Pope, Monk, and Doctor of the Church: ca. 540-604
+ Gregory was born in Rome. He held a number of high ranking political offices and served as Prefect of Rome. Later, renouncing these offices, he turned his home into a monastery and lived as a monk before being ordained a deacon.
+ After serving as Papal Legate to Constantinople, Gregory was elected Bishop of Rome on September 3, 590.
+ A true shepherd, Gregory is credited with a number of liturgical reforms but he is especially remembered for his love of the poor, whom he served with his own hands.
+ Gregory’s writings remain an important source of theology and spirituality. Aware of the Pope’s role in evangelization, he also sent Saint Augustine of Canterbury and a number of monk-missionaries to England and encouraged Saint Leander of Seville in his battle against the Arian heresy in Spain.
+ Pope Saint Gregory the Great died on March 12, 604. He is honored as the patron of Church musicians and singers.
Pope Saint Gregory composed a number of important pastoral works, including his Dialogues. This collection of reflections and biographies includes the earliest life of Saint Benedict and Saint Scholastica.
“Blessed Gregory, raised upon the throne of Peter,
sought always the beauty of the Lord
and lived in celebration of that love.”—Entrance Antiphon for the Mass for the Memorial of Saint Gregory the Great
O God, who care for your people with gentleness
and rule them in love,
through the intercession of Pope Saint Gregory,
endow, we pray, with a spirit of wisdom
those to whom you have given authority to govern,
that the flourishing of a holy flock
may become the eternal joy of the shepherds.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.