Gregory 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