Saint Gregory Palamas: how he started?

There was a child who was somewhat illiterate and could not learn his lessons and keep up with his classmates.

His father, Constantine, after several unsuccessful attempts for the child to learn properly, finally told him that every morning before going to school he would do three prostrations in front of the icon of the Mother of God and ask her aid to help him at school.

When the child was doing this, he would soon become the “first student” in the class. When he had forgotten to do the prostrations before the icon of the Mother of God, he was again the “last”. Thus, in addition to a great culture, the young child acquired very great piety towards the Mother of God.

Unfortunately, while still young, his father dies, and the Byzantine Emperor Andronicus II Palaiologos took him under his protection and had high hopes that the young man would serve at his courtyard. However, he would be tonsured as a monk at barely 20 years of age on Holy Mountain of Athos and at the Monastery of Vatopaidi under the leadership of Saint Nicodemus the Hesychast.

His name: St. Gregory Palamas.

In the photo you see a fresco painted in 1372 which is in the Chapel of the Holy Unmercennary Healers at Vatopaidi Monastery, Mount Athos. It is said to represent St. Gregory Palamas as he was in reality due to the fact that it is very close to the year of the saint’s repose (1359) and most likely painted by someone who personally knew him.

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