Pope 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 to 12 March 604 AD. He is famous for instigating the first recorded large-scale mission from Rome, the Gregorian Mission, to convert the then-pagan Anglo-Saxons in England 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 Anglo-Latinate 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. He also combated against the Donatist heresy, popular particularly in North Africa at the time.
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 greatly, and declared in his Institutes that Gregory was the last good Pope. He is the patron saint of musicians, singers, students, and teachers.
|Papacy began||3 September 590|
|Papacy ended||12 March 604|
|Consecration||3 September 590|
|Birth name||Gregorius Anicius|
Rome, Eastern Roman Empire
|Died||12 March 604 (aged 64)|
Rome, Eastern Roman Empire
|Buried||St. Peter's Basilica (1606)|
|Parents||Gordianus and Silvia|
|Patronage||Musicians, singers, students, and teachers|
|Other popes named Gregory|
The exact date of Gregory's birth is uncertain, but is usually estimated to be around the year 540, in the city of Rome, then recently reconquered by the Eastern Roman Empire from the Ostrogoths. His parents named him Gregorius, which according to Ælfric of Abingdon in An Homily on the Birth-Day of S. Gregory, "... is a Greek Name [sic], which signifies in the Latin Tongue, Vigilantius, that is in English, Watchful...." The medieval writer who provided this etymology did not hesitate to apply it to the life of Gregory. Ælfric states, "He was very diligent in God's Commandments."
Gregory was born into a wealthy patrician Roman family with close connections to the church. His father, Gordianus, who served as a senator and for a time was the Prefect of the City of Rome, also held the position of Regionarius in the church, though nothing further is known about that position. Gregory's mother, Silvia, was well-born, and had a married sister, Pateria, in Sicily. His mother and two paternal aunts are honored by Catholic and Orthodox churches as saints. Gregory's great-great-grandfather had been Pope Felix III, the nominee of the Gothic king, Theodoric. Gregory's election to the throne of St Peter made his family the most distinguished clerical dynasty of the period.
The family owned and resided in a villa suburbana on the Caelian Hill, fronting the same street (now the Via di San Gregorio) as the former palaces of the Roman emperors on the Palatine Hill opposite. The north of the street runs into the Colosseum; the south, the Circus Maximus. In Gregory's day the ancient buildings were in ruins and were privately owned. Villas covered the area. Gregory's family also owned working estates in Sicily and around Rome. Gregory later had portraits done in fresco in their former home on the Caelian and these were described 300 years later by John the Deacon. Gordianus was tall with a long face and light eyes. He wore a beard. Silvia was tall, had a round face, blue eyes and a cheerful look. They had another son whose name and fate are unknown.
Gregory was born into a period of upheaval in Italy. From 542 the so-called Plague of Justinian swept through the provinces of the empire, including Italy. The plague caused famine, panic, and sometimes rioting. In some parts of the country, over 1/3 of the population was wiped out or destroyed, with heavy spiritual and emotional effects on the people of the Empire. Politically, although the Western Roman Empire had long since vanished in favour of the Gothic kings of Italy, during the 540s Italy was gradually retaken from the Goths by Justinian I, emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire ruling from Constantinople. As the fighting was mainly in the north, the young Gregory probably saw little of it. Totila sacked and vacated Rome in 546, destroying most of its population, but in 549 he invited those who were still alive to return to the empty and ruined streets. It has been hypothesized that young Gregory and his parents retired during that intermission to their Sicilian estates, to return in 549. The war was over in Rome by 552, and a subsequent invasion of the Franks was defeated in 554. After that, there was peace in Italy, and the appearance of restoration, except that the central government now resided in Constantinople.
Like most young men of his position in Roman society, Saint Gregory was well educated, learning grammar, rhetoric, the sciences, literature, and law, and excelling in all. Gregory of Tours reported that "in grammar, dialectic and rhetoric ... he was second to none...." He wrote correct Latin but did not read or write Greek. He knew Latin authors, natural science, history, mathematics and music and had such a "fluency with imperial law" that he may have trained in it "as a preparation for a career in public life". Indeed, he became a government official, advancing quickly in rank to become, like his father, Prefect of Rome, the highest civil office in the city, when only thirty-three years old.
The monks of the Monastery of St. Andrew, established by Gregory at the ancestral home on the Caelian, had a portrait of him made after his death, which John the Deacon also saw in the 9th century. He reports the picture of a man who was "rather bald" and had a "tawny" beard like his father's and a face that was intermediate in shape between his mother's and father's. The hair that he had on the sides was long and carefully curled. His nose was "thin and straight" and "slightly aquiline". "His forehead was high." He had thick, "subdivided" lips and a chin "of a comely prominence" and "beautiful hands".
In the modern era, Gregory is often depicted as a man at the border, poised between the Roman and Germanic worlds, between East and West, and above all, perhaps, between the ancient and medieval epochs.
On his father's death, Gregory converted his family villa into a monastery dedicated to the apostle Saint Andrew (after his death it was rededicated as San Gregorio Magno al Celio). In his life of contemplation, Gregory concluded that "in that silence of the heart, while we keep watch within through contemplation, we are as if asleep to all things that are without.".
