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3 September #2

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  • ambrós
    Celtic and Old English Saints 3 September =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= * St. Gregory the Great =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
    Message 1 of 14 , Sep 1, 2000
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      Celtic and Old English Saints 3 September

      =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
      * St. Gregory the Great
      =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=


      St. Gregory the Great, Pope of Rome,
      also known as the Dialogist
      -------------------------------------------------
      Born in Rome, Italy, c. 540; died there March 12, 604; feast day was
      formerly March 12 [as it remains in the Orthodox Churches] This Feast
      today commemorates the day he was raised tio the Roman throne.

      "The Holy Bible is like a mirror before our mind's eye. In it we see our
      inner face. From the Scriptures we can learn our spiritual deformities
      and beauties. And there too we discover the progress we are making and
      how far we are from perfection."
      --Saint Gregory.

      Where does one begin to recite the glories of a man who excelled at many
      things in so many ways? His greatness is emphasized by contrast with the
      time in which he lived, when everything was in decline. He was prefect
      of Rome when he wrote: "Everything is at the mercy of the barbarians,
      the cities are undermined, the citadels are destroyed, the provinces are
      depopulated, there are no more farmers in the country. And every day the
      idolaters exert their power and gratify their rage by assassinating the
      faithful. We see what has become of her who once appeared as mistress of
      the world. She is broken by all she has suffered from immense and
      manifold misfortunes. . . . We, the few who are left, are menaced every
      day by the
      sword and innumerable trials. . . ."

      Saint Bede described Gregory as the man England "may and ought to call
      our Apostle, because he made our nation, till then given up to idols,
      the Church of Christ," and Gregory's tomb in Rome bears the inscription:
      "He taught the Christian truth to English Saxons."

      He was a distinguished Roman, born of a senatorial Christian family, and
      owed much to his mother, Saint Sylvia and two of her sisters who are
      regarded as saints. His father, Gordianus, who was descended from an
      earlier pope, was a lay administrator of one of the seven archdeaconries
      of Rome. Trained in Rome as a lawyer, by 571 (age 30) he had become its
      prefect. He seems to have acquitted himself well in that post, despite
      his tendency toward austerity. Historians refer to the splendor of his
      robes in contrast with the habit he wore in later years.

      On the death of his father, he gave most of his inheritance to the poor
      and the Church, which included the founding of six monasteries in
      Sicily. About 574, he converted his family mansion on the Caelian Hill
      into the monastery of Saint Andrew, placed it under the direction of
      Valentius, and resigned his office to become a monk. Gregory ameliorated
      the characteristic Eastern ascetic practices, which made the rule more
      acceptable to Western conditions. He set about purifying the morals of
      the monks.

      At this time, there was an impermeable boundary between monks and
      priests; a priest who became a monk was expected to cease his priestly
      ministry because priests were viewed as worldly; monks, other-worldly.
      Gregory's later determination to free monks from episcopal control was
      definitely contrary to tradition. The Council of Chalcedon (451) had
      ordered monks to remain under obedience to their bishops. Gregory,
      however, in the Lateran Council of 601, caused a decree to be issued to
      all bishops exempting monks from their authority. Part of the reason for
      this was to keep monks in their monasteries and prevent them from
      wandering from place to place.

      Pope Gregory wrote to Bishop Castorius of Ariminum:

      "On the death also of an abbot, let not the bishop on any pretext
      intermeddle in the scheduling or taking charge of the property of the
      monastery, acquired, or given, or to be acquired. We also entirely
      forbid public Masses to be celebrated by him in a convent, lest in the
      retreats of the servants of God and their places of refuge any
      opportunity for a popular concourse of women should ensue, which would
      be by no means of advantage to their souls. Nor let him dare to place
      his episcopal chair there, or have any power whatever of command, or of
      holding any ordination, even the most ordinary, unless he should be
      requested to do so by the abbot of the place."

      Gregory remained in his monastery about three years and then was
      ordained by Pope Pelagius II as one of the seven deacons of Rome in 578.
      He was too active by temperament for a contemplative life and, five
      years after retiring from public affairs, he was appointed as legate
      (579-585) to Constantinople, a post for which he was well-equipped and
      which he filled with great distinction; but he still maintained the
      simple habits of a monk and he turned part of his embassy into a
      monastery. This was a time when the Roman Empire had been reconstituted
      with its headquarters in Constantinople. The pope had sent him to enlist
      the aid of the emperor against the Lombards; in this he was
      unsuccessful.

      In 586, Gregory was recalled to Rome and became abbot of his monastery,
      while acting as papal secretary. There is a story that Gregory
      entertained the idea of himself preaching the Gospel in England, and
      even set out for that country, but was recalled to Rome by the pope at
      the insistence of the people when plague struck Rome in 589-590.

      Pope Pelagius contracted the disease and died. Gregory was consecrated
      pope on September 3, 590--the first monk to hold that office. It is said
      that Gregory tried every means possible to avoid taking the papal
      office, including writing to Emperor Maurice in Constantinople to ask
      that he not be given imperial confirmation. The letter was intercepted
      by the prefect of
      Rome and another substituted from the Senate, clergy, and people that
      asked for Gregory's appointment. At the arrival of the emperor's
      response, the saint fled Rome. When he found that he could not refuse
      the office in good conscience, he accepted it and proceeded speedily
      with clerical and ecclesiastical reform.

      It was a time of famine, flood, and plague, and Gregory called for
      litanies, processions, and unceasing prayer for God's help. These
      expressions of faith were rewarded by the rapid diminution of the
      infestation. During one procession, Gregory saw an angel above Hadrian's
      Arch sheathing his sword--an incident from which the Castel Sant'Angelo
      derives its name.

      As pope, he became the strongest figure in Italy, the exarch of Ravenna
      dimmed in comparison to Gregory. Beside him the emperor was but a pale
      and feeble shadow, and soon the power of his strong personality and
      benevolent influence was felt throughout Europe. The attacks of the
      barbarians had further increased the importance of the Church because
      they had destroyed many of the pagan temples and driven the patrician
      families, who preserved the old state religion, out of Rome.

      As a preacher he had great ability. In the field of liturgy he
      introduced the Gregorian chant (in response to the congregational and
      antiphonal singing that Saint Ambrose introduced and which he viewed as
      flippant and irreverent), and established a choir school in conjunction
      with an orphanage. He also excelled as a statesman. Indeed, in every
      branch and aspect of Church life he showed both genius and authority,
      and more than any other he gave shape and direction to the Medieval
      Church. In his days, we are told, the see of St. Peter stood out in
      Western Europe like a lighthouse in a storm.

      Gregory was instrumental in settling difficulties with the Lombards who
      besieged Rome several times during his pontificate, and with whom he
      personally negotiated treaties. They continued to be troublesome. In
      593, he persuaded the invading Lombards under Agilulf to spare Rome, and
      he negotiated a peace with the Lombard king--an unprecedented move that
      effectively set aside the authority of the Byzantine emperor's
      representative, the exarch of Ravenna. Gregory was responsible for all
      the relief work in the distressed areas, including redeeming captives
      who had been enslaved. For this purpose, Gregory urged bishops to go so
      far as to sell their sacred vessels. He did conclude a temporary truce
      with the Lombards in 603.

      He appointed governors of the Italian cities, provided them with war
      materials, and denounced the heavy taxes levied on
      Italians by Byzantine officials. This was the beginning of the papal
      exercise of temporal authority.

      He had many troubles with which he had to deal, and he had few qualms
      about using secular force to win adherents to the Church. The Donatist
      controversy re-emerged in Africa and Gregory appealed to the emperor to
      enforce the pre-existing law against their worship. He encouraged the
      Frankish kings to coerce their subjects into the true faith, and on his
      own possessions in Italy, he ordered the Manichaeans to be compelled to
      accept orthodox catholicism. On the other hand, he was especially
      tolerant to the Jews and urged that they should not be harshly treated.
      He went so far as to say that, in the case of
      the Jews, conversions wrought by force are never sincere.

      One of the great successes of the period was the conversion of the Arian
      king of Spain, Reccared, who renounced his heresy and converted to the
      true faith under the influence of Gregory's greatest friend, Saint
      Leandro. Gregory responded to Leandro's letter by sending him part of
      his commentary on the Book of Job, which the two had begun together when
      they were stationed at Constantinople.

      Gregory used the granting of the pallium as a means of extending his
      authority. Originally, this was a scarf given by emperors to their
      friends and officers that they especially wanted to honor. It came to be
      used by the popes as a means of signifying a metropolitan (i.e.,
      archbishop or patriarch), although in some instances it was conferred on
      a diocesan bishop where there was no metropolitan.

      Although Gregory took away the authority of the bishops over monks, he
      protected and augmented their rights in other areas. He separated the
      clergy from secular courts and forbade them to appeal to lay tribunals.
      He also attempted to end the vice of simony by, among other things,
      refusing the annual presents that suffragan bishops traditionally
      brought to Rome or any fee for the granting of the pallium, and
      abolishing clerical fees for burials and ordinations. He restored
      ecclesiastical discipline, removed unworthy clerics from office, and was
      prodigious in his charity.

      But most conspicuous and far-reaching was his missionary vision. He had
      a lifelong interest in the conversion of England, where the Roman rule
      had come to an end under the battering of the barbarians, and the
      Romano-British Church had been driven into the provinces of Cornwall,
      Wales, and Cumbria, while the new Saxon and heathen kingdoms rose and
      rivalled one another until King Saint Ethelbert of Kent managed to
      exercise authority over much of the country.

      Even before Gregory was pope, when walking in the market-place of Rome,
      he had noticed the fair-haired Saxon boys offered for sale as slaves and
      had made his famous pun: "Not Angles, but angels!" adding, still
      humorously, that "Alleluia shall be sung in Aella's land." Until he was
      able to carry out his plan for evangelization, he would buy young
      English boys in the
      slave market and give them a good education with the view of sending
      them home as missionaries.

      A better opportunity arose when King Ethelbert of Kent married the
      Christian princess, Bertha of Gaul. She had been allowed to bring her
      chaplain with her to England for her own chapel. Gregory recognized the
      opportunity this presented. Thus, he decided to dispatch Saint Augustine
      and a small band of monks to bring the Gospel to those shores. Several
      times
      the daunted monks wanted to give up the project, but Gregory continually
      encouraged them to press on. The missionaries finally landed on the Isle
      of Thanet in May 597. Ethelbert received them courteously and eventually
      was baptized. The mission was so prosperous that Augustine went to Gaul
      to be consecrated bishop at the hands of the bishop of Arles.

      When questions arose in England, Augustine would write to Gregory. One
      letter concerned the division of offerings because Augustine was a monk
      living in community and shared all things in common. The normal custom
      was to divide any offering equally between the bishop, the clergy, the
      poor, and the parish for maintenance. Then there was a question of
      liturgical custom: should they follow that of Rome or of Gaul? The
      answer was that Augustine should adapt to what is practical for the
      particular time and circumstances. There were other questions about
      marriages, ordinations, and the position of bishops. In all matters,
      Gregory shows himself to be a practical man tempering law with charity.
      For example, when Augustine asked about
      episcopal ordinations, which require at least three consecrating
      bishops, Gregory responded that since Augustine was the only bishop in
      England [sic!] he must consecrate alone, unless he could get bishops to
      come from Gaul.

      Gregory had conceived England as it was under Roman rule. He had planned
      to have a metropolitan established at York and another at London, and
      each should have 12 suffragans. York was to be dependent on London only
      during Augustine's lifetime and upon Augustine's death was to be
      independent. Gregory does not seem to have realized the pre-existing
      bishops had little interest in converting their Anglo-Saxon conquerors.

      Gregory also wrote to Saint Mellitus to remind Augustine not to destroy
      the pagan temples, but rather to appropriate and consecrate them for
      Christian usage. Similarly, the old feast days should be retained and
      given a Christian character.

      Gregory relates his view of the English mission in his letter to Bishop
      Eulogius of Alexandria:

      "While the nation of the Angli, placed in a corner of the world,
      remained up to this time misbelieving in the worship of stocks and
      stones, I determined, through the aid of your prayers for me, to send
      it, God granting, a monk of my monastery for the purpose of preaching.
      And he, having with my leave been made bishop by the bishops of Germany,
      proceeded, with their aid also, to the end of the world to the aforesaid
      nation; and already letters have reached us telling us of his safety and
      his work; to the effect that he and those that have been sent with him
      are resplendent with such great miracles in the said nation that they
      seem to imitate the powers of the apostles in the signs which they
      display. Moreover, at the solemnity of the Lord's Nativity which
      occurred in the first indication, more than 10,000 Angli are reported to
      have been baptized by the same our brother and fellow- bishop."

      During all his activities, Gregory never stopped writing--his homilies,
      his celebrated Dialogues, and many other writings, including over 800
      letters and epistles that have survived. The Dialogues, full of
      marvelous tales about the visions, prophecies, miracles and lives of
      monks and saints of Italy, provided his age with its romantic reading
      and impressed upon it the underlying, essential truths of religion.

      Gregory wrote Pastoral Care (Liber regulae pastoralis) in order to
      explain his position. It is an exposition of episcopal duties. (The fact
      that it was one of the first books to be translated into English attests
      to its importance.) In Gaul (France), it was handed to all bishops at
      their consecration. Emperor Maurice had it translated into Greek so that
      it could be used in the East as well. Most of the book deals with how a
      preacher should adapt his teaching to each of several classes of people.

      Gregory was not a great or creative thinker, but was more like the
      practical Romans of his time. The custom of saying 30 successive Masses
      for those who have died is named after Saint Gregory. It derives from
      his Dialogues (Book 4, c. 40) which relates that a monk named Justus had
      received three pieces of gold which he kept for himself--an offense
      against poverty. The gold was discovered and Justus excommunicated. Soon
      after he died and was buried in unconsecrated ground with the three gold
      pieces. Time repaired the scandal and the abbot, moved by compassion for
      the soul of Justus, arranged for the Sacrifice each morning for 30 days.
      As Mass ended on the 30th day, Justus appeared to a brother named
      Copiosus, saying, "Bless God, my dear brother, today I am delivered and
      admitted into the society of saints."

      This pope is also considered the originator of the Mass of the
      Presanctified, which continues to be celebrated by the Eastern Orthodox
      Churches during their time of the 40 days of fasting which precede
      Easter. He himself tells us that he changed the place of the Lord's
      Prayer and added it to the Prayer of Consecration. He also added some
      petitions to the prayer Hanc igitur, thus giving its final touch to the
      canon.

      His labours were immense. No task was too great, no service too humble,
      for this gifted and versatile follower of Christ, who delighted to call
      himself "the servant of the servants of God." One of many stories told
      of him is that a beggar presented himself repeatedly at the monastery
      gate asking for alms, and each time Gregory gave to him, until, one day,
      having no money
      left to give, he gave him his silver porringer, a gift from his mother.

      As bishop of Rome, Gregory continued to live the monastic life as far as
      he was able. He retained the habit and lived with his clergy under a
      strict discipline. After he became pope, it was his custom to entertain
      every evening at his own table twelve poor men, one for each of our
      Lord's disciples. One night he counted thirteen present and, calling his
      steward, enquired the reason. "Holy Father," replied the steward, after
      counting them over, "you are mistaken; there are but twelve." But
      Gregory still counted thirteen, and after the meal called to his
      unbidden guest: "Who are you?" The guest replied, "I am the poor man
      whom you formerly relieved, and through Me you shall obtain whatever you
      shall ask of God." Then Gregory knew that he had entertained our Lord.

      Gregory continued his apostolic labours for another seven years after
      sending Augustine to England. His delicacy increased and he had to work
      in the midst of intense pain from chronic gout. He gradually became
      weaker. During the latter part of his life, he was in close
      correspondence with Queen Theodolinda of the Lombards to try to win her
      and her people into the
      Christian fold. Her son had been born and baptized in the Church, just
      before Gregory's death. During his last illness, he wrote to
      congratulate her on the birth of her son (Benedictines, Bentley,
      Delaney, Encyclopedia (March), Gill, Schouppe, Wand).

      In art, Saint Gregory is often portrayed with the four original Latin
      Fathers of the Church: Ambrose, Augustine, and Jerome.
      The image may show Gregory (1) with a book, a dove at his ear; (2) with
      a book and ceremonial umbrella or canopy, sometimes held over his head;
      (3) with the bull of Saint Luke supporting his book; (4) with the soul
      of a king rising at his side;

      As a Father of the Church, Gregory is generally portrayed at his writing
      desk with the papal insignia near him and a dove at his ear to inspire
      him as in the image contained in John of Berry's Petit Heures. He may
      also be shown (1) as a bearded early Christian priest by a writing desk,
      with the dove at his ear; (2) as the early priest with a pen and book,
      candle and tiara with a peacock above him; or (3) occasionally with a
      bull of Saint Luke (Roeder).

      Gregory is the patron of fringe makers, masons, musicians, scholars,
      singers, students, and teachers. He is invoked against gout, plague, and
      sterility (Roeder).

      Icons of St. Gregory
      http://www.prismnet.com/~hilarion/Icons-Gregory.htm##1
      http://www.cybercom.net/~htm/images/a-376.jpg

      Troparion of St Gregory tone 3
      Thou didst excellently dispense the Word of God,/ endowed with
      discretion of speech, O Hierarch Gregory:/ for by thy life thou didst
      set the virtues before us,/ and dost radiate the brightness of holiness
      ./ O righteous Father, pray to Christ our God to grant us His great
      mercy.
    • ambrós
      Celtic and Old English Saints 3 September =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= * St. Gregory the Great =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
      Message 2 of 14 , Sep 1, 2001
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        Celtic and Old English Saints 3 September

        =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
        * St. Gregory the Great
        =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=


        St. Gregory the Great, Pope of Rome,
        also known as Gregory the Dialogist
        -------------------------------------------------
        Born in Rome, Italy, c. 540; died there March 12, 604. His major feast
        day is March 12. The Feast today commemorates the day he was chosen as
        Bishop of Rome.

        "The Holy Bible is like a mirror before our mind's eye.
        In it we see our inner face. From the Scriptures we
        can learn our spiritual deformities and beauties. And
        there too we discover the progress we are making and
        how far we are from perfection."
        --Saint Gregory.

        Where does one begin to recite the glories of a man who excelled at many
        things in so many ways? His greatness is emphasised by contrast with the
        time in which he lived, when everything was in decline. He was prefect
        of Rome when he wrote:

        "Everything is at the mercy of the barbarians, the cities are
        undermined, the citadels are destroyed, the provinces are depopulated,
        there are no more farmers in the country. And every day the idolaters
        exert their power and gratify their rage by assassinating the faithful.
        We see what has become of her who once appeared as mistress of the
        world. She is broken by all she has suffered from immense and manifold
        misfortunes. . . . We, the few who are left, are menaced every day by
        the
        sword and innumerable trials. . . ."

        Saint Bede described Gregory as the man England "may and ought to call
        our Apostle, because he made our nation, till then given up to idols,
        the Church of Christ," and Gregory's tomb in Rome bears the inscription:

        "He taught the Christian truth to English Saxons."

        He was a distinguished Roman, born of a senatorial Christian family, and
        owed much to his mother, Saint Sylvia and two of her sisters who are
        regarded as saints. His father, Gordianus, who was descended from an
        earlier pope, was a lay administrator of one of the seven archdeaconries
        of Rome. Trained in Rome as a lawyer, by 571 (age 30) he had become its
        prefect. He seems to have acquitted himself well in that post, despite
        his tendency toward austerity. Historians refer to the splendour of his
        robes in contrast with the habit he wore in later years.

        On the death of his father, he gave most of his inheritance to the poor
        and the Church, which included the founding of six monasteries in
        Sicily. About 574, he converted his family mansion on the Caelian Hill
        into the monastery of Saint Andrew, placed it under the direction of
        Valentius, and resigned his office to become a monk. Gregory mitigated
        the characteristic Eastern ascetic practices, which made the rule more
        acceptable to Western conditions.

        At this time, there was an impermeable boundary between monks and
        priests; a priest who became a monk was expected to cease his priestly
        ministry because priests were viewed as worldly; monks, other-worldly.
        Gregory's later determination to free monks from episcopal control was
        definitely contrary to tradition. The Council of Chalcedon (451) had
        ordered monks to remain under obedience to their bishops. Gregory,
        however, in the Lateran Council of 601, caused a decree to be issued to
        all bishops exempting monks from their authority. Part of the reason for
        this was to keep monks in their monasteries and prevent them from
        wandering from place to place.

        Pope Gregory wrote to Bishop Castorius of Ariminum:

        "On the death also of an abbot, let not the bishop on any pretext
        intermeddle in the scheduling or taking charge of the property of the
        monastery, acquired, or given, or to be acquired. We also entirely
        forbid public Masses to be celebrated by him in a convent, lest in the
        retreats of the servants of God and their places of refuge any
        opportunity for a popular concourse of women should ensue, which would
        be by no means of advantage to their souls. Nor let him dare to place
        his episcopal chair there, or have any power whatever of command, or of
        holding any ordination, even the most ordinary, unless he should be
        requested to do so by the abbot of the place."

        Gregory remained in his monastery about three years and then was
        ordained by Pope Pelagius II as one of the seven deacons of Rome in 578.
        He was too active by temperament for a contemplative life and, five
        years after retiring from public affairs, he was appointed as legate
        (579-585) to Constantinople, a post for which he was well-equipped and
        which he filled with great distinction; but he still maintained the
        simple habits of a monk and he turned part of his embassy into a
        monastery. This was a time when the Roman Empire had been reconstituted
        with its headquarters in Constantinople. The pope had sent him to enlist
        the aid of the emperor against the Lombards; in this he was
        unsuccessful.

        In 586, Gregory was recalled to Rome and became abbot of his monastery,
        while acting as papal secretary. There is a story that Gregory
        entertained the idea of himself preaching the Gospel in England, and
        even set out for that country, but was recalled to Rome by the pope at
        the insistence of the people when plague struck Rome in 589-590.

        Pope Pelagius contracted the disease and died. Gregory was consecrated
        pope on September 3, 590--the first monk to hold that office. It is said
        that Gregory tried every means possible to avoid taking the papal
        office, including writing to Emperor Maurice in Constantinople to ask
        that he not be given imperial confirmation. The letter was intercepted
        by the prefect of Rome and another substituted from the Senate, clergy,
        and people that asked for Gregory's appointment. At the arrival of the
        emperor's response, the saint fled Rome. When he found that he could not
        refuse the office in good conscience.

