Pope Gregory I had all the qualities of a man of leadership, a sense of duty, measure and dignity to the highest degree. The Protestant historian Harnack admired his “wisdom, justice, gentleness, initiative, tolerance” and Bossuet considered him “the perfect model of Church government”. It seemed he was born to be pope. When his father, Gordian, died, Gregory. Though very young, was already “praefectus urbis” – “governor of Rome”.
Pope Gregory I was born around 540 in Rome and passed away on 12 March 604, the first monk to be elected bishop (pope) of Rome. As bishop, he led the Church for over thirteen years, through a period marked by pagan invasions and natural disasters.
Saint Gregory the Great is considered one of the six Western Fathers of the Church, along with Saint Ambrose of Milan, Blessed Augustine, Blessed Jerome, Tertullian and Saint Cyprian of Carthage. Saint Gregory was the only other pope to receive the nickname “the Great”, after Saint Leo the Great, who was celebrated by the Church on 10 November.
What is Pope Gregory I known for?
During his childhood, the Byzantine Emperor Justinian the Great recaptured Italy from the Goths. Before that, his grandfather, Felix III, had been appointed bishop (pope) of Rome by the Gottman king Theodoric the Great. His father, Gordian, held an ecclesiastical office unknown to us, and his mother, Silvia, was canonized by the Church and celebrated on 4 November. Furthermore, two of his father’s sisters, Tarsila and Emiliana, who lived like nuns, were also canonized by the Church.
According to historical sources, Saint Gregory I was known for being the first pope and for his flirtation with political life. Because he also knew imperial law very well, the young Gregory embraced a political career immediately after finishing his studies and rose rapidly in the Roman administration.
In 573, at only 33, he was appointed prefect of Rome by the Byzantine emperor Justin II. In 575, however, after his father’s death, St. Gregory gave up the high political office he had held for two years. And turned his father’s house into a monastery of monks.
Biography of Gregory The Great
|Full name:||Gregory The Great|
|Date of birth:||0540 AD|
|Year of death:||0604 AD|
|The thread of life:||64 years old|
|Place of birth:||Rome, Italy|
|Profession:||Pope, Doctor of The Roman Church|
|Death cause:||Natural causes.|
Why is Gregory called the Great?
As the last of the great classical Latin Fathers of Antiquity, Saint Gregory is distinguished by an impressive capacity for synthesis and an extraordinary talent for making the theological teachings of the Fathers before him as understandable as possible for the simple believer.
According to historians, Gregory is called the Great One because he was chosen to be the pope of God. Of the honorific title of “universal bishop,” which he categorically refuses, St. Gregory says: “I say it without the slightest hesitation. Whoever calls himself ‘universal bishop’ or desires this title is, by his pride. He is the forerunner of the Antichrist because he thus wishes to elevate himself above others.
This error springs from pride equal to that of the Antichrist because the evil one wishes to consider himself above other men, as a god. So that, in the same way, whoever will call himself the only bishop exalts himself alone above other men. Did not the venerable Council of Chalcedon confer the title of “universal” on the bishops of the apostolic see of Rome? Where is he ministering, by the will of God?
What did Pope Gregory I fight for?
Saint Gregory the Great shepherded his faithful during great trials, such as floods, famine, Donatist and Manichaean wanderings, plague, and Longobard invasions. In 591, the new bishop asked the faithful in the city of Rome to fast and repent to attract God’s mercy and ward off the plague.
According to historical sources, Pope Gregory I fought to defend the righteous faith against the Donatist heresy and worked hard to convert the Goths and the British pagans. He also negotiated peace with the Lombards, who were besieging Rome. St Gregory is known to have refused all titles and honors except “Servus servorum Dei,” that is, “servant of the servants of God.”
Saint Gregory the Great, Bishop of Rome, left the Church with several critical spiritual writings. For writing “Dialogues on the Lives and Wonders of the Saints of Italy,” a book in four volumes, St. Gregory, was also called “The Dialogue.” This work is the first source on the life of Saint Benedict of Nursia.
What was a major accomplishment of Gregory I?
St. Gregory was born around 540 AD in Rome into one of the oldest and wealthiest Christian senatorial families. His great-grandfather, Felix III (483-492), was pope, as was another relative on his father’s side, Anicetus I (535-536).
According to historical and Christian sources, Gregory’s greatest accomplishment was spiritually, for he was particularly involved in evangelising the non-Christian peoples of Northern Europe by sending missionaries. Particularly successful was the mission sent to England in 596, under the leadership of Augustine, the prior who succeeded St Gregory in the monastery of Metany, who was to become Bishop Augustine of Cantebury in 604. From here missionaries were sent after the death of St Gregory to Holland and Germany.
St Gregory also revised the liturgy, composing the Liturgy of the Last Supper which is celebrated in Orthodoxy today in Lent, as well as the whole of the worship service, his effort being decisive in crystallising the Gregorian style of music. Much of the latter part of his life St Gregory was very ill. However, he worked tirelessly until his passing on 12 March 604.
What kind of studies did Saint Gregory I receive?
So, Saint Gregory, the Dialogist, was born around 540, into a family of Roman patricians, with an ancient Christian tradition, in the city of Rome. Also, his family lived in a particular house on Celius Hill, on the present “St. Gregory” street, which runs north to the Colosseum and south to the Circus Maximus. So his family-owned significant properties around Rome and on the island of Sicily.
Gregory, I had a complete intellectual education, in addition to secular studies, consisting of Latin authors, natural sciences, history, mathematics, and music; he was also guided by St. Gregory of Tours, who considered his scholar “the most learned man of his time, especially in grammar, dialectics, and rhetoric.”
