Commemorated on January 10th
St Gregory, Bishop of Nyssa.
St Gregory, the younger brother of St Basil the Great, illustrious in speech and a zealot for the Orthodox Faith, was born in 331 AD. His brother St Basil was encouraged by their elder sister St Macrina to prefer the service of God to a secular career. St Gregory was moved in a similar way by his godly mother St Emily, who, when Gregory was still a young man, implored him to attend a service in honour of the holy Forty Martyrs at her retreat at Annesi on the River Iris. St Gregory came at his mother's bidding, but being wearied with the journey, and feeling little zeal, he fell asleep during the service. The Forty Martyrs then appeared to him in a dream, threatening him and reproaching him for his slothfulness. After this, he repented and became very diligent in the service of God. He became Bishop in 372 AD, and because of his Orthodoxy he was exiled in 374 AD by Valens, who was of one mind with the Arians. After Valens' death in 378 AD, St Gregory was recalled to his throne by the Emperor Gratian. He attended the Local Synod of Antioch, which sent him to visit the churches of Arabia and Palestine, which had been defiled and ravaged by Arianism. He attended the Second Ecumenical Synod, which was assembled in Constantinople in 381 AD. Having lived some 60 years and left behind many remarkable writings, he reposed about the year 395 AD. The acts of the Seventh Ecumenical Synod call him "Father of Fathers".
Dismissal Hymn of the Feast (First Tone)
When You was baptized in the Jordan, O Lord, the worship of the Trinity was made manifest; for the voice of the Father bare witness to You, calling You His beloved Son. And the Spirit in the form of a dove confirmed the certainty of the word. O Christ our God, Who has appeared and has enlightened the world, glory be to You.
Dismissal Hymn of the Saints (Fourth Tone)
O God of our Fathers, ever dealing with us according to Your gentleness; take not You mercy from us, but by their entreaties guide our life in peace.
Kontakion of the Feast (Fourth Tone)
On this day, You have appeared to the whole world, and Your light, O Sovereign Lord, is signed on us who sing You praise and chant with knowledge, "You have come, You have appeared, O You Light unapproachable".
Kontakion of St Gregory (Second Tone)
Rejoicing with the Angels and taking delight in the Divine Light, Gregory of Nyssa, the vigilant mind, the God-inspired Hierarch of the Church, and wisdom's revered hymnographer, intercede unceasingly for us all.