Thought for the Day – 3 September – The Memnorial of St Pope Gregory the Great (540-604) – Father & Doctor of the Church
By his writings, St Gregory is one of the Four Fathers of the Latin Church and the influence of his writings dominated the Middle Ages. His Pastoral Care, became the pastoral manual of later centuies and his Moralia laid the foundation for medieval spirtuality.
In his thirteen years as Pope, this “servant of the servants of God”, crowded in a lifetime.
He died in 604, sick and worn out, still dictating letters on his deathbed. He was buried at St Peter’s and his epitaph called him “the great consul of God.”
St Gregory shows the critical importance of leadership and the fantastic things that a good leader can accomplish. He influenced every aspect of religious life and is with good reason called “the Great”.
His life shows how important one man’s witness can be.
We are “one man” too – the tiny bit we do might seem inconsequential – but God works in mysterious ways and His Hand covers all the earth – our tiny bit could well be spread by that Hand!
St Gregory the Great, Servant of the Servants, pray for us!
Quote/s of the Day – 3 September – The Memorial of St Pope Gregory the Great (540-604) – Father & Doctor of the Church
“If we knew at what time we were to depart from this world, we would be able to select a season for pleasure and another for repentance. But God, who has promised pardon to every repentant sinner, has not promised us tomorrow. Therefore we must always dread the final day, which we can never foresee. This VERY DAY is a day of truce, a day for conversion. And yet we refuse to cry over the evil we have done! Not only do we not weep for the sins we have committed, we even add to them…”
“Don’t be anxious about what you have, but about what you are!”
“When we attend to the needs of those in want, we give them what is theirs, not ours. More than performing works of mercy, we are paying a debt of justice.”
“The Emperor of heaven, the Lord of men and of angels, has sent you His epistles for your life’s advantage— and yet you neglect to read them eagerly. Study them, I beg you and meditate daily on the words of your Creator. Learn the heart of God in the words of God, that you may sigh more eagerly for things eternal, that your soul may be kindled with greater longings for heavenly joy.”
St Pope Gregory the Great (540-604) – Father & Doctor of the Church
One Minute Reflection –3 September – The Memorial of St Pope Gregory the Great (540-604) – Father & Doctor of the Church
Since the Creation of the world….God’s eternal power and divinity have become visible, recognised through the things he has made..Romans 1:20
REFLECTION – “God is within all things but not included; outside all things but not excluded. God is above all things but not beyond their reach.”….St Pope Gregory the Great
PRAYER – Lord of creation, grant me the grace to see You in all things and in all places on earth. Help me to seek and reach You in all the events I experience and all the persons I encounter every day of my life. St Pope Gregory the Great, Pray for us! Amen
Saint of the Day – 3 September – St Pope Gregory the Great (540-604) – Father & Doctor of the Church. Also known as “Father of the Fathers” (c 540 at Rome, Italy – Papal Ascension: 3 September 590 – 12 March 604 at Rome, Italy of natural causes). Pope, Prefect of Rome, Monk, Abbot, Writer, Theologian, Teacher, Liturgist. Patronages – • against gout • against plague,• choir boys,• teachers, teachers,• stone masons, stonecutters,
• students, school children,• popes, the papacy,• musicians,• singers,• England,
• West Indies,• Legazpi, Philippines, diocese of,• Order of Knights of Saint Gregory,
• Kercem, Malta,• Montone, Italy,• San Gregorio nelle Alpi, Italy. Attributes – • crozier
• dove,• pope working on sheet music,• pope writing,• tiara.
Pope St. Gregory was born in Rome, the son of a wealthy Roman Senator. His mother was St. Sylvia. He followed the career of public service that was usual for the son of an aristocratic family, becoming Prefect of the City of Rome but resigned within a year to pursue monastic life.
He founded with the help of his vast financial holdings seven monasteries, of which six were on family estates in Sicily. A seventh, which he placed under the patronage of St. Andrew and which he himself joined, was erected on the Clivus Scauri in Rome. For several years, he lived as a good and holy Benedictine monk.
Then Pope Pelagius made him one of the seven deacons of Rome. For six years, he served as permanent ambassador to the Court of Byzantium. In the year 586, he was recalled to Rome and with great joy returned to St Andrew’s Monastery. He became abbot soon afterwards and the monastery grew famous under his energetic rule. When the Pope died, Gregory was unanimously elected to take his place because of his great piety and wisdom. However, Gregory did not want that honour, so he disguised himself and hid in a cave but was found and made Pope anyway.
He was elected Pope on 3 September 590, the first monk to be elected to this office. For fourteen years he ruled the Church. Even though he was always sick, Gregory was one of the greatest popes the Church has ever had. He reformed the administration of the Church’s estates and devoted the resulting surplus to the assistance of the poor and the ransoming of prisoners. He negotiated treaties with the Lombard tribes who were ravaging northern Italy and by cultivating good relations with these and other barbarians he was able to keep the Church’s position secure in areas where Roman rule had broken down.
His works for the propagation of the faith include the sending of St Augustine of Canterbury and his monks as missionaries to England in 596, providing them with continuing advice and support and (in 601) sending reinforcements. He wrote extensively on pastoral care, spirituality and morals and designated himself “servant of the servants of God”, a title which all Popes have used since that time.
He never rested and wore himself down to almost a skeleton. Even as he lay dying, he directed the affairs of the Church and continued his spiritual writing.