        It was a time of famine, flood, and plague, and Gregory called for
        litanies, processions, and unceasing prayer for God's help. These
        expressions of faith were rewarded by the rapid diminution of the
        infestation. During one procession, Gregory saw an angel above Hadrian's
        Arch sheathing his sword--an incident from which the Castel Sant'Angelo
        derives its name.

        As pope, he became the strongest figure in Italy, the exarch of Ravenna
        dimmed in comparison to Gregory. Beside him the Western emperor was but
        a pale and feeble shadow, and soon the power of his strong personality
        and benevolent influence was felt throughout Europe. The attacks of the
        barbarians had further increased the importance of the Church because
        they had destroyed many of the pagan temples and driven the patrician
        families, who preserved the old state religion, out of Rome.

        As a preacher he had great ability. In the field of liturgy he
        introduced the Gregorian chant (in response to the congregational and
        antiphonal singing that Saint Ambrose introduced in Milan and which he
        viewed as flippant and irreverent), and established a choir school in
        conjunction with an orphanage. He also excelled as a statesman. Indeed,
        in every branch and aspect of Church life he showed both genius and
        authority, and more than any other he gave shape and direction to the
        Medieval Church. In his days, we are told, the see of St. Peter stood
        out in Western Europe like a lighthouse in a storm.

        Gregory was instrumental in settling difficulties with the Lombards who
        besieged Rome several times during his pontificate, and with whom he
        personally negotiated treaties. They continued to be troublesome. In
        593, he persuaded the invading Lombards under Agilulf to spare Rome, and
        he negotiated a peace with the Lombard king--an unprecedented move that
        effectively set aside the authority of the Byzantine emperor's
        representative, the exarch of Ravenna. Gregory was responsible for all
        the relief work in the distressed areas, including redeeming captives
        who had been enslaved. For this purpose, Gregory urged bishops to go so
        far as to sell their sacred vessels. He did conclude a temporary truce
        with the Lombards in 603.

        He appointed governors of the Italian cities, provided them with war
        materials, and denounced the heavy taxes levied on
        Italians by Byzantine officials. This was the beginning of the papal
        exercise of temporal authority.

        He had many troubles with which he had to deal, and he had few qualms
        about using secular force to win adherents to the Church. The Donatist
        controversy re-emerged in Africa and Gregory appealed to the emperor to
        enforce the pre-existing law against their worship. He encouraged the
        Frankish kings to coerce their subjects into the true faith, and on his
        own possessions in Italy, he ordered the Manichaeans to be compelled to
        accept orthodox catholicism. On the other hand, he was especially
        tolerant to the Jews and urged that they should not be harshly treated.
        He went so far as to say that, in the case of the Jews, conversions
        wrought by force are never sincere.

        One of the great successes of the period was the conversion of the Arian
        king of Spain, Reccared, who renounced his heresy and converted to the
        true faith under the influence of Gregory's greatest friend, Saint
        Leandro. Gregory responded to Leandro's letter by sending him part of
        his commentary on the Book of Job, which the two had begun together when
        they were stationed at Constantinople.

        Gregory used the granting of the pallium as a means of extending his
        authority. Originally, this was a scarf given by emperors to their
        friends and officers that they especially wanted to honour. It came to
        be used by the popes as a means of signifying a metropolitan (i.e.,
        archbishop or patriarch), although in some instances it was conferred on
        a diocesan bishop where there was no metropolitan.

        Although Gregory took away the authority of the bishops over monks, he
        protected and augmented their rights in other areas. He separated the
        clergy from secular courts and forbade them to appeal to lay tribunals.
        He also refused the annual presents that suffragan bishops traditionally
        brought to Rome or any fee for the granting of the pallium, and
        abolished clerical fees for burials and ordinations. He restored
        ecclesiastical discipline, removed unworthy clerics from office, and was
        prodigious in his charity.

        But most conspicuous and far-reaching was his missionary vision. He had
        a lifelong interest in the conversion of England, where the Roman rule
        had come to an end under the battering of the barbarians, and the
        Romano-British Church had been driven into the provinces of Cornwall,
        Wales, and Cumbria, while the new Saxon and heathen kingdoms rose and
        rivalled one another until King Saint Ethelbert of Kent managed to
        exercise authority over much of the country.

        Even before Gregory was pope, when walking in the market-place of Rome,
        he had noticed the fair-haired Saxon boys offered for sale as slaves and
        had made his famous pun: "Not Angles, but angels!" adding, still
        humorously, that "Alleluia shall be sung in Aella's land." Until he was
        able to carry out his plan for evangelization, he would buy young
        English boys in the
        slave market and give them a good education with the view of sending
        them home as missionaries.

        A better opportunity arose when King Ethelbert of Kent married the
        Christian princess, Bertha of Gaul. She had been allowed to bring her
        chaplain with her to England for her own chapel. Gregory recognised the
        opportunity this presented. Thus, he decided to dispatch Saint Augustine
        and a small band of monks to bring the Gospel to those shores. Several
        times the daunted monks wanted to give up the project, but Gregory
        continually encouraged them to press on. The missionaries finally landed
        on the Isle of Thanet in May 597. Ethelbert received them courteously
        and eventually was baptized. The mission was so prosperous that
        Augustine went to Gaul to be consecrated bishop at the hands of the
        bishop of Arles.

        When questions arose in England, Augustine would write to Gregory. One
        letter concerned the division of offerings because Augustine was a monk
        living in community and shared all things in common. The normal custom
        was to divide any offering equally between the bishop, the clergy, the
        poor, and the parish for maintenance. Then there was a question of
        liturgical custom: should they follow that of Rome or of Gaul? The
        answer was that Augustine should adapt to what is practical for the
        particular time and circumstances. There were other questions about
        marriages, ordinations, and the position of bishops. In all matters,
        Gregory shows himself to be a practical man tempering law with charity.
        For example, when Augustine asked about
        episcopal ordinations, which require at least three consecrating
        bishops, Gregory responded that since Augustine was the only bishop in
        the region he must consecrate alone, unless he could get bishops to come
        from Gaul.

        Gregory had conceived England as it was under Roman rule. He had planned
        to have a metropolitan established at York and another at London, and
        each should have 12 suffragans. York was to be dependent on London only
        during Augustine's lifetime and upon Augustine's death was to be
        independent. Gregory does not seem to have realised the pre-existing
        bishops had little interest in converting their Anglo-Saxon conquerors.

        Gregory also wrote to Saint Mellitus to remind Augustine not to destroy
        the pagan temples, but rather to appropriate and consecrate them for
        Christian usage.

        Gregory relates his view of the English mission in his letter to Bishop
        Eulogius of Alexandria:

        "While the nation of the Angli, placed in a corner of the world,
        remained up to this time misbelieving in the worship of stocks and
        stones, I determined, through the aid of your prayers for me, to send
        it, God granting, a monk of my monastery for the purpose of preaching.
        And he, having with my leave been made bishop by the bishops of Germany,
        proceeded, with their aid also, to the end of the world to the this
        nation; and already letters have reached us telling us of his safety and
        his work; to the effect that he and those that have been sent with him
        are resplendent with such great miracles in the said nation that they
        seem to imitate the powers of the apostles in the signs which they
        display. Moreover, at the solemnity of the Lord's Nativity which
        occurred in the first indication, more than 10,000 Angli are reported to
        have been baptized by the same our brother and fellow- bishop."

        During all his activities, Gregory never stopped writing--his homilies,
        his celebrated Dialogues, and many other writings, including over 800
        letters and epistles that have survived. The Dialogues, full of
        marvellous tales about the visions, prophecies, miracles and lives of
        monks and saints of Italy, provided his age with its pious reading and
        impressed upon it the underlying, essential truths of religion.

        Gregory wrote Pastoral Care (Liber regulae pastoralis) in order to
        explain his position. It is an exposition of episcopal duties. (The fact
        that it was one of the first books to be translated into English attests
        to its importance.) In Gaul (France), it was handed to all bishops at
        their consecration. Emperor Maurice had it translated into Greek so that
        it could be used in the East as well. Most of the book deals with how a
        preacher should adapt his teaching to each of several classes of people.

        Gregory was not a great or creative thinker, but was more like the
        practical Romans of his time. The custom of saying 30 successive Masses
        for those who have died is named after Saint Gregory. It derives from
        his Dialogues (Book 4, c. 40) which relates that a monk named Justus had
        received three pieces of gold which he kept for himself--an offence
        against poverty. The gold was discovered and Justus excommunicated. Soon
        after he died and was buried in unconsecrated ground with the three gold
        pieces. Time repaired the scandal and the abbot, moved by compassion for
        the soul of Justus, arranged for the Sacrifice each morning for 30 days.
        As Mass ended on the 30th day, Justus appeared to a brother named
        Copiosus, saying, "Bless God, my dear brother, today I am delivered and
        admitted into the society of saints."

        This pope is also considered the originator of the Mass of the
        Presanctified, which continues to be celebrated by the Eastern Orthodox
        Churches during their time of the 40 days of fasting which precede
        Easter. He himself tells us that he changed the place of the Lord's
        Prayer and added it to the Prayer of Consecration. He also added some
        petitions to the prayer Hanc igitur, thus giving its final touch to the
        Roman canon.

        His labours were immense. No task was too great, no service too humble,
        for this gifted and versatile follower of Christ, who delighted to call
        himself "the servant of the servants of God." One of many stories told
        of him is that a beggar presented himself repeatedly at the monastery
        gate asking for alms, and each time Gregory gave to him, until, one day,
        having no money left to give, he gave him his silver porringer, a gift
        from his mother.

        As bishop of Rome, Gregory continued to live the monastic life as far as
        he was able. He retained the habit and lived with his clergy under a
        strict discipline. After he became pope, it was his custom to entertain
        every evening at his own table twelve poor men, one for each of our
        Lord's disciples. One night he counted thirteen present and, calling his
        steward, enquired the reason. "Holy Father," replied the steward, after
        counting them over, "you are mistaken; there are but twelve." But
        Gregory still counted thirteen, and after the meal called to his
        unbidden guest: "Who are you?" The guest replied, "I am the poor man
        whom you formerly relieved, and through Me you shall obtain whatever you
        shall ask of God." Then Gregory knew that he had entertained our Lord.

        Gregory continued his apostolic labours for another seven years after
        sending Augustine to England. His delicacy increased and he had to work
        in the midst of intense pain from chronic gout. He gradually became
        weaker. During the latter part of his life, he was in close
        correspondence with Queen Theodolinda of the Lombards to try to win her
        and her people into the
        Christian fold. Her son had been born and baptized in the Church, just
        before Gregory's death. During his last illness, he wrote to
        congratulate her on the birth of her son (Benedictines, Bentley,
        Delaney, Encyclopaedia (March), Gill, Schouppe, Wand).

        In art, Saint Gregory is often portrayed with the four Latin Fathers of
        the Church: Ambrose, Augustine, and Jerome.
        The image may show Gregory (1) with a book, a dove at his ear; (2) with
        a book and ceremonial umbrella or canopy, sometimes held over his head;
        (3) with the bull of Saint Luke supporting his book; (4) with the soul
        of a king rising at his side;

        As a Father of the Church, Gregory is generally portrayed at his writing
        desk with the papal insignia near him and a dove at his ear to inspire
        him as in the image contained in John of Berry's Petit Heures. He may
        also be shown (1) as a bearded early Christian priest by a writing desk,
        with the dove at his ear; (2) as the early priest with a pen and book,
        candle and tiara with a peacock above him; or (3) occasionally with a
        bull of Saint Luke (Roeder).

        Gregory is the patron of fringe makers, masons, musicians, scholars,
        singers, students, and teachers. He is invoked against gout, plague, and
        sterility (Roeder).

        Icons of St. Gregory
        http://www.odox.net/Icons-Gregory.htm##1
        http://www.cybercom.net/~htm/images/a-376.jpg

        Troparion of St Gregory tone 3
        Thou didst excellently dispense the Word of God,/ endowed with
        discretion of speech, O Hierarch Gregory:/ for by thy life thou didst
        set the virtues before us,/ and dost radiate the brightness of holiness
        ./ O righteous Father, pray to Christ our God to grant us His great
        mercy.
      • ambrós
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          Celtic and Old English Saints 3 September

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          * St. Gregory the Great
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          St. Gregory the Great, Pope of Rome,
          also known as Gregory the Dialogist
          -------------------------------------------------
          Born in Rome, Italy, c. 540; died there March 12, 604. His major feast
          day is March 12. The Feast today commemorates the day he was chosen as
          Bishop of Rome.

          "The Holy Bible is like a mirror before our mind's eye.
          In it we see our inner face. From the Scriptures we
          can learn our spiritual deformities and beauties. And
          there too we discover the progress we are making and
          how far we are from perfection."
          --Saint Gregory.

          Where does one begin to recite the glories of a man who excelled at many
          things in so many ways? His greatness is emphasised by contrast with the
          time in which he lived, when everything was in decline. He was prefect
          of Rome when he wrote:

          "Everything is at the mercy of the barbarians, the cities are
          undermined, the citadels are destroyed, the provinces are depopulated,
          there are no more farmers in the country. And every day the idolaters
          exert their power and gratify their rage by assassinating the faithful.
          We see what has become of her who once appeared as mistress of the
          world. She is broken by all she has suffered from immense and manifold
          misfortunes. . . . We, the few who are left, are menaced every day by
          the
          sword and innumerable trials. . . ."

          Saint Bede described Gregory as the man England "may and ought to call
          our Apostle, because he made our nation, till then given up to idols,
          the Church of Christ," and Gregory's tomb in Rome bears the inscription:

          "He taught the Christian truth to English Saxons."

          He was a distinguished Roman, born of a senatorial Christian family, and
          owed much to his mother, Saint Sylvia and two of her sisters who are
          regarded as saints. His father, Gordianus, who was descended from an
          earlier pope, was a lay administrator of one of the seven archdeaconries
          of Rome. Trained in Rome as a lawyer, by 571 (age 30) he had become its
          prefect. He seems to have acquitted himself well in that post, despite
          his tendency toward austerity. Historians refer to the splendour of his
          robes in contrast with the habit he wore in later years.

          On the death of his father, he gave most of his inheritance to the poor
          and the Church, which included the founding of six monasteries in
          Sicily. About 574, he converted his family mansion on the Caelian Hill
          into the monastery of Saint Andrew, placed it under the direction of
          Valentius, and resigned his office to become a monk. Gregory mitigated
          the characteristic Eastern ascetic practices, which made the rule more
          acceptable to Western conditions.

          At this time, there was an impermeable boundary between monks and
          priests; a priest who became a monk was expected to cease his priestly
          ministry because priests were viewed as worldly; monks, other-worldly.
          Gregory's later determination to free monks from episcopal control was
          definitely contrary to tradition. The Council of Chalcedon (451) had
          ordered monks to remain under obedience to their bishops. Gregory,
          however, in the Lateran Council of 601, caused a decree to be issued to
          all bishops exempting monks from their authority. Part of the reason for
          this was to keep monks in their monasteries and prevent them from
          wandering from place to place.

          Pope Gregory wrote to Bishop Castorius of Ariminum:

          "On the death also of an abbot, let not the bishop on any pretext
          intermeddle in the scheduling or taking charge of the property of the
          monastery, acquired, or given, or to be acquired. We also entirely
          forbid public Masses to be celebrated by him in a convent, lest in the
          retreats of the servants of God and their places of refuge any
          opportunity for a popular concourse of women should ensue, which would
          be by no means of advantage to their souls. Nor let him dare to place
          his episcopal chair there, or have any power whatever of command, or of
          holding any ordination, even the most ordinary, unless he should be
          requested to do so by the abbot of the place."

          Gregory remained in his monastery about three years and then was
          ordained by Pope Pelagius II as one of the seven deacons of Rome in 578.
          He was too active by temperament for a contemplative life and, five
          years after retiring from public affairs, he was appointed as legate
          (579-585) to Constantinople, a post for which he was well-equipped and
          which he filled with great distinction; but he still maintained the
          simple habits of a monk and he turned part of his embassy into a
          monastery. This was a time when the Roman Empire had been reconstituted
          with its headquarters in Constantinople. The pope had sent him to enlist
          the aid of the emperor against the Lombards; in this he was
          unsuccessful.

          In 586, Gregory was recalled to Rome and became abbot of his monastery,
          while acting as papal secretary. There is a story that Gregory
          entertained the idea of himself preaching the Gospel in England, and
          even set out for that country, but was recalled to Rome by the pope at
          the insistence of the people when plague struck Rome in 589-590.

          Pope Pelagius contracted the disease and died. Gregory was consecrated
          pope on September 3, 590--the first monk to hold that office. It is said
          that Gregory tried every means possible to avoid taking the papal
          office, including writing to Emperor Maurice in Constantinople to ask
          that he not be given imperial confirmation. The letter was intercepted
          by the prefect of Rome and another substituted from the Senate, clergy,
          and people that asked for Gregory's appointment. At the arrival of the
          emperor's response, the saint fled Rome. When he found that he could not
          refuse the office in good conscience.

          It was a time of famine, flood, and plague, and Gregory called for
          litanies, processions, and unceasing prayer for God's help. These
          expressions of faith were rewarded by the rapid diminution of the
          infestation. During one procession, Gregory saw an angel above Hadrian's
          Arch sheathing his sword--an incident from which the Castel Sant'Angelo
          derives its name.

          As pope, he became the strongest figure in Italy, the exarch of Ravenna
          dimmed in comparison to Gregory. Beside him the Western emperor was but
          a pale and feeble shadow, and soon the power of his strong personality
          and benevolent influence was felt throughout Europe. The attacks of the
          barbarians had further increased the importance of the Church because
          they had destroyed many of the pagan temples and driven the patrician
          families, who preserved the old state religion, out of Rome.

          As a preacher he had great ability. In the field of liturgy he
          introduced the Gregorian chant (in response to the congregational and
          antiphonal singing that Saint Ambrose introduced in Milan and which he
          viewed as flippant and irreverent), and established a choir school in
          conjunction with an orphanage. He also excelled as a statesman. Indeed,
          in every branch and aspect of Church life he showed both genius and
          authority, and more than any other he gave shape and direction to the
          Medieval Church. In his days, we are told, the see of St. Peter stood
          out in Western Europe like a lighthouse in a storm.

          Gregory was instrumental in settling difficulties with the Lombards who
          besieged Rome several times during his pontificate, and with whom he
          personally negotiated treaties. They continued to be troublesome. In
          593, he persuaded the invading Lombards under Agilulf to spare Rome, and
          he negotiated a peace with the Lombard king--an unprecedented move that
          effectively set aside the authority of the Byzantine emperor's
          representative, the exarch of Ravenna. Gregory was responsible for all
          the relief work in the distressed areas, including redeeming captives
          who had been enslaved. For this purpose, Gregory urged bishops to go so
          far as to sell their sacred vessels. He did conclude a temporary truce
          with the Lombards in 603.

          He appointed governors of the Italian cities, provided them with war
          materials, and denounced the heavy taxes levied on
          Italians by Byzantine officials. This was the beginning of the papal
          exercise of temporal authority.

          He had many troubles with which he had to deal, and he had few qualms
          about using secular force to win adherents to the Church. The Donatist
          controversy re-emerged in Africa and Gregory appealed to the emperor to
          enforce the pre-existing law against their worship. He encouraged the
          Frankish kings to coerce their subjects into the true faith, and on his
          own possessions in Italy, he ordered the Manichaeans to be compelled to
          accept orthodox catholicism. On the other hand, he was especially
          tolerant to the Jews and urged that they should not be harshly treated.
          He went so far as to say that, in the case of the Jews, conversions
          wrought by force are never sincere.

          One of the great successes of the period was the conversion of the Arian
          king of Spain, Reccared, who renounced his heresy and converted to the
          true faith under the influence of Gregory's greatest friend, Saint
          Leandro. Gregory responded to Leandro's letter by sending him part of
          his commentary on the Book of Job, which the two had begun together when
          they were stationed at Constantinople.

          Gregory used the granting of the pallium as a means of extending his
          authority. Originally, this was a scarf given by emperors to their
          friends and officers that they especially wanted to honour. It came to
          be used by the popes as a means of signifying a metropolitan (i.e.,
          archbishop or patriarch), although in some instances it was conferred on
          a diocesan bishop where there was no metropolitan.

          Although Gregory took away the authority of the bishops over monks, he
          protected and augmented their rights in other areas. He separated the
          clergy from secular courts and forbade them to appeal to lay tribunals.
          He also refused the annual presents that suffragan bishops traditionally
          brought to Rome or any fee for the granting of the pallium, and
          abolished clerical fees for burials and ordinations. He restored
          ecclesiastical discipline, removed unworthy clerics from office, and was
          prodigious in his charity.

          But most conspicuous and far-reaching was his missionary vision. He had
          a lifelong interest in the conversion of England, where the Roman rule
          had come to an end under the battering of the barbarians, and the
          Romano-British Church had been driven into the provinces of Cornwall,
          Wales, and Cumbria, while the new Saxon and heathen kingdoms rose and
          rivalled one another until King Saint Ethelbert of Kent managed to
          exercise authority over much of the country.

          Even before Gregory was pope, when walking in the market-place of Rome,
          he had noticed the fair-haired Saxon boys offered for sale as slaves and
          had made his famous pun: "Not Angles, but angels!" adding, still
          humorously, that "Alleluia shall be sung in Aella's land." Until he was
          able to carry out his plan for evangelization, he would buy young
          English boys in the
          slave market and give them a good education with the view of sending
          them home as missionaries.

          A better opportunity arose when King Ethelbert of Kent married the
          Christian princess, Bertha of Gaul. She had been allowed to bring her
          chaplain with her to England for her own chapel. Gregory recognised the
          opportunity this presented. Thus, he decided to dispatch Saint Augustine
          and a small band of monks to bring the Gospel to those shores. Several
          times the daunted monks wanted to give up the project, but Gregory
          continually encouraged them to press on. The missionaries finally landed
          on the Isle of Thanet in May 597. Ethelbert received them courteously
          and eventually was baptized. The mission was so prosperous that
          Augustine went to Gaul to be consecrated bishop at the hands of the
          bishop of Arles.

