Gregory of Elvira, St.
GREGORY OF ELVIRA, ST.
First known bishop of Elvira (c. 357–392); b. Baetica (modern Andalusia), Spain, c. 320. An opponent of arianism at the Council of Rimini, Gregory defended the Nicene Creed in action and in writing. Bp. St. eusebius of vercelli wrote him a letter (Corpus scriptorum ecclesiasticorum latinorum 65:46) commending his resistance to Hosius of Córdoba when the latter capitulated at Sirmium in 357, and jerome praised his De fide (Patrologia Latina, ed. J. P. MIGNE (Paris 1878–90) 23:703). Gregory is said to have adhered to the schism of lucifer of cagliari in the Libellus precum (Patrologia Latina 13:89), written by the Luciferians Faustinus and Marcellinus c. 383, which hints that Gregory rejected the synod at Alexandria (362), and upon the death of Lucifer, became head of the party.
St. Jerome (Patrologia Latina 17:505–506) associates him with Lucifer but concludes only that "he had nothing to do with the Arian evil." No trace of Luciferianism appears in his writings. The literary investigations of A. wilmart restored authorship to Gregory of many Latin homilies and scriptural commentaries, indicating his importance as witness for the early Latin translations of the Bible and the development of Western Christology and ecclesiology. His homilies are marked by a strong anti-Jewish bias, traces of millenarianism, a gradually developing theology of the Holy Spirit, and an insistence on faith and holiness in Christians.
Feast: April 24.
Bibliography: j. collantes lozano, San Gregorio de Elvira (Granada 1954); Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner, 10 v. (2d, new ed. Freiburg 1957–65) 4:1192–93. h. koch, "Zu Gregors von Elvira Schriften und Quellen," Zeitschrift für Kirchengeschicte 51 (1932) 238–272. f. regina, Il De Fide di Gregorio d'Elvira (Naples 1942). b. altaner, Patrology, tr. h. graef from the 5th German ed. (New York 1960) 434–435.
[f. j. buckley]