Our father among the saints, Gregory Palamas, Archbishop of Thessalonica, was a monk of Mount Athos in Greece, and later became Archbishop of Thessalonica. St. Gregory defended the age-old and unbroken tradition of Hesychasm – prayerful stillness and watchfulness – the tradition of prayer as theology. His memory is celebrated on November 14 and on the Second Sunday of Great Lent, which is dedicated to him and known as the Sunday of St. Gregory Palamas.
St. Gregory represents Orthodox theology at its most sublime. Patristic theology in the fourteenth century, of which St. Gregory is indubitably the greatest exponent, touched the very boundaries of theological expression.
St. Gregory’s sermons are among the finest in Patristic literature. In his treatment of the manifold themes contained therein, he is remarkably consistent in maintaining a balance between originality of thought and strict adherence to the tradition of his predecessors. Moreover, his genius resides in the ease with which he demonstrates, as only a master of the spiritual life can, the refreshingly practical significance of the doctrines of the Church for the Life in Christ.
The first edition of all sixty-three extant sermons by St. Gregory to appear in English translation, presented together with an Introduction to the Homilies, over 1,000 notes and scholia, an index of Scriptural References, an index of Names and Subjects, and an index of Greek Words – designed to transform this remarkable treasury of Patristic wisdom into an invaluable reference resource for the student of theology.
“Saint Gregory gave to the Church what is surely the most complete synthesis and perfect formulation of the Apostolic tradition of all generations. His theology, in a charismatic and ‘existential’ way, recapitulates, in its entirety, the spiritual experience of the saints of the Old and New Testaments . . . The sermons of Saint Gregory Palamas, in spirited and uncomplicated idiom, render his entire life’s work accessible to the people of God. In fact, they form the most complete introduction not only to his theology, but to the theology of all the great Fathers of the Church.” Archimandrite Zacharias, Patriarchal and Stavropegic Monastery of St. John the Baptist, Essex, England.