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Gregory of Nyssa

Gregory was born in a saintly family, during A.D. 335, being the third son, with two brothers and three sisters. He was the younger brother of the great St. Basil. As he got his education at home, he did not have much interaction with the outside world, during his early years. While he visited the Chapel for the Mother’s Convent, to attend to the services conducted in honor of ‘Forty Martyrs of Sebaste’, he got a dream where the martyrs ridiculed him for not getting baptized. Accordingly, he agreed for the baptization, at his adult age, and determined to become a reader also. Gregory followed the profession of teaching, before finally joining the monastery in Pontus, as his brother and friend Gregory of Nazianzus pursued him to do so. While reading the Holy Scriptures, he also wrote many descriptions about the natural beauty. Bishop of Nyssa Gregory was appointed Bishop of Nyssa in A.D. 370. However, he faced difficulties, as he believed in Orthodox faith. In addition, due to his defense of ‘The Holy Trinity and the Incarnation’, Arian and Sabellian authorities targeted him. The prosecution sent him summons to appear before the Synod of Ancyra, for misuse of church funds and being improperly ordained. He got very upset with such allegations and fell ill. His brother Basil made efforts to clean his tarnished image and was successful in getting the Synod of Bishops declare him innocent, as he was not fit to travel to Ancyra for attending the trial. However, his opponent arranged for trial at Nyssa, while Gregory refused to attend it. Finally, he was banished and deposed in the year 376. He had to change his residency many times, as he was subjected to harassment and cruelty at many places, which resulted in his despondency. However, the death of Emperor Valens in 378 changed his fortunes as the succeeding Emperor declared that all orthodox bishops must be allowed to return to their positions. Gregory went back to Nyssa and was welcomed there. Gregory succeeds Basil After the death of his brother Basil, whose funeral was preached by Gregory, he succeeding Basil and followed the Nicene Faith vigorously. Later he went on pilgrimage to Arabia, Babylon and Jerusalem, as the Emperor provided him the required carriages. Gregory’s death He died in the year A.D. 395. However, his legacy as the aggressive defender of Orthodox Faith and great teacher earned him acclaim as ‘Father of Fathers’ and ‘Star of Nyssa’. His faith in all religions and unknown destiny is expressed in his words,”all religious truth consists in mystery”.(Heroes of Fourth Century) Life of Moses The book is a treasure for Christians, as it deals with the virtue and perfection detailed in Christianity. This fourth century scripture by Gregory of Nyssa was originally written in Greek. English and French translations of this book are available today. As the book has two parts, first part details the ‘history of Moses’ in 77 paragraphs and the second part deals with the ‘contemplation on life of Moses’, in 321 paragraphs. Explaining a few excerpts The book has referred to verbal roots, as showing affection or having a friend. This has been mentioned in the book as a meditating tool to overcome physical and mental struggle. Another excerpt is regarding ‘Horses are eager to run’. This refers to the human nature of being over-zealous and always busy like winning in a racecourse. (The life of Moses) Referring to a child being given an ark, it details that the ‘ark’ is for crossing the stream safely. The ‘ark’ is the education that the child must have to fight the challenges of life, as it holds the child above the waves of the stream. Virtue is the ‘ark’ shaped carriage for human beings to fight the struggles and it can be acquired through education and patience. (The life of Moses) Contributions in spirituality Gregory of Nyssa has contributed to the Christianity in giving us the holy script called, ‘ ...Show more

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Gregory was born in a saintly family, during A.D. 335, being the third son, with two brothers and three sisters. He was the younger brother of the great St. Basil. As he got his education at home, he did not have much interaction with the outside world, during his early years. …
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