Who in the World was St. Gregorii Thaumaturgo?

We see he had a very high forehead, so was obviously quite intelligent. Unfortunate that more are not aware of his life and works.

Via Wikipedia since they appear to have this down…

Gregory was born around AD 213 to a wealthy pagan family in Neocaesarea (modern Niksar, then the capital of the area of Pontus in Asia Minor). Little is known of his pastoral work,  and his surviving theological writings are in an incomplete state.

This lack of knowledge partially obscures his personality, despite his historical importance (?!) and his immemorial title Thaumaturgus, “the wonder-worker” in Latinized Greek, casts an air of legend about him.

Nevertheless, the lives of few bishops of the third century are so well authenticated; the historical references to him permit a fairly detailed reconstruction of his work.

So intriguing. Where does one begin? Why, over at the Divinum Officum, Divino Afflatu version, hour of Matitudinem for 11-17-2018, of course. It’s a go to source for finding readings on the saints.

“Gregory, Archbishop of Neo-Caesarea, in Pontus, is famous indeed for his holiness and doctrine, but much more so on account of the signs and wonders which he wrought, the number and character of which were so extraordinary that they have gotten him the name of Thaumatourgos, (which is, being interpreted from the Greek, the Wonderworker.)

“Holy Basil compareth him with Moses, with the Prophets, and with the Apostles, and testifieth that by his prayers he moved a mountain that stood in the way of the building of a Church. Moreover, he dried up a marsh, which was a cause of strife between brothers.

“Also, when the River Lycus overflowed and wasted the fields, he set his walking-stick on the bank, (which stick forthwith grew into a green tree,) and confined the stream within its bed, so that it never more passed that place again.

“He oftentimes cast out devils either from heathen idols or from the bodies of men, and did many other marvelous things, whereby he drew countless numbers to believe in Jesus Christ. Also he had the spirit of prophecy, and foretold things to come. When he was at the point of death, he asked how many unbelievers were left in the city of Neo-Caesarea? and when they answered Seventeen, he gave God thanks, and said: Just so many were the faithful when I took the Bishopric. He wrote a great deal, whereby, as well as by his wonders, he hath enlightened the Church of God.”

From the Sermons of St. Maximus, Bishop of Turin

59 Homily, being the 2nd on St. Eusebius of Vercelli

Grigorii, Sancti

“Our blessed Father Gregory is safe now, and we may safely praise his great deeds. He that kept such a manful hand upon the tiller of faith, hath now cast the anchor of hope in moorings of great calm, and brought his ship, heavy laden with heavenly riches and everlasting merchandise, safe into the heaven where he would be.

“Thus fareth it now with him who never fainted, but for so long time held up ever the shield of the fear of God against all that did beset him. What was his whole life but one long fight against an enemy that never slept?

“Gregory was wishful to build a Church in a meet place, but the site was too narrow, being wedged in between a mountain on the one side and a precipice going down into the sea on the other. He came therefore by night to the place, kneeling down, and reminding the Lord of His promise, and calling upon Him to remove the mountain. And in the morning, when he came thither again, he found that the mountain had been removed back, and as much room left for the builders of the Church as they needed.

“This man therefore would have been able, and any other man of like grace would have been able, if need were, to obtain of the Lord, by the force of his faith, that even a mountain should be removed, and be cast into the sea.

“Mystically, however, by a mountain is sometimes signified the devil, on account of the pride whereby he lifteth himself up against God, and would fain be like unto the Most High. And when holy teachers, strong in faith, do preach the Word, this mountain is removed, and cast into the sea, that is to say, the unclean spirit is removed out of the hearts of such as are foreordained unto eternal life, and sent free to exercise the wild rage of his tyranny in the riotous and embittered minds of the unfaithful.”

Betcha didn’t know all that. Didja.

Of course, many of you very well may have.



1 thought on “Who in the World was St. Gregorii Thaumaturgo?”

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.