          When questions arose in England, Augustine would write to Gregory. One
          letter concerned the division of offerings because Augustine was a monk
          living in community and shared all things in common. The normal custom
          was to divide any offering equally between the bishop, the clergy, the
          poor, and the parish for maintenance. Then there was a question of
          liturgical custom: should they follow that of Rome or of Gaul? The
          answer was that Augustine should adapt to what is practical for the
          particular time and circumstances. There were other questions about
          marriages, ordinations, and the position of bishops. In all matters,
          Gregory shows himself to be a practical man tempering law with charity.
          For example, when Augustine asked about
          episcopal ordinations, which require at least three consecrating
          bishops, Gregory responded that since Augustine was the only bishop in
          the region he must consecrate alone, unless he could get bishops to come
          from Gaul.

          Gregory had conceived England as it was under Roman rule. He had planned
          to have a metropolitan established at York and another at London, and
          each should have 12 suffragans. York was to be dependent on London only
          during Augustine's lifetime and upon Augustine's death was to be
          independent. Gregory does not seem to have realised the pre-existing
          bishops had little interest in converting their Anglo-Saxon conquerors.

          Gregory also wrote to Saint Mellitus to remind Augustine not to destroy
          the pagan temples, but rather to appropriate and consecrate them for
          Christian usage.

          Gregory relates his view of the English mission in his letter to Bishop
          Eulogius of Alexandria:

          "While the nation of the Angli, placed in a corner of the world,
          remained up to this time misbelieving in the worship of stocks and
          stones, I determined, through the aid of your prayers for me, to send
          it, God granting, a monk of my monastery for the purpose of preaching.
          And he, having with my leave been made bishop by the bishops of Germany,
          proceeded, with their aid also, to the end of the world to the this
          nation; and already letters have reached us telling us of his safety and
          his work; to the effect that he and those that have been sent with him
          are resplendent with such great miracles in the said nation that they
          seem to imitate the powers of the apostles in the signs which they
          display. Moreover, at the solemnity of the Lord's Nativity which
          occurred in the first indication, more than 10,000 Angli are reported to
          have been baptized by the same our brother and fellow- bishop."

          During all his activities, Gregory never stopped writing--his homilies,
          his celebrated Dialogues, and many other writings, including over 800
          letters and epistles that have survived. The Dialogues, full of
          marvellous tales about the visions, prophecies, miracles and lives of
          monks and saints of Italy, provided his age with its pious reading and
          impressed upon it the underlying, essential truths of religion.

          Gregory wrote Pastoral Care (Liber regulae pastoralis) in order to
          explain his position. It is an exposition of episcopal duties. (The fact
          that it was one of the first books to be translated into English attests
          to its importance.) In Gaul (France), it was handed to all bishops at
          their consecration. Emperor Maurice had it translated into Greek so that
          it could be used in the East as well. Most of the book deals with how a
          preacher should adapt his teaching to each of several classes of people.

          Gregory was not a great or creative thinker, but was more like the
          practical Romans of his time. The custom of saying 30 successive Masses
          for those who have died is named after Saint Gregory. It derives from
          his Dialogues (Book 4, c. 40) which relates that a monk named Justus had
          received three pieces of gold which he kept for himself--an offence
          against poverty. The gold was discovered and Justus excommunicated. Soon
          after he died and was buried in unconsecrated ground with the three gold
          pieces. Time repaired the scandal and the abbot, moved by compassion for
          the soul of Justus, arranged for the Sacrifice each morning for 30 days.
          As Mass ended on the 30th day, Justus appeared to a brother named
          Copiosus, saying, "Bless God, my dear brother, today I am delivered and
          admitted into the society of saints."

          This pope is also considered the originator of the Mass of the
          Presanctified, which continues to be celebrated by the Eastern Orthodox
          Churches during their time of the 40 days of fasting which precede
          Easter. He himself tells us that he changed the place of the Lord's
          Prayer and added it to the Prayer of Consecration. He also added some
          petitions to the prayer Hanc igitur, thus giving its final touch to the
          Roman canon.

          His labours were immense. No task was too great, no service too humble,
          for this gifted and versatile follower of Christ, who delighted to call
          himself "the servant of the servants of God." One of many stories told
          of him is that a beggar presented himself repeatedly at the monastery
          gate asking for alms, and each time Gregory gave to him, until, one day,
          having no money left to give, he gave him his silver porringer, a gift
          from his mother.

          As bishop of Rome, Gregory continued to live the monastic life as far as
          he was able. He retained the habit and lived with his clergy under a
          strict discipline. After he became pope, it was his custom to entertain
          every evening at his own table twelve poor men, one for each of our
          Lord's disciples. One night he counted thirteen present and, calling his
          steward, enquired the reason. "Holy Father," replied the steward, after
          counting them over, "you are mistaken; there are but twelve." But
          Gregory still counted thirteen, and after the meal called to his
          unbidden guest: "Who are you?" The guest replied, "I am the poor man
          whom you formerly relieved, and through Me you shall obtain whatever you
          shall ask of God." Then Gregory knew that he had entertained our Lord.

          Gregory continued his apostolic labours for another seven years after
          sending Augustine to England. His delicacy increased and he had to work
          in the midst of intense pain from chronic gout. He gradually became
          weaker. During the latter part of his life, he was in close
          correspondence with Queen Theodolinda of the Lombards to try to win her
          and her people into the
          Christian fold. Her son had been born and baptized in the Church, just
          before Gregory's death. During his last illness, he wrote to
          congratulate her on the birth of her son (Benedictines, Bentley,
          Delaney, Encyclopaedia (March), Gill, Schouppe, Wand).

          In art, Saint Gregory is often portrayed with the four Latin Fathers of
          the Church: Ambrose, Augustine, and Jerome.
          The image may show Gregory (1) with a book, a dove at his ear; (2) with
          a book and ceremonial umbrella or canopy, sometimes held over his head;
          (3) with the bull of Saint Luke supporting his book; (4) with the soul
          of a king rising at his side;

          As a Father of the Church, Gregory is generally portrayed at his writing
          desk with the papal insignia near him and a dove at his ear to inspire
          him as in the image contained in John of Berry's Petit Heures. He may
          also be shown (1) as a bearded early Christian priest by a writing desk,
          with the dove at his ear; (2) as the early priest with a pen and book,
          candle and tiara with a peacock above him; or (3) occasionally with a
          bull of Saint Luke (Roeder).

          Gregory is the patron of fringe makers, masons, musicians, scholars,
          singers, students, and teachers. He is invoked against gout, plague, and
          sterility (Roeder).

          Icons of St. Gregory
          http://www.odox.net/Icons-Gregory.htm##1
          http://www.cybercom.net/~htm/images/a-376.jpg

          Troparion of St Gregory tone 3
          Thou didst excellently dispense the Word of God,/ endowed with
          discretion of speech, O Hierarch Gregory:/ for by thy life thou didst
          set the virtues before us,/ and dost radiate the brightness of holiness
          ./ O righteous Father, pray to Christ our God to grant us His great
          mercy.
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            Celtic and Old English Saints 3 September

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            * St. Gregory the Great
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            St. Gregory the Great, Pope of Rome,
            also known as Gregory the Dialogist
            -------------------------------------------------
            Born in Rome, Italy, c. 540; died there March 12, 604. His major feast
            day is March 12. The Feast today commemorates the day he was chosen as
            Bishop of Rome.

            "The Holy Bible is like a mirror before our mind's eye.
            In it we see our inner face. From the Scriptures we
            can learn our spiritual deformities and beauties. And
            there too we discover the progress we are making and
            how far we are from perfection."
            --Saint Gregory.

            Where does one begin to recite the glories of a man who excelled at many
            things in so many ways? His greatness is emphasised by contrast with the
            time in which he lived, when everything was in decline. He was prefect
            of Rome when he wrote:

            "Everything is at the mercy of the barbarians, the cities are
            undermined, the citadels are destroyed, the provinces are depopulated,
            there are no more farmers in the country. And every day the idolaters
            exert their power and gratify their rage by assassinating the faithful.
            We see what has become of her who once appeared as mistress of the
            world. She is broken by all she has suffered from immense and manifold
            misfortunes. . . . We, the few who are left, are menaced every day by
            the
            sword and innumerable trials. . . ."

            Saint Bede described Gregory as the man England "may and ought to call
            our Apostle, because he made our nation, till then given up to idols,
            the Church of Christ," and Gregory's tomb in Rome bears the inscription:

            "He taught the Christian truth to English Saxons."

            He was a distinguished Roman, born of a senatorial Christian family, and
            owed much to his mother, Saint Sylvia and two of her sisters who are
            regarded as saints. His father, Gordianus, who was descended from an
            earlier pope, was a lay administrator of one of the seven archdeaconries
            of Rome. Trained in Rome as a lawyer, by 571 (age 30) he had become its
            prefect. He seems to have acquitted himself well in that post, despite
            his tendency toward austerity. Historians refer to the splendour of his
            robes in contrast with the habit he wore in later years.

            On the death of his father, he gave most of his inheritance to the poor
            and the Church, which included the founding of six monasteries in
            Sicily. About 574, he converted his family mansion on the Caelian Hill
            into the monastery of Saint Andrew, placed it under the direction of
            Valentius, and resigned his office to become a monk. Gregory mitigated
            the characteristic Eastern ascetic practices, which made the rule more
            acceptable to Western conditions.

            At this time, there was an impermeable boundary between monks and
            priests; a priest who became a monk was expected to cease his priestly
            ministry because priests were viewed as worldly; monks, other-worldly.
            Gregory's later determination to free monks from episcopal control was
            definitely contrary to tradition. The Council of Chalcedon (451) had
            ordered monks to remain under obedience to their bishops. Gregory,
            however, in the Lateran Council of 601, caused a decree to be issued to
            all bishops exempting monks from their authority. Part of the reason for
            this was to keep monks in their monasteries and prevent them from
            wandering from place to place.

            Pope Gregory wrote to Bishop Castorius of Ariminum:

            "On the death also of an abbot, let not the bishop on any pretext
            intermeddle in the scheduling or taking charge of the property of the
            monastery, acquired, or given, or to be acquired. We also entirely
            forbid public Masses to be celebrated by him in a convent, lest in the
            retreats of the servants of God and their places of refuge any
            opportunity for a popular concourse of women should ensue, which would
            be by no means of advantage to their souls. Nor let him dare to place
            his episcopal chair there, or have any power whatever of command, or of
            holding any ordination, even the most ordinary, unless he should be
            requested to do so by the abbot of the place."

            Gregory remained in his monastery about three years and then was
            ordained by Pope Pelagius II as one of the seven deacons of Rome in 578.
            He was too active by temperament for a contemplative life and, five
            years after retiring from public affairs, he was appointed as legate
            (579-585) to Constantinople, a post for which he was well-equipped and
            which he filled with great distinction; but he still maintained the
            simple habits of a monk and he turned part of his embassy into a
            monastery. This was a time when the Roman Empire had been reconstituted
            with its headquarters in Constantinople. The pope had sent him to enlist
            the aid of the emperor against the Lombards; in this he was
            unsuccessful.

            In 586, Gregory was recalled to Rome and became abbot of his monastery,
            while acting as papal secretary. There is a story that Gregory
            entertained the idea of himself preaching the Gospel in England, and
            even set out for that country, but was recalled to Rome by the pope at
            the insistence of the people when plague struck Rome in 589-590.

            Pope Pelagius contracted the disease and died. Gregory was consecrated
            pope on September 3, 590--the first monk to hold that office. It is said
            that Gregory tried every means possible to avoid taking the papal
            office, including writing to Emperor Maurice in Constantinople to ask
            that he not be given imperial confirmation. The letter was intercepted
            by the prefect of Rome and another substituted from the Senate, clergy,
            and people that asked for Gregory's appointment. At the arrival of the
            emperor's response, the saint fled Rome. When he found that he could not
            refuse the office in good conscience.

            It was a time of famine, flood, and plague, and Gregory called for
            litanies, processions, and unceasing prayer for God's help. These
            expressions of faith were rewarded by the rapid diminution of the
            infestation. During one procession, Gregory saw an angel above Hadrian's
            Arch sheathing his sword--an incident from which the Castel Sant'Angelo
            derives its name.

            As pope, he became the strongest figure in Italy, the exarch of Ravenna
            dimmed in comparison to Gregory. Beside him the Western emperor was but
            a pale and feeble shadow, and soon the power of his strong personality
            and benevolent influence was felt throughout Europe. The attacks of the
            barbarians had further increased the importance of the Church because
            they had destroyed many of the pagan temples and driven the patrician
            families, who preserved the old state religion, out of Rome.

            As a preacher he had great ability. In the field of liturgy he
            introduced the Gregorian chant (in response to the congregational and
            antiphonal singing that Saint Ambrose introduced in Milan and which he
            viewed as flippant and irreverent), and established a choir school in
            conjunction with an orphanage. He also excelled as a statesman. Indeed,
            in every branch and aspect of Church life he showed both genius and
            authority, and more than any other he gave shape and direction to the
            Medieval Church. In his days, we are told, the see of St. Peter stood
            out in Western Europe like a lighthouse in a storm.

            Gregory was instrumental in settling difficulties with the Lombards who
            besieged Rome several times during his pontificate, and with whom he
            personally negotiated treaties. They continued to be troublesome. In
            593, he persuaded the invading Lombards under Agilulf to spare Rome, and
            he negotiated a peace with the Lombard king--an unprecedented move that
            effectively set aside the authority of the Byzantine emperor's
            representative, the exarch of Ravenna. Gregory was responsible for all
            the relief work in the distressed areas, including redeeming captives
            who had been enslaved. For this purpose, Gregory urged bishops to go so
            far as to sell their sacred vessels. He did conclude a temporary truce
            with the Lombards in 603.

            He appointed governors of the Italian cities, provided them with war
            materials, and denounced the heavy taxes levied on
            Italians by Byzantine officials. This was the beginning of the papal
            exercise of temporal authority.

            He had many troubles with which he had to deal, and he had few qualms
            about using secular force to win adherents to the Church. The Donatist
            controversy re-emerged in Africa and Gregory appealed to the emperor to
            enforce the pre-existing law against their worship. He encouraged the
            Frankish kings to coerce their subjects into the true faith, and on his
            own possessions in Italy, he ordered the Manichaeans to be compelled to
            accept orthodox catholicism. On the other hand, he was especially
            tolerant to the Jews and urged that they should not be harshly treated.
            He went so far as to say that, in the case of the Jews, conversions
            wrought by force are never sincere.

            One of the great successes of the period was the conversion of the Arian
            king of Spain, Reccared, who renounced his heresy and converted to the
            true faith under the influence of Gregory's greatest friend, Saint
            Leandro. Gregory responded to Leandro's letter by sending him part of
            his commentary on the Book of Job, which the two had begun together when
            they were stationed at Constantinople.

            Gregory used the granting of the pallium as a means of extending his
            authority. Originally, this was a scarf given by emperors to their
            friends and officers that they especially wanted to honour. It came to
            be used by the popes as a means of signifying a metropolitan (i.e.,
            archbishop or patriarch), although in some instances it was conferred on
            a diocesan bishop where there was no metropolitan.

            Although Gregory took away the authority of the bishops over monks, he
            protected and augmented their rights in other areas. He separated the
            clergy from secular courts and forbade them to appeal to lay tribunals.
            He also refused the annual presents that suffragan bishops traditionally
            brought to Rome or any fee for the granting of the pallium, and
            abolished clerical fees for burials and ordinations. He restored
            ecclesiastical discipline, removed unworthy clerics from office, and was
            prodigious in his charity.

            But most conspicuous and far-reaching was his missionary vision. He had
            a lifelong interest in the conversion of England, where the Roman rule
            had come to an end under the battering of the barbarians, and the
            Romano-British Church had been driven into the provinces of Cornwall,
            Wales, and Cumbria, while the new Saxon and heathen kingdoms rose and
            rivalled one another until King Saint Ethelbert of Kent managed to
            exercise authority over much of the country.

            Even before Gregory was pope, when walking in the market-place of Rome,
            he had noticed the fair-haired Saxon boys offered for sale as slaves and
            had made his famous pun: "Not Angles, but angels!" adding, still
            humorously, that "Alleluia shall be sung in Aella's land." Until he was
            able to carry out his plan for evangelization, he would buy young
            English boys in the
            slave market and give them a good education with the view of sending
            them home as missionaries.

            A better opportunity arose when King Ethelbert of Kent married the
            Christian princess, Bertha of Gaul. She had been allowed to bring her
            chaplain with her to England for her own chapel. Gregory recognised the
            opportunity this presented. Thus, he decided to dispatch Saint Augustine
            and a small band of monks to bring the Gospel to those shores. Several
            times the daunted monks wanted to give up the project, but Gregory
            continually encouraged them to press on. The missionaries finally landed
            on the Isle of Thanet in May 597. Ethelbert received them courteously
            and eventually was baptized. The mission was so prosperous that
            Augustine went to Gaul to be consecrated bishop at the hands of the
            bishop of Arles.

            When questions arose in England, Augustine would write to Gregory. One
            letter concerned the division of offerings because Augustine was a monk
            living in community and shared all things in common. The normal custom
            was to divide any offering equally between the bishop, the clergy, the
            poor, and the parish for maintenance. Then there was a question of
            liturgical custom: should they follow that of Rome or of Gaul? The
            answer was that Augustine should adapt to what is practical for the
            particular time and circumstances. There were other questions about
            marriages, ordinations, and the position of bishops. In all matters,
            Gregory shows himself to be a practical man tempering law with charity.
            For example, when Augustine asked about
            episcopal ordinations, which require at least three consecrating
            bishops, Gregory responded that since Augustine was the only bishop in
            the region he must consecrate alone, unless he could get bishops to come
            from Gaul.

            Gregory had conceived England as it was under Roman rule. He had planned
            to have a metropolitan established at York and another at London, and
            each should have 12 suffragans. York was to be dependent on London only
            during Augustine's lifetime and upon Augustine's death was to be
            independent. Gregory does not seem to have realised the pre-existing
            bishops had little interest in converting their Anglo-Saxon conquerors.

            Gregory also wrote to Saint Mellitus to remind Augustine not to destroy
            the pagan temples, but rather to appropriate and consecrate them for
            Christian usage.

            Gregory relates his view of the English mission in his letter to Bishop
            Eulogius of Alexandria:

            "While the nation of the Angli, placed in a corner of the world,
            remained up to this time misbelieving in the worship of stocks and
            stones, I determined, through the aid of your prayers for me, to send
            it, God granting, a monk of my monastery for the purpose of preaching.
            And he, having with my leave been made bishop by the bishops of Germany,
            proceeded, with their aid also, to the end of the world to the this
            nation; and already letters have reached us telling us of his safety and
            his work; to the effect that he and those that have been sent with him
            are resplendent with such great miracles in the said nation that they
            seem to imitate the powers of the apostles in the signs which they
            display. Moreover, at the solemnity of the Lord's Nativity which
            occurred in the first indication, more than 10,000 Angli are reported to
            have been baptized by the same our brother and fellow- bishop."

            During all his activities, Gregory never stopped writing--his homilies,
            his celebrated Dialogues, and many other writings, including over 800
            letters and epistles that have survived. The Dialogues, full of
            marvellous tales about the visions, prophecies, miracles and lives of
            monks and saints of Italy, provided his age with its pious reading and
            impressed upon it the underlying, essential truths of religion.

            Gregory wrote Pastoral Care (Liber regulae pastoralis) in order to
            explain his position. It is an exposition of episcopal duties. (The fact
            that it was one of the first books to be translated into English attests
            to its importance.) In Gaul (France), it was handed to all bishops at
            their consecration. Emperor Maurice had it translated into Greek so that
            it could be used in the East as well. Most of the book deals with how a
            preacher should adapt his teaching to each of several classes of people.

            Gregory was not a great or creative thinker, but was more like the
            practical Romans of his time. The custom of saying 30 successive Masses
            for those who have died is named after Saint Gregory. It derives from
            his Dialogues (Book 4, c. 40) which relates that a monk named Justus had
            received three pieces of gold which he kept for himself--an offence
            against poverty. The gold was discovered and Justus excommunicated. Soon
            after he died and was buried in unconsecrated ground with the three gold
            pieces. Time repaired the scandal and the abbot, moved by compassion for
            the soul of Justus, arranged for the Sacrifice each morning for 30 days.
            As Mass ended on the 30th day, Justus appeared to a brother named
            Copiosus, saying, "Bless God, my dear brother, today I am delivered and
            admitted into the society of saints."

            This pope is also considered the originator of the Mass of the
            Presanctified, which continues to be celebrated by the Eastern Orthodox
            Churches during their time of the 40 days of fasting which precede
            Easter. He himself tells us that he changed the place of the Lord's
            Prayer and added it to the Prayer of Consecration. He also added some
            petitions to the prayer Hanc igitur, thus giving its final touch to the
            Roman canon.

            His labours were immense. No task was too great, no service too humble,
            for this gifted and versatile follower of Christ, who delighted to call
            himself "the servant of the servants of God." One of many stories told
            of him is that a beggar presented himself repeatedly at the monastery
            gate asking for alms, and each time Gregory gave to him, until, one day,
            having no money left to give, he gave him his silver porringer, a gift
            from his mother.

            As bishop of Rome, Gregory continued to live the monastic life as far as
            he was able. He retained the habit and lived with his clergy under a
            strict discipline. After he became pope, it was his custom to entertain
            every evening at his own table twelve poor men, one for each of our
            Lord's disciples. One night he counted thirteen present and, calling his
            steward, enquired the reason. "Holy Father," replied the steward, after
            counting them over, "you are mistaken; there are but twelve." But
            Gregory still counted thirteen, and after the meal called to his
            unbidden guest: "Who are you?" The guest replied, "I am the poor man
            whom you formerly relieved, and through Me you shall obtain whatever you
            shall ask of God." Then Gregory knew that he had entertained our Lord.

            Gregory continued his apostolic labours for another seven years after
            sending Augustine to England. His delicacy increased and he had to work
            in the midst of intense pain from chronic gout. He gradually became
            weaker. During the latter part of his life, he was in close
            correspondence with Queen Theodolinda of the Lombards to try to win her
            and her people into the
            Christian fold. Her son had been born and baptized in the Church, just
            before Gregory's death. During his last illness, he wrote to
            congratulate her on the birth of her son (Benedictines, Bentley,
            Delaney, Encyclopaedia (March), Gill, Schouppe, Wand).

