Catholic Culture Dedication
Catholic Culture Dedication

Fathers of the Church

Epistle LXIV


Gregory expresses his sorrow at being unable to meet Eusebius, and asks for his prayers.


In the year 374 Eusebius and other orthodox Bishops of the East were banished by Valens and their thrones filled with Arian intruders. Eusebius was ordered to retire to Thrace, and his journey lay through Cappadocia, where he saw Basil, but Gregory to his great grief was too unwell to leave his house and go to meet him. Instead he sent the following letter.

by Gregory Nazianzen in 374 | translated by Charles Gordon Browne, M.A., James Edward Swallow, M.A

When Your Reverence was passing through our country I was so ill as not to be able even to look out of my house. And I was grieved not so much on account of the illness, though it brought about the fear of the worst, as by the inability to meet your holiness and goodness. My longing to see your venerable face was like that which a man would naturally feel who needed healing of spiritual wounds, and expected to receive it from you. But though at that time the effect of my sins was that I missed the meeting with you, it is now by your goodness possible for me to find a remedy for my trouble, for if you will deign to remember me in your acceptable prayers, this will be to me a store of every blessing from God, both in this my life and in the age to come. For that such a man, such a combatant for the Faith of the Gospel, one who has endured such persecutions, and won for himself such confidence before the all-righteous God by his patience in tribulation—that such a man should deign to be my patron also in his prayers will gain for me, I am persuaded, as much strength as I should have gained through one of the holy martyrs. Therefore let me entreat you to remember your Gregory without ceasing in all the matters in which I desire to be worthy of your remembrance.

Taken from "The Early Church Fathers and Other Works" originally published by Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co. in English in Edinburgh, Scotland, beginning in 1867. (LNPF II/VII, Schaff and Wace). The digital version is by The Electronic Bible Society, P.O. Box 701356, Dallas, TX 75370, 214-407-WORD.

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