My latest Article on Saint Gregory Palamas

Hey everybody,

At the request of our friend “Credo Ergo Sum” in this post:

…I have done my due diligence and for my Saint of the Week I have written my article on Saint Gregory Palamas.

The article is written from the perspective of a Latin Catholic; thus a large portion of the beginning is about his status as a Saint in the Melkite Catholic Church (he is :slight_smile: ), and at the end of it I struggled to understand his theology and explain it in terms that I, a Latin Catholic, could understand.

It is written in the third person objective because I’m trying to create a writing resume that I could take out later to prove to potential employers that I’m actively creating new articles and attempting to make them professional :thumbsup:

I’ve done a lot of Eastern Saints so far and no women Saints yet, so I think I’ll find a Latin Catholic female Saint for next week…I’ll ponder this.

I hope you enjoy the article, it was not easy to write :smiley:

Hello Marc,

Do you have a link to your article?

In Christ,

Oh wow! :blush:


Yeah, that’s kind of important :smiley:

Thank you, I enjoyed it!

Very nicely written! Very informative! :thumbsup:

I especially liked the comparisation between the beatific vision and the Palamite view of heaven, I wonder who your inspiration was :smiley:

He is also a saint as recognized by the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church; it was largely Patriarch +Josyp (Slipij) who moved for his inclusion in our calendar on the Second Sunday of the Great Fast in the late 1960s (c.f. Jaroslav Pelikan). St. Gregory’s commemoration was included in the Anthologion printed in Rome with the approbation of the Holy See for our Church in 1974 (it is included in Volume II).

The 1971 Melkite service books included St. Gregory as an optional commemoration on the Second Sunday of the Great Fast, although Archbishop Raya did not include this in Byzantine Daily Worship. We have kept St. Gregory’s commemoration in the Vespers and Divine Liturgy propers at our local UGCC parish for at least the last 15 or so years. There is absolutely no question that he is officially considered a saint on the calendar of at least these two particular Churches (UGCC and Melkite).

Anna Williams book about St. Gregory’s ideas of deification as it relates to western perspectives and St. Thomas is a must read. It is called The Ground of Union: Deification in Aquinas and Palamas.

Marc Anthony,

In your article you state the following:

His Holiness Blessed Pope John Paul II gave some clarification on the issue when, in the months following his assassination attempt in 1981, he supposedly recognized Gregory Palamas as a Saint. In the book “How Not to Say Mass” by Father Dennis C. Smolarski,S.J., Father Smolarski says that Blessed Pope John Paul II referred to Gregory as Saint Palamas while speaking before a group of mixed Eastern Orthodox and Catholics.

I am familiar with that quote as I read it years ago from Fr. Smolarski’s book. It was allegedly may by His Holiness during a visit of Eastern Orthodox bishops to the Vatican in 1981. I looked through the issues of L’Osservatore Romano published at the time and, although I was able to find a speech given by Blessed John Paul during the visit, there is no mention of Gregory Palamas. However, there is a reference to Gregory Palamas in a speech by a Greek Orthodox bishop.

Fr. Smolarski may well have been mistaken.

To my knowledge, the only time that Blessed John Paul II used the word saint in reference to an Orthodox saint was St. Seraphim of Sarov in his book,* Crossing the Threshold of Hope.*

I’ll give Fr. Smolarski the benefit of the doubt as he is generally known for precision in his observations and works. *L’Osservatore Romano *as also not famously known for citing exactly every phrase and word uttered by a Pontiff.

Secondly, the Angelus address of Blessed John Paul II in 1996 is quite congratulatory regarding the hesychasistic tradition most excellently championed by St. Gregory:

However, we should acknowledge the good intentions which guided the defense of this spiritual method, that is, to emphasize the concrete possibility that man is given to unite himself with the Triune God in the intimacy of his heart, in that deep union of grace which Eastern theology likes to describe with the particularly powerful term of “theosis”, “divinization”.

Precisely in this regard Eastern spirituality has amassed a very rich experience which was vigorously presented in the famous collection of texts significantly entitled Philokalia (love of beauty") and gathered by Nicodemus the Hagiorite at the end of the 18th century.

While certainly more implicit than Fr. Smolarski’s contention, St. Gregory Palamas occupies a significant part of Volume 4 of the English translation of the *Philokalia *.

Interesting. Do any of you know what they’re referring too when they say that Blessed John Paul II reinstituted his memory on the Second Sunday of Great Lent?

Well, I did contact Fr. Smolarski a few years ago to see if he could give me the source of Blessed John Paul calling Gregory Palamas a saint. He replied backed that he was unable to find it. He got back to me again, saying he had searched for it, but unsuccessful, even expressing uncertainty whether he attributed the reference correctly to Blessed John Paul.

Well at any rate, I think we’re still good as he is definitely approved on the Second Sunday of Great Lent; the Holy Synod approved this in 1972.

Excellent! A Catholic reference!

And my article’s reputation is restored…with some edits. :slight_smile:

The commemoration is also made on the Second Sunday of the Great Fast in the Ruthenian Church.

BTW - the article was very nicely done! :thumbsup:

Not to pop your ballon :), but that is an unofficial source.
You’ll find other Orthodox saints listed there–even the Romanov family!

As I see it, St. Gregory’s inclusion in the Anthologion makes it official.

I found another Catholic Source to to confirm that it wasn’t just one Catholic source backing up the claim. Both, however, are unofficial.

From the Menaion - Volume III (November) of the BCC (entry for 14 Nov, together with St. Phillip the Apostle):

Our holy father Gregory Palamas, archbishop of Thessalonica. When Gregory completed his secular studies, he withdrew to the Holy Mountain and became a monk of (successively) Vatopedi and the Great Lavra. He was made Metropolitan of Salonica in 1347, and governed that church for twelve years. He is famous as both an ascetic and a theologian. (1359)

Found it! An official source:

At the bottom of the page it says:

“Melkite Greek Catholic Church Information Center is an unofficial Melkite Greek Catholic Web site and has not been reviewed or approved by any Melkite clergy person.”

But yes, if he’s in the calendar he’s a saint. Lex orandi, lex credendi.

Banana Republican is a pretentious fool who makes Catholics look bad. Here he’s praying for the ByzCath forum to become as bigoted as he is.

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