Bath Moravian Church

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Gregory The Patriarch (ca. 14201473)

Moravian People

Gregory was a nephew of Archbishop Rokycana of the Utraquist Church in Prague. This branch of Catholicism was so named because communion was received in both kinds (sub utraque species). Preaching in Prague, Rokycana influenced Gregory to follow the zeal of the early Hussites, giving him the writings of a radical Bohemian reformer, Peter of Chelcice.

After visiting Peter, Gregory and a small group of likeminded people settled in Kunwald. Enemies of these "Brethren" (they began calling themselves Jednota Bratrska or a Unity of Brethren) led a persecution, snatching Gregory when he was on a visit to Prague. Gregory and several Hussites were tortured on the rack; Gregory alone refused to recant. Passing out from the torture of the rack, he dreamed he saw Jesus standing by a flowering tree along with three men. Learning that his nephew was captured, Rokycana had Gregory freed.

Returning to Kunwald, Gregory told the Brethren of his dream, interpreting it to mean that Christ would form them into a church. A reformed Catholic priest, Michael, was named bishop in 1467 and tradition says he was consecrated by Waldensian bishops. When the church selected three elders, Gregory recognized their facesthey were the same persons he saw in his dream!

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