Gregory Palamas

Saint Gregory Palamas
Gregor Palamas by North Greece anonym (15th c., Pushkin museum).jpg
An early copy (Pushkin Museum, Moscow) of the original icon painted for St. Gregory's canonization in 1368
Archbishop of Thessalonica
Bornc. 1296
Died1357 or 1359
Venerated inEastern Orthodox Church
Melkite Greek Church[1]
Ukrainian Greek Church [2]
Canonized1368, Constantinople by Patriarch Philotheos of Constantinople
Major shrineThessaloniki
FeastSecond Sunday of Great Lent
November 14
AttributesLong, tapering dark beard, vested as a bishop, holding a Gospel Book or scroll, right hand raised in benediction
InfluencedNilus Cabasilas, Nicodemus the Hagiorite, John Meyendorff
Byzantine fresco of Gregory Palamas

Gregory Palamas (Greek: Γρηγόριος Παλαμάς; c. 1296 – 1357 or 1359)[3] was a prominent theologian and ecclesiastical figure of the late Byzantine period. A monk of Mount Athos (modern Greece) and later archbishop of Thessaloniki, he is famous for his defense of hesychast spirituality, the uncreated character of the light of the Transfiguration, and the distinction between God's essence and energies (i.e., the divine will, divine grace, etc.). His teaching unfolded over the course of three major controversies, (1) with the Italo-Greek Barlaam between 1336 and 1341, (2) with the monk Gregory Akindynos between 1341 and 1347, and (3) with the philosopher Gregoras, from 1348 to 1355. His theological contributions are sometimes referred to as Palamism, and his followers as Palamites.

Gregory is venerated since 1368 as a saint in the Eastern Orthodox Church; some Byzantine Catholic Churches, which form part of the communion of the Church of Rome, have also included him in their liturgical books. (He has also been called a saint, and repeatedly cited as a great theological writer, by Pope John Paul II.[4]) Some of his writings are collected in the Philokalia, and since the Ottoman period, the second Sunday of Great Lent is dedicated to the memory Gregory Palamas in the Orthodox Church. The Byzantine Synodikon of Orthodoxy also celebrates his memory and theology while condemning his opponents, including some anti-Palamites who flourished after Gregory's death.

Early life

Gregory was born in Constantinople around the year 1296. His father, Constantine, was a courtier of the Byzantine Emperor Andronikos II Palaiologos (1282–1328), but died when Gregory was still young. The Emperor himself took part in the raising and education of the fatherless boy and hoped that the gifted Gregory would devote himself to government service, but Palamas chose monastic life on Mt. Athos. Gregory's mother (Kalloni) and siblings (Theodosios, Makarios, Epicharis, and Theodoti) would also embrace monasticism, and the entire family was canonized by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople in 2009.

Before leaving for Mt. Athos, Gregory received a broad education, including the study of Aristotle, which he would display before Theodore Metochites and the emperor.[5]

Other Languages
беларуская: Грыгорый Палама
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Рыгор Паляма
български: Григорий Палама
Chavacano de Zamboanga: Gregorio Palamas
Esperanto: Gregorio Palamas
Bahasa Indonesia: Gregorius Palamas
Kiswahili: Gregori Palamas
Nederlands: Gregorius Palamas
português: Gregório Palamas
română: Grigore Palamas
slovenčina: Grégorios Palamas
српски / srpski: Григорије Палама
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Grigorije Palama
Türkçe: Gregori Palamas
українська: Григорій Палама