Gregory, Bishop of Agrigentum
Saint Gregory was born on the island of Sicily to pious Christian parents. By ten years old, the young Gregory had already mastered his reading and writing skills and would chant in the church. At twelve years old, he was “adopted” by the clergy and put under the spiritual guidance of the archdeacon Donatus, spending ten years under him. Desiring to go to Jerusalem to venerate the Holy Lands, an angel of the Lord appeared to him and blessed his visit. In Jerusalem, he was tonsured a deacon and learnt much about the monastic and ascetical life there. He also visited Constantinople where he participated in the 5th Ecumenical Council. While in Constantinople, the Bishop of Agrigentum reposed and Gregory was chosen bishop through divine revelation. Living the life of an ascetic as bishop, Gregory served his flock with great zeal and humility. Because of his holiness, some malicious people became jealous and tried to slander him. They accused him of sleeping with a harlot whom they bribed to enter into his sleeping quarters. Just as the harlot went to speak at the trial, she fell into a fit of demonic rage. The judges believed Gregory to be a sorcerer and through the Pope of Rome at the time, was sentenced to prison. Through the saint’s humility and prayer, he was granted the gifts of wonderworking in prison and his fame spread throughout Rome. A clairvoyant elder who knew Bishop Gregory from childhood, persuaded the Pope to hold another trial in which the harlot, who was still demonically possessed, was to be present again. Through the prayers of the venerable Gregory, the demon was cast out of the woman. Coming to her senses, she spoke the whole truth to the council. The judges sentenced the initial slanderers to be executed, but Bishop Gregory impored forgiveness for them. Having returned to his own See in Agrigentum, Saint Gregory guided his flock in peace and love until his own repose.
Ἦχος ἀ’. Τῆς ἐρήμου πολίτης.
Γρηγορῶν ἐκ σπάργανων φερωνύμως Γρηγόριε, ἐν τοὶς δικαιώμασι Πάτερ τοῦ τῶν ὅλων δεσπόζοντος, ἐπλήσθης οὐρανίων δωρεῶν, ὡς γρήγορος ποιμὴν τῶν εὐσεβῶν διὰ τοῦτο πρὸς λειμῶνας ἀειθαλεῖς, Ἰθύνεις τοὺς βοώντας σοὶ δόξα τῷ σὲ δοξάσαντι Χριστῷ, δόξα τῷ σὲ στεφανώσαντι, δόξα τῷ ἐνεργούντι διά σου, πάσιν ἰάματα.
Ἦχος γ’. Ἡ Παρθένος σήμερον.
Ὥσπερ μέγας ἥλιος, ἀνατολαῖς τῶν θαυμάτων, καταυγάζεις ἅπασαν, τὴν τοῦ Θεοῦ Ἐκκλησίαν, ἔσωσας ταῖς σαῖς πρεσβείαις πολλοὺς ἀνθρώπους, ἤλασας τοὺς κακοδόξους ἐκ τῆς σῆς ποίμνης· διὰ τοῦτό σε τιμῶμεν, θεόφρον Πάτερ, σοφὲ Γρηγόριε.