PATRISTICS/ Gregory of Nyssa
Our father among the saints Gregory of Nyssa (ca. A.D. 335 - after 384) was bishop of Nyssa and a prominent theologian of the fourth century. He was the younger brother of Basil the Great and friend of Gregory the Theologian. Gregory's influence on Church doctrine has remained important, although some have accused this theology of containing an Origenist influence. He is commemorated on January 10.
Gregory was raised in a very pious (and large) Christian family of ten children; his grandmother Macrina the Elder, his mother Emily, his father Basil the Elder, his sisters Macrina the Younger and Theosebia, and his brothers Basil the Great and Peter of Sebaste have all been recognized as saints. He received a good education and taught rhetoric at one point. In 372, his brother Basil ordained him the bishop of Nyssa in Cappadocia (in present-day Turkey).
Gregory and Basil both spent much effort defending the Faith against the attacks of the Arians. He was twice deposed as leader of his See because of false accusations made by the heretics. His position as bishop was finally restored in 378.
The next year, 379, his brother Basil the Great died. As the two were extremely close, Gregory was very grieved at his loss. To honor his brother, Gregory wrote his funeral oration and then completed Basil's Hexaemeron, a series of nine sermons, delivered during Great Lent, which described and elaborated upon the Genesis account of the world's creation in six days (Hexaemeron means "six days"). The following year, Gregory's sister Macrina also died, and Gregory wrote a hagiography detailing her life.
About this time Gregory attended the Council of Antioch, a local synod, in which he zealously defended Orthodoxy. The council was called to rebut a heresy which denied the perpetual virginity of the Theotokos, on one hand, and other the other hand forbid worship of her as God or part of the Godhead. Gregory was simultaneously continuing to fight Arianism. Next, he attended the Second Ecumenical Council in Constantinople, which added the final section concerning the Holy Spirit to the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed.
For the rest of his life, Gregory continued to attend church councils, discuss doctrinal matters, and combat various heresies. He reached old age and finally reposed in the Lord near the end of the fourth century.