Gregory of Nazianzus

Gregory of Nazianzus, When Christianity came to Central Asia Minor, believers proclaimed their faith not only privately within their communities but also used public forms of communication like poems to express their faith. One such most important and influential composers of Christian poetry was the Gregory of Nazianzus. Gregory was also an orator and a ‘Trinitarian Theologian’.

Birth: ~ 330 AD
Death: ~ 390 AD
Native Place: Cappadocia (in present-day Turkey)
Place of Vision: Constantinople

He is greatly remembered for his defense of the doctrine of Trinity against Arianism which was prevalent throughout Eastern Christendom during his time.

Gregory studied Philosophy and advanced rhetoric at Nazianzus, Caesarea, Alexandria, and Athens. One of his fellow students and close friends was Saint Basil of Caesarea, along with whom he later developed a theology to combat the Arian heresy.

Gregory of Nazianzus ministry in Constantinople

In 362 AD he was ordained as a priest to assist his father in his ministry at Nazianzus. When he saw that the Christian community was split by theological differences, he delivered powerful sermons based on the Scripture to alleviate various rifts that existed in the community.

When Emperor Julian opposed Christianity, Gregory encouraged the church to overcome the obstacles on the path of faith through love and patience. With the death of Emperor Valens in 378 AD, Arianism came to an end and Gregory was invited to rebuild the Christian commnunity in Constantinople which was under the influence of the Arian teachers for over three decades.

He faithfully worked to restore the Truth in the Church at the cost of great suffering, slander, insults, and even personal violence. Gregory was known for his deep knowledge of Scripture and his teachings influenced many Bible scholars like Saint Jerome.

He never shied away from articulating his theological conviction amid the theological upheaval during his time and saved the Church from being drifted away from the truth. Gregory spent his last days writing poems, letters, and theological orations. His works, which shaped Trinitarian theology, continue to influence even present-day theologians.

Beloved, how are your works and ministry influencing others?

Take away from the article

“Lord, help me to have the right understanding of Your Word and to work for uniting Your Church in the light of Your Word. Amen!”

Word of Prayer