            In art, Saint Gregory is often portrayed with the four Latin Fathers of
            the Church: Ambrose, Augustine, and Jerome.
            The image may show Gregory (1) with a book, a dove at his ear; (2) with
            a book and ceremonial umbrella or canopy, sometimes held over his head;
            (3) with the bull of Saint Luke supporting his book; (4) with the soul
            of a king rising at his side;

            As a Father of the Church, Gregory is generally portrayed at his writing
            desk with the papal insignia near him and a dove at his ear to inspire
            him as in the image contained in John of Berry's Petit Heures. He may
            also be shown (1) as a bearded early Christian priest by a writing desk,
            with the dove at his ear; (2) as the early priest with a pen and book,
            candle and tiara with a peacock above him; or (3) occasionally with a
            bull of Saint Luke (Roeder).

            Gregory is the patron of fringe makers, masons, musicians, scholars,
            singers, students, and teachers. He is invoked against gout, plague, and
            sterility (Roeder).

            Icons of St. Gregory
            http://www.odox.net/Icons-Gregory.htm##1
            http://www.cybercom.net/~htm/images/a-376.jpg

            Troparion of St Gregory tone 3
            Thou didst excellently dispense the Word of God,/ endowed with
            discretion of speech, O Hierarch Gregory:/ for by thy life thou didst
            set the virtues before us,/ and dost radiate the brightness of holiness
            ./ O righteous Father, pray to Christ our God to grant us His great
            mercy.
          • emrys@globe.net.nz
            Celtic and Old English Saints 3 September =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= * St. Gregory the Great =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
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              Celtic and Old English Saints 3 September

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              * St. Gregory the Great
              =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=


              St. Gregory the Great, Pope of Rome,
              also known as Gregory the Dialogist
              -------------------------------------------------
              Born in Rome, Italy, c. 540; died there March 12, 604. His major feast
              day is March 12. The Feast today commemorates the day he was chosen as
              Bishop of Rome.

              "The Holy Bible is like a mirror before our mind's eye.
              In it we see our inner face. From the Scriptures we
              can learn our spiritual deformities and beauties. And
              there too we discover the progress we are making and
              how far we are from perfection."
              --Saint Gregory.

              Where does one begin to recite the glories of a man who excelled at many
              things in so many ways? His greatness is emphasised by contrast with the
              time in which he lived, when everything was in decline. He was prefect
              of Rome when he wrote:

              "Everything is at the mercy of the barbarians, the cities are
              undermined, the citadels are destroyed, the provinces are depopulated,
              there are no more farmers in the country. And every day the idolaters
              exert their power and gratify their rage by assassinating the faithful.
              We see what has become of her who once appeared as mistress of the
              world. She is broken by all she has suffered from immense and manifold
              misfortunes. . . . We, the few who are left, are menaced every day by
              the
              sword and innumerable trials. . . ."

              Saint Bede described Gregory as the man England "may and ought to call
              our Apostle, because he made our nation, till then given up to idols,
              the Church of Christ," and Gregory's tomb in Rome bears the inscription:

              "He taught the Christian truth to English Saxons."

              He was a distinguished Roman, born of a senatorial Christian family, and
              owed much to his mother, Saint Sylvia and two of her sisters who are
              regarded as saints. His father, Gordianus, who was descended from an
              earlier pope, was a lay administrator of one of the seven archdeaconries
              of Rome. Trained in Rome as a lawyer, by 571 (age 30) he had become its
              prefect. He seems to have acquitted himself well in that post, despite
              his tendency toward austerity. Historians refer to the splendour of his
              robes in contrast with the habit he wore in later years.

              On the death of his father, he gave most of his inheritance to the poor
              and the Church, which included the founding of six monasteries in
              Sicily. About 574, he converted his family mansion on the Caelian Hill
              into the monastery of Saint Andrew, placed it under the direction of
              Valentius, and resigned his office to become a monk. Gregory mitigated
              the characteristic Eastern ascetic practices, which made the rule more
              acceptable to Western conditions.

              At this time, there was an impermeable boundary between monks and
              priests; a priest who became a monk was expected to cease his priestly
              ministry because priests were viewed as worldly; monks, other-worldly.
              Gregory's later determination to free monks from episcopal control was
              definitely contrary to tradition. The Council of Chalcedon (451) had
              ordered monks to remain under obedience to their bishops. Gregory,
              however, in the Lateran Council of 601, caused a decree to be issued to
              all bishops exempting monks from their authority. Part of the reason for
              this was to keep monks in their monasteries and prevent them from
              wandering from place to place.

              Pope Gregory wrote to Bishop Castorius of Ariminum:

              "On the death also of an abbot, let not the bishop on any pretext
              intermeddle in the scheduling or taking charge of the property of the
              monastery, acquired, or given, or to be acquired. We also entirely
              forbid public Masses to be celebrated by him in a convent, lest in the
              retreats of the servants of God and their places of refuge any
              opportunity for a popular concourse of women should ensue, which would
              be by no means of advantage to their souls. Nor let him dare to place
              his episcopal chair there, or have any power whatever of command, or of
              holding any ordination, even the most ordinary, unless he should be
              requested to do so by the abbot of the place."

              Gregory remained in his monastery about three years and then was
              ordained by Pope Pelagius II as one of the seven deacons of Rome in 578.
              He was too active by temperament for a contemplative life and, five
              years after retiring from public affairs, he was appointed as legate
              (579-585) to Constantinople, a post for which he was well-equipped and
              which he filled with great distinction; but he still maintained the
              simple habits of a monk and he turned part of his embassy into a
              monastery. This was a time when the Roman Empire had been reconstituted
              with its headquarters in Constantinople. The pope had sent him to enlist
              the aid of the emperor against the Lombards; in this he was
              unsuccessful.

              In 586, Gregory was recalled to Rome and became abbot of his monastery,
              while acting as papal secretary. There is a story that Gregory
              entertained the idea of himself preaching the Gospel in England, and
              even set out for that country, but was recalled to Rome by the pope at
              the insistence of the people when plague struck Rome in 589-590.

              Pope Pelagius contracted the disease and died. Gregory was consecrated
              pope on September 3, 590--the first monk to hold that office. It is said
              that Gregory tried every means possible to avoid taking the papal
              office, including writing to Emperor Maurice in Constantinople to ask
              that he not be given imperial confirmation. The letter was intercepted
              by the prefect of Rome and another substituted from the Senate, clergy,
              and people that asked for Gregory's appointment. At the arrival of the
              emperor's response, the saint fled Rome. When he found that he could not
              refuse the office in good conscience.

              It was a time of famine, flood, and plague, and Gregory called for
              litanies, processions, and unceasing prayer for God's help. These
              expressions of faith were rewarded by the rapid diminution of the
              infestation. During one procession, Gregory saw an angel above Hadrian's
              Arch sheathing his sword--an incident from which the Castel Sant'Angelo
              derives its name.

              As pope, he became the strongest figure in Italy, the exarch of Ravenna
              dimmed in comparison to Gregory. Beside him the Western emperor was but
              a pale and feeble shadow, and soon the power of his strong personality
              and benevolent influence was felt throughout Europe. The attacks of the
              barbarians had further increased the importance of the Church because
              they had destroyed many of the pagan temples and driven the patrician
              families, who preserved the old state religion, out of Rome.

              As a preacher he had great ability. In the field of liturgy he
              introduced the Gregorian chant (in response to the congregational and
              antiphonal singing that Saint Ambrose introduced in Milan and which he
              viewed as flippant and irreverent), and established a choir school in
              conjunction with an orphanage. He also excelled as a statesman. Indeed,
              in every branch and aspect of Church life he showed both genius and
              authority, and more than any other he gave shape and direction to the
              Medieval Church. In his days, we are told, the see of St. Peter stood
              out in Western Europe like a lighthouse in a storm.

              Gregory was instrumental in settling difficulties with the Lombards who
              besieged Rome several times during his pontificate, and with whom he
              personally negotiated treaties. They continued to be troublesome. In
              593, he persuaded the invading Lombards under Agilulf to spare Rome, and
              he negotiated a peace with the Lombard king--an unprecedented move that
              effectively set aside the authority of the Byzantine emperor's
              representative, the exarch of Ravenna. Gregory was responsible for all
              the relief work in the distressed areas, including redeeming captives
              who had been enslaved. For this purpose, Gregory urged bishops to go so
              far as to sell their sacred vessels. He did conclude a temporary truce
              with the Lombards in 603.

              He appointed governors of the Italian cities, provided them with war
              materials, and denounced the heavy taxes levied on
              Italians by Byzantine officials. This was the beginning of the papal
              exercise of temporal authority.

              He had many troubles with which he had to deal, and he had few qualms
              about using secular force to win adherents to the Church. The Donatist
              controversy re-emerged in Africa and Gregory appealed to the emperor to
              enforce the pre-existing law against their worship. He encouraged the
              Frankish kings to coerce their subjects into the true faith, and on his
              own possessions in Italy, he ordered the Manichaeans to be compelled to
              accept orthodox catholicism. On the other hand, he was especially
              tolerant to the Jews and urged that they should not be harshly treated.
              He went so far as to say that, in the case of the Jews, conversions
              wrought by force are never sincere.

              One of the great successes of the period was the conversion of the Arian
              king of Spain, Reccared, who renounced his heresy and converted to the
              true faith under the influence of Gregory's greatest friend, Saint
              Leandro. Gregory responded to Leandro's letter by sending him part of
              his commentary on the Book of Job, which the two had begun together when
              they were stationed at Constantinople.

              Gregory used the granting of the pallium as a means of extending his
              authority. Originally, this was a scarf given by emperors to their
              friends and officers that they especially wanted to honour. It came to
              be used by the popes as a means of signifying a metropolitan (i.e.,
              archbishop or patriarch), although in some instances it was conferred on
              a diocesan bishop where there was no metropolitan.

              Although Gregory took away the authority of the bishops over monks, he
              protected and augmented their rights in other areas. He separated the
              clergy from secular courts and forbade them to appeal to lay tribunals.
              He also refused the annual presents that suffragan bishops traditionally
              brought to Rome or any fee for the granting of the pallium, and
              abolished clerical fees for burials and ordinations. He restored
              ecclesiastical discipline, removed unworthy clerics from office, and was
              prodigious in his charity.

              But most conspicuous and far-reaching was his missionary vision. He had
              a lifelong interest in the conversion of England, where the Roman rule
              had come to an end under the battering of the barbarians, and the
              Romano-British Church had been driven into the provinces of Cornwall,
              Wales, and Cumbria, while the new Saxon and heathen kingdoms rose and
              rivalled one another until King Saint Ethelbert of Kent managed to
              exercise authority over much of the country.

              Even before Gregory was pope, when walking in the market-place of Rome,
              he had noticed the fair-haired Saxon boys offered for sale as slaves and
              had made his famous pun: "Not Angles, but angels!" adding, still
              humorously, that "Alleluia shall be sung in Aella's land." Until he was
              able to carry out his plan for evangelization, he would buy young
              English boys in the
              slave market and give them a good education with the view of sending
              them home as missionaries.

              A better opportunity arose when King Ethelbert of Kent married the
              Christian princess, Bertha of Gaul. She had been allowed to bring her
              chaplain with her to England for her own chapel. Gregory recognised the
              opportunity this presented. Thus, he decided to dispatch Saint Augustine
              and a small band of monks to bring the Gospel to those shores. Several
              times the daunted monks wanted to give up the project, but Gregory
              continually encouraged them to press on. The missionaries finally landed
              on the Isle of Thanet in May 597. Ethelbert received them courteously
              and eventually was baptized. The mission was so prosperous that
              Augustine went to Gaul to be consecrated bishop at the hands of the
              bishop of Arles.

              When questions arose in England, Augustine would write to Gregory. One
              letter concerned the division of offerings because Augustine was a monk
              living in community and shared all things in common. The normal custom
              was to divide any offering equally between the bishop, the clergy, the
              poor, and the parish for maintenance. Then there was a question of
              liturgical custom: should they follow that of Rome or of Gaul? The
              answer was that Augustine should adapt to what is practical for the
              particular time and circumstances. There were other questions about
              marriages, ordinations, and the position of bishops. In all matters,
              Gregory shows himself to be a practical man tempering law with charity.
              For example, when Augustine asked about
              episcopal ordinations, which require at least three consecrating
              bishops, Gregory responded that since Augustine was the only bishop in
              the region he must consecrate alone, unless he could get bishops to come
              from Gaul.

              Gregory had conceived England as it was under Roman rule. He had planned
              to have a metropolitan established at York and another at London, and
              each should have 12 suffragans. York was to be dependent on London only
              during Augustine's lifetime and upon Augustine's death was to be
              independent. Gregory does not seem to have realised the pre-existing
              bishops had little interest in converting their Anglo-Saxon conquerors.

              Gregory also wrote to Saint Mellitus to remind Augustine not to destroy
              the pagan temples, but rather to appropriate and consecrate them for
              Christian usage.

              Gregory relates his view of the English mission in his letter to Bishop
              Eulogius of Alexandria:

              "While the nation of the Angli, placed in a corner of the world,
              remained up to this time misbelieving in the worship of stocks and
              stones, I determined, through the aid of your prayers for me, to send
              it, God granting, a monk of my monastery for the purpose of preaching.
              And he, having with my leave been made bishop by the bishops of Germany,
              proceeded, with their aid also, to the end of the world to the this
              nation; and already letters have reached us telling us of his safety and
              his work; to the effect that he and those that have been sent with him
              are resplendent with such great miracles in the said nation that they
              seem to imitate the powers of the apostles in the signs which they
              display. Moreover, at the solemnity of the Lord's Nativity which
              occurred in the first indication, more than 10,000 Angli are reported to
              have been baptized by the same our brother and fellow- bishop."

              During all his activities, Gregory never stopped writing--his homilies,
              his celebrated Dialogues, and many other writings, including over 800
              letters and epistles that have survived. The Dialogues, full of
              marvellous tales about the visions, prophecies, miracles and lives of
              monks and saints of Italy, provided his age with its pious reading and
              impressed upon it the underlying, essential truths of religion.

              Gregory wrote Pastoral Care (Liber regulae pastoralis) in order to
              explain his position. It is an exposition of episcopal duties. (The fact
              that it was one of the first books to be translated into English attests
              to its importance.) In Gaul (France), it was handed to all bishops at
              their consecration. Emperor Maurice had it translated into Greek so that
              it could be used in the East as well. Most of the book deals with how a
              preacher should adapt his teaching to each of several classes of people.

              Gregory was not a great or creative thinker, but was more like the
              practical Romans of his time. The custom of saying 30 successive Masses
              for those who have died is named after Saint Gregory. It derives from
              his Dialogues (Book 4, c. 40) which relates that a monk named Justus had
              received three pieces of gold which he kept for himself--an offence
              against poverty. The gold was discovered and Justus excommunicated. Soon
              after he died and was buried in unconsecrated ground with the three gold
              pieces. Time repaired the scandal and the abbot, moved by compassion for
              the soul of Justus, arranged for the Sacrifice each morning for 30 days.
              As Mass ended on the 30th day, Justus appeared to a brother named
              Copiosus, saying, "Bless God, my dear brother, today I am delivered and
              admitted into the society of saints."

              This pope is also considered the originator of the Mass of the
              Presanctified, which continues to be celebrated by the Eastern Orthodox
              Churches during their time of the 40 days of fasting which precede
              Easter. He himself tells us that he changed the place of the Lord's
              Prayer and added it to the Prayer of Consecration. He also added some
              petitions to the prayer Hanc igitur, thus giving its final touch to the
              Roman canon.

              His labours were immense. No task was too great, no service too humble,
              for this gifted and versatile follower of Christ, who delighted to call
              himself "the servant of the servants of God." One of many stories told
              of him is that a beggar presented himself repeatedly at the monastery
              gate asking for alms, and each time Gregory gave to him, until, one day,
              having no money left to give, he gave him his silver porringer, a gift
              from his mother.

              As bishop of Rome, Gregory continued to live the monastic life as far as
              he was able. He retained the habit and lived with his clergy under a
              strict discipline. After he became pope, it was his custom to entertain
              every evening at his own table twelve poor men, one for each of our
              Lord's disciples. One night he counted thirteen present and, calling his
              steward, enquired the reason. "Holy Father," replied the steward, after
              counting them over, "you are mistaken; there are but twelve." But
              Gregory still counted thirteen, and after the meal called to his
              unbidden guest: "Who are you?" The guest replied, "I am the poor man
              whom you formerly relieved, and through Me you shall obtain whatever you
              shall ask of God." Then Gregory knew that he had entertained our Lord.

              Gregory continued his apostolic labours for another seven years after
              sending Augustine to England. His delicacy increased and he had to work
              in the midst of intense pain from chronic gout. He gradually became
              weaker. During the latter part of his life, he was in close
              correspondence with Queen Theodolinda of the Lombards to try to win her
              and her people into the
              Christian fold. Her son had been born and baptized in the Church, just
              before Gregory's death. During his last illness, he wrote to
              congratulate her on the birth of her son (Benedictines, Bentley,
              Delaney, Encyclopaedia (March), Gill, Schouppe, Wand).

              In art, Saint Gregory is often portrayed with the four Latin Fathers of
              the Church: Ambrose, Augustine, and Jerome.
              The image may show Gregory (1) with a book, a dove at his ear; (2) with
              a book and ceremonial umbrella or canopy, sometimes held over his head;
              (3) with the bull of Saint Luke supporting his book; (4) with the soul
              of a king rising at his side;

              As a Father of the Church, Gregory is generally portrayed at his writing
              desk with the papal insignia near him and a dove at his ear to inspire
              him as in the image contained in John of Berry's Petit Heures. He may
              also be shown (1) as a bearded early Christian priest by a writing desk,
              with the dove at his ear; (2) as the early priest with a pen and book,
              candle and tiara with a peacock above him; or (3) occasionally with a
              bull of Saint Luke (Roeder).

              Gregory is the patron of fringe makers, masons, musicians, scholars,
              singers, students, and teachers. He is invoked against gout, plague, and
              sterility (Roeder).

              Icons of St. Gregory
              http://www.odox.net/Icons-Gregory.htm##1
              http://www.cybercom.net/~htm/images/a-376.jpg

              Troparion of St Gregory tone 3
              Thou didst excellently dispense the Word of God,/ endowed with
              discretion of speech, O Hierarch Gregory:/ for by thy life thou didst
              set the virtues before us,/ and dost radiate the brightness of holiness
              ./ O righteous Father, pray to Christ our God to grant us His great
              mercy.
            • emrys@globe.net.nz
              Celtic and Old English Saints 3 September =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= * St. Gregory the Great =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
              Message 6 of 14 , Sep 2, 2005
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                Celtic and Old English Saints 3 September

                =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
                * St. Gregory the Great
                =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=


                St. Gregory the Great, Pope of Rome,
                also known as Gregory the Dialogist
                -------------------------------------------------
                Born in Rome, Italy, c. 540; died there March 12, 604. His major feast
                day is March 12. The Feast today commemorates the day he was chosen as
                Bishop of Rome.

                "The Holy Bible is like a mirror before our mind's eye.
                In it we see our inner face. From the Scriptures we
                can learn our spiritual deformities and beauties. And
                there too we discover the progress we are making and
                how far we are from perfection."
                --Saint Gregory.

                Where does one begin to recite the glories of a man who excelled at many
                things in so many ways? His greatness is emphasised by contrast with the
                time in which he lived, when everything was in decline. He was prefect
                of Rome when he wrote:

                "Everything is at the mercy of the barbarians, the cities are
                undermined, the citadels are destroyed, the provinces are depopulated,
                there are no more farmers in the country. And every day the idolaters
                exert their power and gratify their rage by assassinating the faithful.
                We see what has become of her who once appeared as mistress of the
                world. She is broken by all she has suffered from immense and manifold
                misfortunes. . . . We, the few who are left, are menaced every day by
                the
                sword and innumerable trials. . . ."

                Saint Bede described Gregory as the man England "may and ought to call
                our Apostle, because he made our nation, till then given up to idols,
                the Church of Christ," and Gregory's tomb in Rome bears the inscription:

                "He taught the Christian truth to English Saxons."

                He was a distinguished Roman, born of a senatorial Christian family, and
                owed much to his mother, Saint Sylvia and two of her sisters who are
                regarded as saints. His father, Gordianus, who was descended from an
                earlier pope, was a lay administrator of one of the seven archdeaconries
                of Rome. Trained in Rome as a lawyer, by 571 (age 30) he had become its
                prefect. He seems to have acquitted himself well in that post, despite
                his tendency toward austerity. Historians refer to the splendour of his
                robes in contrast with the habit he wore in later years.

                On the death of his father, he gave most of his inheritance to the poor
                and the Church, which included the founding of six monasteries in
                Sicily. About 574, he converted his family mansion on the Caelian Hill
                into the monastery of Saint Andrew, placed it under the direction of
                Valentius, and resigned his office to become a monk. Gregory mitigated
                the characteristic Eastern ascetic practices, which made the rule more
                acceptable to Western conditions.

                At this time, there was an impermeable boundary between monks and
                priests; a priest who became a monk was expected to cease his priestly
                ministry because priests were viewed as worldly; monks, other-worldly.
                Gregory's later determination to free monks from episcopal control was
                definitely contrary to tradition. The Council of Chalcedon (451) had
                ordered monks to remain under obedience to their bishops. Gregory,
                however, in the Lateran Council of 601, caused a decree to be issued to
                all bishops exempting monks from their authority. Part of the reason for
                this was to keep monks in their monasteries and prevent them from
                wandering from place to place.

                Pope Gregory wrote to Bishop Castorius of Ariminum:

                "On the death also of an abbot, let not the bishop on any pretext
                intermeddle in the scheduling or taking charge of the property of the
                monastery, acquired, or given, or to be acquired. We also entirely
                forbid public Masses to be celebrated by him in a convent, lest in the
                retreats of the servants of God and their places of refuge any
                opportunity for a popular concourse of women should ensue, which would
                be by no means of advantage to their souls. Nor let him dare to place
                his episcopal chair there, or have any power whatever of command, or of
                holding any ordination, even the most ordinary, unless he should be
                requested to do so by the abbot of the place."

