Nicholas Kabasilas

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Nicholas Kabasilas or Cabasilas (Greek: Νικόλαος Καβάσιλας; born 1319/1323 in Thessalonica;[1] died 1392[2]) was a Byzantine mystic and theological writer.

Kabasilas is a saint within the Orthodox Church. His feast day is June 20.[3][4] The Roman Catholic Church uses extracts from his Life in Christ as readings in the Liturgy of the Hours (Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of the Fifth Week of Easter in Year II of the provisional two-year cycle for the Office of Readings).[5]


He was on intimate terms with the emperor John VI Kantakouzenos, whom he accompanied in his retirement to a monastery. He was once thought to have succeeded his uncle Neilos Kabasilas as archbishop of Thessalonica; however contemporary records of that see do not show Nicholas as serving in the capacity of archbishop. It is more likely that he served as a priest at the Mangana Monastery at Constantinople.[6]

In the Hesychast controversy he took the side of the monks of Mount Athos and Saint Gregory Palamas.


His chief work is his Περὶ τῆς ἐν Χριστῷ ζωῆς,[7] ("On the Life in Christ"). in which he lays down the principle that union with Christ is effected by the three great mysteries of baptism, chrismation, and the eucharist. He also wrote homilies on various subjects, and a speech against usurers, printed with other works in Migne, Patrologia Graeca, c. i. A large number of his works is still extant in manuscript.

Kabasilas' major works are Life in Christ and Commentary on the Divine Liturgy. These works display a profound understanding of the sacramental and liturgical life of the Eastern Orthodox Church and are accessible to and instructive for any Christian today worshiping in either the East or West.


  • Cabasilas, N. Commentary on the Divine Liturgy. 14th century. Translated by J.M. Hussey and P.A. McNulty. St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1960. ISBN 0-913836-37-0
  • Cabasilas, N. The Life in Christ. St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1974. ISBN 0-913836-12-5

See also


  1. ^ Cabasilas, Nicolaus (1974). The Life in Christ. Translated by Carmino J. DeCantazaro. St. Vladimir's Seminary Press. ISBN 9780913836125.
  2. ^ "Ὁ Ὅσιος Νικόλαος Καβάσιλας" [Saint Nicholas Kabasilas]. Great Book of Saints (in Greek). 2009.
  3. ^ "Lives of all saints commemorated on June 20". Orthodox Church in America.
  4. ^ "Nicholas Cabasilas". Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.
  5. ^ "Domingo V de Pascua" [Easter Sunday V]. Mercaba (in Spanish).
  6. ^ Cabasilas (1974), p. 10
  7. ^ ed. pr. of the Greek text, with copious introduction, by W. Gass, 1849; new ed. by M. Heinze, 1899


  • Krumbacher, Karl (1897). Geschichte der byzantinischen Litteratur. Munich, Germany: C. H. Beck.
  • Herzog, Johann Jakob; Hauck, Albert, eds. (1901). Realencyklopädie für Protestantische Theologie und Kirche. Leipzig, Germany: J. C. Hinrichs.
  • Parry, Ken; Melling, David, eds. (1999). The Blackwell Dictionary of Eastern Christianity. Malden, MA.: Blackwell Publishing. ISBN 0-631-23203-6.
  • Wikisource Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Cabasilas, Nicolaus". Encyclopædia Britannica. 4 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.

Further reading

  • Russell, Eugenia (2010). "Nicholas Kavasilas Chamaëtos (c. 1322 – c. 1390): A Unique Voice Amongst his Contemporaries". Nottingham Medieval Studies. 54: 123–37. doi:10.1484/J.NMS.1.100772. (Subscription required (help)).
  • Metso, Pekka (2010). Divine Presence in the Eucharistic Theology of Nicholas Cabasilas (PDF). Joensuu: Itä-Suomen yliopisto, University of Eastern Finland. ISBN 978-952-61-0080-7.

External links

  • Encyclopædia Britannica: Nicholas Cabasilas
  • Nektarios Mamalougos: Nicholas Cabasilas

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