Wednesday, September 8, 2010

St. Gregory the Great

I am sorry I missed this.  Thanks to Ms. Marilou Cortes of Societas Liturgiae Sacrae Sancti Gregorii for this.  This came from the Manila Bulletin editorial.  The saint's feast was last Friday, September 3.


Born in Rome, Italy, in AD 540, St. Gregory was the son of Gordianus, a wealthy senator, and Silvia, who later became a saint. He was the nephew of Saints Emiliana and Tarsilla and great-grandson of Pope Saint Felix III.

He received his law education from the finest teachers in Rome. He has a senator before reaching the age of 30. In 573, he was appointed Prefect of the City of Rome by Emperor Justin the Younger. But soon afterwards, he resigned, sold his possessions left to him by his father, became a monk, and converted his home into a monastery under the patronage of St. Andrew. He also founded six monasteries on his Sicilian estate. In 578, he became one of the Pope's seven deacons of Rome and 579, he was appointed papal representative in Constantinople. He served in this position for six years, then was recalled to Rome and returned to St. Andrew's of which he became abbot soon afterwards.

After the passing away of Pope Pelagius II in 590, St. Gregory at the age of 50 was elected as the 64th Pope by unanimous acclamation. He served as Pope until the year 604. His tireless labors merited for him the title of Great. His devotion was extended to the whole world. He personally took over the task of protecting the people from the barbarians after the collapse of the Roman Empire. He also watched over the holiness of the clergy and the maintenance of church discipline, the temporary interests of the people of Rome, and the spiritual interests of all Christendom. He removed unworthy priests from office, performed free services, and emptied the papal treasury to ransom prisoners of the Lombards and to care for the persecuted Jews and victims of plague and famine.

In spite of his hectic schedule, he found time to write. He introduced the "Gregorian Chant" in the liturgy. He remained humble by calling himself “Servant of the Servants of God.” Tradition considers him as one of the four great doctors of the Latin Church.

St. Gregory the Great died of natural causes on March 12, 604, in Rome, Italy. By popular acclamation, he was immediately canonized.

As we commemorate the papal ascension of Pope St. Gregory the Great, let us reflect on how we live our lives. May he teach us to pray and to put into action all our prayers.


Some famous quotes of the saint:

“For the place of heretics is very pride itself...for the place of the wicked is pride just as conversely humility is the place of the good."

“Compassion should be shown first to the faithful and afterwards to the enemies of the church.”

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