Born near the end of the XIII Century, St. Gregory was a native of Asia Minor. The Turks captured him when he was a young man, and after he was ransomed, he travelled to Cyprus, where he became a rasophore. He was professed a monk at Sinai and became on Crete a disciple of Arsenios, from whom he learned the practice of the Jesus prayer. Gregory was also influenced by Sts. John Climacus and Symeon the New Theologian. Around the turn of the century, he moved to Mount Athos, to the Magoula skete near Philotheou monastery. He and his contemporary Gregory Palamas helped to establish Athos as a center of hesychasm. When the Turks began to raid Athos c. 1325/1328, Gregory sought refuge in Bulgaria, where he established a monastery at Paroria in the Stranozka mountains. Gregory, who died in 1346, returned briefly to Athos in the 1330's but seems not to have participated in the debates about hesychasm. Gregory sees prayer as a continuation of the work of the Holy Spirit that was begun in baptism. He follows the teaching of the Fathers about knowledge: prayer purifies the mind. The intellect then sees and understands in the depth of love.
Born at Montepulciano, Italy, October 4, 1542, St. Robert Bellarmine was the third of ten children. His mother, Cinzia Cervini, a niece of Pope Marcellus II, was dedicated to almsgiving, prayer, ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
St. Monica was married by arrangement to a pagan official in North Africa, who was much older than she, and although generous, was also violent tempered. His mother Lived with them and was equally difficult, which proved a constant challenge to St. Monica. She had ... continue readingMore Female Saints
St. Michael the Archangel - Feast day - September 29th The name Michael signifies "Who is like to God?" and was the warcry of the good angels in the battle fought in heaven against satan and his followers. Holy Scripture describes St. Michael as "one of the chief ... continue reading
The name Gabriel means "man of God," or "God has shown himself mighty." It appears first in the prophesies of Daniel in the Old Testament. The angel announced to Daniel the prophecy of the seventy weeks. His name also occurs in the apocryphal book of Henoch. He was the ... continue reading
Paul was the son of a Japanese military leader. He was born at Tounucumada, Japan, was educated at the Jesuit college of Anziquiama, joined the Jesuits in 1580, and became known for his eloquent ... continue reading
By Deacon Keith A Fournier
God and his angels look down upon us; Christ, who looks on as we do battle in the contest of faith. What great dignity and glory are ours, what happiness to struggle in the presence of God and to be crowned by Christ our judge. Let us be armed with a great ... continue readingMore Christian Saints & Heroes