Saint Gregory the Wonderworker
Saint Gregory the Wonderworker of Neocaesarea was born into a pagan family in which he was provided a fine education. He sought the Truth through philosophy and intellectual thought, but was not able to find it in any of the ancient authors, but only through the Holy Scriptures, and thus was baptised a Christian. Saint Gregory excelled in virtue, and for this reason, envy was aroused among the unfaithful. Once, during a conversation with philosophers in the city square, an infamous harlot approached him, demanding him to pay for the supposed services she had provided him with. The saint gently replied that she must have mistaken him for another, but she insisted. He gave the woman money and immediately she fell into a demonic fit and her slander was revealed. Having said a prayer over her, the demon left and the woman was healed. This was the first of many miracles. Saint Gregory fled to the desert where he attained the gift of prophecy, however the Lord willed that he return to the world and be made bishop. Although hesitant at first out of humility, Gregory accepted the See as God’s will. Saint Gregory battled many heresies in his time. The Holy Virgin Theotokos, together with the Apostle John the Evangelist, appeared to him and revealed the true doctrine of the Church. This doctrine is what Orthodox Theology is based on and was subsequently used by many the Holy Church Fathers. As bishop, Saint Gregory preached Christ to the pagans, expelling demons from pagan temples, and converting pagan priests to the Truth. Through the prayers of the saint, a large stone was shifted from its place, he dried up a river which was the cause of argument between siblings, and he even physically moved a mountain so that the foundations of a church could be laid. During the persecution of Decius in 249 AD, Saint Gregory with his flock fled to a mountain on which they hid. Having been spied on and their location revealed, the saint ordered that his raise his hands in prayer with him, and the soldiers searched the whole mountain, walking right past the Christians who remained unnoticed. When the traitor who revealed the location of the Christians found this out, he repented and was baptised. When the saint had entered Neocaesarea, only 17 Christians were found. By his death, only 17 pagans remained in the city.
Ἦχος πλ. δ’.
Ἐν προσευχαῖς γρηγορῶν, ταῖς τῶν θαυμάτων ἐργασίαις ἐγκαρτερῶν, ἐπωνυμίαν ἐκτήσω τὰ κατορθώματα, ἀλλὰ πρέσβευε Χριστῷ τῷ Θεῷ, Πάτερ Γρηγόριε, φωτίσαι τὰς ψυχὰς ἡμῶν, μὴ ποτὲ ὑπνώσωμεν, ἐν ἁμαρτίαις εἰς θάνατον.
Ἦχος β’. Τὰ ἄνω ζητῶν.
Θαυμάτων πολλῶν, δεξάμενος ἐνέργειαν, σημείοις φρικτοῖς, τοὺς δαίμονας ἐπτόησας, καὶ τὰς νόσους ἤλασας τῶν ἀνθρώπων, πάνσοφε Γρηγόριε· διὸ καλῇ θαυματουργός, τὴν κλῆσιν ἐξ ἔργων κομισάμενος.
You became worthy of your name through your way of life: / through your vigilance in prayer and your constant works of mercy. / Therefore, O Father Gregory, beseech Christ God to enlighten our minds, / that we may not sleep in sin, which leads to death!
You received the power to perform miracles, / frightening the devils and healing the sick through your wonderworking. / All-wise Father Gregory, / your deeds truly entitle you to be called “Wonderworker”!