Home  »  Volume XII: December  »  St. Gregory of Spoleto, Priest and Martyr

Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73). Volume XII: December. The Lives of the Saints. 1866.

December 24

St. Gregory of Spoleto, Priest and Martyr

THIS martyr was a holy priest of 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 despatched 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 favours 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.  1