An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Cappadocians, or Cappadocian Fathers

Three important theologians of the Patristic Era. Basil the Great of Caesarea (330-379), his brother Gregory of Nyssa (c. 330-395), and their friend Gregory of Nazianzus (329-389) all came from Cappadocia, a Roman province in what is now Turkey. In their lives and literary works, the three friends were largely responsible for extending the Nicene doctrine of the Trinity to the person of the Holy Spirit, and thus to the final defeat of the Arians, semi-Arians, and Macedonians at I Constantinople in 381. They also gave a final definitive shape to eastern monasticism, and contributed greatly to the formation of Orthodox theology, spirituality, and liturgy. In the calendar of the church year, Basil the Great is commemorated on June 14, Gregory of Nyssa is commemorated on Mar. 9, and Gregory of Nazianzus is commemorated on May 9.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.