Gregory Palamas, Archbishop of Thessalonika
Saint Gregory’s father died at a young age, so the young boy was raised by a prominent dignitary who saw to his education. Gregory mastered all subjects involved in higher medieval education. At 20 years of age, Saint Gregory withdrew to Mount Athos and remained under the guidance of a holy Elder. Having been tonsured a monk, he pursued the path of strict asceticism. At this time, spiritual hesychia (solitude) was widely being practiced. Saint Gregory played a major role in defending this from of asceticism from heretics who tried to condemn it as a heretical error. A council was held and the Venerably Gregory emerged victorious. Although the Orthodox had gained victory, there were still heretics around, and Saint Gregory spent the rest of his life battling heresy and impiety. After victoriously defending the faith, he was elevated to Archbishop of Thessalonica. He was later also captured by Muslim pirates who kept him captive for over a year, beating him almost to death. When the saint was ransomed, he began performing many miracles three years before his death. The day before his repose, the Holy John Chrysostom appeared to him on his own feast day saying, “to the heights, to the heights!” The venerable archbishop then reposed peacefully in the Lord.
Ἦχος πλ. δ’.
Ὀρθοδοξίας ὁ φωστήρ, Ἐκκλησίας τὸ στήριγμα καὶ διδάσκαλε, τῶν Μοναστῶν ἡ καλλονή, τῶν θεολόγων ὑπέρμαχος ἀπροσμάχητος, Γρηγόριε θαυματουργέ, Θεσσαλονίκης τὸ καύχημα, κῆρυξ τῆς χάριτος, ἱκέτευε διὰ παντός, σωθῆναι τὰς ψυχὰς ἡμῶν.
Ἦχος πλ. δ’. Τῇ ὑπερμάχῳ.
Τὸ τῆς σοφίας ἱερὸν καὶ θεῖον ὄργανον Θεολογίας τὴν λαμπρὰν συμφώνως σάλπιγγα Ἀνυμνοῦμέν σε Γρηγόριε θεορρῆμον. Ἀλλ’ ὡς νοῦς νοΐ τῷ πρώτῳ παριστάμενος, Πρὸς αὐτὸν τὸν νοῦν ἡμῶν Πάτερ ὁδήγησον, Ἵνα κράζωμεν, χαῖρε κῆρυξ τῆς χάριτος.
O Star of Orthodoxy, support of the Church and its teacher, O comeliness of ascetics, and incontestable champion of those who speak in theology, Gregory the wonder-worker, the pride of Thessalonica and preacher of grace, implore thou constantly for the salvation of our souls.
Holy and divine instrument of wisdom, / joyful trumpet of theology, / together we sing your praises, O God-inspired Gregory. / Since you now stand before the Original Mind, guide our minds to Him, O Father, / so that we may sing to you: “Rejoice, preacher of grace.”