Tuesday, November 14, 2017
Gregory Palamas (Greek: Γρηγόριος Παλαμάς; c. 1296 – 1357 or 1359) 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, and 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) 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.
Propers for Gregory Palamas - 14 November - Monastic, Archbishop, and Theologian
O GOD, who hast endowed thy servant Gregory Palamas with clarity of faith and holiness of life: Grant us to keep with steadfast minds the faith which he taught, and in his fellowship to be made partakers of eternal glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Epistle - Wisdom 7:7-14.
I CALLED upon God, and the spirit of wisdom came to me. I preferred her before sceptres and thrones, and esteemed riches nothing in comparison of her. Neither compared I unto her any precious stone, because all gold in respect of her is as a little sand, and silver shall be counted as clay before her. I loved her above health and beauty, and chose to have her instead of light: for the light that cometh from her never goeth out. All good things together came to me with her, and innumerable riches in her hands. And I rejoiced in them all, because wisdom goeth before them: and I knew not that she was the mother of them. I learned diligently, and do communicate her liberally: I do not hide her riches. For she is a treasure unto men that never faileth: which they that use become the friends of God, being commended for the gifts that come from learning.
The Holy Gospel - St. John 17:18-23.
AS thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me though their word; that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.