Memorial Day of St. Gregory Palama, Archbishop of Thessalon (27/11)

Saint Gregory Palamas, Archbishop of Thessalonica, defender of the Orthodox doctrine of the Divine Light, was born in 1296 in Asia Minor. During the Turkish invasion, the family fled to Constantinople and found shelter at the court of Andronicus II Palaiologos (1282-1328). Gregory's father became a major dignitary under the emperor, but soon died. Andronicus himself took part in the upbringing and education of the orphaned boy, who had excellent abilities and great diligence.

Gregory, having barely reached the age of 20, retired to Mount Athos and entered the Vatopedi monastery as a novice, where, under the guidance of the Monk Nikodim of Vatopedi, he began the path of asceticism and received monastic tonsure. A year later, the holy Evangelist John the Theologian appeared to him in a vision and promised his spiritual protection. Gregory's mother, along with his sisters, soon also became monks.

After the repose of St. Nikodim, Monk Gregory went through his feat of prayer for 8 years under the guidance of the elder Nicephorus, and after the death of the latter, he moved to the Lavra of St. Athanasius of Athos. But three years later, striving for higher levels of spiritual perfection, he settled in a small hermitage Glossia. The abbot of this monastery, Gregory, began to teach the young man concentrated spiritual prayer - smart doing, which was gradually developed and assimilated by the monks, starting with the great hermits of the 4th century. After in the XI century, in the writings of Simeon the New Theologian, external prayer methods of mental work received detailed coverage, it was assimilated by the Athos ascetics. The experimental application of smart doing, requiring solitude and silence, was called hesychasm (from the Greek. peace, silence), and the practitioners themselves began to be called hesychasts.