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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

St. Gregory the Great

Ordinary Time: September 3rd


St. Gregory, senator and prefect of Rome, then in succession monk, cardinal and pope, governed the Church from 590 to 604.

After seeing English children being sold as slaves in Rome, he sent 40 monks, including St. Augustine of Canterbury, from his own monastery to make "the Angles angels." England owes her conversion to him. At a period when the invasion of the barbarian Lombards created a new situation in Europe, he played a great part in winning them for Christ. When Rome itself was under attack, he personally went to interview the Lombard King.

At the same time he watched over the holiness of the clergy and preserved ecclesiastical discipline, as well as attending to the temporal interests of his people of Rome and the spiritual interests of the whole of Christendom.

To him the liturgy owes several of its finest prayers, and the name "Gregorian chant" recalls this great Pope's work in the development of the Church's chant. His commentaries on Holy Scripture exercised a considerable influence on Christian thought, particularly in the Middle Ages. Together with St. Ambrose, St. Augustine and St. Jerome, he is one of the four great Doctors of the Latin Church.

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