Born Georgios Angelopoulos from the village of Dimitsana in Arcadia the Peloponnese. He was a 3-time Patriarch of Constantinople.
His 3rd and final term (1818-1821), coincided with the launching of the Greek Revolution.
The early successes of the Greek Revolutionaries against the Turks particularly in the Peloponnese, alarmed the Turks and according to them, something had to be done.
They turned their attention towards the Patriarch of Constantinople, blaming him for failing to suppress or stop the Revolution.
During Holy Week in April 1821, Gregory was taken out of the Patriarchal Cathedral on Easter Sunday, after celebrating the Easter Liturgy. He was accosted by the Turks & taken out in full Patriarchal vestments and hanged.
He was left hanging for 3 days on St Peter’s gate of the Patriarchate compound, by order of the Sultan. This was followed by a massacre of the Greek population of Constantinople.
Following the 3 days, the Patriarch's body was handed over to a group of Jews, who dragged his body through the streets before dumping it into the sea. The Patriarch's body was eventually recovered by Greek sailors who took it to Odessa for burial. 50 years later his body would be transferred to Athens where it lies today.
In his memory, the Saint Peter Gate, once the main gate of the Patriarchate compound, was welded shut in 1821 and has remained shut ever since.
This despicable act merely inspired even more outrage against the Turks. During the Greek War of Independence, many revolutionaries engraved on their swords the name of Gregory, seeking revenge.