                Gregory remained in his monastery about three years and then was
                ordained by Pope Pelagius II as one of the seven deacons of Rome in 578.
                He was too active by temperament for a contemplative life and, five
                years after retiring from public affairs, he was appointed as legate
                (579-585) to Constantinople, a post for which he was well-equipped and
                which he filled with great distinction; but he still maintained the
                simple habits of a monk and he turned part of his embassy into a
                monastery. This was a time when the Roman Empire had been reconstituted
                with its headquarters in Constantinople. The pope had sent him to enlist
                the aid of the emperor against the Lombards; in this he was
                unsuccessful.

                In 586, Gregory was recalled to Rome and became abbot of his monastery,
                while acting as papal secretary. There is a story that Gregory
                entertained the idea of himself preaching the Gospel in England, and
                even set out for that country, but was recalled to Rome by the pope at
                the insistence of the people when plague struck Rome in 589-590.

                Pope Pelagius contracted the disease and died. Gregory was consecrated
                pope on September 3, 590--the first monk to hold that office. It is said
                that Gregory tried every means possible to avoid taking the papal
                office, including writing to Emperor Maurice in Constantinople to ask
                that he not be given imperial confirmation. The letter was intercepted
                by the prefect of Rome and another substituted from the Senate, clergy,
                and people that asked for Gregory's appointment. At the arrival of the
                emperor's response, the saint fled Rome. When he found that he could not
                refuse the office in good conscience.

                It was a time of famine, flood, and plague, and Gregory called for
                litanies, processions, and unceasing prayer for God's help. These
                expressions of faith were rewarded by the rapid diminution of the
                infestation. During one procession, Gregory saw an angel above Hadrian's
                Arch sheathing his sword--an incident from which the Castel Sant'Angelo
                derives its name.

                As pope, he became the strongest figure in Italy, the exarch of Ravenna
                dimmed in comparison to Gregory. Beside him the Western emperor was but
                a pale and feeble shadow, and soon the power of his strong personality
                and benevolent influence was felt throughout Europe. The attacks of the
                barbarians had further increased the importance of the Church because
                they had destroyed many of the pagan temples and driven the patrician
                families, who preserved the old state religion, out of Rome.

                As a preacher he had great ability. In the field of liturgy he
                introduced the Gregorian chant (in response to the congregational and
                antiphonal singing that Saint Ambrose introduced in Milan and which he
                viewed as flippant and irreverent), and established a choir school in
                conjunction with an orphanage. He also excelled as a statesman. Indeed,
                in every branch and aspect of Church life he showed both genius and
                authority, and more than any other he gave shape and direction to the
                Medieval Church. In his days, we are told, the see of St. Peter stood
                out in Western Europe like a lighthouse in a storm.

                Gregory was instrumental in settling difficulties with the Lombards who
                besieged Rome several times during his pontificate, and with whom he
                personally negotiated treaties. They continued to be troublesome. In
                593, he persuaded the invading Lombards under Agilulf to spare Rome, and
                he negotiated a peace with the Lombard king--an unprecedented move that
                effectively set aside the authority of the Byzantine emperor's
                representative, the exarch of Ravenna. Gregory was responsible for all
                the relief work in the distressed areas, including redeeming captives
                who had been enslaved. For this purpose, Gregory urged bishops to go so
                far as to sell their sacred vessels. He did conclude a temporary truce
                with the Lombards in 603.

                He appointed governors of the Italian cities, provided them with war
                materials, and denounced the heavy taxes levied on
                Italians by Byzantine officials. This was the beginning of the papal
                exercise of temporal authority.

                He had many troubles with which he had to deal, and he had few qualms
                about using secular force to win adherents to the Church. The Donatist
                controversy re-emerged in Africa and Gregory appealed to the emperor to
                enforce the pre-existing law against their worship. He encouraged the
                Frankish kings to coerce their subjects into the true faith, and on his
                own possessions in Italy, he ordered the Manichaeans to be compelled to
                accept orthodox catholicism. On the other hand, he was especially
                tolerant to the Jews and urged that they should not be harshly treated.
                He went so far as to say that, in the case of the Jews, conversions
                wrought by force are never sincere.

                One of the great successes of the period was the conversion of the Arian
                king of Spain, Reccared, who renounced his heresy and converted to the
                true faith under the influence of Gregory's greatest friend, Saint
                Leandro. Gregory responded to Leandro's letter by sending him part of
                his commentary on the Book of Job, which the two had begun together when
                they were stationed at Constantinople.

                Gregory used the granting of the pallium as a means of extending his
                authority. Originally, this was a scarf given by emperors to their
                friends and officers that they especially wanted to honour. It came to
                be used by the popes as a means of signifying a metropolitan (i.e.,
                archbishop or patriarch), although in some instances it was conferred on
                a diocesan bishop where there was no metropolitan.

                Although Gregory took away the authority of the bishops over monks, he
                protected and augmented their rights in other areas. He separated the
                clergy from secular courts and forbade them to appeal to lay tribunals.
                He also refused the annual presents that suffragan bishops traditionally
                brought to Rome or any fee for the granting of the pallium, and
                abolished clerical fees for burials and ordinations. He restored
                ecclesiastical discipline, removed unworthy clerics from office, and was
                prodigious in his charity.

                But most conspicuous and far-reaching was his missionary vision. He had
                a lifelong interest in the conversion of England, where the Roman rule
                had come to an end under the battering of the barbarians, and the
                Romano-British Church had been driven into the provinces of Cornwall,
                Wales, and Cumbria, while the new Saxon and heathen kingdoms rose and
                rivalled one another until King Saint Ethelbert of Kent managed to
                exercise authority over much of the country.

                Even before Gregory was pope, when walking in the market-place of Rome,
                he had noticed the fair-haired Saxon boys offered for sale as slaves and
                had made his famous pun: "Not Angles, but angels!" adding, still
                humorously, that "Alleluia shall be sung in Aella's land." Until he was
                able to carry out his plan for evangelization, he would buy young
                English boys in the
                slave market and give them a good education with the view of sending
                them home as missionaries.

                A better opportunity arose when King Ethelbert of Kent married the
                Christian princess, Bertha of Gaul. She had been allowed to bring her
                chaplain with her to England for her own chapel. Gregory recognised the
                opportunity this presented. Thus, he decided to dispatch Saint Augustine
                and a small band of monks to bring the Gospel to those shores. Several
                times the daunted monks wanted to give up the project, but Gregory
                continually encouraged them to press on. The missionaries finally landed
                on the Isle of Thanet in May 597. Ethelbert received them courteously
                and eventually was baptized. The mission was so prosperous that
                Augustine went to Gaul to be consecrated bishop at the hands of the
                bishop of Arles.

                When questions arose in England, Augustine would write to Gregory. One
                letter concerned the division of offerings because Augustine was a monk
                living in community and shared all things in common. The normal custom
                was to divide any offering equally between the bishop, the clergy, the
                poor, and the parish for maintenance. Then there was a question of
                liturgical custom: should they follow that of Rome or of Gaul? The
                answer was that Augustine should adapt to what is practical for the
                particular time and circumstances. There were other questions about
                marriages, ordinations, and the position of bishops. In all matters,
                Gregory shows himself to be a practical man tempering law with charity.
                For example, when Augustine asked about
                episcopal ordinations, which require at least three consecrating
                bishops, Gregory responded that since Augustine was the only bishop in
                the region he must consecrate alone, unless he could get bishops to come
                from Gaul.

                Gregory had conceived England as it was under Roman rule. He had planned
                to have a metropolitan established at York and another at London, and
                each should have 12 suffragans. York was to be dependent on London only
                during Augustine's lifetime and upon Augustine's death was to be
                independent. Gregory does not seem to have realised the pre-existing
                bishops had little interest in converting their Anglo-Saxon conquerors.

                Gregory also wrote to Saint Mellitus to remind Augustine not to destroy
                the pagan temples, but rather to appropriate and consecrate them for
                Christian usage.

                Gregory relates his view of the English mission in his letter to Bishop
                Eulogius of Alexandria:

                "While the nation of the Angli, placed in a corner of the world,
                remained up to this time misbelieving in the worship of stocks and
                stones, I determined, through the aid of your prayers for me, to send
                it, God granting, a monk of my monastery for the purpose of preaching.
                And he, having with my leave been made bishop by the bishops of Germany,
                proceeded, with their aid also, to the end of the world to the this
                nation; and already letters have reached us telling us of his safety and
                his work; to the effect that he and those that have been sent with him
                are resplendent with such great miracles in the said nation that they
                seem to imitate the powers of the apostles in the signs which they
                display. Moreover, at the solemnity of the Lord's Nativity which
                occurred in the first indication, more than 10,000 Angli are reported to
                have been baptized by the same our brother and fellow- bishop."

                During all his activities, Gregory never stopped writing--his homilies,
                his celebrated Dialogues, and many other writings, including over 800
                letters and epistles that have survived. The Dialogues, full of
                marvellous tales about the visions, prophecies, miracles and lives of
                monks and saints of Italy, provided his age with its pious reading and
                impressed upon it the underlying, essential truths of religion.

                Gregory wrote Pastoral Care (Liber regulae pastoralis) in order to
                explain his position. It is an exposition of episcopal duties. (The fact
                that it was one of the first books to be translated into English attests
                to its importance.) In Gaul (France), it was handed to all bishops at
                their consecration. Emperor Maurice had it translated into Greek so that
                it could be used in the East as well. Most of the book deals with how a
                preacher should adapt his teaching to each of several classes of people.

                Gregory was not a great or creative thinker, but was more like the
                practical Romans of his time. The custom of saying 30 successive Masses
                for those who have died is named after Saint Gregory. It derives from
                his Dialogues (Book 4, c. 40) which relates that a monk named Justus had
                received three pieces of gold which he kept for himself--an offence
                against poverty. The gold was discovered and Justus excommunicated. Soon
                after he died and was buried in unconsecrated ground with the three gold
                pieces. Time repaired the scandal and the abbot, moved by compassion for
                the soul of Justus, arranged for the Sacrifice each morning for 30 days.
                As Mass ended on the 30th day, Justus appeared to a brother named
                Copiosus, saying, "Bless God, my dear brother, today I am delivered and
                admitted into the society of saints."

                This pope is also considered the originator of the Mass of the
                Presanctified, which continues to be celebrated by the Eastern Orthodox
                Churches during their time of the 40 days of fasting which precede
                Easter. He himself tells us that he changed the place of the Lord's
                Prayer and added it to the Prayer of Consecration. He also added some
                petitions to the prayer Hanc igitur, thus giving its final touch to the
                Roman canon.

                His labours were immense. No task was too great, no service too humble,
                for this gifted and versatile follower of Christ, who delighted to call
                himself "the servant of the servants of God." One of many stories told
                of him is that a beggar presented himself repeatedly at the monastery
                gate asking for alms, and each time Gregory gave to him, until, one day,
                having no money left to give, he gave him his silver porringer, a gift
                from his mother.

                As bishop of Rome, Gregory continued to live the monastic life as far as
                he was able. He retained the habit and lived with his clergy under a
                strict discipline. After he became pope, it was his custom to entertain
                every evening at his own table twelve poor men, one for each of our
                Lord's disciples. One night he counted thirteen present and, calling his
                steward, enquired the reason. "Holy Father," replied the steward, after
                counting them over, "you are mistaken; there are but twelve." But
                Gregory still counted thirteen, and after the meal called to his
                unbidden guest: "Who are you?" The guest replied, "I am the poor man
                whom you formerly relieved, and through Me you shall obtain whatever you
                shall ask of God." Then Gregory knew that he had entertained our Lord.

                Gregory continued his apostolic labours for another seven years after
                sending Augustine to England. His delicacy increased and he had to work
                in the midst of intense pain from chronic gout. He gradually became
                weaker. During the latter part of his life, he was in close
                correspondence with Queen Theodolinda of the Lombards to try to win her
                and her people into the
                Christian fold. Her son had been born and baptized in the Church, just
                before Gregory's death. During his last illness, he wrote to
                congratulate her on the birth of her son (Benedictines, Bentley,
                Delaney, Encyclopaedia (March), Gill, Schouppe, Wand).

                In art, Saint Gregory is often portrayed with the four Latin Fathers of
                the Church: Ambrose, Augustine, and Jerome.
                The image may show Gregory (1) with a book, a dove at his ear; (2) with
                a book and ceremonial umbrella or canopy, sometimes held over his head;
                (3) with the bull of Saint Luke supporting his book; (4) with the soul
                of a king rising at his side;

                As a Father of the Church, Gregory is generally portrayed at his writing
                desk with the papal insignia near him and a dove at his ear to inspire
                him as in the image contained in John of Berry's Petit Heures. He may
                also be shown (1) as a bearded early Christian priest by a writing desk,
                with the dove at his ear; (2) as the early priest with a pen and book,
                candle and tiara with a peacock above him; or (3) occasionally with a
                bull of Saint Luke (Roeder).

                Gregory is the patron of fringe makers, masons, musicians, scholars,
                singers, students, and teachers. He is invoked against gout, plague, and
                sterility (Roeder).

                Icons of St. Gregory
                http://www.odox.net/Icons-Gregory.htm##1
                http://htmadmin.phpwebhosting.com/images/a-376.jpg


                Troparion of St Gregory tone 3
                Thou didst excellently dispense the Word of God,/ endowed with
                discretion of speech, O Hierarch Gregory:/ for by thy life thou didst
                set the virtues before us,/ and dost radiate the brightness of holiness
                ./ O righteous Father, pray to Christ our God to grant us His great
                mercy.
              • emrys@globe.net.nz
                Celtic and Old English Saints 3 September =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= * St. Gregory the Great =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
                Message 7 of 14 , Sep 1, 2006
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                  Celtic and Old English Saints 3 September

                  =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
                  * St. Gregory the Great
                  =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=


                  St. Gregory the Great, Pope of Rome,
                  also known as Gregory the Dialogist
                  -------------------------------------------------
                  Born in Rome, Italy, c. 540; died there March 12, 604. His major feast
                  day is March 12. The Feast today commemorates the day he was chosen as
                  Bishop of Rome.

                  "The Holy Bible is like a mirror before our mind's eye.
                  In it we see our inner face. From the Scriptures we
                  can learn our spiritual deformities and beauties. And
                  there too we discover the progress we are making and
                  how far we are from perfection."
                  --Saint Gregory.

                  Where does one begin to recite the glories of a man who excelled at many
                  things in so many ways? His greatness is emphasised by contrast with the
                  time in which he lived, when everything was in decline. He was prefect
                  of Rome when he wrote:

                  "Everything is at the mercy of the barbarians, the cities are
                  undermined, the citadels are destroyed, the provinces are depopulated,
                  there are no more farmers in the country. And every day the idolaters
                  exert their power and gratify their rage by assassinating the faithful.
                  We see what has become of her who once appeared as mistress of the
                  world. She is broken by all she has suffered from immense and manifold
                  misfortunes. . . . We, the few who are left, are menaced every day by
                  the
                  sword and innumerable trials. . . ."

                  Saint Bede described Gregory as the man England "may and ought to call
                  our Apostle, because he made our nation, till then given up to idols,
                  the Church of Christ," and Gregory's tomb in Rome bears the inscription:

                  "He taught the Christian truth to English Saxons."

                  He was a distinguished Roman, born of a senatorial Christian family, and
                  owed much to his mother, Saint Sylvia and two of her sisters who are
                  regarded as saints. His father, Gordianus, who was descended from an
                  earlier pope, was a lay administrator of one of the seven archdeaconries
                  of Rome. Trained in Rome as a lawyer, by 571 (age 30) he had become its
                  prefect. He seems to have acquitted himself well in that post, despite
                  his tendency toward austerity. Historians refer to the splendour of his
                  robes in contrast with the habit he wore in later years.

                  On the death of his father, he gave most of his inheritance to the poor
                  and the Church, which included the founding of six monasteries in
                  Sicily. About 574, he converted his family mansion on the Caelian Hill
                  into the monastery of Saint Andrew, placed it under the direction of
                  Valentius, and resigned his office to become a monk. Gregory mitigated
                  the characteristic Eastern ascetic practices, which made the rule more
                  acceptable to Western conditions.

                  At this time, there was an impermeable boundary between monks and
                  priests; a priest who became a monk was expected to cease his priestly
                  ministry because priests were viewed as worldly; monks, other-worldly.
                  Gregory's later determination to free monks from episcopal control was
                  definitely contrary to tradition. The Council of Chalcedon (451) had
                  ordered monks to remain under obedience to their bishops. Gregory,
                  however, in the Lateran Council of 601, caused a decree to be issued to
                  all bishops exempting monks from their authority. Part of the reason for
                  this was to keep monks in their monasteries and prevent them from
                  wandering from place to place.

                  Pope Gregory wrote to Bishop Castorius of Ariminum:

                  "On the death also of an abbot, let not the bishop on any pretext
                  intermeddle in the scheduling or taking charge of the property of the
                  monastery, acquired, or given, or to be acquired. We also entirely
                  forbid public Masses to be celebrated by him in a convent, lest in the
                  retreats of the servants of God and their places of refuge any
                  opportunity for a popular concourse of women should ensue, which would
                  be by no means of advantage to their souls. Nor let him dare to place
                  his episcopal chair there, or have any power whatever of command, or of
                  holding any ordination, even the most ordinary, unless he should be
                  requested to do so by the abbot of the place."

                  Gregory remained in his monastery about three years and then was
                  ordained by Pope Pelagius II as one of the seven deacons of Rome in 578.
                  He was too active by temperament for a contemplative life and, five
                  years after retiring from public affairs, he was appointed as legate
                  (579-585) to Constantinople, a post for which he was well-equipped and
                  which he filled with great distinction; but he still maintained the
                  simple habits of a monk and he turned part of his embassy into a
                  monastery. This was a time when the Roman Empire had been reconstituted
                  with its headquarters in Constantinople. The pope had sent him to enlist
                  the aid of the emperor against the Lombards; in this he was
                  unsuccessful.

                  In 586, Gregory was recalled to Rome and became abbot of his monastery,
                  while acting as papal secretary. There is a story that Gregory
                  entertained the idea of himself preaching the Gospel in England, and
                  even set out for that country, but was recalled to Rome by the pope at
                  the insistence of the people when plague struck Rome in 589-590.

                  Pope Pelagius contracted the disease and died. Gregory was consecrated
                  pope on September 3, 590--the first monk to hold that office. It is said
                  that Gregory tried every means possible to avoid taking the papal
                  office, including writing to Emperor Maurice in Constantinople to ask
                  that he not be given imperial confirmation. The letter was intercepted
                  by the prefect of Rome and another substituted from the Senate, clergy,
                  and people that asked for Gregory's appointment. At the arrival of the
                  emperor's response, the saint fled Rome. When he found that he could not
                  refuse the office in good conscience.

                  It was a time of famine, flood, and plague, and Gregory called for
                  litanies, processions, and unceasing prayer for God's help. These
                  expressions of faith were rewarded by the rapid diminution of the
                  infestation. During one procession, Gregory saw an angel above Hadrian's
                  Arch sheathing his sword--an incident from which the Castel Sant'Angelo
                  derives its name.

                  As pope, he became the strongest figure in Italy, the exarch of Ravenna
                  dimmed in comparison to Gregory. Beside him the Western emperor was but
                  a pale and feeble shadow, and soon the power of his strong personality
                  and benevolent influence was felt throughout Europe. The attacks of the
                  barbarians had further increased the importance of the Church because
                  they had destroyed many of the pagan temples and driven the patrician
                  families, who preserved the old state religion, out of Rome.

                  As a preacher he had great ability. In the field of liturgy he
                  introduced the Gregorian chant (in response to the congregational and
                  antiphonal singing that Saint Ambrose introduced in Milan and which he
                  viewed as flippant and irreverent), and established a choir school in
                  conjunction with an orphanage. He also excelled as a statesman. Indeed,
                  in every branch and aspect of Church life he showed both genius and
                  authority, and more than any other he gave shape and direction to the
                  Medieval Church. In his days, we are told, the see of St. Peter stood
                  out in Western Europe like a lighthouse in a storm.

                  Gregory was instrumental in settling difficulties with the Lombards who
                  besieged Rome several times during his pontificate, and with whom he
                  personally negotiated treaties. They continued to be troublesome. In
                  593, he persuaded the invading Lombards under Agilulf to spare Rome, and
                  he negotiated a peace with the Lombard king--an unprecedented move that
                  effectively set aside the authority of the Byzantine emperor's
                  representative, the exarch of Ravenna. Gregory was responsible for all
                  the relief work in the distressed areas, including redeeming captives
                  who had been enslaved. For this purpose, Gregory urged bishops to go so
                  far as to sell their sacred vessels. He did conclude a temporary truce
                  with the Lombards in 603.

                  He appointed governors of the Italian cities, provided them with war
                  materials, and denounced the heavy taxes levied on
                  Italians by Byzantine officials. This was the beginning of the papal
                  exercise of temporal authority.

                  He had many troubles with which he had to deal, and he had few qualms
                  about using secular force to win adherents to the Church. The Donatist
                  controversy re-emerged in Africa and Gregory appealed to the emperor to
                  enforce the pre-existing law against their worship. He encouraged the
                  Frankish kings to coerce their subjects into the true faith, and on his
                  own possessions in Italy, he ordered the Manichaeans to be compelled to
                  accept orthodox catholicism. On the other hand, he was especially
                  tolerant to the Jews and urged that they should not be harshly treated.
                  He went so far as to say that, in the case of the Jews, conversions
                  wrought by force are never sincere.

                  One of the great successes of the period was the conversion of the Arian
                  king of Spain, Reccared, who renounced his heresy and converted to the
                  true faith under the influence of Gregory's greatest friend, Saint
                  Leandro. Gregory responded to Leandro's letter by sending him part of
                  his commentary on the Book of Job, which the two had begun together when
                  they were stationed at Constantinople.

                  Gregory used the granting of the pallium as a means of extending his
                  authority. Originally, this was a scarf given by emperors to their
                  friends and officers that they especially wanted to honour. It came to
                  be used by the popes as a means of signifying a metropolitan (i.e.,
                  archbishop or patriarch), although in some instances it was conferred on
                  a diocesan bishop where there was no metropolitan.

                  Although Gregory took away the authority of the bishops over monks, he
                  protected and augmented their rights in other areas. He separated the
                  clergy from secular courts and forbade them to appeal to lay tribunals.
                  He also refused the annual presents that suffragan bishops traditionally
                  brought to Rome or any fee for the granting of the pallium, and
                  abolished clerical fees for burials and ordinations. He restored
                  ecclesiastical discipline, removed unworthy clerics from office, and was
                  prodigious in his charity.