It seems to some that Gregory was not always forgiving, or pleasant for that matter, even in his monastic years. For example, a monk lying on his death bed confessed to stealing three gold pieces. Gregory forced the monk to die friendless and alone, then threw his body and coins on a manure heap to rot with a curse, "Take your money with you to perdition". Gregory believed that punishment of sins can begin, even on one's deathbed. However, at the monk's death Gregory offered 30 Masses in his remembrance to assist his soul before the final judgment. Eventually, Pope Pelagius II ordained Gregory a deacon and solicited his help in trying to heal the schism of the Three Chapters in northern Italy. However, this schism was not healed until well after Gregory was gone.
Gregory had a deep respect for the monastic life. He viewed being a monk as the 'ardent quest for the vision of our Creator.' His three paternal aunts were nuns renowned for their sanctity. However, after the two eldest died after seeing a vision of their ancestor Pope Felix III, the youngest soon abandoned the religious life and married the steward of her estate. Gregory's response to this family scandal was "many are called but few are chosen." Gregory's mother Silvia herself is a saint.
In 579, Pelagius II chose Gregory as his apocrisiarius (ambassador to the imperial court in Constantinople), a post Gregory would hold until 586. Gregory was part of the Roman delegation (both lay and clerical) that arrived in Constantinople in 578 to ask the emperor for military aid against the Lombards. With the Byzantine military focused on the East, these entreaties proved unsuccessful; in 584, Pelagius II wrote to Gregory as apocrisiarius, detailing the hardships that Rome was experiencing under the Lombards and asking him to ask Emperor Maurice to send a relief force. Maurice, however, had long ago determined to limit his efforts against the Lombards to intrigue and diplomacy, pitting the Franks against them. It soon became obvious to Gregory that the Byzantine emperors were unlikely to send such a force, given their more immediate difficulties with the Persians in the East and the Avars and Slavs to the North.
According to Ekonomou, "if Gregory's principal task was to plead Rome's cause before the emperor, there seems to have been little left for him to do once imperial policy toward Italy became evident. Papal representatives who pressed their claims with excessive vigor could quickly become a nuisance and find themselves excluded from the imperial presence altogether". Gregory had already drawn an imperial rebuke for his lengthy canonical writings on the subject of the legitimacy of John III Scholasticus, who had occupied the Patriarchate of Constantinople for twelve years prior to the return of Eutychius (who had been driven out by Justinian). Gregory turned himself to cultivating connections with the Byzantine elite of the city, where he became extremely popular with the city's upper class, "especially aristocratic women". Ekonomou surmises that "while Gregory may have become spiritual father to a large and important segment of Constantinople's aristocracy, this relationship did not significantly advance the interests of Rome before the emperor". Although the writings of John the Deacon claim that Gregory "labored diligently for the relief of Italy", there is no evidence that his tenure accomplished much towards any of the objectives of Pelagius II.
Gregory's theological disputes with Patriarch Eutychius would leave a "bitter taste for the theological speculation of the East" with Gregory that continued to influence him well into his own papacy. According to Western sources, Gregory's very public debate with Eutychius culminated in an exchange before Tiberius II where Gregory cited a biblical passage ("Palpate et videte, quia spiritus carnem et ossa non-habet, sicut me videtis habere, or "touch me, and look; a spirit has not flesh and bones, as you see that I have.") in support of the view that Christ was corporeal and palpable after his Resurrection; allegedly as a result of this exchange, Tiberius II ordered Eutychius's writings burned. Ekonomou views this argument, though exaggerated in Western sources, as Gregory's "one achievement of an otherwise fruitless apokrisiariat". In reality, Gregory was forced to rely on Scripture because he could not read the untranslated Greek authoritative works. Gregory left Constantinople for Rome in 585, returning to his monastery on the Caelian Hill. Gregory was elected by acclamation to succeed Pelagius II in 590, when the latter died of the plague spreading through the city. Gregory was approved by an Imperial iussio from Constantinople the following September (as was the norm during the Byzantine Papacy).
In Constantinople, Gregory took issue with the aged Patriarch Eutychius of Constantinople, who had recently published a treatise, now lost, on the General Resurrection. Eutychius maintained that the resurrected body "will be more subtle than air, and no longer palpable". Gregory opposed with the palpability of the risen Christ in Luke 24:39. As the dispute could not be settled, the Byzantine emperor, Tiberius II Constantine, undertook to arbitrate. He decided in favor of palpability and ordered Eutychius' book to be burned. Shortly after both Gregory and Eutychius became ill; Gregory recovered, but Eutychius died on 5 April 582, at age 70. On his deathbed Eutychius recanted impalpability and Gregory dropped the matter. Tiberius also died a few months after Eutychius.
|Papal styles of|
Pope Gregory I
|Reference style||His Holiness|
|Spoken style||Your Holiness|
|Religious style||Holy Father|
Although Gregory was resolved to retire into the monastic lifestyle of contemplation, he was unwillingly forced back into a world that, although he loved, he no longer wanted to be a part of. In texts of all genres, especially those produced in his first year as pope, Gregory bemoaned the burden of office and mourned the loss of the undisturbed life of prayer he had once enjoyed as a monk. When he became pope in 590, among his first acts was writing a series of letters disavowing any ambition to the throne of Peter and praising the contemplative life of the monks. At that time, for various reasons, the Holy See had not exerted effective leadership in the West since the pontificate of Gelasius I. The episcopacy in Gaul was drawn from the great territorial families, and identified with them: the parochial horizon of Gregory's contemporary, Gregory of Tours, may be considered typical; in Visigothic Spain the bishops had little contact with Rome; in Italy the territories which had de facto fallen under the administration of the papacy were beset by the violent Lombard dukes and the rivalry of the Byzantines in the Exarchate of Ravenna and in the south.
