The ghost of St. Gregory kills his successor

Pocket Bard’s notes: I haven’t quite figured out how to perform this one yet, but I love the idea of a saintly ghost story. I imagine all sorts of embellishments I can do with St. Gregory’s visitations to the new pope, either scary or funny, depending on the audience.


The ghost of St. Gregory kills his successor
The Golden Legend, Volume I, trans. William Granger Ryan, p.181

After blessed Gregory’s death a great famine scourged the whole region, and the poor people, for whom Gregory always provided food, went to his successor and said: “Holy father, may Your Holiness not allow us to die of hunger, since our father Gregory used to feed us.” These words angered the new pope, who answered: “Gregory, to win fame and praise, may have taken it upon himself to provide for all peoples, but we ourselves can do nothing for you,” and he always sent them away empty-handed. Saint Gregory appeared to him three times and chided him gently for being so frugal and for speaking unkindly of him, but the pope made no move to change his conduct. So Gregory, now stern and fearsome, appeared a fourth time and struck him a lethal blow on the head, which caused him great pain and brought him to an early death.

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