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Tout 24 : The Departure of St. Gregory the Ascetic.

 



  On this day, St. Gregory the monk, departed. He was the son of pious, Christian and exceedingly rich parents from one of the cities of Upper Egypt. They cared greatly to teach their son the art of speaking, medicine and also taught him the Church subjects. Next, they took him to the father Abba Isaac, bishop of their city who ordained him a psalter to serve the altar. When they wanted him to get married, he refused. Later on, the bishop promoted him to a reader. Gregory was devoted to praying and he was inclined to seclusion since his young age. He used to pay many visits to Abba Pachomius (Pakhom). He took much money from his parents and brought it to St. Pachomius, beseeching him to spend it on building monasteries. The saint accepted his alms and spent it on building the monasteries of the holy Cenobitism. Later on, he went to Abba Pachomius, where he became a monk. He struggled practicing all kinds of virtues to the point that just from his look and appearance the lustful person would learn purity. He dwelt there for 13 years.

When Saint Macarius came to visit St. Pachomius, Gregory asked St. Pachomius to permit him to go back with St. Macarius. He dwelt with St. Macarius for two years, then he asked him if he could live alone and St. Macarius allowed him. He dug out a small cave for himself in the mountain where he dwelt for seven years. He used to visit St. Macarius twice a year, on Christmas and on Easter, to consult him in his spiritual fight.

When he completed 22 years of strife, God wished to repose him. God sent to him an angel who informed him that after three days he would depart from the world. St. Gregory called the elders of the desert, bade them farewell and asked them to remember him in their prayers. Three days later, he departed in peace.

His prayers be with us to keep us from every evil. Amen.

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