The Sacred Writings of Gregory the Great – Gregory the Great
Gregory the Great was born at Rome about 540 A. D. He was at an early age made prætor of Rome by Emperor Justin II of Constantinople, but resigned this office and withdrew to one of the seven monasteries he had founded. “He lavished on the poor all his costly robes, his silk, his gold, his jewels, his furniture, and, not even assuming to himself the abbacy of his convent, but beginning with the lowest monastic duties, he devoted himself altogether to God.” It was while here that he one day saw some fair-haired Anglo-Saxon youths in the slave-market. When he was told they were Angles, he said: “Not Angles, but angels,” and was seized with a longing to Christianize their country. He set out, but was asked to return by Pope Benedict on account of the clamor over his departure. Pelagius II, Benedict’s successor, sent Gregory to Constantinople as papal nuncio. He remained there for three years, writing his Moralia, and on his return to Rome was unanimously elected to succeed Pelagius, who had died of the plague. He was consecrated pope on Sept. 3, 590, and began an immediate reform in the organization and ritual of the Roman church, which is indebted to him for her complete ritual and chants. He also brought Britain and Spain within the pale of Christianity. He died on March 12, 604.
The Sacred Writings of Gregory the Great
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Biography of Pope Gregory I (from wikipedia)
Pope Saint Gregory I (Latin: Gregorius I; c. 540 – 12 March 604), commonly known as Saint Gregory the Great, was Pope of the Catholic Church from 3 September 590. He is famous for instigating the first recorded large-scale mission from Rome, the Gregorian Mission, to convert a pagan people to Christianity. Gregory is also well known for his writings, which were more prolific than those of any of his predecessors as pope. The epithet Saint Gregory the Dialogist has been attached to him in Eastern Christianity because of his Dialogues. English translations of Eastern texts sometimes list him as Gregory „Dialogos“ or the Latin equivalent „Dialogus“.
A Roman senator’s son and himself the Prefect of Rome at 30, Gregory tried the monastery but soon returned to active public life, ending his life and the century as pope. Although he was the first pope from a monastic background, his prior political experiences may have helped him to be a talented administrator, who successfully established papal supremacy. During his papacy, he greatly surpassed with his administration the emperors in improving the welfare of the people of Rome, and he successfully challenged the theological views of Patriarch Eutychius of Constantinople before the emperor Tiberius II. Gregory regained papal authority in Spain and France and sent missionaries to England. The realignment of barbarian allegiance to Rome from their Arian Christian alliances shaped medieval Europe. Gregory saw Franks, Lombards, and Visigoths align with Rome in religion.
Throughout the Middle Ages he was known as „the Father of Christian Worship“ because of his exceptional efforts in revising the Roman worship of his day. His contributions to the development of the Divine Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts, still in use in the Byzantine Rite, were so significant that he is generally recognized as its de facto author.
Gregory is a Doctor of the Church and one of the Latin Fathers. He is considered a saint in the Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, Anglican Communion, and some Lutheran denominations. Immediately after his death, Gregory was canonized by popular acclaim. The Protestant reformer John Calvin admired Gregory and declared in his Institutes that Gregory was the last good pope. He is the patron saint of musicians, singers, students, and teachers.
(The text of the last section was taken from a Wikipedia entry and is available under the the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.)
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