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Pope St. Gregory the Great

Saint Gregory the Great

Pope, Confessor & Doctor of the Church

Gregory was born in Rome around the year 540, to St. Sylvia, a patroness of expectant mothers, and Gordianus, a wealthy Roman senator who later renounced his possessions and became an important deacon. Two of Gregory’s aunts are also venerated as saints. Gregory rose to briefly serve as Prefect of Rome before becoming a monk and later the abbot of a Benedictine monastery that was once one of his family’s villas. Gregory reliably served previous pontiffs before reluctantly ascending to the throne himself in the year of Our Lord 590. Among his successes as pope were many contributions to the Roman liturgy, including the compilation and codification of Western chant, henceforth called “Gregorian”; and the sending of St. Augustine of Canterbury and his fellow monks to convert England, for which Gregory is known as the Apostle of England. After thirteen and a half glorious years on the Chair of St. Peter, Gregory died on March 12th, in the year of Our Lord 604. His feast is celebrated on September 3rd in the modern calendar. One of the first four Doctors of the Latin Church, Gregory is a patron of musicians and teachers.


Traditional Roman Martyrology for March 12th

AT Rome, St Gregory, pope and eminent doctor of the Church, who on account of his illustrious deeds, and the conversion of the English to the faith of Christ was surnamed the Great, and called the Apostle of England.

Also at Rome, St Mamilian, martyr.

At Nicomedia, the passion of the blessed martyr Peter, chamberlain of the emperor Diocletian. For complaining openly of the atrocious torments inflicted on the martyrs, he was, by order of the emperor, first suspended and a long time
scourged, then, salt and vinegar being rubbed into his wounds, he was burned on a grate over a slow fire. Thus did he become truly the heir of St. Peter’s name and faith.

In the same city, St. Egdunus, priest, and seven others, who were strangled one by one, on successive days, to terrify those who remained.

At Constantinople, St. Theophanes, who gave up great wealth to embrace poverty in the monastic state. By Leo the Armenian he was kept in prison two years for the worship of holy images, then exiled in Samothracia, where, overwhelmed with afflictions, he breathed his last and wrought many miracles.

At Capua, St. Bernard, bishop and confessor.

℣. And elsewhere many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.

℟. Thanks be to God.

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