                  But most conspicuous and far-reaching was his missionary vision. He had
                  a lifelong interest in the conversion of England, where the Roman rule
                  had come to an end under the battering of the barbarians, and the
                  Romano-British Church had been driven into the provinces of Cornwall,
                  Wales, and Cumbria, while the new Saxon and heathen kingdoms rose and
                  rivalled one another until King Saint Ethelbert of Kent managed to
                  exercise authority over much of the country.

                  Even before Gregory was pope, when walking in the market-place of Rome,
                  he had noticed the fair-haired Saxon boys offered for sale as slaves and
                  had made his famous pun: "Not Angles, but angels!" adding, still
                  humorously, that "Alleluia shall be sung in Aella's land." Until he was
                  able to carry out his plan for evangelization, he would buy young
                  English boys in the
                  slave market and give them a good education with the view of sending
                  them home as missionaries.

                  A better opportunity arose when King Ethelbert of Kent married the
                  Christian princess, Bertha of Gaul. She had been allowed to bring her
                  chaplain with her to England for her own chapel. Gregory recognised the
                  opportunity this presented. Thus, he decided to dispatch Saint Augustine
                  and a small band of monks to bring the Gospel to those shores. Several
                  times the daunted monks wanted to give up the project, but Gregory
                  continually encouraged them to press on. The missionaries finally landed
                  on the Isle of Thanet in May 597. Ethelbert received them courteously
                  and eventually was baptized. The mission was so prosperous that
                  Augustine went to Gaul to be consecrated bishop at the hands of the
                  bishop of Arles.

                  When questions arose in England, Augustine would write to Gregory. One
                  letter concerned the division of offerings because Augustine was a monk
                  living in community and shared all things in common. The normal custom
                  was to divide any offering equally between the bishop, the clergy, the
                  poor, and the parish for maintenance. Then there was a question of
                  liturgical custom: should they follow that of Rome or of Gaul? The
                  answer was that Augustine should adapt to what is practical for the
                  particular time and circumstances. There were other questions about
                  marriages, ordinations, and the position of bishops. In all matters,
                  Gregory shows himself to be a practical man tempering law with charity.
                  For example, when Augustine asked about
                  episcopal ordinations, which require at least three consecrating
                  bishops, Gregory responded that since Augustine was the only bishop in
                  the region he must consecrate alone, unless he could get bishops to come
                  from Gaul.

                  Gregory had conceived England as it was under Roman rule. He had planned
                  to have a metropolitan established at York and another at London, and
                  each should have 12 suffragans. York was to be dependent on London only
                  during Augustine's lifetime and upon Augustine's death was to be
                  independent. Gregory does not seem to have realised the pre-existing
                  bishops had little interest in converting their Anglo-Saxon conquerors.

                  Gregory also wrote to Saint Mellitus to remind Augustine not to destroy
                  the pagan temples, but rather to appropriate and consecrate them for
                  Christian usage.

                  Gregory relates his view of the English mission in his letter to Bishop
                  Eulogius of Alexandria:

                  "While the nation of the Angli, placed in a corner of the world,
                  remained up to this time misbelieving in the worship of stocks and
                  stones, I determined, through the aid of your prayers for me, to send
                  it, God granting, a monk of my monastery for the purpose of preaching.
                  And he, having with my leave been made bishop by the bishops of Germany,
                  proceeded, with their aid also, to the end of the world to the this
                  nation; and already letters have reached us telling us of his safety and
                  his work; to the effect that he and those that have been sent with him
                  are resplendent with such great miracles in the said nation that they
                  seem to imitate the powers of the apostles in the signs which they
                  display. Moreover, at the solemnity of the Lord's Nativity which
                  occurred in the first indication, more than 10,000 Angli are reported to
                  have been baptized by the same our brother and fellow- bishop."

                  During all his activities, Gregory never stopped writing--his homilies,
                  his celebrated Dialogues, and many other writings, including over 800
                  letters and epistles that have survived. The Dialogues, full of
                  marvellous tales about the visions, prophecies, miracles and lives of
                  monks and saints of Italy, provided his age with its pious reading and
                  impressed upon it the underlying, essential truths of religion.

                  Gregory wrote Pastoral Care (Liber regulae pastoralis) in order to
                  explain his position. It is an exposition of episcopal duties. (The fact
                  that it was one of the first books to be translated into English attests
                  to its importance.) In Gaul (France), it was handed to all bishops at
                  their consecration. Emperor Maurice had it translated into Greek so that
                  it could be used in the East as well. Most of the book deals with how a
                  preacher should adapt his teaching to each of several classes of people.

                  Gregory was not a great or creative thinker, but was more like the
                  practical Romans of his time. The custom of saying 30 successive Masses
                  for those who have died is named after Saint Gregory. It derives from
                  his Dialogues (Book 4, c. 40) which relates that a monk named Justus had
                  received three pieces of gold which he kept for himself--an offence
                  against poverty. The gold was discovered and Justus excommunicated. Soon
                  after he died and was buried in unconsecrated ground with the three gold
                  pieces. Time repaired the scandal and the abbot, moved by compassion for
                  the soul of Justus, arranged for the Sacrifice each morning for 30 days.
                  As Mass ended on the 30th day, Justus appeared to a brother named
                  Copiosus, saying, "Bless God, my dear brother, today I am delivered and
                  admitted into the society of saints."

                  This pope is also considered the originator of the Mass of the
                  Presanctified, which continues to be celebrated by the Eastern Orthodox
                  Churches during their time of the 40 days of fasting which precede
                  Easter. He himself tells us that he changed the place of the Lord's
                  Prayer and added it to the Prayer of Consecration. He also added some
                  petitions to the prayer Hanc igitur, thus giving its final touch to the
                  Roman canon.

                  His labours were immense. No task was too great, no service too humble,
                  for this gifted and versatile follower of Christ, who delighted to call
                  himself "the servant of the servants of God." One of many stories told
                  of him is that a beggar presented himself repeatedly at the monastery
                  gate asking for alms, and each time Gregory gave to him, until, one day,
                  having no money left to give, he gave him his silver porringer, a gift
                  from his mother.

                  As bishop of Rome, Gregory continued to live the monastic life as far as
                  he was able. He retained the habit and lived with his clergy under a
                  strict discipline. After he became pope, it was his custom to entertain
                  every evening at his own table twelve poor men, one for each of our
                  Lord's disciples. One night he counted thirteen present and, calling his
                  steward, enquired the reason. "Holy Father," replied the steward, after
                  counting them over, "you are mistaken; there are but twelve." But
                  Gregory still counted thirteen, and after the meal called to his
                  unbidden guest: "Who are you?" The guest replied, "I am the poor man
                  whom you formerly relieved, and through Me you shall obtain whatever you
                  shall ask of God." Then Gregory knew that he had entertained our Lord.

                  Gregory continued his apostolic labours for another seven years after
                  sending Augustine to England. His delicacy increased and he had to work
                  in the midst of intense pain from chronic gout. He gradually became
                  weaker. During the latter part of his life, he was in close
                  correspondence with Queen Theodolinda of the Lombards to try to win her
                  and her people into the
                  Christian fold. Her son had been born and baptized in the Church, just
                  before Gregory's death. During his last illness, he wrote to
                  congratulate her on the birth of her son (Benedictines, Bentley,
                  Delaney, Encyclopaedia (March), Gill, Schouppe, Wand).

                  In art, Saint Gregory is often portrayed with the four Latin Fathers of
                  the Church: Ambrose, Augustine, and Jerome.
                  The image may show Gregory (1) with a book, a dove at his ear; (2) with
                  a book and ceremonial umbrella or canopy, sometimes held over his head;
                  (3) with the bull of Saint Luke supporting his book; (4) with the soul
                  of a king rising at his side;

                  As a Father of the Church, Gregory is generally portrayed at his writing
                  desk with the papal insignia near him and a dove at his ear to inspire
                  him as in the image contained in John of Berry's Petit Heures. He may
                  also be shown (1) as a bearded early Christian priest by a writing desk,
                  with the dove at his ear; (2) as the early priest with a pen and book,
                  candle and tiara with a peacock above him; or (3) occasionally with a
                  bull of Saint Luke (Roeder).

                  Gregory is the patron of fringe makers, masons, musicians, scholars,
                  singers, students, and teachers. He is invoked against gout, plague, and
                  sterility (Roeder).

                  Icons of St. Gregory
                  http://www.allmercifulsavior.com/icons/Icons-Gregory.htm##1
                  http://htmadmin.phpwebhosting.com/images/a-376.jpg


                  Troparion of St Gregory tone 3
                  Thou didst excellently dispense the Word of God,/ endowed with
                  discretion of speech, O Hierarch Gregory:/ for by thy life thou didst
                  set the virtues before us,/ and dost radiate the brightness of holiness
                  ./ O righteous Father, pray to Christ our God to grant us His great
                  mercy.
                • emrys@globe.net.nz
                  Celtic and Old English Saints 3 September =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= * St. Gregory the Great =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
                  Message 8 of 14 , Sep 2, 2007
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                    Celtic and Old English Saints 3 September

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                    * St. Gregory the Great
                    =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=


                    St. Gregory the Great, Pope of Rome,
                    also known as Gregory the Dialogist
                    -------------------------------------------------
                    Born in Rome, Italy, c. 540; died there March 12, 604. His major feast
                    day is March 12. The Feast today commemorates the day he was chosen as
                    Bishop of Rome.

                    "The Holy Bible is like a mirror before our mind's eye.
                    In it we see our inner face. From the Scriptures we
                    can learn our spiritual deformities and beauties. And
                    there too we discover the progress we are making and
                    how far we are from perfection."
                    --Saint Gregory.

                    Where does one begin to recite the glories of a man who excelled at many
                    things in so many ways? His greatness is emphasised by contrast with the
                    time in which he lived, when everything was in decline. He was prefect
                    of Rome when he wrote:

                    "Everything is at the mercy of the barbarians, the cities are
                    undermined, the citadels are destroyed, the provinces are depopulated,
                    there are no more farmers in the country. And every day the idolaters
                    exert their power and gratify their rage by assassinating the faithful.
                    We see what has become of her who once appeared as mistress of the
                    world. She is broken by all she has suffered from immense and manifold
                    misfortunes. . . . We, the few who are left, are menaced every day by
                    the
                    sword and innumerable trials. . . ."

                    Saint Bede described Gregory as the man England "may and ought to call
                    our Apostle, because he made our nation, till then given up to idols,
                    the Church of Christ," and Gregory's tomb in Rome bears the inscription:

                    "He taught the Christian truth to English Saxons."

                    He was a distinguished Roman, born of a senatorial Christian family, and
                    owed much to his mother, Saint Sylvia and two of her sisters who are
                    regarded as saints. His father, Gordianus, who was descended from an
                    earlier pope, was a lay administrator of one of the seven archdeaconries
                    of Rome. Trained in Rome as a lawyer, by 571 (age 30) he had become its
                    prefect. He seems to have acquitted himself well in that post, despite
                    his tendency toward austerity. Historians refer to the splendour of his
                    robes in contrast with the habit he wore in later years.

                    On the death of his father, he gave most of his inheritance to the poor
                    and the Church, which included the founding of six monasteries in
                    Sicily. About 574, he converted his family mansion on the Caelian Hill
                    into the monastery of Saint Andrew, placed it under the direction of
                    Valentius, and resigned his office to become a monk. Gregory mitigated
                    the characteristic Eastern ascetic practices, which made the rule more
                    acceptable to Western conditions.

                    At this time, there was an impermeable boundary between monks and
                    priests; a priest who became a monk was expected to cease his priestly
                    ministry because priests were viewed as worldly; monks, other-worldly.
                    Gregory's later determination to free monks from episcopal control was
                    definitely contrary to tradition. The Council of Chalcedon (451) had
                    ordered monks to remain under obedience to their bishops. Gregory,
                    however, in the Lateran Council of 601, caused a decree to be issued to
                    all bishops exempting monks from their authority. Part of the reason for
                    this was to keep monks in their monasteries and prevent them from
                    wandering from place to place.

                    Pope Gregory wrote to Bishop Castorius of Ariminum:

                    "On the death also of an abbot, let not the bishop on any pretext
                    intermeddle in the scheduling or taking charge of the property of the
                    monastery, acquired, or given, or to be acquired. We also entirely
                    forbid public Masses to be celebrated by him in a convent, lest in the
                    retreats of the servants of God and their places of refuge any
                    opportunity for a popular concourse of women should ensue, which would
                    be by no means of advantage to their souls. Nor let him dare to place
                    his episcopal chair there, or have any power whatever of command, or of
                    holding any ordination, even the most ordinary, unless he should be
                    requested to do so by the abbot of the place."

                    Gregory remained in his monastery about three years and then was
                    ordained by Pope Pelagius II as one of the seven deacons of Rome in 578.
                    He was too active by temperament for a contemplative life and, five
                    years after retiring from public affairs, he was appointed as legate
                    (579-585) to Constantinople, a post for which he was well-equipped and
                    which he filled with great distinction; but he still maintained the
                    simple habits of a monk and he turned part of his embassy into a
                    monastery. This was a time when the Roman Empire had been reconstituted
                    with its headquarters in Constantinople. The pope had sent him to enlist
                    the aid of the emperor against the Lombards; in this he was
                    unsuccessful.

                    In 586, Gregory was recalled to Rome and became abbot of his monastery,
                    while acting as papal secretary. There is a story that Gregory
                    entertained the idea of himself preaching the Gospel in England, and
                    even set out for that country, but was recalled to Rome by the pope at
                    the insistence of the people when plague struck Rome in 589-590.

                    Pope Pelagius contracted the disease and died. Gregory was consecrated
                    pope on September 3, 590--the first monk to hold that office. It is said
                    that Gregory tried every means possible to avoid taking the papal
                    office, including writing to Emperor Maurice in Constantinople to ask
                    that he not be given imperial confirmation. The letter was intercepted
                    by the prefect of Rome and another substituted from the Senate, clergy,
                    and people that asked for Gregory's appointment. At the arrival of the
                    emperor's response, the saint fled Rome. When he found that he could not
                    refuse the office in good conscience.

                    It was a time of famine, flood, and plague, and Gregory called for
                    litanies, processions, and unceasing prayer for God's help. These
                    expressions of faith were rewarded by the rapid diminution of the
                    infestation. During one procession, Gregory saw an angel above Hadrian's
                    Arch sheathing his sword--an incident from which the Castel Sant'Angelo
                    derives its name.

                    As pope, he became the strongest figure in Italy, the exarch of Ravenna
                    dimmed in comparison to Gregory. Beside him the Western emperor was but
                    a pale and feeble shadow, and soon the power of his strong personality
                    and benevolent influence was felt throughout Europe. The attacks of the
                    barbarians had further increased the importance of the Church because
                    they had destroyed many of the pagan temples and driven the patrician
                    families, who preserved the old state religion, out of Rome.

                    As a preacher he had great ability. In the field of liturgy he
                    introduced the Gregorian chant (in response to the congregational and
                    antiphonal singing that Saint Ambrose introduced in Milan and which he
                    viewed as flippant and irreverent), and established a choir school in
                    conjunction with an orphanage. He also excelled as a statesman. Indeed,
                    in every branch and aspect of Church life he showed both genius and
                    authority, and more than any other he gave shape and direction to the
                    Medieval Church. In his days, we are told, the see of St. Peter stood
                    out in Western Europe like a lighthouse in a storm.

                    Gregory was instrumental in settling difficulties with the Lombards who
                    besieged Rome several times during his pontificate, and with whom he
                    personally negotiated treaties. They continued to be troublesome. In
                    593, he persuaded the invading Lombards under Agilulf to spare Rome, and
                    he negotiated a peace with the Lombard king--an unprecedented move that
                    effectively set aside the authority of the Byzantine emperor's
                    representative, the exarch of Ravenna. Gregory was responsible for all
                    the relief work in the distressed areas, including redeeming captives
                    who had been enslaved. For this purpose, Gregory urged bishops to go so
                    far as to sell their sacred vessels. He did conclude a temporary truce
                    with the Lombards in 603.

                    He appointed governors of the Italian cities, provided them with war
                    materials, and denounced the heavy taxes levied on
                    Italians by Byzantine officials. This was the beginning of the papal
                    exercise of temporal authority.

                    He had many troubles with which he had to deal, and he had few qualms
                    about using secular force to win adherents to the Church. The Donatist
                    controversy re-emerged in Africa and Gregory appealed to the emperor to
                    enforce the pre-existing law against their worship. He encouraged the
                    Frankish kings to coerce their subjects into the true faith, and on his
                    own possessions in Italy, he ordered the Manichaeans to be compelled to
                    accept orthodox catholicism. On the other hand, he was especially
                    tolerant to the Jews and urged that they should not be harshly treated.
                    He went so far as to say that, in the case of the Jews, conversions
                    wrought by force are never sincere.

                    One of the great successes of the period was the conversion of the Arian
                    king of Spain, Reccared, who renounced his heresy and converted to the
                    true faith under the influence of Gregory's greatest friend, Saint
                    Leandro. Gregory responded to Leandro's letter by sending him part of
                    his commentary on the Book of Job, which the two had begun together when
                    they were stationed at Constantinople.

                    Gregory used the granting of the pallium as a means of extending his
                    authority. Originally, this was a scarf given by emperors to their
                    friends and officers that they especially wanted to honour. It came to
                    be used by the popes as a means of signifying a metropolitan (i.e.,
                    archbishop or patriarch), although in some instances it was conferred on
                    a diocesan bishop where there was no metropolitan.

                    Although Gregory took away the authority of the bishops over monks, he
                    protected and augmented their rights in other areas. He separated the
                    clergy from secular courts and forbade them to appeal to lay tribunals.
                    He also refused the annual presents that suffragan bishops traditionally
                    brought to Rome or any fee for the granting of the pallium, and
                    abolished clerical fees for burials and ordinations. He restored
                    ecclesiastical discipline, removed unworthy clerics from office, and was
                    prodigious in his charity.

                    But most conspicuous and far-reaching was his missionary vision. He had
                    a lifelong interest in the conversion of England, where the Roman rule
                    had come to an end under the battering of the barbarians, and the
                    Romano-British Church had been driven into the provinces of Cornwall,
                    Wales, and Cumbria, while the new Saxon and heathen kingdoms rose and
                    rivalled one another until King Saint Ethelbert of Kent managed to
                    exercise authority over much of the country.

                    Even before Gregory was pope, when walking in the market-place of Rome,
                    he had noticed the fair-haired Saxon boys offered for sale as slaves and
                    had made his famous pun: "Not Angles, but angels!" adding, still
                    humorously, that "Alleluia shall be sung in Aella's land." Until he was
                    able to carry out his plan for evangelization, he would buy young
                    English boys in the
                    slave market and give them a good education with the view of sending
                    them home as missionaries.

                    A better opportunity arose when King Ethelbert of Kent married the
                    Christian princess, Bertha of Gaul. She had been allowed to bring her
                    chaplain with her to England for her own chapel. Gregory recognised the
                    opportunity this presented. Thus, he decided to dispatch Saint Augustine
                    and a small band of monks to bring the Gospel to those shores. Several
                    times the daunted monks wanted to give up the project, but Gregory
                    continually encouraged them to press on. The missionaries finally landed
                    on the Isle of Thanet in May 597. Ethelbert received them courteously
                    and eventually was baptized. The mission was so prosperous that
                    Augustine went to Gaul to be consecrated bishop at the hands of the
                    bishop of Arles.

                    When questions arose in England, Augustine would write to Gregory. One
                    letter concerned the division of offerings because Augustine was a monk
                    living in community and shared all things in common. The normal custom
                    was to divide any offering equally between the bishop, the clergy, the
                    poor, and the parish for maintenance. Then there was a question of
                    liturgical custom: should they follow that of Rome or of Gaul? The
                    answer was that Augustine should adapt to what is practical for the
                    particular time and circumstances. There were other questions about
                    marriages, ordinations, and the position of bishops. In all matters,
                    Gregory shows himself to be a practical man tempering law with charity.
                    For example, when Augustine asked about
                    episcopal ordinations, which require at least three consecrating
                    bishops, Gregory responded that since Augustine was the only bishop in
                    the region he must consecrate alone, unless he could get bishops to come
                    from Gaul.

                    Gregory had conceived England as it was under Roman rule. He had planned
                    to have a metropolitan established at York and another at London, and
                    each should have 12 suffragans. York was to be dependent on London only
                    during Augustine's lifetime and upon Augustine's death was to be
                    independent. Gregory does not seem to have realised the pre-existing
                    bishops had little interest in converting their Anglo-Saxon conquerors.

                    Gregory also wrote to Saint Mellitus to remind Augustine not to destroy
                    the pagan temples, but rather to appropriate and consecrate them for
                    Christian usage.

                    Gregory relates his view of the English mission in his letter to Bishop
                    Eulogius of Alexandria:

                    "While the nation of the Angli, placed in a corner of the world,
                    remained up to this time misbelieving in the worship of stocks and
                    stones, I determined, through the aid of your prayers for me, to send
                    it, God granting, a monk of my monastery for the purpose of preaching.
                    And he, having with my leave been made bishop by the bishops of Germany,
                    proceeded, with their aid also, to the end of the world to the this
                    nation; and already letters have reached us telling us of his safety and
                    his work; to the effect that he and those that have been sent with him
                    are resplendent with such great miracles in the said nation that they
                    seem to imitate the powers of the apostles in the signs which they
                    display. Moreover, at the solemnity of the Lord's Nativity which
                    occurred in the first indication, more than 10,000 Angli are reported to
                    have been baptized by the same our brother and fellow- bishop."

                    During all his activities, Gregory never stopped writing--his homilies,
                    his celebrated Dialogues, and many other writings, including over 800
                    letters and epistles that have survived. The Dialogues, full of
                    marvellous tales about the visions, prophecies, miracles and lives of
                    monks and saints of Italy, provided his age with its pious reading and
                    impressed upon it the underlying, essential truths of religion.

                    Gregory wrote Pastoral Care (Liber regulae pastoralis) in order to
                    explain his position. It is an exposition of episcopal duties. (The fact
                    that it was one of the first books to be translated into English attests
                    to its importance.) In Gaul (France), it was handed to all bishops at
                    their consecration. Emperor Maurice had it translated into Greek so that
                    it could be used in the East as well. Most of the book deals with how a
                    preacher should adapt his teaching to each of several classes of people.

