Gorgonia, St.

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Matron and martyr; d. c. 375. Gorgonia was the daughter of St. Gregory Nazianzen the Elder (bishop of Nazianzos, c. 328374; b. c. 276; d. 374) and of St. Nonna (d. 374); she was also the sister of St. gregory of nazianzus. The only significant source for her life is her funeral oration, which was preached by her brother, Gregory (Patrologia Graeca 35:789817). Gorgonia appears to have been married and the mother of at least three children. She is said to have been twice cured of severe illness through faith in the will of God, but appears to have put off baptism until the end of her life. An incident described by Gregory has been taken to refer to the reservation of the Blessed Sacrament, but modern scholars question its significance.

Feast: Dec. 9.

Bibliography: f. l. cross The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (London 1957) 572. h. thurston, Journal of Theological Studies 11 (190910) 275279, Eucharist.

[j. brÜckmann]