Saints Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzen

Saints Basil the Great 
and Gregory Nazianzen
Saint Basil the Great
Born to the nobility, his was a pious family - hismother, father, and four of his nine siblings were canonized, including Saint Gregory of Nyssa. Grandson of Saint Macrina the Elder. As a youth Basil was noted for organizing famine relief, and for working in the kitchens himself, quite unusual for a young noble.

He studied in Constantinople and Athens with his friend Saint Gregory Nazianus. Ran aschool of oratory and law in Caesarea. Basil was so successful, so sought after as aspeaker, that he was tempted by pride. Fearful that it would overtake his piety, he sold all that he had, gave away the money, and became a priest and monk.

Founded monasteries and drew up rules for monks living in the desert; he is considered as key to the founding of eastern monasticism as Saint Benedict of Nursia was to the west. Bishop and Archbishop of Caesarea. Conducted Mass and preached to the crowds twice each day. Fought Arianism. Greek Doctor of the Church. Father of the Church.

    Saint Gregory Nazianzen

    Son of Saint Gregory of Nazianzen the Elder and Saint Nonna. Brother of Saint Caesar Nazianzen, and Saint Gorgonius. Spent an itinerentyouth in search of learning. Friend of and fellow student with SaintBasil the Great. Monk at Basil’s desert monastery.

    Reluctant priest; he believed that he was unworthy, and that the responsibility would test his faith. He assisted his bishop father to prevent an Arian schism in the diocese. He opposed Arianism, and brought its heretical followers back to the fold. Bishop of Caesareac.370, which put him in conflict with the Arian emperor Valens. The disputes led his friend Basil the Great, then archbishop, to reassign him to a small, out of the way posting at the edge of thearchbishopric.

    Bishop of Constantinople from 381 to 390, following the death of Valens. He hated the city, despised the violence and slander involved in these disputes, and feared being drawn into politics and corruption, but he worked to bring the Arians back to the faith; for his trouble he was slandered, insulted, beaten up, and a rival “bishop” tried to take over his diocese. Noted preacher on the Trinity. When it seemed that orthodox Christianity had been restored in the city, Gregory retired to live the rest of his days as a hermit. He wrotetheological discourses and poetry, some of it religious, some of it autobiographical. Father of the Church. Doctor of the Church.