Pope Gregory had strong convictions on missions: "Almighty God places good men in authority that He may impart through them the gifts of His mercy to their subjects. And this we find to be the case with the British over whom you have been appointed to rule, that through the blessings bestowed on you the blessings of heaven might be bestowed on your people also." He is credited with re-energizing the Church's missionary work among the non-Christian peoples of northern Europe. He is most famous for sending a mission, often called the Gregorian mission, under Augustine of Canterbury, prior of Saint Andrew's, where he had perhaps succeeded Gregory, to evangelize the pagan Anglo-Saxons of England. It seems that the pope had never forgotten the English slaves whom he had once seen in the Roman Forum. The mission was successful, and it was from England that missionaries later set out for the Netherlands and Germany. The preaching of non-heretical Christian faith and the elimination of all deviations from it was a key element in Gregory's worldview, and it constituted one of the major continuing policies of his pontificate.
In his official documents, Gregory was the first to make extensive use of the term "Servant of the Servants of God" (servus servorum Dei) as a papal title, thus initiating a practice that was to be followed by most subsequent popes.
Alms in Christianity is defined by passages of the New Testament such as Matthew 19:21, which commands "...go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor ... and come and follow me." A donation on the other hand is a gift to some sort of enterprise, profit or non-profit.
On the one hand the alms of Saint Gregory are to be distinguished from his donations, but on the other he himself probably saw no such distinction. The church had no interest in secular profit and as pope Gregory did his utmost to encourage that high standard among church personnel. Apart from maintaining its facilities and supporting its personnel the church gave most of the donations it received as alms.
Gregory is known for his administrative system of charitable relief of the poor at Rome. They were predominantly refugees from the incursions of the Lombards. The philosophy under which he devised this system is that the wealth belonged to the poor and the church was only its steward. He received lavish donations from the wealthy families of Rome, who, following his own example, were eager, by doing so, to expiate their sins. He gave alms equally as lavishly both individually and en masse. He wrote in letters:
The church received donations of many different kinds of property: consumables such as food and clothing; investment property: real estate and works of art; and capital goods, or revenue-generating property, such as the Sicilian latifundia, or agricultural estates, staffed and operated by slaves, donated by Gregory and his family. The church already had a system for circulating the consumables to the poor: associated with each parish was a diaconium or office of the deacon. He was given a building from which the poor could at any time apply for assistance.
The state in which Gregory became pope in 590 was a ruined one. The Lombards held the better part of Italy. Their predations had brought the economy to a standstill. They camped nearly at the gates of Rome. The city was packed with refugees from all walks of life, who lived in the streets and had few of the necessities of life. The seat of government was far from Rome in Constantinople, which appeared unable to undertake the relief of Italy. The pope had sent emissaries, including Gregory, asking for assistance, to no avail.
In 590, Gregory could wait for Constantinople no longer. He organized the resources of the church into an administration for general relief. In doing so he evidenced a talent for and intuitive understanding of the principles of accounting, which was not to be invented for centuries. The church already had basic accounting documents: every expense was recorded in journals called regesta, "lists" of amounts, recipients and circumstances. Revenue was recorded in polyptici, "books". Many of these polyptici were ledgers recording the operating expenses of the church and the assets, the patrimonia. A central papal administration, the notarii, under a chief, the primicerius notariorum, kept the ledgers and issued brevia patrimonii, or lists of property for which each rector was responsible.
Gregory began by aggressively requiring his churchmen to seek out and relieve needy persons and reprimanded them if they did not. In a letter to a subordinate in Sicily he wrote: "I asked you most of all to take care of the poor. And if you knew of people in poverty, you should have pointed them out ... I desire that you give the woman, Pateria, forty solidi for the children's shoes and forty bushels of grain ...." Soon he was replacing administrators who would not cooperate with those who would and at the same time adding more in a build-up to a great plan that he had in mind. He understood that expenses must be matched by income. To pay for his increased expenses he liquidated the investment property and paid the expenses in cash according to a budget recorded in the polyptici. The churchmen were paid four times a year and also personally given a golden coin for their trouble.
Money, however, was no substitute for food in a city that was on the brink of famine. Even the wealthy were going hungry in their villas. The church now owned between 1,300 and 1,800 square miles (3,400 and 4,700 km2) of revenue-generating farmland divided into large sections called patrimonia. It produced goods of all kinds, which were sold, but Gregory intervened and had the goods shipped to Rome for distribution in the diaconia. He gave orders to step up production, set quotas and put an administrative structure in place to carry it out. At the bottom was the rusticus who produced the goods. Some rustici were or owned slaves. He turned over part of his produce to a conductor from whom he leased the land. The latter reported to an actionarius, the latter to a defensor and the latter to a rector. Grain, wine, cheese, meat, fish and oil began to arrive at Rome in large quantities, where it was given away for nothing as alms.
