Monday, January 02, 2012

St. Basil the Great and St. Gregory Nazianzen

St Basil the Great (330 - 379)
Basil was born in 330 at Caesarea in Cappadocia, of a Christian family. A brilliant scholar and a virtuous man, he started by becoming a hermit but was made bishop of Caesarea in 370. He fought against the Arians and wrote many notable works, in particular the monastic rule that bears his name and which many monks in the East follow to this day. He was also generous to the poor. He died on 1 January 379.

"The Longer Rules and The Shorter Rules," pp 99-103 of Masterpieces of Christian Literature

St Gregory Nazianzen (330 - 389)
He was born in 330, near Nazianzus. He travelled widely in search of knowledge. He followed his friend Basil into the wilderness, but he too was ordained and later made a bishop. He was elected Bishop of Constantinople in 381 but because of the factional fighting within the Church he retired to Nazianzus, where he died on 25 January 389 or 390. He is known as “Gregory the Theologian” in honour of his learning and eloquence.

"Five Theological Orations," pp 113-117 Masterpieces of Christian Literature

See also "The Cappadocian fathers" in The Story of Christian Spirituality, pp 130-

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