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Saints of the day, 3 September: Saint Gregory the Great (Pope Gregory I)

Saint Gregory the Great was a cardinal figure in the course of the Church’s history: together with Ambrose, Jerome and Augustine he is considered one of the four great Doctors of the Western Church

Saint Gregory the Great, life

Born in Rome around 540 into a patrician family, he was educated in the Christian faith by his parents Jordan and Silvia.

After finishing his law studies, Gregory embarked on a political career, but after a few years and important positions held, he was attracted to monastic life.

He therefore donated his possessions to the poor and became a monk.

During his monastic life, he devoted himself to prayer and the study of the Holy Scriptures.

The appointments that brought St Gregory the Great to the papal throne

Pope Pelagius II appointed him deacon and sent him to Constantinople, today Istanbul, in the role that today would be called apostolic nuncio: there he remained for six years.

Back in Rome, he was chosen as Pelagius II’s successor as Pope.

It is the beginning of a reorganisation of the papal administration and a reform of ecclesiastical activities: Pope Gregory is credited with the decision that the Church’s property should be used for its subsistence and for evangelisation, managed with righteousness, justice and mercy.

Pope Gregory is also the author of a reform of the Holy Mass, simplified and enriched with liturgical chant.

He died on 12 March 604 and is buried in St Peter’s Basilica.

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