ST. GREGORY OF SPOLETO, M.
THIS martyr was a holy priest at Spoleto, who
employed his time night and day in fasting and prayer, and in
teaching others the holy law of God. It happened that Flaccus, a
general of the forces, arrived at that city with a special order from
the emperor Maximian to punish all the Christians. An information was
laid before him, that Gregory seduced many, and contemned the gods
and the emperors Soldiers were immediately dispatched to bring him
bound before his tribunal. When he appeared, Flaccus, with a stern
countenance, said, “Are you Gregory of Spoleto?” The
martyr answered, “I am.” Flaccus again said, “Are
you the enemy of the gods and the contemner of the princes?”
St. Gregory replied, “From my infancy I have always served the
God who framed me out of the earth.” Flaccus asked, “Who
is your God?” “He,” replied the martyr, “who
made man to his own image and likeness, who is all-powerful and
immortal, and who will render to all men according to their works.”
Flaccus said, “Do not use many words, but do what I command
you.” The martyr replied “I know not what your command
implies, but I do what I am bound to do.” Flaccus urged, “If
you desire to save yourself, go to the wonderful temple, and
sacrifice to the great gods; and you shall be our friend, and shall
receive many favors from our most invincible emperors.” St.
Gregory said, “I desire not such a friendship, nor do I
sacrifice to devils, but to my God, Jesus Christ.” The judge
commanded him to be buffeted on the face, beaten with clubs, and
tortured on the rack; and at length ordered his head to be cut off.
This happened in 304. His relics lie in a church which bears his name
at Spoleto. Baronius found in the close of a copy of these Acts an
authentic testimony of a glorious miracle wrought by their touch in
1037. See the Acts of his Confession in Baronius, Surius, &c.,
quoted by Tillemont, t. 5, p. 133.