf. Mt. 22:32).”

— St. Gregory the Theologian, Oration XXI

St. Gregory of Nazianzus: . . . Not to every one, my friends, does it belonge to philosophize about God . . .

Icon of St. Gregory the TheologianBut since they neglect every path of righteousness, and look only to this one point, namely, which of the propositions submitted to them they shall bind or loose, (like those persons who in the theatres perform wrestling matches in public, but not that kind of wrestling in which the victory is won according to the rules of the sport, but a kind to deceive the eyes of those who are ignorant in such matters, and to catch applause), and every marketplace must buzz with their talking; and every dinner party be worried to death with silly talk and boredom; and every festival be made unfestive and full of dejection, and every occasion of mourning be consoled by a greater calamity—their questions—and all the women’s apartments accustomed to simplicity be thrown into confusion and be robbed of its flower of modesty by the torrent of their words…since, I say this is so, the evil is intolerable and not to be borne, and our Great Mystery is in danger of being made a thing of little moment. Well then, let these spies bear with us, moved as we are with fatherly compassion, and as holy Jeremiah says, torn in our hearts; let them bear with us so far as not to give a savage reception to our discourse upon this subject; and let them, if indeed they can, restrain their tongues for a short while and lend us their ears. However that may be, you shall at any rate suffer no loss. For either we shall have spoken in the ears of them that will hear, and our words will bear some fruit, namely an advantage to you (since the Sower soweth the Word upon every kind of mind; and the good and fertile bears fruit), or else you will depart despising this discourse of ours as you have despised others, and having drawn from it further material for gainsaying and railing at us, upon which to feast yourselves yet more…

Not to every one, my friends, does it belong to philosophize about God; not to every one; the Subject is not so cheap and low; and I will add, not before every audience, nor at all times, nor on all points; but on certain occasions, and before certain persons, and within certain limits.

— Gregory of Nazianzus, First Theological Oration

St. Gregory the Theologian: We however, who extend the accuracy of the Spirit to the merest stroke and tittle . . .

Icon of St. Gregory the Theologian“We however, who extend the accuracy of the Spirit to the merest stroke and tittle, will never admit the impious assertion that even the smallest matters were dealt with haphazard by those who have recorded them, and have thus been borne in mind down to the present day: on the contrary, their purpose has been to supply memorials and instructions for our consideration under similar circumstances, should such befall us, and that the examples of the past might serve as rules and models, for our warning and imitation.”

— St. Gregory the Theologian

St. Gregory the Theologian: We needed an Incarnate God, a God put to death . . .

Icon of St. Gregory the Theologian“We needed an Incarnate God, a God put to death, that we might live. We were put to death together with Him, that we might be cleansed; we rose again with Him because we were put to death with Him; we were glorified with Him, because we rose again with Him.”

— St. Gregory the Theologian, Oration 45, 28