Distributions to qualified persons were monthly. However, a certain proportion of the population lived in the streets or were too ill or infirm to pick up their monthly food supply. To them Gregory sent out a small army of charitable persons, mainly monks, every morning with prepared food. It is said that he would not dine until the indigent were fed. When he did dine he shared the family table, which he had saved (and which still exists), with 12 indigent guests. To the needy living in wealthy homes he sent meals he had cooked with his own hands as gifts to spare them the indignity of receiving charity. Hearing of the death of an indigent in a back room he was depressed for days, entertaining for a time the conceit that he had failed in his duty and was a murderer.
These and other good deeds and charitable frame of mind completely won the hearts and minds of the Roman people. They now looked to the papacy for government, ignoring the rump state at Constantinople, which had only disrespect for Gregory, calling him a fool for his pacifist dealings with the Lombards. The office of urban prefect went without candidates. From the time of Gregory the Great to the rise of Italian nationalism the papacy was most influential presence in Italy.
John the Deacon wrote that Pope Gregory I made a general revision of the liturgy of the Pre-Tridentine Mass, "removing many things, changing a few, adding some". In letters, Gregory remarks that he moved the Pater Noster (Our Father) to immediately after the Roman Canon and immediately before the Fraction. This position is still maintained today in the Roman Liturgy. The pre-Gregorian position is evident in the Ambrosian Rite. Gregory added material to the Hanc Igitur of the Roman Canon and established the nine Kyries (a vestigial remnant of the litany which was originally at that place) at the beginning of Mass. He also reduced the role of deacons in the Roman Liturgy.
Sacramentaries directly influenced by Gregorian reforms are referred to as Sacrementaria Gregoriana. Roman and other Western liturgies since this era have a number of prayers that change to reflect the feast or liturgical season; these variations are visible in the collects and prefaces as well as in the Roman Canon itself.
In the Eastern Orthodox Church and Eastern Catholic Churches, Gregory is credited as the primary influence in constructing the more penitential Divine Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts, a fully separate form of the Divine Liturgy in the Byzantine Rite adapted to the needs of the season of Great Lent. Its Roman Rite equivalent is the Mass of the Presanctified used only on Good Friday. The Syriac Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts continues to be used in the Malankara Rite, a variant of the West Syrian Rite historically practiced in the Malankara Church of India, and now practiced by the several churches that descended from it and at some occasions in the Assyrian Church of the East.
The mainstream form of Western plainchant, standardized in the late 9th century, was attributed to Pope Gregory I and so took the name of Gregorian chant. The earliest such attribution is in John the Deacon's 873 biography of Gregory, almost three centuries after the pope's death, and the chant that bears his name "is the result of the fusion of Roman and Frankish elements which took place in the Franco-German empire under Pepin, Charlemagne and their successors".
Gregory is commonly credited with founding the medieval papacy and so many attribute the beginning of medieval spirituality to him. Gregory is the only pope between the fifth and the eleventh centuries whose correspondence and writings have survived enough to form a comprehensive corpus. Some of his writings are:
Gregory wrote over 850 letters in the last 13 years of his life (590–604) that give us an accurate picture of his work. A truly autobiographical presentation is nearly impossible for Gregory. The development of his mind and personality remains purely speculative in nature.
Opinions of the writings of Gregory vary. "His character strikes us as an ambiguous and enigmatic one," the Jewish Canadian-American popularist Cantor observed. "On the one hand he was an able and determined administrator, a skilled and clever diplomat, a leader of the greatest sophistication and vision; but on the other hand, he appears in his writings as a superstitious and credulous monk, hostile to learning, crudely limited as a theologian, and excessively devoted to saints, miracles, and relics".
Gregory was among those who identified Mary Magdalene with Mary of Bethany, whom John 12:1–8 recounts as having anointed Jesus with precious ointment, an event that some interpret as being the same as the anointing of Jesus performed by a woman that Luke (alone among the synoptic Gospels) recounts as sinful. Preaching on the passage in the Gospel of Luke, Gregory remarked: "This woman, whom Luke calls a sinner and John calls Mary, I think is the Mary from whom Mark reports that seven demons were cast out." Today Biblical scholars distinguish the three figures, but they are all still popularly identified.
In art Gregory is usually shown in full pontifical robes with the tiara and double cross, despite his actual habit of dress. Earlier depictions are more likely to show a monastic tonsure and plainer dress. Orthodox icons traditionally show St. Gregory vested as a bishop holding a Gospel Book and blessing with his right hand. It is recorded that he permitted his depiction with a square halo, then used for the living. A dove is his attribute, from the well-known story attributed to his friend Peter the Deacon, who tells that when the pope was dictating his homilies on Ezechiel a curtain was drawn between his secretary and himself. As, however, the pope remained silent for long periods at a time, the servant made a hole in the curtain and, looking through, beheld a dove seated upon Gregory's head with its beak between his lips. When the dove withdrew its beak the pope spoke and the secretary took down his words; but when he became silent the servant again applied his eye to the hole and saw the dove had replaced its beak between his lips.
