THE VENERABLE GREGORY SINAITE

August 8

From the Prologue

Gregory is called Sinaite because he received the monastic tonsure on Mount Sinai. During the reign of Emperor Andronicus Palaeologus, about the year 1330 A.D., he arrived at Mt. Athos to visit the monasteries and to inquire about the practice of mental prayer and contemplation. However, these two forms of spiritual works [exercises], at that time, were almost unknown among the holy Athonites. The only one who knew this and practiced it to perfection was St. Maximus of Kapsokalyvia. Gregory spread his teaching about mental prayer throughout all the cells and monasteries on Mt. Athos. His distinguished disciple was Kallistos, the Patriarch of Constantinople, who wrote the biography of St. Gregory. After that, Gregory crossed over to Macedonia and to the other regions of the Balkans and established communities in which the monks practiced mental prayer. Thus, he assisted many to be immersed in prayer and to be saved. His writings about mental prayer and asceticism can be found in the book "Dobrotoljublja The Philokalia." Among other things, he wrote the refrains to the Holy Trinity, "It is meet and right", which is sung at the Midnight Service of the Resurrection. Gregory ranks among the most eminent ascetics and spiritual teachers of the Balkans. He died peacefully after a long and laborious life and took up habitation in the Kingdom of God.





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