Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Gregory the Great

Pope Gregory I (c.540-604) was born into a wealthy noble Roman family, and made Prefect of Rome, but resigned to become a monk. In 579 he was given the role of apocrisiarius (representative of the Pope to the Patriarch of Constantinople), and after the death of Pelagius II of plague, elected pope.

He in effect became governor of central Italy, coordinating the defense of Rome against the invading Lombards, and the signing of the treaty that would bring an end to the conflict; and also the distribution of food during times of shortage, organising the importation of grain from Sicily.

He is probably most famous today for Gregorian Chant, which is named after him, following his foundation of a school for the training of church musicians. He was also responsible for a number of liturgical reforms, some of which are still in place today.

It was Gregory who sent Augustine of Canterbury to England to re-establish Christianity which had been driven out of large areas of the country following the Anglo-Saxon invasions.

Merciful Father,
who chose your bishop Gregory
to be a servant of the servants of God:
grant that, like him, we may ever long to serve you
by proclaiming your gospel to the nations,
and may ever rejoice to sing your praises;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Further Reading 


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