Rev. Fr. Gregory O.C.D.

On the wall to the right of the monument, there is a brass plate that speaks for itself. ``Sacred to memory of Rev. Fr. Gregory O.C.D. pious and zealous missionary, born at Asti (Italy) on 22-11-1743, who baptisd in the Catholic Church at Agra on 5-1781 Begum Yoanna Sumru, blessed her marriage with L. Le Vaisseau at Sardhana in 1793, died at Delhi on 29-9-1807 was buried in a cemetery at Rohtak Rd., Delhi. His remains were brought here close to those of his spiritual daughter on 28-5-1959. The Catholic diocese of Meerut and the Carmelite Fathers of India placed this Memorial on his grave on 17-11-1960.

Father Gregory had been sent from Bombay to Agra to take over the work of the Jesuit Fathers, who had been at Agra from the time of Akbar. This measure was necessitated by the suppression of the Society of Jesus by Pope Clement XIV in 1773. Father Gregory therefore had a vast area to cover. It included Delhi, Mathura and Sardhana.

Undoubtedly this Italian Carmelite must have had a lot to do with the Begum's conversion. He baptised her in the old Akbar Church of Agra along with Sumru's son in 1781. 12 year lates he blessed her marriage with the Frenchman, Le Vaisseau. But in 1804, when the Hindustan Tibet Mission was handed over to the Capuchin Friars, he went to stay in Delhi where he died of cholera three years later. As has been already mentioned, his remains lay buried in the old Catholic cemetery on Rohtak Road, till they were brought to Sardhana in 1959. His grae can be seen in the small plot reserved for priests to the right of the church, just near the verandah. The original slab covers the new grave. Its inscription is brief : ``The memory of the late priest, Gregory, on the 29 of Sept. 1807''. Below this is the Urdu version with the date according to the Muslim calendar.

In the church there is an original painting of Father Gregory, that formerly adorned the sacristy of the old Akbar church at Agra.

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Basilica of Our Lady of Graces

Sardhana P.O. Meerut District 250 342 Uttar Pradesh, India

Tel: 0123-723-6127
Mob: +91 7409991161

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