2. AGRIGENTINUS, or of AGRIGENTUM, one of the most eminent ecclesiastics of the sixth century.
Gregorius was born near Agrigentum about A. D. 524. His father, Chariton, and his mother, Theodote, were pious people, by whom, from his twelfth year, he was destined to the priesthood, his precocity of mind having attracted great attention.
After going through his course of education, he visited Carthage, and from thence proceeded to Jerusalem, where he was ordained deacon, according to Symeon Metaphrastes, by the patriarch Macarius II.; but this is an anachronism, as Macarius occupied that see from A. D. 563 to 574.
He stayed at Jerusalem at least four years, studying grammar, philosophy, astronomy, and eloquence. From Jerusalem he proceeded to Antioch, and from thence to Constantinople, exciting very general admiration.
According to Nicephorus Callisti, he was esteemed to be superior in holiness and eloquence and learning to nearly all the ecclesiastics of his day. From Constantinople he proceeded to Rome, and was by the pope advanced to the vacant see of Agrigentum, the nomination to which had been referred to the pope in consequence of disputes about the succession.
This appointment was, however, the source of much trouble to Gregory; for two of the ecclesiastics, who had been competitors for the see, suborned a prostitute to charge him with fornication.
This accusation led the bishop to undertake a journey to Constantinople, where he was favourably received by the emperor Justinian I., and obtained an acquittal from the charge against him; after which he returned to Agrigentum, where he died 23d of Nov., about A. D. 564.
Lives of Gregorius by Leontius and Symeon Metaphrastes
His life was written in Greek by Leontius, presbyter and abbot of St. Saba, and by Symeon Metaphrastes. A Latin version of the latter is given by Surius: it ascribes many miracles to him.
The life by Leontius is given, we are not informed whether in the Greek or in a Latin version, in the Sancti Siculi of Caetanus, vol. i. p. 188, &c.
Orationes, Conciones, Commentary on Ecclesiastes
The works of Gregory of Agrigentum comprehend,--
Niceph. Callisti, H. E.
17.27; Mongitor. Biblioth. Sicula,
vol. i. p. 262; Cave, Hist. Litt.
vol. i. p. 517, ed. Oxford, 1740-43; Surius, De Probatis Sanctor. Vitis. Nov.
p. 487, &c.