On this day also, of the year 396 A.D., St. Gregory of Nyssa, the brother of St. Basil the Great, departed. This great father of the church was virtuous and so were his brothers. He was very well versed in the art of discourse and in the Greek language. He was also strongly zealous in his Orthodox faith.
When these good characteristics were known about him, he was chosen bishop against his will, and was ordained over the city of Nyssa. He shepherded the flock of Christ, that was entrusted to him, very well. He illumined the souls with his sermons and discourses. He interpreted many books of the Holy Bible. He was exiled at the time of Emperor Valens, but returned to Nyssa by the order of Emperor Theodosius the Great, in 378 A.D.
When the one hundred and fifty fathers gathered together in the second Universal Council in Constantinople, in 381 A.D., because of the heresy of Macedonius, the archbishop of the city, at the order of Emperor Theodosius, St. Gregory, was one of the fathers present. He silenced Sabilius, Macedonius, and Apolinarus, arguing their heretic opinions and exposing the fallacies of their heresies.
It was said about him, that while he was celebrating the divine liturgy, he saw the cherubim on the altar.
After thirty-three years as the bishop of Nyssa, his brother St. Basil came to visit him, for St. Gregory was sick as a result of his austere ascetic life. St. Gregory received his brother with joy. Once, when St. Gregory was about to start the holy mass, he fell into a trance, and the Virgin St. Mary appeared to him and said, "Today, you will come to us." He departed the same day, and St. Basil, his brother, prayed over him, and he was buried with great honors.
His prayers be with us and Glory be to our God forever. Amen.
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