Ribera's oil painting of Saint Gregory the Great (c.1614) is from the Giustiniani collection. The painting is conserved in the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica, Rome. The face of Gregory is a caricature of the features described by John the Deacon: total baldness, outthrust chin, beak-like nose, whereas John had described partial baldness, a mildly protruding chin, slightly aquiline nose and strikingly good looks. In this picture also Gregory has his monastic back on the world, which the real Gregory, despite his reclusive intent, was seldom allowed to have.
This scene is shown as a version of the traditional Evangelist portrait (where the Evangelists' symbols are also sometimes shown dictating) from the tenth century onwards. An early example is the dedication miniature from an eleventh-century manuscript of Saint Gregory's Moralia in Job. The miniature shows the scribe, Bebo of Seeon Abbey, presenting the manuscript to the Holy Roman Emperor, Henry II. In the upper left the author is seen writing the text under divine inspiration. Usually the dove is shown whispering in Gregory's ear for a clearer composition.
The late medieval subject of the Mass of St Gregory shows a version of a 7th-century story that was elaborated in later hagiography. Gregory is shown saying Mass when Christ as the Man of Sorrows appears on the altar. The subject was most common in the 15th and 16th centuries, and reflected growing emphasis on the Real Presence, and after the Protestant Reformation was an assertion of the doctrine against Protestant theology.
The relics of Saint Gregory are enshrined in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.
In Britain, appreciation for Gregory remained strong even after his death, with him being called Gregorius noster ("our Gregory") by the British. It was in Britain, at a monastery in Whitby, that the first full length life of Gregory was written, in c. 713. Appreciation of Gregory in Rome and Italy itself, however, did not come until later. The first vita of Gregory written in Italy was not produced until John the Deacon in the 9th century.
The namesake church of San Gregorio al Celio (largely rebuilt from the original edifices during the 17th and 18th centuries) remembers his work. One of the three oratories annexed, the oratory of Saint Silvia, is said to lie over the tomb of Gregory's mother.
Italian composer Ottorino Respighi composed a piece named St. Gregory the Great (San Gregorio Magno) that features as the fourth and final part of his Church Windows (Vetrate di Chiesa) works, written in 1925.
The current General Roman Calendar, revised in 1969 as instructed by the Second Vatican Council, celebrates Saint Gregory the Great on 3 September. Before that, it assigned his feast day to 12 March, the day of his death in 604. Following the imposition of Pope John XXIII's Code of Rubrics in 1961, celebration of Saint Gregory's feast day was made practically impossible, as John XXIII's reforms forbade the full observance of most feasts during Lent, during which 12 March invariably falls. For this reason, Saint Gregory's feast day was moved to 3 September, the day of his episcopal consecration in 590, as part of the liturgical reforms of Pope Paul VI.
The Eastern Orthodox Church and those Eastern Catholic Churches which follow the Byzantine Rite continue to commemorate Saint Gregory on 12 March which is during Great Lent, the only time when the Divine Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts, which names Saint Gregory as its author, is used.
Other churches also honour Saint Gregory: the Church of England and the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod on 3 September, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Episcopal Church in the United States and the Anglican Church of Canada on 12 March.
A traditional procession is held in Żejtun, Malta, in honour of Saint Gregory (San Girgor) on Easter Wednesday, which most often falls in April, the range of possible dates being 25 March to 28 April. The feast day of Saint Gregory also serves as a commemorative day for the former pupils of Downside School, called Old Gregorians. Traditionally, OG ties are worn by all of the society's members on this day.
|Catholic Church titles|
Saint Gregory's Commentary on Job, or Moralia, sive Expositio in Job, sometimes called Magna Moralia (not to be confused with Aristotle's Magna Moralia), was written between 578 and 595, begun when Gregory was at the court of Tiberius II at Constantinople, but finished only after he had already been in Rome for several years. It is Gregory's major work, filling some 35 books or 6 volumes, a commentary on the Book of Job entitled "An Extensive Consideration of Moral Questions".De Coelesti Hierarchia
De Coelesti Hierarchia (Greek: Περὶ τῆς Οὐρανίας Ἱεραρχίας, "On the Celestial Hierarchy") is a Pseudo-Dionysian work on angelology, written in Greek and dated to ca. the 5th century CE; it exerted great influence on scholasticism and treats at great length the hierarchies of angels.
The work has also been very influential in the development of Eastern Orthodox Church theology.
Thomas Aquinas (Summa Theologica, I.108) follows the Hierarchia (6.7) in dividing the angels into three hierarchies each of which contains three orders, based on their proximity to God, corresponding to the nine orders of angels recognized by Pope Gregory I.
Seraphim, Cherubim, and Thrones;
Dominations, Virtues, and Powers;
Principalities, Archangels, and Angels.Eulogius of Alexandria
There was also a later Patriarch Eulogius of Alexandria.Eulogius of Alexandria (Greek: Εὐλόγιος) was Greek Patriarch of that see (Eulogius I) from 580 to 608. He is regarded as a saint, with a feast day of September 13.
