Bishop Gregory of Nyssa/Harmandalı (AD 335-394)

Gregory was born the third son to Basil the Elder and Emmelia around 335. Basil the Great ordained his brother Gregory as bishop of Nyssa, where he served for twenty-two years, from about 372 to 394. Nyssa was a small town in Cappadocia that was possibly located about one mile (2 km) north of the modern town of Harmandalı, in the province of Aksaray. Some people have identified Nyssa with the modern city of Nevşehir, though this is doubtful.

Gregory was quiet, humble, and a gifted theologian, making significant con- tributions to the doctrine of the Trinity and the formation of the final version of the Nicene Creed. He wrote an important biography of bishop Gregory the Wonder-Worker of Neocaesarea (modern Niksar). In July 379— the same year that Basil the Great died—Gregory visited his sister, Macrina the Younger, at her monastery in Pontus. During his visit, Macrina died. Filled with grief, Gregory wrote a moving and insightful biography on Macrina’s life titled Life of Macrina.

After Macrina’s funeral, Gregory returned to his ministry in Nyssa. In 381, he participated in Constantinople’s Ecumenical Church Council, held in the Church of Holy Peace (Saint Irene) and assisted in the writing of the final version of the Nicene Creed. Gregory died in 395.