Gregory of Nazianzus

Christian saint, bishop, and theologian

Gregory of Nazianzus (greek: Grēgorios ho Nazianzēnos), also called Gregory the Theologian, (born 329 AD - died 390 AD) was a 4th-century Archbishop of Constantinople, and theologian. He is widely considered the most accomplished rhetorical stylist of the patristic age.

As the old confusion of tongues was laudable,... so much more worthy of praise is the present miraculous one. For being poured from One Spirit upon many men, it brings them again into harmony.


  • I offer this gift to my God, I dedicate this gift to Him. Only this remains to me as my treasure. I gave up everything else at the command of the Spirit. I gave all that I had to obtain the pearl of great price. Only in words do I master it, as a servant of the Word. I would never intentionally wish to disdain this wealth. I esteem it, I set value by it, I am comforted by it more than others are comforted by all the treasures of the world. It is the companion of all my life, a good counselor and converser; a guide on the way to Heaven and a fervent co-ascetic.
    • Concerning his literary gift [1]
  • I am an organ of the Lord, and sweetly... do I glorify the King, all atremble before Him.
  • Let me be as the Prophet Jonah! I was responsible for the storm, but I would sacrifice myself for the salvation of the ship. Seize me and throw me... I was not happy when I ascended the throne, and gladly would I descend it.
    • Concerning his resignment from his office as Patriarch of Constantinople [1]
  • For my sake He was called a curse, who destroyed my curse (Gal 3:13); and sin, who taketh away the sin of the world (2 Cor 5:21)... Of the same kind, it appears to me, is the expression, ‘My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?’ (Mat 27:46) It was not He who was forsaken either by the Father, or by His own Godhead... He was in His own Person representing us. For we were the forsaken and despised before, but now by the Sufferings of Him Who could not suffer, we were taken up and saved.
  • Since we are double-made, I mean of body and soul, and the one part is visible, the other invisible, so the cleansing also is twofold, by water and the spirit; the one received visibly in the body, the other concurring with it invisibly and apart from the body; the one typical, the other real and cleansing the depths.
  • I know of three classes among the saved; the slaves, the hired servants, the sons. If you are a slave, be afraid of the whip; if you are a hired servant, look only to receive your hire; if you are more than this, a son, revere Him as a Father, and work that which is good, because it is good to obey a Father; and even though no reward should come of it for you, this is itself a reward, that you please your Father.
    • ibid., XIII.
  • They who have lost the Gift [of baptism] through ignorance or tyranny... will be neither glorified nor punished by the righteous Judge, as unsealed and yet not wicked, but persons who have suffered rather than done wrong. For not every one who is not bad enough to be punished is good enough to be honoured; just as not every one who is not good enough to be honoured is bad enough to be punished.
    • ibid., XXIII.
  • He will come again with His glorious Presence to judge the quick and the dead; no longer flesh, nor yet without a body, according to the laws which He alone knows of a more godlike body.
    • ibid., XLV.
  • The Judgment and the Reward according to the righteous scales of God... will be Light to those whose mind is purified (that is, God — seen and known) proportionate to their degree of purity, which we call the Kingdom of heaven; but to those who suffer from blindness of their ruling faculty, darkness, that is estrangement from God, proportionate to their blindness here.
    • ibid., XLV.
  • As the old confusion of tongues was laudable, when men who were of one language in wickedness and impiety, even as some now venture to be, were building the Tower; for by the confusion of their language the unity of their intention was broken up, and their undertaking destroyed; so much more worthy of praise is the present miraculous one. For being poured from One Spirit upon many men, it brings them again into harmony.
  • I myself hold my friend the great Basil in high regard for his seriousness of character and the maturity and prudence of his discourse.
    • Oration 43, Chapter XV.


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