He who from above, from God, took divine grace, Martyr Gregory, and with the power of that grace, willingly followed the Holy Gospel of Christ, from Whom you took the reward of your labors, ever happy; pray Him to save our souls.
In what year did Gregory the Great go to Constantinople?
After selling his inheritance and distributing a lot of money to the poor, Gregory founded six monasteries on the family lands on the island of Sicily. Then, renouncing worldly clothes, he puts on monastic clothes, entering as a simple monk in the monastery founded in his father’s house, dedicated to Saint Andrew the Apostle.
In 0579 AD, after Pope Pelagius II ordained him a deacon, St. Gregory was sent to Constantinople as an “apocrine” (delegate, ambassador). For six years, the saint became deeply acquainted with Christianity and the monasticism of Rome. During this period, St. Gregory the Great wrote down the “Liturgy of the Previously Sacred Gifts,” which circulated only orally until then.
In the year 585, St. Gregory the Dialogue returned to Rome, bringing with him the honored Arm of St. Andrew the Apostle and the select Head of St. Luke the Evangelist. However, Pope Pelagius II appoints him as his secretary-counselor, the former badly in need of help in his attempt to unite the bishops of northern Italy with the Church of Rome.
Key Verse related to Pope Gregory I
“Have confidence in the compassion of our Creator. Reflect well on what you are now doing, and keep the things you have done before you. Lift your eyes to the overflowing compassion of heaven, and while He waits for you, draw near in tears to our merciful Judge. Having before your mind that He is a Just Judge, do not take your sins lightly, and also having in mind that He is compassionate, do not despair. The God-Man gives man confidence before God.”Pope Gregory I
What did Pope Gregory I do in his papal activity?
Pope Gregory I transformed his parental home on Caelius Hill into a monastery dedicated to St. Andrew the Apostle, where he housed the Benedictine monks who had also been expelled from Monte Cassino monastery by the Lombards. Who was also trying to conquer the Italian peninsula? Gregory himself retired here. He wished to remain a Benedictine monk.
The work of Gregory I during the 14 years of his pontificate (from 3 September 590 to 12 March 604) seems unbelievable: he organized the defense of Rome, threatened by Aginulpho. With whom he then maintained good neighborly relations. He administered the public treasury with meticulous impartiality. Making up for the shortcomings of the imperial officials, he saw to the water supply of Rome.
At the same time, he favored the emigration of the dogmatic, eliminating all forms of slavery; he was also inspired by zeal for the spread of the faith. He proposed and supported the mission of St Augustine of Canterbury in England. So always attentive to the problems of the whole of Christendom, he did not neglect the minor concerns of everyday life. Shortly before his death, he took the opportunity to send the Bishop of Chiusi a winter cloak.
How many works has Pope Gregory I written?
Therefore, Saint Gregory wrote four volumes entitled Dialogues (Dialogues), which is why Eastern Christianity honors him as Gregory the Dialogue. Pope Gregory the Great’s Dialogues, written at the end of the 6th century, contains a legitimization of the ascetic values of the early Middle Ages, linked to the birth of a Benedictine culture.
According to apocryphal sources, St Gregory I wrote countless sermons and 848 letters. The 848 letters that remain from him and the addresses to the people prove the immense activity carried out by Pope Gregory the Great. In all areas of pastoral life, he left deep traces. He also dealt with sacred music, the chant used in the celebration of Holy Masses, and established the norms that led to “Gregorian chant.”
He composed the Liturgy of the previously consecrated gifts, celebrated in Eastern churches during Lent. Known as the Liturgy of St Gregory the Dialogue, it is one of the three liturgies celebrated in Orthodox and Greek Catholic churches, along with that of John Chrysostom and Basil the Great.
- He was not physically robust, but, on the contrary, he was sickly, so a secretary had to read the first series of “Homilies on the Gospel” because he could not stand.
- He died on 12 March 604 and was buried in St Peter’s Basilica. The new Calendar set his commemoration for 3 September, the day he began his work as supreme pastor of Christ’s Church.
- Saint Gregory the Great belongs to the category of men to whom history gives the title “the Great”; he is honored in both the Western and Eastern Churches and is thus a living witness of the Church, one holy, catholic, and apostolic.
St. Gregory I, Pope of Rome, so-called because of his beautiful words, was born in ancient Rome to a father named Gordian, and a mother, Silvia Felicita. Both were of good birth and honest and wealthy senators. But it was not so much for the honor of senators that the lineage of this Saint Gregory was honored as for those holy persons pleasing to God who were in that lineage.
Saint Gregory the Great passed away in Rome on March 12, 604. Despite the wealth at his disposal, St Gregory was characterized all his life by a love of poverty of goodwill. Therefore, he was recognized as a saint immediately after his death. His holy relics are in St Peter’s Cathedral in the Vatican.
Read also: Synod of Constantinople (543). The Fifth Ecumenical Council
Quizlet about Pope Gregory I
- Chazelle, C. M. (1990). So Pictures, books, and the illiterate: Pope Gregory I’s letters to Serenus of Marseilles. Also Word & image, 6(2), 138-153.
- SO Frederick William Kellett. (1889). So Pope Gregory the Great and His Relations with Gaul (No. 2). Therefore, University Press.
- Katz, S. (1933). So Pope Gregory the Great and the Jews. Also, The Jewish Quarterly Review, 24(2), 113-136.
- Martyn, J. R. (2014). So Gregory and Leander: An Analysis of the Special Friendship between Pope Gregory the Great and Leander, Archbishop of Seville. SO Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
- Serfass, A. (2006). Therefore, Slavery and Pope Gregory the Great. SO Journal of Early Christian Studies, 14(1), 77-103.