January 10 (old calendar) / January 23 (new)
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January 10 (old calendar) / January 23 (new)

Fast

Afterfeast of the Theophany.
St. Gregory, Bishop of Nyssa (4th c.). St. Dometian, Bishop of Melitene (601). St. Marcian, Presbyter, of Constantinople (5th c.). Ven. Paul, Abbot of Obnora (Vologdá—1429). Ven. Macarius, Abbot, of Pisma (14th c.). Bl. Theosebia the Deaconess, sister of Ss. Basil the Great and Gregory of Nyssa (385). Ven. Antipas the Athonite (1882). St. Theophan the Recluse, Bishop of Tambov (1894).

SAINT GREGORY OF NYSSA

Colloque scientifique international à Rome, consacré à saint Grégoire de Nysse

Saint Gregory, Bishop of Nyssa, was a younger brother of Saint Basil the Great (January 1). His birth and upbringing came at a time when the Arian disputes were at their height. Having received an excellent education, he was at one time a teacher of rhetoric. In the year 372, he was consecrated by Saint Basil the Great as bishop of the city of Nyssa in Cappadocia.

Saint Gregory was an ardent advocate for Orthodoxy, and he fought against the Arian heresy with his brother Saint Basil. Gregory was persecuted by the Arians, by whom he was falsely accused of improper use of church property, and thereby deprived of his See and sent to Ancyra.

In the following year Saint Gregory was again deposed in absentia by a council of Arian bishops, but he continued to encourage his flock in Orthodoxy, wandering about from place to place. After the death of the emperor Valens (378), Saint Gregory was restored to his cathedra and was joyously received by his flock. His brother Saint Basil the Great died in 379.

Only with difficulty did Saint Gregory survive the loss of his brother and guide. He delivered a funeral oration for him, and completed Saint Basil’s study of the six days of Creation, the Hexaemeron. That same year Saint Gregory participated in the Council of Antioch against heretics who refused to recognize the perpetual virginity of the Mother of God. Others at the opposite extreme, who worshipped the Mother of God as being God Herself, were also denounced by the Council. He visited the churches of Arabia and Palestine, which were infected with the Arian heresy, to assert the Orthodox teaching about the Most Holy Theotokos. On his return journey Saint Gregory visited Jerusalem and the Holy Places.

In the year 381 Saint Gregory was one of the chief figures of the Second Ecumenical Council, convened at Constantinople against the heresy of Macedonius, who incorrectly taught about the Holy Spirit. At this Council, on the initiative of Saint Gregory, the Nicean Symbol of Faith (the Creed) was completed.

Together with the other bishops Saint Gregory affirmed Saint Gregory the Theologian as Archpastor of Constantinople.

In the year 383, Saint Gregory of Nyssa participated in a Council at Constantinople, where he preached a sermon on the divinity of the Son and the Holy Spirit. In 386, he was again at Constantinople, and he was asked to speak the funeral oration in memory of the empress Placilla. Again in 394 Saint Gregory was present in Constantinople at a local Council, convened to resolve church matters in Arabia.

Saint Gregory of Nyssa was a fiery defender of Orthodox dogmas and a zealous teacher of his flock, a kind and compassionate father to his spiritual children, and their intercessor before the courts. He was distinguished by his magnanimity, patience and love of peace.

Having reached old age, Saint Gregory of Nyssa died soon after the Council of Constantinople. Together with his great contemporaries, Saints Basil the Great and Gregory the Theologian, Saint Gregory of Nyssa had a significant influence on the Church life of his time. His sister, Saint Macrina, wrote to him: “You are renowned both in the cities, and gatherings of people, and throughout entire districts. Churches ask you for help.” Saint Gregory is known in history as one of the most profound Christian thinkers of the fourth century. Endowed with philosophical talent, he saw philosophy as a means for a deeper penetration into the authentic meaning of divine revelation.

Saint Gregory left behind many remarkable works of dogmatic character, as well as sermons and discourses. He has been called “the Father of Fathers.”

TROPARIA AND KONTAKIA

Troparion of the Theophany, tone 1

When You, O Lord were baptized in the Jordan The worship of the Trinity was made manifest For the voice of the Father bore witness to You And called You His beloved Son. And the Spirit, in the form of a dove, Confirmed the truthfulness of His word. O Christ, our God, You have revealed Yourself And have enlightened the world, glory to You!

Troparion of the saint, tone 4

In truth you were revealed to your flock as a rule of faith, an image of humility and a teacher of abstinence; your humility exalted you; your poverty enriched you. Hierarch Father Gregory, entreat Christ our God / that our souls may be saved.

Kontakion of the saint, tone 1

You kept watch with the eyes of your soul, holy bishop, revealing yourself as a watchful pastor for the world. With the staff of your wisdom and your fervent intercession, you drove away all heretics like wolves. You preserved your flock free from harm, most wise Gregory!

Kontakion  of the Theophany, tone 4

Today You have shown forth to the world, O Lord, and the light of Your countenance has been marked on us. Knowing You, we sing Your praises. You have come and revealed Yourself, O unapproachable Light.

Hebrews 10:1-18 (Epistle)

1

For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect.

2

For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins.

3

But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year.

4

For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.

5

Therefore, when He came into the world, He said:”Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, But a body You have prepared for Me.

6

In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure.

7

Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come- In the volume of the book it is written of Me- To do Your will, O God.’ “

8

Previously saying, “Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure in them” (which are offered according to the law),

9

then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.” He takes away the first that He may establish the second.

10

By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

11

And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.

12

But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God,

13

from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool.

14

For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.

15

But the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us; for after He had said before,

16

This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,

17

then He adds, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”

18

Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin.

Mark 8:30-34 (Gospel)

30

Then He strictly warned them that they should tell no one about Him.

31

And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.

32

He spoke this word openly. Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him.

33

But when He had turned around and looked at His disciples, He rebuked Peter, saying, “Get behind Me, Satan! For you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”

34

When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.

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About the Author

Emma Cazabonne

Emma Cazabonne

Emma Cazabonne was born and raised in France. She taught English before entering the Cistercian Order. She translated and published articles relevant to her interest in Cistercian spirituality, the Middle Ages, and Orthodoxy. She moved to the United States in 2001, converted to Orthodoxy in 2008, and married. Her husband is an Orthodox priest. She continued to publish articles, a Cistercian texts anthology, then finally launched her career in literary translation, while teaching French. If you are interested in having your book translated into French, she can be contacted here https://wordsandpeace.com/contact-me/

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