He was a successful combatant of various phases of Monophysitism. He was a warm friend of Pope Gregory the Great, who corresponded with him, and received from that pope many flattering expressions of esteem and admiration.Eulogius refuted the Novatians, some communities of which ancient sect still existed in his diocese, and vindicated the hypostatic union of the two natures in Christ, against both Nestorius and Eutyches. Cardinal Baronius says that Gregory wished Eulogius to survive him, recognizing in him the voice of truth.
It has been said that he restored for a brief period to the Church of Alexandria life and youthful vigour.Besides the above works and a commentary against various sects of Monophysites (Severians, Theodosians, Cainites and Acephali) he left eleven discourses in defence of Pope Leo I and the Council of Chalcedon, also a work against the Agnoetae, submitted by him before publication to Pope Gregory I, who after some observations authorized it unchanged. With exception of one sermon and a few fragments, all the writings of Eulogius have perished.Gregorian
Gregorian may refer to:
The thought or ideology of Pope Gregory I or Pope Gregory VII (also called Gregorianism)
Things named for Pope Gregory I:
Gregorian chant, the central tradition of Western plainchant, a form of monophonic, unaccompanied sacred song of the western Roman Catholic Church
Brotherhood of Saint Gregory, a community of friars within the Anglican Communion. The community's members, known as "Gregorians", include clergy and laymen. Since 1987 there has also been a parallel order of sisters, the Sisters of Saint Gregory
The Gregorian Reform (Pope Gregory VII), a series of reforms initiated by Pope Gregory VII and the circle he formed in the papal curia, c. 1050–80, which dealt with the moral integrity and independence of the clergy
Things named for Pope Gregory XIII:
Gregorian calendar, internationally the most widely used civil calendar. It is named after Pope Gregory XIII, who introduced it in October 1582
Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome
The Armenian Apostolic Church, sometimes called the Gregorian Church after Saint Gregory the Illuminator
The Gregorian telescope, named after James Gregory
Gregorian (band), German band that performs Gregorian chant-inspired versions of modern pop and rock songs
Gregorian Antiphonary, an early Christian antiphonary, i.e. book of choral music to be sung antiphonally in services; it is associated traditionally with Pope Gregory I
Gregorian Consortium, a collaborative association of three pontifical universities/institutes in Rome
Gregorian Sacramentary, a 10th-century illuminated Latin manuscript containing a sacramentary. Since the 16th century it has been in the Vatican Library as Lat. 3806
Gregorian Tower, a round tower located above the Gallery of Maps, which connects the Villa Belvedere with the Apostolic Palace in Vatican City
Gregorian (horse)Gregorian Reform
Should not be confused with the Gregorian calendar.The Gregorian Reforms were a series of reforms initiated by Pope Gregory VII and the circle he formed in the papal curia, c. 1050–80, which dealt with the moral integrity and independence of the clergy. The reforms are considered to be named after Pope Gregory VII (1073–85), though he personally denied it and claimed his reforms, like his regnal name, honoured Pope Gregory I.Gregorian chant
Gregorian chant is the central tradition of Western plainchant, a form of monophonic, unaccompanied sacred song of the Roman Catholic Church. Gregorian chant developed mainly in western and central Europe during the 9th and 10th centuries, with later additions and redactions. Although popular legend credits Pope Gregory I with inventing Gregorian chant, scholars believe that it arose from a later Carolingian synthesis of Roman chant and Gallican chant.
Gregorian chants were organized initially into four, then eight, and finally 12 modes. Typical melodic features include a characteristic ambitus, and also characteristic intervallic patterns relative to a referential mode final, incipits and cadences, the use of reciting tones at a particular distance from the final, around which the other notes of the melody revolve, and a vocabulary of musical motifs woven together through a process called centonization to create families of related chants. The scale patterns are organized against a background pattern formed of conjunct and disjunct tetrachords, producing a larger pitch system called the gamut. The chants can be sung by using six-note patterns called hexachords. Gregorian melodies are traditionally written using neumes, an early form of musical notation from which the modern four-line and five-line staff developed. Multi-voice elaborations of Gregorian chant, known as organum, were an early stage in the development of Western polyphony.
Gregorian chant was traditionally sung by choirs of men and boys in churches, or by men and women of religious orders in their chapels. It is the music of the Roman Rite, performed in the Mass and the monastic Office. Although Gregorian chant supplanted or marginalized the other indigenous plainchant traditions of the Christian West to become the official music of the Christian liturgy, Ambrosian chant still continues in use in Milan, and there are musicologists exploring both that and the Mozarabic chant of Christian Spain. Although Gregorian chant is no longer obligatory, the Roman Catholic Church still officially considers it the music most suitable for worship. During the 20th century, Gregorian chant underwent a musicological and popular resurgence.Gregory University
Gregory University (GU) is located in Uturu, Abia State in Nigeria. It is a Private University named after Pope Gregory I.The Vice-chancellor of the university is Professor Augustine A. Uwakwe.Interpretatio Christiana
Interpretatio christiana (Latin for Christian interpretation, also Christian reinterpretation) is adaptation of non-Christian elements of culture or historical facts to the worldview of Christianity. The term is commonly applied to recasting of religious and cultural activities, beliefs and imageries of "pagan" peoples into a Christianized form as a strategy for Christianization. From a Christian perspective, "pagan" refers to the various religious beliefs and practices of those who adhered to non-Abrahamic faiths, including within the Greco-Roman world the traditional public and domestic religion of ancient Rome, imperial cult, Hellenistic religion, the ancient Egyptian religion, Celtic and Germanic polytheism, initiation religions such as the Eleusinian Mysteries and Mithraism, the religions of the ancient Near East, and the religion of Carthage.