He codified the rules for selecting deacons to make these offices more spiritual. Prior to this, deacons were selected on their ability to sing the liturgy and chosen if they had good voices.
Because he loved the solemn celebration of the Eucharist, St. Grergory devoted himself to compiling the Antiphonary, which contains the chants of the Church used during the liturgy (the Gregorian Chant). He also set up the Schola Cantorum, Roman’s famous training school for chorusters.
St Gregory died on March 12, 604 and was buried in St Peter’s Church. He is designated as the fourth Doctor of the Latin Church. His feast is celebrated on the date of his election as Pope.
The Eucharistic Miracle of St Pope Gregory
St Gregory the Great is perhaps especially remembered by many for the Eucharistic Miracle that occurred in 595 during the Holy Sacrifice. This famous incident was related by Paul the Deacon in his 8th century biography of the holy pope, Vita Beati Gregorii Papae.
Pope Gregory was distributing Holy Communion during a Sunday Mass and noticed amongst those in line a woman who had helped make the hosts was laughing. This disturbed him greatly and so he inquired what was the cause of her unusual behaviour. The woman replied that she could not believe how the hosts she had prepared could become the Body and Blood of Christ just by the words of consecration.
Hearing this disbelief, St. Gregory refused to give her Communion and prayed that God would enlighten her with the truth. Just after making this plea to God, the pope witnessed some consecrated Hosts (which appeared as bread) change Their appearance into actual flesh and blood. Showing this miracle to the woman, she was moved to repentance for her disbelief and knelt weeping. Today, two of these miraculous Hosts can still be venerated at Andechs Abbey in Germany (with a third miraculous Host from Pope Leo IX [11th century], thus the Feast of the Three Hosts of Andechs [Dreihostienfest]).
During the Middle Ages, the event of the Miraculous Mass of St. Gregory was gradually stylised in several ways. First the doubting woman was often replaced by a deacon, while the crowd was often comprised of the papal court of cardinals and other retinue. Another important feature was the pious representation of the Man of Sorrows rising from a sarcophagus and surrounded by the Arma Christi, or the victorious display of the various instruments of the Passion.
The artistic representation of this Eucharistic Miracle became especially prominent in Europe during the Protestant Reformation in reaction to the heretical denial of the doctrine of the Real Presence.
Our Morning Offering – 3 September – The Memorial of St Pope Gregory the Great – Father & Doctor
St Gregory’s Prayer of Praise
It is only right,
with all the powers of our heart and mind,
to praise You Father
and Your Only-Begotten Son,
Our Lord Jesus Christ.
by Your wondrous condescension
of loving-kindness toward us, Your servants,
You gave up Your Son.
You paid the debt of Adam for us
to the Eternal Father by Your Blood
poured forth in loving-kindness.
You cleared away the darkness of sin
by Your magnificent and radiant Resurrection.
You broke the bonds of death
and rose from the grave as a Conqueror.
You reconciled heaven and earth.
Our life had no hope of eternal happiness
before You redeemed us.
Your Resurrection has washed away our sins,
restored our innocence and brought us joy.
How inestimable is the tenderness
of Your Love!
St Gregory the Great, Pope (Memorial) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IpR9Mv63AY0
St Aigulphus of Lérins
St Ambrose of Sens
St Ammon of Heraclea
Bl Andrew Dotti
St Basilissa of Nicomedia
Bl Brigida of Jesus
St Chrodegang of Séez
St Frugentius the Martyr
Bl Guala of Brescia
Bl Herman of Heidelberg
St Mansuetus of Toul
St Martiniano of Como
St Natalis of Casale
St Regulus of Rheims
St Sandila of Cordoba
Martyrs of Aquileia – 4 saints: Four young women, variously sisters and cousins, who were born to the nobility, the daughters of the pagans Valentinianus of Aquileia and Valentius of Aquileia. Each woman converted and made private vows, dedicating themselves to God. They were arrested, tortured and martyred by order of Valentius for becoming a Christian. We know little else but their names – Dorothy, Erasma, Euphemia and Thecla. They were martyred by beheaded in the 1st century in Aquileia, Italy and their bodies were thrown into a nearby river.
Martyrs of Nagasaki – 6 beati: A group of priests and clerics, native and foreign, murdered together in the anti-Christian persecutions in Japan. They were scalded in boiling water and then burned alive on 3 September 1632 in Nishizaka, Nagasaki, Japan and Beatified on 7 May 1867 by Pope Pius IX.
• Anthony Ishida
• Bartolomé Gutiérrez Rodríguez
• Francisco Terrero de Ortega Pérez
• Gabriel Tarazona Rodríguez
• Jerome of the Cross de Torres
• Vicente Simões de Carvalho
Martyrs of Seoul – 6 saints: A group of Christian lay people martyred together in the persecutions in Korea. They were beheaded on 3 September 1839 at the Small West Gate, Seoul, South Korea and Canonised on 6 May 1984 by Pope John Paul II.
• Agnes Kim Hyo-Ch’u
• Barbara Kwon Hui
• Barbara Yi Chong-hui
• Ioannes Pak Hu-jae
• Maria Pak K’Un-agi
• Maria Yi Yon-hui
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
• Blessed Andrea Calle González
• Blessed Concepción Pérez Giral
• Blessed Dolores Úrsula Caro Martín
• Blessed Joaquim Balcells Bosch
• Blessed Pius Salvans Corominas