Saint Gregory was born in the Isaurian city of Decapolis (ten cities) in the VIII century. From his childhood he loved the house of God and the Church Services. He read the Holy Scripture constantly and with reverence. In order to avoid the marriage which his parents had intended for him, he left home and spent his entire life wandering. He travelled to Constantinople, Rome, Corinth, and he lived as an ascetic on Olympus for a while. Saint Gregory preached the Word of God everywhere, denouncing the Iconoclast heresy, and strengthening the faith and courage of the Orthodox, who were persecuted, tortured, and imprisoned by the Iconoclasts.
Through his ascetical struggles and prayers, Saint Gregory attained the gifts of prophecy and working miracles. After overcoming the passions and attaining the height of virtue, he was permitted to hear the angelic singing in praise of the Holy Trinity. Saint Gregory left the monastery of Saint Menas near Thessaloniki, where he had labored for a long time, and he went to Constantinople again in order to combat the Iconoclast heresy. At the capital, a grievous illness undermined his strength, and he went to the Lord in the year 816.
Saint Gregory was buried at a monastery in Constantinople, and many miracles took place at his tomb. As a result, the monks recovered Saint Gregory’s holy relics and enshrined them in the church where people could venerate them.
When Constantinople fell to the Turks in 1453, the relics of Saint Gregory were carried to the region of the Danube by a Turkish official. In 1498 Barbu Craiovescu, the Ban of Wallachia heard of the miracles performed by the holy relics and he bought them for a considerable sum of money. Barbu Craiovescu placed the relics in the main church of Bistrița’s Dormition Monastery which he founded at Rimnicu Vilcea,1 where they remain to the present day.
A small booklet describing the miracles and healings performed by Saint Gregory the Decapolite in Romania was written by Igoumeness Olga Gologan, who reposed in 1972.
1 Located in Neamț County, Romania.
Saint Gregory who was from Irenopolis of the Decapolis of Asia Minor, was the son of Sergius and Mary. He became a monk as a young man, and after struggling for many years in virtue and prayer under obedience to a wise spiritual father, he was informed by revelation that it was the will of God for him to live, like the Patriarch Abraham, with no certain dwelling, moving from place to place. His journeyings took him to Ephesus, Constantinople, Corinth, Rome, Sicily, Thessalonica, and again to Constantinople, where, after many labours in defence of Orthodoxy against Iconoclasm, he reposed in peace in the first half of the ninth century. He had two disciples, one of whom was Saint Joseph the Hymnographer (see Apr. 3), who wrote the Menaion service for Saint Gregory, his father in Christ.
Gregory was born in Isaurian Decapolis of prominent and devout parents, Sergius and Mary. After he had completed his schooling, his parents desired that he marry, but he fled to the wilderness and was tonsured a monk. He lived in various places: Byzantium, Rome and on Mount Olympus. Wherever he was, he amazed men by his asceticism and miracles. At times a heavenly light illumined him and angels of God appeared to him. He gazed upon the beauty of the angels and listened to their sweet chanting. He lived a long and God-pleasing life and died peacefully in the ninth century in Constantinople, his soul taking up its abode in the joy of his Lord.
Source: oca.org / goarch.org / westserbdio.org