Saint Gregory Palamas Archbishop of Thessalonika the Wonderworker
Commemorated on November 14 and on the Second Sunday of Great Lent
Saint Gregory Palamas as protege of the Theotokos
St. Gregory Palamas felt love for the Panagia. He was granted to see her in his life, he was her protege. He prayed unceasingly to the Theotokos. He prayed day and night to God, projecting the Mother of God “as guide, protector and mediator, all the time bringing before his eyes her aid and her countenance, with words and prayers and noetic movements, and pondering the way of obedience with her guidance.” So the saint was praying constantly to God, with the Panagia as his guide and mediator. The prayer which he was saying at that time of his asceticism on Mount Athos, was “enlighten my darkness.”
Before his father died, St. Gregory’s mother asked him to ask the emperor to protect his children. That saintly man not only did not accept her words, but rebuked her in a way and said to her.
“I do not leave my children to some earthly rulers, but I leave my children to this Mistress of all, the mother of the King of heaven.” And indeed at the time when he said these things he was looking at the icon of the Theotokos which was in front of him.
It was at the time when he had returned to the Lavra, but he was staying at St. Sabbas frontisterion outside the Monastery of the Great Lavra. He once prayed for himself and his escort to the Panagia, “the usual governor and deliverer,” that both their guidance and their journey toward God might be unimpeded, but also that they might have what they needed for their nourishment, in order not to be very much occupied with collecting supplies and neglect prayer. Then the Panagia, the Queen of all, appeared in a vision, “dressed modestly and purely,” just as the holy icons present her. Many saints had appeared and were following her. Then the Theotokos turned and gave them the order to serve St. Gregory and his escort: “From now on you are to be stewards and distributors of the necessities for Gregory and his escort.”
And St. Gregory was assured that from then on “all that was necessary for our bodily needs was offered us without effort wherever we happened to be.”