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Fathers of the Church

Epistle CLIII: to Bosporius, Bishop of Colonia


St. Gregory had to carry out his threat made in Epistle CLII. He resigned the care of Nazianzus, and nothing would induce him to withdraw his resignation. Bosporius wrote him an urgent letter with this object, but he replied as follows.


On his retirement from Constantinople Gregory had at the request of the Bishops of the Province, and especially of Theodore of Tyana the Metropolitan, and Bosporius Bishop of Colonia (see letters above) and at the earnest solicitation of the people, undertaken the charge of the Diocese of Nazianzus; but he very soon found that his health was not equal to so great a task, and that he could not fulfil its calls upon him.

by Gregory Nazianzen in 384 | translated by Charles Gordon Browne, M.A., James Edward Swallow, M.A

Twice I have been tripped up by you, and have been deceived (you know what I mean), and, if it was justly, may the Lord smell from you an odour of sweet savour;(g) if unjustly, may the Lord pardon it. For so it is reasonable for me to speak of you, seeing we are commanded to be patient when injuries are inflicted on us. But as you are master of your own opinions, so am I of mine. That troublesome Gregory will no longer be troublesome to you. I will withdraw myself to God, Who alone is pure and guileless. I will retire into myself. This I have determined; for to stumble twice on the same stone is attributed by the proverb to fools alone.

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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