Thursday, September 3, 2015

St Gregory the Great

St Gregory the Great (540-604)
St. Gregory, born at Rome about the year 540, was the son of Gordianus, a wealthy senator, who later renounced the world and became one of the seven deacons of Rome. After he had acquired the usual thorough education, Emperor Justin the Younger appointed him, in 574, Chief Magistrate of Rome, though he was only thirty-four years of age.
After the death of his father, he built six monasteries in Sicily and founded a seventh in his own house in Rome, which became the Benedictine Monastery of St. Andrew. Here, he himself assumed the monastic habit in 575, at the age of thirty-five.
After the death of Pelagius, St. Gregory was chosen Pope by the unanimous consent of priests and people. Now began those labors which merited for him the title of Great. His zeal extended over the entire known world, he was in contact with all the Churches of Christendom and, in spite of his bodily sufferings, and innumerable labors, he found time to compose a great number of works. 

He is known above all for his magnificent contributions to the Liturgy of the Mass and Office. 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. Gregory wrote over 850 letters in the last 13 years of his life (590–604) that give us an accurate picture of his work. He is one of the four great Doctors of the Latin Church. He died March 12, 604. St Gregory is the patron saint of musicians, singers, students, and teachers.

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