Reformatting traditional religious and cultural activities and beliefs into a Christianized form was officially sanctioned; preserved in the Venerable Bede's Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum is a letter from Pope Gregory I to Mellitus, arguing that conversions were easier if people were allowed to retain the outward forms of their traditions while changing the object of their veneration to God, "to the end that, whilst some gratifications are outwardly permitted them, they may the more easily consent to the inward consolations of the grace of God".Libellus responsionum
The Libellus responsionum (Latin for "little book of answers") is a papal letter (also known as a papal rescript or decretal) written in 601 by Pope Gregory I to Augustine of Canterbury in response to several of Augustine's questions regarding the nascent church in Anglo-Saxon England. The Libellus was reproduced in its entirety by Bede in his Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum, whence it was transmitted widely in the Middle Ages, and where it is still most often encountered by students and historians today. Before it was ever transmitted in Bede's Historia, however, the Libellus circulated as part of several different early medieval canon law collections, often in the company of texts of a penitential nature.
The authenticity of the Libellus (notwithstanding Boniface's suspicions, on which see below) was not called into serious question until the mid-twentieth century, when several historians forwarded the hypothesis that the document had been concocted in England in the early eighth century. It has since been shown, however, that this hypothesis was based on incomplete evidence and historical misapprehensions. In particular, twentieth-century scholarship focused on the presence in the Libellus of what appeared to be an impossibly lax rule regarding consanguinity and marriage, a rule that (it was thought) Gregory could not possibly have endorsed. It is now known that this rule is not in fact as lax as historians had thought, and moreover that the rule is fully consistent with Gregory's style and mode of thought. Today, Gregory I's authorship of the Libellus is generally accepted. The question of authenticity aside, manuscript and textual evidence indicates that the document was being transmitted in Italy by perhaps as early as the beginning of the seventh century (i.e. shortly after Gregory I's death in 604), and in England by the end of the same century.Mass of Saint Gregory
The Mass of Saint Gregory is a subject in Roman Catholic art which first appears in the late Middle Ages and was still found in the Counter-Reformation. Pope Gregory I (c. 540–604) is shown saying Mass just as a vision of Christ as the Man of Sorrows has appeared on the altar in front of him, in response to the Pope's prayers for a sign to convince a doubter of the doctrine of transubstantiation.Of Angels and Angles
"Of Angels and Angles" is a track by The Decemberists off their album Picaresque. It is the eleventh and final song on the album. Its title is likely an allusion to the phrase Non Angli, sed Angeli ("Not Angles, but Angels.) In legend, this was a Latin pun allegedly said by Pope Gregory I after a response to his query regarding the identity of a group of fair-haired Anglian children whom he had observed in the marketplace.Alternatively, it could be a reference to Saul Alinsky, author of Rules for Radicals which contains the line "....is a world not of angels, but of angles where men speak of moral principles but act on power principles"
The song is unique on the album in that it features only vocalist Colin Meloy with acoustic guitar accompaniment.Pastoral Care
For the general phrase concerning emotional and spiritual support, see Pastoral care.Liber Regulae Pastoralis or Regula Pastoralis (The Book of the Pastoral Rule, commonly known in English as Pastoral Care, a translation of the alternative Latin title Cura Pastoralis) is a treatise on the responsibilities of the clergy written by Pope Gregory I around the year 590, shortly after his papal inauguration. It became one of the most influential works on the topic ever written. The title was that used by Gregory when sending a copy to his friend Leander of Seville. The text was addressed to John, the bishop of Ravenna, as a response to a query from him. Gregory later revised the text somewhat.Paulinus of York
Paulinus (died 10 October 644) was a Roman missionary and the first Bishop of York. A member of the Gregorian mission sent in 601 by Pope Gregory I to Christianize the Anglo-Saxons from their native Anglo-Saxon paganism, Paulinus arrived in England by 604 with the second missionary group. Little is known of Paulinus' activities in the following two decades.
