Today we honor two saintly Cappadocian friends, Gregory Nazianzen and Basil. Those two, along with Basil’s brother, Gregory of Nyssa, had been studying together in Alexandria, when Makrina, older sister to Basil and Gregory of Nyssa, invited the three of them to her home to pursue their investigation into the Bible’s words about the Holy Spirit and the Trinity.
Since John had said that God is love, the three of them pictured the Trinity not just like Patrick’ three leaved shamrock, but as a three person Greek dance called the perachoresus.
An odd thing about Makrina’s productive hospitality is that it was repeated fifteen centuries later when Lady Gregory at Coole of Galwsy played hostess to Ireland’s budding great writers.
(I visited her estate a hundred years later, and I delighted in the tree where Yeats, Synge, and O’Casey had carved their names back then.)