Basil and Gregory met when they were at school together in Athens, and they became close friends. Basil began a monastery and Gregory joined him as a monk. Later Basil was made a bishop and had to leave the monastery. Nearby was a diocese that was not very faithful to the Church. It needed a bishop who would be loyal to Church teaching. Basil asked Gregory to be the bishop there. At first Gregory objected but, out of loyalty to his friend and the Church, he eventually accepted.