St Gregory of Nyssa: The first faith, sweeter than honey

TODAY is the feast day of St Gregory, bishop of Nyssa. Gregory, whose brother was St Basil of Caesarea, stood up courageously for the doctrine of the Trinity, and the bodily resurrection of man.


HOW sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!

Ps 118[119]:103


WALK by the primitive rule of the Faith: and the God of peace shall be with you, and ye shall be strong in mind and body. May God keep you uncorrupted, is our prayer.

St Gregory of Nyssa, Letter XVII. To Eustathia, Ambrosia, and Basilissa.


An icon of St Gregory of Nyssa. From Wikimedia Commons.

An icon of St Gregory of Nyssa. From Wikimedia Commons.


HOLY father, most sacred Gregory — a flute filled with the breath of the Comforter (Jn 14:16-17), a most clear speaker* of true religion, a glorious lamp (cf. Mt 5:15) of the divine radiance, a herald of truth, a platform of theology, a fount of lofty doctrine, a winter flood of honeyed teachings, an inspired lyre of songs written by God, gladdening the minds of the faithful — intercede with Christ, importune him who refashioned the world in the running waters of the Jordan, O saint wise in all things, to save our souls.

* γλῶσσα. Literally ‘tongue’, this word is sometimes used for a professional orator, which Gregory was. It could also be used for the reed of a wind instrument.


The sound of flute and harp (lyre) in a traditional English song, arranged for orchestra.

Fantasia on Greensleeves (1934).
Ralph Vaughan Williams.


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