Gregory Nazianzen

Gregory_the_TheologianGregory Nazianzus was born in 329AD in Arianzus in the Cappadocian district not far from Nazianzus.  He studied in Caesarea in Palestine, then in Alexandria and finally in Athens.  It is believed, though not certain, as he was travelling from Alexandria to Athens by sea, they were hit by a terrible storm.  Gregory pleaded with God for his life and promising Him that he will devote the rest of his life to the Christian faith if he were to be spared.  In Athens, Gregory joined up with his friend Basil the Great whose friendship was to last the rest of their lives.

Gregory joined Basil in the monastic life.  Later on his father consecrated him an elder of the Church of Nazianzus.  St Basil, much to Gregory’s disdain, consecrated him Bishop of Sasima in the Archdiocese of Caesarea.

In the year 379AD Gregory went to the Church of Constantinople to assist them in their fight against the Arians.  With his experience in rhetoric and his knowledge of the Scriptures he was able to bring the church back to order and free them from the heresies.  He was elected archbishop of the city and held the chair at the Second Ecumenical Council that assembled in 381.  Thus he was a key figure in the enlargement of the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed at this council.  When he first came to Constantinople, the Arians had taken over all the churches.  By the time he left some two years later, the Arians did not have one church in their control.  It was during this time he preaches the famous Triadica (In Theological Orations below).

Gregory delivered a speech before 150 bishops as well as the Emperor Theodosius the Great (The Last Farewell below) where during the speech he requested permission to return to his home.  He lived there to the end of his life and died in 391AD.


Translated by Philip Schaff

Oration 1 – On Easter and his reluctance (PDF)

Oration 2 – In defense of his flight to Pontos, and his return, after his ordination to the Priesthood, with an exposition of the character of the priestly office. (PDF)

Oration 3 – To those who had invited him, and not come to receive him (PDF)

Oration 7 – Panegyric on his brother S. Caesarius (PDF)

Oration 8 – On His Sister Gorgonia (PDF)

Oration 12 – To his father when he entrusted him the care of the church (PDF)

Oration 16 – On his father’s silence, because of the plague of Hail (PDF)

Oration 18 – On the death of his father in the Presence of Basil (PDF)

Oration 21 – On the Great Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria (PDF)

Theological Orations

Introduction to the Theological Orations

Theological Oration 27 A preliminary discourse against the Eunominans(1st Triadica) (PDF)

Theological Oration 28 The knowledge of God (2nd Triadica) (PDF)

Theological Oration 29 On the Son (3rd Triadica) (PDF)

Theological Oration 30 The Second concerning the Son (4th Triadica) (PDF)

Theological Oration On the Holy Spirit (5th Triadica) (PDF)

Theological Oration 33 Against the Arians and concerning himself (PDF)

Theological Oration 34 On the arrival of the Egyptians (PDF)

Theological Oration 37 On the Words of the Gospel (PDF)

Theological Oration 38 On the Theophany (PDF)

Theological Oration 39 On the Holy Lights (PDF)

Theological Oration 40 On Holy Baptism (PDF)

Theological Oration 41 On Pentecost (PDF)

Theological Oration 42 The Last Farewell (PDF)

Oration 43 Funeral Oration on the Great S. Basil, Bishop of Caeserea in Cappadocia (PDF)

Oration 45 The Second Oration on Easter (PDF)

Letters regarding Apollinarianism (PDF)

Epistle 101

Epistle 102