                    Gregory was not a great or creative thinker, but was more like the
                    practical Romans of his time. The custom of saying 30 successive Masses
                    for those who have died is named after Saint Gregory. It derives from
                    his Dialogues (Book 4, c. 40) which relates that a monk named Justus had
                    received three pieces of gold which he kept for himself--an offence
                    against poverty. The gold was discovered and Justus excommunicated. Soon
                    after he died and was buried in unconsecrated ground with the three gold
                    pieces. Time repaired the scandal and the abbot, moved by compassion for
                    the soul of Justus, arranged for the Sacrifice each morning for 30 days.
                    As Mass ended on the 30th day, Justus appeared to a brother named
                    Copiosus, saying, "Bless God, my dear brother, today I am delivered and
                    admitted into the society of saints."

                    This pope is also considered the originator of the Mass of the
                    Presanctified, which continues to be celebrated by the Eastern Orthodox
                    Churches during their time of the 40 days of fasting which precede
                    Easter. He himself tells us that he changed the place of the Lord's
                    Prayer and added it to the Prayer of Consecration. He also added some
                    petitions to the prayer Hanc igitur, thus giving its final touch to the
                    Roman canon.

                    His labours were immense. No task was too great, no service too humble,
                    for this gifted and versatile follower of Christ, who delighted to call
                    himself "the servant of the servants of God." One of many stories told
                    of him is that a beggar presented himself repeatedly at the monastery
                    gate asking for alms, and each time Gregory gave to him, until, one day,
                    having no money left to give, he gave him his silver porringer, a gift
                    from his mother.

                    As bishop of Rome, Gregory continued to live the monastic life as far as
                    he was able. He retained the habit and lived with his clergy under a
                    strict discipline. After he became pope, it was his custom to entertain
                    every evening at his own table twelve poor men, one for each of our
                    Lord's disciples. One night he counted thirteen present and, calling his
                    steward, enquired the reason. "Holy Father," replied the steward, after
                    counting them over, "you are mistaken; there are but twelve." But
                    Gregory still counted thirteen, and after the meal called to his
                    unbidden guest: "Who are you?" The guest replied, "I am the poor man
                    whom you formerly relieved, and through Me you shall obtain whatever you
                    shall ask of God." Then Gregory knew that he had entertained our Lord.

                    Gregory continued his apostolic labours for another seven years after
                    sending Augustine to England. His delicacy increased and he had to work
                    in the midst of intense pain from chronic gout. He gradually became
                    weaker. During the latter part of his life, he was in close
                    correspondence with Queen Theodolinda of the Lombards to try to win her
                    and her people into the
                    Christian fold. Her son had been born and baptized in the Church, just
                    before Gregory's death. During his last illness, he wrote to
                    congratulate her on the birth of her son (Benedictines, Bentley,
                    Delaney, Encyclopaedia (March), Gill, Schouppe, Wand).

                    In art, Saint Gregory is often portrayed with the four Latin Fathers of
                    the Church: Ambrose, Augustine, and Jerome.
                    The image may show Gregory (1) with a book, a dove at his ear; (2) with
                    a book and ceremonial umbrella or canopy, sometimes held over his head;
                    (3) with the bull of Saint Luke supporting his book; (4) with the soul
                    of a king rising at his side;

                    As a Father of the Church, Gregory is generally portrayed at his writing
                    desk with the papal insignia near him and a dove at his ear to inspire
                    him as in the image contained in John of Berry's Petit Heures. He may
                    also be shown (1) as a bearded early Christian priest by a writing desk,
                    with the dove at his ear; (2) as the early priest with a pen and book,
                    candle and tiara with a peacock above him; or (3) occasionally with a
                    bull of Saint Luke (Roeder).

                    Gregory is the patron of fringe makers, masons, musicians, scholars,
                    singers, students, and teachers. He is invoked against gout, plague, and
                    sterility (Roeder).

                    Icons of St. Gregory
                    http://www.allmercifulsavior.com/icons/Icons-Gregory.htm##1
                    http://htmadmin.phpwebhosting.com/images/a-376.jpg


                    Troparion of St Gregory tone 3
                    Thou didst excellently dispense the Word of God,/ endowed with
                    discretion of speech, O Hierarch Gregory:/ for by thy life thou didst
                    set the virtues before us,/ and dost radiate the brightness of holiness
                    ./ O righteous Father, pray to Christ our God to grant us His great
                    mercy.
                  • emrys@globe.net.nz
                    Celtic and Old English Saints 3 September =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= * St. Gregory the Great =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
                    Message 9 of 14 , Sep 3, 2008
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                      Celtic and Old English Saints 3 September

                      =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
                      * St. Gregory the Great
                      =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=


                      St. Gregory the Great, Pope of Rome,
                      also known as Gregory the Dialogist
                      -------------------------------------------------
                      Born in Rome, Italy, c. 540; died there March 12, 604. His major feast
                      day is March 12. The Feast today commemorates the day he was chosen as
                      Bishop of Rome.

                      "The Holy Bible is like a mirror before our mind's eye.
                      In it we see our inner face. From the Scriptures we
                      can learn our spiritual deformities and beauties. And
                      there too we discover the progress we are making and
                      how far we are from perfection."
                      --Saint Gregory.

                      Where does one begin to recite the glories of a man who excelled at many
                      things in so many ways? His greatness is emphasised by contrast with the
                      time in which he lived, when everything was in decline. He was prefect
                      of Rome when he wrote:

                      "Everything is at the mercy of the barbarians, the cities are
                      undermined, the citadels are destroyed, the provinces are depopulated,
                      there are no more farmers in the country. And every day the idolaters
                      exert their power and gratify their rage by assassinating the faithful.
                      We see what has become of her who once appeared as mistress of the
                      world. She is broken by all she has suffered from immense and manifold
                      misfortunes. . . . We, the few who are left, are menaced every day by
                      the
                      sword and innumerable trials. . . ."

                      Saint Bede described Gregory as the man England "may and ought to call
                      our Apostle, because he made our nation, till then given up to idols,
                      the Church of Christ," and Gregory's tomb in Rome bears the inscription:

                      "He taught the Christian truth to English Saxons."

                      He was a distinguished Roman, born of a senatorial Christian family, and
                      owed much to his mother, Saint Sylvia and two of her sisters who are
                      regarded as saints. His father, Gordianus, who was descended from an
                      earlier pope, was a lay administrator of one of the seven archdeaconries
                      of Rome. Trained in Rome as a lawyer, by 571 (age 30) he had become its
                      prefect. He seems to have acquitted himself well in that post, despite
                      his tendency toward austerity. Historians refer to the splendour of his
                      robes in contrast with the habit he wore in later years.

                      On the death of his father, he gave most of his inheritance to the poor
                      and the Church, which included the founding of six monasteries in
                      Sicily. About 574, he converted his family mansion on the Caelian Hill
                      into the monastery of Saint Andrew, placed it under the direction of
                      Valentius, and resigned his office to become a monk. Gregory mitigated
                      the characteristic Eastern ascetic practices, which made the rule more
                      acceptable to Western conditions.

                      At this time, there was an impermeable boundary between monks and
                      priests; a priest who became a monk was expected to cease his priestly
                      ministry because priests were viewed as worldly; monks, other-worldly.
                      Gregory's later determination to free monks from episcopal control was
                      definitely contrary to tradition. The Council of Chalcedon (451) had
                      ordered monks to remain under obedience to their bishops. Gregory,
                      however, in the Lateran Council of 601, caused a decree to be issued to
                      all bishops exempting monks from their authority. Part of the reason for
                      this was to keep monks in their monasteries and prevent them from
                      wandering from place to place.

                      Pope Gregory wrote to Bishop Castorius of Ariminum:

                      "On the death also of an abbot, let not the bishop on any pretext
                      intermeddle in the scheduling or taking charge of the property of the
                      monastery, acquired, or given, or to be acquired. We also entirely
                      forbid public Masses to be celebrated by him in a convent, lest in the
                      retreats of the servants of God and their places of refuge any
                      opportunity for a popular concourse of women should ensue, which would
                      be by no means of advantage to their souls. Nor let him dare to place
                      his episcopal chair there, or have any power whatever of command, or of
                      holding any ordination, even the most ordinary, unless he should be
                      requested to do so by the abbot of the place."

                      Gregory remained in his monastery about three years and then was
                      ordained by Pope Pelagius II as one of the seven deacons of Rome in 578.
                      He was too active by temperament for a contemplative life and, five
                      years after retiring from public affairs, he was appointed as legate
                      (579-585) to Constantinople, a post for which he was well-equipped and
                      which he filled with great distinction; but he still maintained the
                      simple habits of a monk and he turned part of his embassy into a
                      monastery. This was a time when the Roman Empire had been reconstituted
                      with its headquarters in Constantinople. The pope had sent him to enlist
                      the aid of the emperor against the Lombards; in this he was
                      unsuccessful.

                      In 586, Gregory was recalled to Rome and became abbot of his monastery,
                      while acting as papal secretary. There is a story that Gregory
                      entertained the idea of himself preaching the Gospel in England, and
                      even set out for that country, but was recalled to Rome by the pope at
                      the insistence of the people when plague struck Rome in 589-590.

                      Pope Pelagius contracted the disease and died. Gregory was consecrated
                      pope on September 3, 590--the first monk to hold that office. It is said
                      that Gregory tried every means possible to avoid taking the papal
                      office, including writing to Emperor Maurice in Constantinople to ask
                      that he not be given imperial confirmation. The letter was intercepted
                      by the prefect of Rome and another substituted from the Senate, clergy,
                      and people that asked for Gregory's appointment. At the arrival of the
                      emperor's response, the saint fled Rome. When he found that he could not
                      refuse the office in good conscience.

                      It was a time of famine, flood, and plague, and Gregory called for
                      litanies, processions, and unceasing prayer for God's help. These
                      expressions of faith were rewarded by the rapid diminution of the
                      infestation. During one procession, Gregory saw an angel above Hadrian's
                      Arch sheathing his sword--an incident from which the Castel Sant'Angelo
                      derives its name.

                      As pope, he became the strongest figure in Italy, the exarch of Ravenna
                      dimmed in comparison to Gregory. Beside him the Western emperor was but
                      a pale and feeble shadow, and soon the power of his strong personality
                      and benevolent influence was felt throughout Europe. The attacks of the
                      barbarians had further increased the importance of the Church because
                      they had destroyed many of the pagan temples and driven the patrician
                      families, who preserved the old state religion, out of Rome.

                      As a preacher he had great ability. In the field of liturgy he
                      introduced the Gregorian chant (in response to the congregational and
                      antiphonal singing that Saint Ambrose introduced in Milan and which he
                      viewed as flippant and irreverent), and established a choir school in
                      conjunction with an orphanage. He also excelled as a statesman. Indeed,
                      in every branch and aspect of Church life he showed both genius and
                      authority, and more than any other he gave shape and direction to the
                      Medieval Church. In his days, we are told, the see of St. Peter stood
                      out in Western Europe like a lighthouse in a storm.

                      Gregory was instrumental in settling difficulties with the Lombards who
                      besieged Rome several times during his pontificate, and with whom he
                      personally negotiated treaties. They continued to be troublesome. In
                      593, he persuaded the invading Lombards under Agilulf to spare Rome, and
                      he negotiated a peace with the Lombard king--an unprecedented move that
                      effectively set aside the authority of the Byzantine emperor's
                      representative, the exarch of Ravenna. Gregory was responsible for all
                      the relief work in the distressed areas, including redeeming captives
                      who had been enslaved. For this purpose, Gregory urged bishops to go so
                      far as to sell their sacred vessels. He did conclude a temporary truce
                      with the Lombards in 603.

                      He appointed governors of the Italian cities, provided them with war
                      materials, and denounced the heavy taxes levied on
                      Italians by Byzantine officials. This was the beginning of the papal
                      exercise of temporal authority.

                      He had many troubles with which he had to deal, and he had few qualms
                      about using secular force to win adherents to the Church. The Donatist
                      controversy re-emerged in Africa and Gregory appealed to the emperor to
                      enforce the pre-existing law against their worship. He encouraged the
                      Frankish kings to coerce their subjects into the true faith, and on his
                      own possessions in Italy, he ordered the Manichaeans to be compelled to
                      accept orthodox catholicism. On the other hand, he was especially
                      tolerant to the Jews and urged that they should not be harshly treated.
                      He went so far as to say that, in the case of the Jews, conversions
                      wrought by force are never sincere.

                      One of the great successes of the period was the conversion of the Arian
                      king of Spain, Reccared, who renounced his heresy and converted to the
                      true faith under the influence of Gregory's greatest friend, Saint
                      Leandro. Gregory responded to Leandro's letter by sending him part of
                      his commentary on the Book of Job, which the two had begun together when
                      they were stationed at Constantinople.

                      Gregory used the granting of the pallium as a means of extending his
                      authority. Originally, this was a scarf given by emperors to their
                      friends and officers that they especially wanted to honour. It came to
                      be used by the popes as a means of signifying a metropolitan (i.e.,
                      archbishop or patriarch), although in some instances it was conferred on
                      a diocesan bishop where there was no metropolitan.

                      Although Gregory took away the authority of the bishops over monks, he
                      protected and augmented their rights in other areas. He separated the
                      clergy from secular courts and forbade them to appeal to lay tribunals.
                      He also refused the annual presents that suffragan bishops traditionally
                      brought to Rome or any fee for the granting of the pallium, and
                      abolished clerical fees for burials and ordinations. He restored
                      ecclesiastical discipline, removed unworthy clerics from office, and was
                      prodigious in his charity.

                      But most conspicuous and far-reaching was his missionary vision. He had
                      a lifelong interest in the conversion of England, where the Roman rule
                      had come to an end under the battering of the barbarians, and the
                      Romano-British Church had been driven into the provinces of Cornwall,
                      Wales, and Cumbria, while the new Saxon and heathen kingdoms rose and
                      rivalled one another until King Saint Ethelbert of Kent managed to
                      exercise authority over much of the country.

                      Even before Gregory was pope, when walking in the market-place of Rome,
                      he had noticed the fair-haired Saxon boys offered for sale as slaves and
                      had made his famous pun: "Not Angles, but angels!" adding, still
                      humorously, that "Alleluia shall be sung in Aella's land." Until he was
                      able to carry out his plan for evangelization, he would buy young
                      English boys in the
                      slave market and give them a good education with the view of sending
                      them home as missionaries.

                      A better opportunity arose when King Ethelbert of Kent married the
                      Christian princess, Bertha of Gaul. She had been allowed to bring her
                      chaplain with her to England for her own chapel. Gregory recognised the
                      opportunity this presented. Thus, he decided to dispatch Saint Augustine
                      and a small band of monks to bring the Gospel to those shores. Several
                      times the daunted monks wanted to give up the project, but Gregory
                      continually encouraged them to press on. The missionaries finally landed
                      on the Isle of Thanet in May 597. Ethelbert received them courteously
                      and eventually was baptized. The mission was so prosperous that
                      Augustine went to Gaul to be consecrated bishop at the hands of the
                      bishop of Arles.

                      When questions arose in England, Augustine would write to Gregory. One
                      letter concerned the division of offerings because Augustine was a monk
                      living in community and shared all things in common. The normal custom
                      was to divide any offering equally between the bishop, the clergy, the
                      poor, and the parish for maintenance. Then there was a question of
                      liturgical custom: should they follow that of Rome or of Gaul? The
                      answer was that Augustine should adapt to what is practical for the
                      particular time and circumstances. There were other questions about
                      marriages, ordinations, and the position of bishops. In all matters,
                      Gregory shows himself to be a practical man tempering law with charity.
                      For example, when Augustine asked about
                      episcopal ordinations, which require at least three consecrating
                      bishops, Gregory responded that since Augustine was the only bishop in
                      the region he must consecrate alone, unless he could get bishops to come
                      from Gaul.

                      Gregory had conceived England as it was under Roman rule. He had planned
                      to have a metropolitan established at York and another at London, and
                      each should have 12 suffragans. York was to be dependent on London only
                      during Augustine's lifetime and upon Augustine's death was to be
                      independent. Gregory does not seem to have realised the pre-existing
                      bishops had little interest in converting their Anglo-Saxon conquerors.

                      Gregory also wrote to Saint Mellitus to remind Augustine not to destroy
                      the pagan temples, but rather to appropriate and consecrate them for
                      Christian usage.

                      Gregory relates his view of the English mission in his letter to Bishop
                      Eulogius of Alexandria:

                      "While the nation of the Angli, placed in a corner of the world,
                      remained up to this time misbelieving in the worship of stocks and
                      stones, I determined, through the aid of your prayers for me, to send
                      it, God granting, a monk of my monastery for the purpose of preaching.
                      And he, having with my leave been made bishop by the bishops of Germany,
                      proceeded, with their aid also, to the end of the world to the this
                      nation; and already letters have reached us telling us of his safety and
                      his work; to the effect that he and those that have been sent with him
                      are resplendent with such great miracles in the said nation that they
                      seem to imitate the powers of the apostles in the signs which they
                      display. Moreover, at the solemnity of the Lord's Nativity which
                      occurred in the first indication, more than 10,000 Angli are reported to
                      have been baptized by the same our brother and fellow- bishop."

                      During all his activities, Gregory never stopped writing--his homilies,
                      his celebrated Dialogues, and many other writings, including over 800
                      letters and epistles that have survived. The Dialogues, full of
                      marvellous tales about the visions, prophecies, miracles and lives of
                      monks and saints of Italy, provided his age with its pious reading and
                      impressed upon it the underlying, essential truths of religion.

                      Gregory wrote Pastoral Care (Liber regulae pastoralis) in order to
                      explain his position. It is an exposition of episcopal duties. (The fact
                      that it was one of the first books to be translated into English attests
                      to its importance.) In Gaul (France), it was handed to all bishops at
                      their consecration. Emperor Maurice had it translated into Greek so that
                      it could be used in the East as well. Most of the book deals with how a
                      preacher should adapt his teaching to each of several classes of people.

                      Gregory was not a great or creative thinker, but was more like the
                      practical Romans of his time. The custom of saying 30 successive Masses
                      for those who have died is named after Saint Gregory. It derives from
                      his Dialogues (Book 4, c. 40) which relates that a monk named Justus had
                      received three pieces of gold which he kept for himself--an offence
                      against poverty. The gold was discovered and Justus excommunicated. Soon
                      after he died and was buried in unconsecrated ground with the three gold
                      pieces. Time repaired the scandal and the abbot, moved by compassion for
                      the soul of Justus, arranged for the Sacrifice each morning for 30 days.
                      As Mass ended on the 30th day, Justus appeared to a brother named
                      Copiosus, saying, "Bless God, my dear brother, today I am delivered and
                      admitted into the society of saints."

                      This pope is also considered the originator of the Mass of the
                      Presanctified, which continues to be celebrated by the Eastern Orthodox
                      Churches during their time of the 40 days of fasting which precede
                      Easter. He himself tells us that he changed the place of the Lord's
                      Prayer and added it to the Prayer of Consecration. He also added some
                      petitions to the prayer Hanc igitur, thus giving its final touch to the
                      Roman canon.

                      His labours were immense. No task was too great, no service too humble,
                      for this gifted and versatile follower of Christ, who delighted to call
                      himself "the servant of the servants of God." One of many stories told
                      of him is that a beggar presented himself repeatedly at the monastery
                      gate asking for alms, and each time Gregory gave to him, until, one day,
                      having no money left to give, he gave him his silver porringer, a gift
                      from his mother.

                      As bishop of Rome, Gregory continued to live the monastic life as far as
                      he was able. He retained the habit and lived with his clergy under a
                      strict discipline. After he became pope, it was his custom to entertain
                      every evening at his own table twelve poor men, one for each of our
                      Lord's disciples. One night he counted thirteen present and, calling his
                      steward, enquired the reason. "Holy Father," replied the steward, after
                      counting them over, "you are mistaken; there are but twelve." But
                      Gregory still counted thirteen, and after the meal called to his
                      unbidden guest: "Who are you?" The guest replied, "I am the poor man
                      whom you formerly relieved, and through Me you shall obtain whatever you
                      shall ask of God." Then Gregory knew that he had entertained our Lord.

                      Gregory continued his apostolic labours for another seven years after
                      sending Augustine to England. His delicacy increased and he had to work
                      in the midst of intense pain from chronic gout. He gradually became
                      weaker. During the latter part of his life, he was in close
                      correspondence with Queen Theodolinda of the Lombards to try to win her
                      and her people into the
                      Christian fold. Her son had been born and baptized in the Church, just
                      before Gregory's death. During his last illness, he wrote to
                      congratulate her on the birth of her son (Benedictines, Bentley,
                      Delaney, Encyclopaedia (March), Gill, Schouppe, Wand).

                      In art, Saint Gregory is often portrayed with the four Latin Fathers of
                      the Church: Ambrose, Augustine, and Jerome.
                      The image may show Gregory (1) with a book, a dove at his ear; (2) with
                      a book and ceremonial umbrella or canopy, sometimes held over his head;
                      (3) with the bull of Saint Luke supporting his book; (4) with the soul
                      of a king rising at his side;

                      As a Father of the Church, Gregory is generally portrayed at his writing
                      desk with the papal insignia near him and a dove at his ear to inspire
                      him as in the image contained in John of Berry's Petit Heures. He may
                      also be shown (1) as a bearded early Christian priest by a writing desk,
                      with the dove at his ear; (2) as the early priest with a pen and book,
                      candle and tiara with a peacock above him; or (3) occasionally with a
                      bull of Saint Luke (Roeder).

                      Gregory is the patron of fringe makers, masons, musicians, scholars,
                      singers, students, and teachers. He is invoked against gout, plague, and
                      sterility (Roeder).

                      Icons of St. Gregory
                      http://www.allmercifulsavior.com/icons/Icons-Gregory.htm##1
                      http://htmadmin.phpwebhosting.com/images/a-376.jpg


                      Troparion of St Gregory tone 3
                      Thou didst excellently dispense the Word of God,/ endowed with
                      discretion of speech, O Hierarch Gregory:/ for by thy life thou didst
                      set the virtues before us,/ and dost radiate the brightness of holiness
                      ./ O righteous Father, pray to Christ our God to grant us His great
                      mercy.
                    • emrys@globe.net.nz
                      Celtic and Old English Saints 3 September =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= * St. Gregory the Great =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
                      Message 10 of 14 , Sep 2, 2009
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                        Celtic and Old English Saints 3 September

                        =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
                        * St. Gregory the Great
                        =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=


                        St. Gregory the Great, Pope of Rome,
                        also known as Gregory the Dialogist
                        -------------------------------------------------
                        Born in Rome, Italy, c. 540; died there March 12, 604. His major feast
                        day is March 12. The Feast today commemorates the day he was chosen as
                        Bishop of Rome.

