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Home » Saint of the Day

St. Gregory the Great

Submitted by on Saturday, 3 September 2011No Comment

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Life of Gregory the Great

Son of Gordianus, a Roman regionarius, and Saint Silvia of Rome. Nephew of Saint Emiliana and Saint Tarsilla. Great-grandson of Pope Saint Felix III. Educated by the finest teachers in Rome, Italy. Prefect of Rome for a year, then he sold his possessions, turned his home into a Benedictine monastery, and used his money to build six monasteries in Sicily and one in Rome. Benedictine monk. Upon seeing English children being sold in the Roman Forum, he became a missionary to England.

Elected 64th Pope by unanimous acclamation on 3 September 590, the first monk to be chosen. Sent Saint Augustine of Canterbury and a company of monks to evangelize England, and other missionaries to France, Spain, and Africa. Collected the melodies and plain chant so associated with him that they are now known as Gregorian Chants. One of the four great Doctors of the Latin Church. Wrote seminal works on the Mass and Divine Office, several of them dictated to his secretary, Saint Peter the Deacon. Source: SQPN

Benedict XVI on Pope St. Gregory the Great

Today I would like to present the figure of one of the greatest Fathers in the history of the Church, one of four Doctors of the West, Pope St Gregory, who was Bishop of Rome from 590 to 604, and who earned the traditional title of Magnus/the Great. Gregory was truly a great Pope and a great Doctor of the Church! He was born in Rome about 540 into a rich patrician family of the gens Anicia, who were distinguished not only for their noble blood but also for their adherence to the Christian faith and for their service to the Apostolic See. Two Popes came from this family: Felix III (483-492), the great-great grandfather of Gregory, and Agapetus (535-536). The house in which Gregory grew up stood on the Clivus Scauri, surrounded by majestic buildings that attested to the greatness of ancient Rome and the spiritual strength of Christianity. The example of his parents Gordian and Sylvia, both venerated as Saints, and those of his father’s sisters, Aemiliana and Tharsilla, who lived in their own home as consecrated virgins following a path of prayer and self-denial, inspired lofty Christian sentiments in him.

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