St. Gregory Nazianzen was baptized when he was 30. He accepted his friend Basil’s invitation to join him at a newly founded monastery, but had to leave when his father, a bishop, needed help in his diocese. Gregory was allegedly forced into the priesthood, and reluctantly accepted the responsibilities.
When his own father made compromises with the Arian heresy that was popular at the time, Gregory avoided a schism. At 41, he was chosen to be suffragan bishop of Caesarea, and came into conflict with the emperor Valens, who supported Arianism. When Valens died, the Arian heresy lost popularity, and Gregory went to rebuild the faith in Constantinople.
Although he dreaded being drawn into the corruption of the city, Gregory went, staying at a friend’s home, which became the one orthodox church in the city. He gave great sermons on the Trinity, which he is famous for, and in time, rebuilt the city’s faith.
St. Gregory’s last days were spent in solitude and austerity. He wrote religious poetry, and is acclaimed as “The Theologian.” He is a Doctor of the Church.
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