After some years spent in Kent, perhaps in 625, Paulinus was consecrated a bishop. He accompanied Æthelburg of Kent, sister of King Eadbald of Kent, on her journey to Northumbria to marry King Edwin of Northumbria, and eventually succeeded in converting Edwin to Christianity. Paulinus also converted many of Edwin's subjects and built some churches. One of the women Paulinus baptised was a future saint, Hilda of Whitby. Following Edwin's death in 633, Paulinus and Æthelburg fled Northumbria, leaving behind a member of Paulinus' clergy, James the Deacon. Paulinus returned to Kent, where he became Bishop of Rochester. He received a pallium from the pope, symbolizing his appointment as Archbishop of York, but too late to be effective. After his death in 644, Paulinus was canonized as a saint and is now venerated in the Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Anglican Churches.Pope Boniface IV
Pope Boniface IV (Latin: Bonifatius IV; d. 8 May 615) was Pope from 25 September 608 to his death in 615. He is venerated as a saint in the Catholic Church with a universal feast falling annually on 8 May. Boniface had served as a deacon under Pope Gregory I, and like his mentor had made his house into a monastery. As Pope, he encouraged monks and monasticism. With permission of the Emperor, he converted the Pantheon into the Church of St. Mary and the Martyrs. In 610, he conferred with Mellitus (d. 624), first bishop of London, regarding the needs of the English Church.Pope Gregory
Gregory has been the name of sixteen Roman Catholic Popes and two Antipopes. The Latin name is Gregorius.
Pope Gregory I "the Great" (590–604), after whom the Gregorian chant is named
Pope Gregory II (715–731)
Pope Gregory III (731–741)
Pope Gregory IV (827–844)
Pope Gregory V (996–999)
Pope Gregory VI (1045–1046)
Antipope Gregory VI
Pope Gregory VII (1073–1085), after whom the Gregorian Reform is named
Pope Gregory VIII (1187)
Antipope Gregory VIII
Pope Gregory IX (1227–1241)
Pope Gregory X (1271–1276)
Pope Gregory XI (1370–1378)
Pope Gregory XII (1406–1415)
Pope Gregory XIII (1572–1585), after whom the Gregorian calendar is named
Pope Gregory XIV (1590–1591)
Pope Gregory XV (1621–1623)
Pope Gregory XVI (1831–1846)Saint Silvia
Saint Silvia (Sylvia) (c. 515 – c. 592) was the mother of Saint Gregory the Great. She is venerated as a saint by the Catholic Church, which names her a patroness of pregnant women.San Gregorio Magno al Celio
San Gregorio Magno al Celio, also known as San Gregorio al Celio or simply San Gregorio, is a church in Rome, Italy, which is part of a monastery of monks of the Camaldolese branch of the Benedictine Order. On March 10, 2012, the 1,000th anniversary of the founding of the Camaldolese in 1012 was celebrated here at a Vespers service attended by Anglican and Catholic prelates and jointly led by Pope Benedict XVI and Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury.
San Gregorio is located on the Caelian Hill, in front of the Palatine. Next to the basilica and monastery is a convent of nuns and a homeless shelter run by Mother Teresa of Calcutta's congregation, the Missionaries of Charity.Virgin (title)
The title Virgin (Latin Virgo, Greek Παρθένος) is an honorific bestowed on female saints and blesseds in both the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church.
Chastity is one of the seven virtues in Christian tradition, listed by Pope Gregory I at the end of the 6th century. In 1 Corinthians, Saint Paul suggests a special role for virgins or unmarried women (ἡ γυνὴ καὶ ἡ παρθένος ἡ ἄγαμος) as more suitable for "the things of the Lord" (μεριμνᾷ τὰ τοῦ κυρίου).
In 2 Corinthians 11:2, Paul alludes to the metaphor of the Church as Bride of Christ by addressing the congregation
"I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ".
In the theology of the Church Fathers, the prototype of the sacred virgin is Mary, the mother of Jesus, consecrated by the Holy Spirit at Annunciation.
Although not stated in the gospels, the perpetual virginity of Mary was widely upheld as a dogma by the Church Fathers from the 4th century.Zerachiel
Archangel Zerachiel ("God's command") or Zahariel is one of the primary angels who leads souls to judgement. An Angel of Healing, he is also the presiding angel of the sun, prince of ministering angels (those who watch over mortals), and the angel of children, particularly children of parents who have sinned (and are therefore at risk of falling into sin as adults themselves). He is said to have dominion over the earth. In Enoch I (the Book of Enoch) he is listed as one of the seven archangels. In the list of Pope Gregory I, one of the seven archangels is called Zachariel.
and describing the sins
|In art and culture|
During the Roman Empire (until 493)
including under Constantine (312–337)
Ostrogothic Papacy (493–537)
Byzantine Papacy (537–752)
Frankish Papacy (756–857)
Papal selection before 1059
Saeculum obscurum (904–964)
Crescentii era (974–1012)
Tusculan Papacy (1012–1044/1048)
Imperial Papacy (1048–1257)
Avignon Papacy (1309–1378)
Western Schism (1378–1417)
Renaissance Papacy (1417–1534)
Reformation Papacy (1534–1585)
Baroque Papacy (1585–1689)
Age of Enlightenment (c. 1640-1740)
Revolutionary Papacy (1775–1848)
Roman Question (1870–1929)
Vatican City (1929–present)
|History of the papacy|
|Latin Church Fathers|
of the Latin Mass
of the faithful
|Early Middle Ages|
|High Middle Ages|
|Late Middle Ages|
Pope Gregory I
|Early Middle Ages|
|High Middle Ages|
|Mysticism and reforms|