St. Gregory of Sinai
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.
Karen Rae Keck
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