                        "The Holy Bible is like a mirror before our mind's eye.
                        In it we see our inner face. From the Scriptures we
                        can learn our spiritual deformities and beauties. And
                        there too we discover the progress we are making and
                        how far we are from perfection."
                        --Saint Gregory.

                        Where does one begin to recite the glories of a man who excelled at many
                        things in so many ways? His greatness is emphasised by contrast with the
                        time in which he lived, when everything was in decline. He was prefect
                        of Rome when he wrote:

                        "Everything is at the mercy of the barbarians, the cities are
                        undermined, the citadels are destroyed, the provinces are depopulated,
                        there are no more farmers in the country. And every day the idolaters
                        exert their power and gratify their rage by assassinating the faithful.
                        We see what has become of her who once appeared as mistress of the
                        world. She is broken by all she has suffered from immense and manifold
                        misfortunes. . . . We, the few who are left, are menaced every day by
                        the
                        sword and innumerable trials. . . ."

                        Saint Bede described Gregory as the man England "may and ought to call
                        our Apostle, because he made our nation, till then given up to idols,
                        the Church of Christ," and Gregory's tomb in Rome bears the inscription:

                        "He taught the Christian truth to English Saxons."

                        He was a distinguished Roman, born of a senatorial Christian family, and
                        owed much to his mother, Saint Sylvia and two of her sisters who are
                        regarded as saints. His father, Gordianus, who was descended from an
                        earlier pope, was a lay administrator of one of the seven archdeaconries
                        of Rome. Trained in Rome as a lawyer, by 571 (age 30) he had become its
                        prefect. He seems to have acquitted himself well in that post, despite
                        his tendency toward austerity. Historians refer to the splendour of his
                        robes in contrast with the habit he wore in later years.

                        On the death of his father, he gave most of his inheritance to the poor
                        and the Church, which included the founding of six monasteries in
                        Sicily. About 574, he converted his family mansion on the Caelian Hill
                        into the monastery of Saint Andrew, placed it under the direction of
                        Valentius, and resigned his office to become a monk. Gregory mitigated
                        the characteristic Eastern ascetic practices, which made the rule more
                        acceptable to Western conditions.

                        At this time, there was an impermeable boundary between monks and
                        priests; a priest who became a monk was expected to cease his priestly
                        ministry because priests were viewed as worldly; monks, other-worldly.
                        Gregory's later determination to free monks from episcopal control was
                        definitely contrary to tradition. The Council of Chalcedon (451) had
                        ordered monks to remain under obedience to their bishops. Gregory,
                        however, in the Lateran Council of 601, caused a decree to be issued to
                        all bishops exempting monks from their authority. Part of the reason for
                        this was to keep monks in their monasteries and prevent them from
                        wandering from place to place.

                        Pope Gregory wrote to Bishop Castorius of Ariminum:

                        "On the death also of an abbot, let not the bishop on any pretext
                        intermeddle in the scheduling or taking charge of the property of the
                        monastery, acquired, or given, or to be acquired. We also entirely
                        forbid public Masses to be celebrated by him in a convent, lest in the
                        retreats of the servants of God and their places of refuge any
                        opportunity for a popular concourse of women should ensue, which would
                        be by no means of advantage to their souls. Nor let him dare to place
                        his episcopal chair there, or have any power whatever of command, or of
                        holding any ordination, even the most ordinary, unless he should be
                        requested to do so by the abbot of the place."

                        Gregory remained in his monastery about three years and then was
                        ordained by Pope Pelagius II as one of the seven deacons of Rome in 578.
                        He was too active by temperament for a contemplative life and, five
                        years after retiring from public affairs, he was appointed as legate
                        (579-585) to Constantinople, a post for which he was well-equipped and
                        which he filled with great distinction; but he still maintained the
                        simple habits of a monk and he turned part of his embassy into a
                        monastery. This was a time when the Roman Empire had been reconstituted
                        with its headquarters in Constantinople. The pope had sent him to enlist
                        the aid of the emperor against the Lombards; in this he was
                        unsuccessful.

                        In 586, Gregory was recalled to Rome and became abbot of his monastery,
                        while acting as papal secretary. There is a story that Gregory
                        entertained the idea of himself preaching the Gospel in England, and
                        even set out for that country, but was recalled to Rome by the pope at
                        the insistence of the people when plague struck Rome in 589-590.

                        Pope Pelagius contracted the disease and died. Gregory was consecrated
                        pope on September 3, 590--the first monk to hold that office. It is said
                        that Gregory tried every means possible to avoid taking the papal
                        office, including writing to Emperor Maurice in Constantinople to ask
                        that he not be given imperial confirmation. The letter was intercepted
                        by the prefect of Rome and another substituted from the Senate, clergy,
                        and people that asked for Gregory's appointment. At the arrival of the
                        emperor's response, the saint fled Rome. When he found that he could not
                        refuse the office in good conscience.

                        It was a time of famine, flood, and plague, and Gregory called for
                        litanies, processions, and unceasing prayer for God's help. These
                        expressions of faith were rewarded by the rapid diminution of the
                        infestation. During one procession, Gregory saw an angel above Hadrian's
                        Arch sheathing his sword--an incident from which the Castel Sant'Angelo
                        derives its name.

                        As pope, he became the strongest figure in Italy, the exarch of Ravenna
                        dimmed in comparison to Gregory. Beside him the Western emperor was but
                        a pale and feeble shadow, and soon the power of his strong personality
                        and benevolent influence was felt throughout Europe. The attacks of the
                        barbarians had further increased the importance of the Church because
                        they had destroyed many of the pagan temples and driven the patrician
                        families, who preserved the old state religion, out of Rome.

                        As a preacher he had great ability. In the field of liturgy he
                        introduced the Gregorian chant (in response to the congregational and
                        antiphonal singing that Saint Ambrose introduced in Milan and which he
                        viewed as flippant and irreverent), and established a choir school in
                        conjunction with an orphanage. He also excelled as a statesman. Indeed,
                        in every branch and aspect of Church life he showed both genius and
                        authority, and more than any other he gave shape and direction to the
                        Medieval Church. In his days, we are told, the see of St. Peter stood
                        out in Western Europe like a lighthouse in a storm.

                        Gregory was instrumental in settling difficulties with the Lombards who
                        besieged Rome several times during his pontificate, and with whom he
                        personally negotiated treaties. They continued to be troublesome. In
                        593, he persuaded the invading Lombards under Agilulf to spare Rome, and
                        he negotiated a peace with the Lombard king--an unprecedented move that
                        effectively set aside the authority of the Byzantine emperor's
                        representative, the exarch of Ravenna. Gregory was responsible for all
                        the relief work in the distressed areas, including redeeming captives
                        who had been enslaved. For this purpose, Gregory urged bishops to go so
                        far as to sell their sacred vessels. He did conclude a temporary truce
                        with the Lombards in 603.

                        He appointed governors of the Italian cities, provided them with war
                        materials, and denounced the heavy taxes levied on
                        Italians by Byzantine officials. This was the beginning of the papal
                        exercise of temporal authority.

                        He had many troubles with which he had to deal, and he had few qualms
                        about using secular force to win adherents to the Church. The Donatist
                        controversy re-emerged in Africa and Gregory appealed to the emperor to
                        enforce the pre-existing law against their worship. He encouraged the
                        Frankish kings to coerce their subjects into the true faith, and on his
                        own possessions in Italy, he ordered the Manichaeans to be compelled to
                        accept orthodox catholicism. On the other hand, he was especially
                        tolerant to the Jews and urged that they should not be harshly treated.
                        He went so far as to say that, in the case of the Jews, conversions
                        wrought by force are never sincere.

                        One of the great successes of the period was the conversion of the Arian
                        king of Spain, Reccared, who renounced his heresy and converted to the
                        true faith under the influence of Gregory's greatest friend, Saint
                        Leandro. Gregory responded to Leandro's letter by sending him part of
                        his commentary on the Book of Job, which the two had begun together when
                        they were stationed at Constantinople.

                        Gregory used the granting of the pallium as a means of extending his
                        authority. Originally, this was a scarf given by emperors to their
                        friends and officers that they especially wanted to honour. It came to
                        be used by the popes as a means of signifying a metropolitan (i.e.,
                        archbishop or patriarch), although in some instances it was conferred on
                        a diocesan bishop where there was no metropolitan.

                        Although Gregory took away the authority of the bishops over monks, he
                        protected and augmented their rights in other areas. He separated the
                        clergy from secular courts and forbade them to appeal to lay tribunals.
                        He also refused the annual presents that suffragan bishops traditionally
                        brought to Rome or any fee for the granting of the pallium, and
                        abolished clerical fees for burials and ordinations. He restored
                        ecclesiastical discipline, removed unworthy clerics from office, and was
                        prodigious in his charity.

                        But most conspicuous and far-reaching was his missionary vision. He had
                        a lifelong interest in the conversion of England, where the Roman rule
                        had come to an end under the battering of the barbarians, and the
                        Romano-British Church had been driven into the provinces of Cornwall,
                        Wales, and Cumbria, while the new Saxon and heathen kingdoms rose and
                        rivalled one another until King Saint Ethelbert of Kent managed to
                        exercise authority over much of the country.

                        Even before Gregory was pope, when walking in the market-place of Rome,
                        he had noticed the fair-haired Saxon boys offered for sale as slaves and
                        had made his famous pun: "Not Angles, but angels!" adding, still
                        humorously, that "Alleluia shall be sung in Aella's land." Until he was
                        able to carry out his plan for evangelization, he would buy young
                        English boys in the
                        slave market and give them a good education with the view of sending
                        them home as missionaries.

                        A better opportunity arose when King Ethelbert of Kent married the
                        Christian princess, Bertha of Gaul. She had been allowed to bring her
                        chaplain with her to England for her own chapel. Gregory recognised the
                        opportunity this presented. Thus, he decided to dispatch Saint Augustine
                        and a small band of monks to bring the Gospel to those shores. Several
                        times the daunted monks wanted to give up the project, but Gregory
                        continually encouraged them to press on. The missionaries finally landed
                        on the Isle of Thanet in May 597. Ethelbert received them courteously
                        and eventually was baptized. The mission was so prosperous that
                        Augustine went to Gaul to be consecrated bishop at the hands of the
                        bishop of Arles.

                        When questions arose in England, Augustine would write to Gregory. One
                        letter concerned the division of offerings because Augustine was a monk
                        living in community and shared all things in common. The normal custom
                        was to divide any offering equally between the bishop, the clergy, the
                        poor, and the parish for maintenance. Then there was a question of
                        liturgical custom: should they follow that of Rome or of Gaul? The
                        answer was that Augustine should adapt to what is practical for the
                        particular time and circumstances. There were other questions about
                        marriages, ordinations, and the position of bishops. In all matters,
                        Gregory shows himself to be a practical man tempering law with charity.
                        For example, when Augustine asked about
                        episcopal ordinations, which require at least three consecrating
                        bishops, Gregory responded that since Augustine was the only bishop in
                        the region he must consecrate alone, unless he could get bishops to come
                        from Gaul.

                        Gregory had conceived England as it was under Roman rule. He had planned
                        to have a metropolitan established at York and another at London, and
                        each should have 12 suffragans. York was to be dependent on London only
                        during Augustine's lifetime and upon Augustine's death was to be
                        independent. Gregory does not seem to have realised the pre-existing
                        bishops had little interest in converting their Anglo-Saxon conquerors.

                        Gregory also wrote to Saint Mellitus to remind Augustine not to destroy
                        the pagan temples, but rather to appropriate and consecrate them for
                        Christian usage.

                        Gregory relates his view of the English mission in his letter to Bishop
                        Eulogius of Alexandria:

                        "While the nation of the Angli, placed in a corner of the world,
                        remained up to this time misbelieving in the worship of stocks and
                        stones, I determined, through the aid of your prayers for me, to send
                        it, God granting, a monk of my monastery for the purpose of preaching.
                        And he, having with my leave been made bishop by the bishops of Germany,
                        proceeded, with their aid also, to the end of the world to the this
                        nation; and already letters have reached us telling us of his safety and
                        his work; to the effect that he and those that have been sent with him
                        are resplendent with such great miracles in the said nation that they
                        seem to imitate the powers of the apostles in the signs which they
                        display. Moreover, at the solemnity of the Lord's Nativity which
                        occurred in the first indication, more than 10,000 Angli are reported to
                        have been baptized by the same our brother and fellow- bishop."

                        During all his activities, Gregory never stopped writing--his homilies,
                        his celebrated Dialogues, and many other writings, including over 800
                        letters and epistles that have survived. The Dialogues, full of
                        marvellous tales about the visions, prophecies, miracles and lives of
                        monks and saints of Italy, provided his age with its pious reading and
                        impressed upon it the underlying, essential truths of religion.

                        Gregory wrote Pastoral Care (Liber regulae pastoralis) in order to
                        explain his position. It is an exposition of episcopal duties. (The fact
                        that it was one of the first books to be translated into English attests
                        to its importance.) In Gaul (France), it was handed to all bishops at
                        their consecration. Emperor Maurice had it translated into Greek so that
                        it could be used in the East as well. Most of the book deals with how a
                        preacher should adapt his teaching to each of several classes of people.

                        Gregory was not a great or creative thinker, but was more like the
                        practical Romans of his time. The custom of saying 30 successive Masses
                        for those who have died is named after Saint Gregory. It derives from
                        his Dialogues (Book 4, c. 40) which relates that a monk named Justus had
                        received three pieces of gold which he kept for himself--an offence
                        against poverty. The gold was discovered and Justus excommunicated. Soon
                        after he died and was buried in unconsecrated ground with the three gold
                        pieces. Time repaired the scandal and the abbot, moved by compassion for
                        the soul of Justus, arranged for the Sacrifice each morning for 30 days.
                        As Mass ended on the 30th day, Justus appeared to a brother named
                        Copiosus, saying, "Bless God, my dear brother, today I am delivered and
                        admitted into the society of saints."

                        This pope is also considered the originator of the Mass of the
                        Presanctified, which continues to be celebrated by the Eastern Orthodox
                        Churches during their time of the 40 days of fasting which precede
                        Easter. He himself tells us that he changed the place of the Lord's
                        Prayer and added it to the Prayer of Consecration. He also added some
                        petitions to the prayer Hanc igitur, thus giving its final touch to the
                        Roman canon.

                        His labours were immense. No task was too great, no service too humble,
                        for this gifted and versatile follower of Christ, who delighted to call
                        himself "the servant of the servants of God." One of many stories told
                        of him is that a beggar presented himself repeatedly at the monastery
                        gate asking for alms, and each time Gregory gave to him, until, one day,
                        having no money left to give, he gave him his silver porringer, a gift
                        from his mother.

                        As bishop of Rome, Gregory continued to live the monastic life as far as
                        he was able. He retained the habit and lived with his clergy under a
                        strict discipline. After he became pope, it was his custom to entertain
                        every evening at his own table twelve poor men, one for each of our
                        Lord's disciples. One night he counted thirteen present and, calling his
                        steward, enquired the reason. "Holy Father," replied the steward, after
                        counting them over, "you are mistaken; there are but twelve." But
                        Gregory still counted thirteen, and after the meal called to his
                        unbidden guest: "Who are you?" The guest replied, "I am the poor man
                        whom you formerly relieved, and through Me you shall obtain whatever you
                        shall ask of God." Then Gregory knew that he had entertained our Lord.

                        Gregory continued his apostolic labours for another seven years after
                        sending Augustine to England. His delicacy increased and he had to work
                        in the midst of intense pain from chronic gout. He gradually became
                        weaker. During the latter part of his life, he was in close
                        correspondence with Queen Theodolinda of the Lombards to try to win her
                        and her people into the
                        Christian fold. Her son had been born and baptized in the Church, just
                        before Gregory's death. During his last illness, he wrote to
                        congratulate her on the birth of her son (Benedictines, Bentley,
                        Delaney, Encyclopaedia (March), Gill, Schouppe, Wand).

                        In art, Saint Gregory is often portrayed with the four Latin Fathers of
                        the Church: Ambrose, Augustine, and Jerome.
                        The image may show Gregory (1) with a book, a dove at his ear; (2) with
                        a book and ceremonial umbrella or canopy, sometimes held over his head;
                        (3) with the bull of Saint Luke supporting his book; (4) with the soul
                        of a king rising at his side;

                        As a Father of the Church, Gregory is generally portrayed at his writing
                        desk with the papal insignia near him and a dove at his ear to inspire
                        him as in the image contained in John of Berry's Petit Heures. He may
                        also be shown (1) as a bearded early Christian priest by a writing desk,
                        with the dove at his ear; (2) as the early priest with a pen and book,
                        candle and tiara with a peacock above him; or (3) occasionally with a
                        bull of Saint Luke (Roeder).

                        Gregory is the patron of fringe makers, masons, musicians, scholars,
                        singers, students, and teachers. He is invoked against gout, plague, and
                        sterility (Roeder).

                        Icons of St. Gregory
                        http://www.allmercifulsavior.com/icons/Icons-Gregory.htm##1
                        http://htmadmin.phpwebhosting.com/images/a-376.jpg


                        Troparion of St Gregory tone 3
                        Thou didst excellently dispense the Word of God,/ endowed with
                        discretion of speech, O Hierarch Gregory:/ for by thy life thou didst
                        set the virtues before us,/ and dost radiate the brightness of holiness
                        ./ O righteous Father, pray to Christ our God to grant us His great
                        mercy.
                      • emrys@globe.net.nz
                        Celtic and Old English Saints 3 September =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= * St. MacNisse of Connor * St. Balin of Techsaxon * St. Cuthburga
                        Message 11 of 14 , Sep 2, 2010
                        • 0 Attachment
                          Celtic and Old English Saints 3 September

                          =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
                          * St. MacNisse of Connor
                          * St. Balin of Techsaxon
                          * St. Cuthburga of Wimborne
                          * St. Quenburga of Wimborne
                          * St. Hereswitha of Chelles
                          * St. Edward of England
                          * St. Lon-garadh (see #2)
                          * St. Gregory the Great (see #3)
                          =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

                          Saint Lon-garadh of Kilgorey
                          (Garadh, Lon)
                          ---------------------------------------------------
                          Also 24 June


                          There is also another very interesting Irish saint commemorated on 3rd
                          September, St Lon-garad, styled the 'Augustine of Ireland' for his knowledge
                          and love of books. It appears that he perhaps guarded
                          his books a little too jealously and fell foul of St Columbcille who had
                          something of a track record in wanting access to the libraries of others! St
                          Lon's Life is covered in O'Hanlon's Lives of Irish Saints, but this account
                          gives more direct quotations from the sources:

                          St. Garadh, Lon, or Lon-garadh, an Ossory Saint of early date, distinguished
                          as well for his great learning as for his eminent virtues, was the founder
                          and patron of the church of Cashel (or Coshel, as the name is locally and
                          correctly pronounced). He was the contemporary of St. Columbkille, and
                          pre-deceased him, so that his death must have occurred before the year 597.
                          He is commemorated in the Martyrology of Tallaght, on the 24th of June, as
                          "Lon of Cill-Gabra," that is, of Kilgorey, in the parish of Doonane, on the
                          borders of time the parish of Clough. The Martyrology of Donegal also
                          commemorates him on the 24th of June, as "Lon of Cill-Gohhra,' (from which
                          it may be concluded that his festival was kept at Kilgorey, on the 24th of
                          June); and again on the 3rd Sept., thus:

                          "Lon-garadh of Sliabh Mairge, or of Magh Tuathat. Lon-garadh Coisfinn [i.e.
                          of the white foot], of Disert Garadh, in the north of Ossraighe, i.e. of
                          Magh-Garadh in Ui-Faircheallaigh, and of Cill-Gabhra, in Sliabh Mairge. It
                          is said that the book-satchels of Erinn, and the Gospels, and the
                          lesson-books of the students, fell from their racks on the night of
                          Lon-garadh's death, so that no person should ever understand them as
                          Lon-garadh used to understand them. It was of this was said:-

                          "Lon died, [Lon died,]
                          Garadh was unfortunate;
                          He is a loss to learning and schools
                          Of Erinn's isle to its extremities."

                          "A very ancient old-vellum-book, which we have mentioned under Brighit, at
                          1st Feb., and under Patrick, 17th March, states, that Lon-garadh, in his
                          habits and life, was like to Augustine, who was very
                          wise."

                          The Feilire of Aengus, at same date (Sept. 3rd), has:

                          "Longarad, a delightful sun."

                          On this passage, the Scholiast in the Leabhar Breac thus comments:

                          "Longarad, i.e. of Sliabh Mairge or in Mag Tuathat in the north of Ossory.
                          Longarad the white-legged in Mag Tuathat in the north of Ossory, i.e. in
                          Ui-Foirchellain, i.e. in Mag Garad in Disert Garad
                          especially, and in Cell Gabra, in Sliabh Mairge, in Les Longaradh.
                          Whitelegged, i.e. great white hair through his legs. Or bright-white were
                          his legs. A sage of learning and jurisprudence and poetry was he. To him
                          Colombcille chanced to come as a guest, and he hid his books from Colomb,
                          and Colombcille left his curse on Longarad's books, to wit, 'May that,'
                          quoth he, 'as to which thou hast shown
                          niggaradliness be of no profit after thee.' And this was fulfilled. For the
                          books still remain and no man reads them. Now when Longarad was dead, men of
                          lore say this, that the book-satchels of Ireland
                          fell down on that night. Or it is the satchels wherein were books of every
                          science in the cell where Colombcille was that fell then, and Colombcille
                          and everyone in that house marvel, and all are silent at the noisy shaking
                          of the books. So then said Colombcille: 'Lon-garadh in Ossory,' quoth he, 'a
                          sage of every science, has now died.' 'May it be long till that comes true,'
                          quoth Baithin.' Unfaith on the man in thy place,' says Colombcille et dixit
                          Colombcille:-

                          'Dead is Lon
                          Of Cell garad--great the evil!
                          To Erin with her many homesteads
                          It is ruin of learning and schools.

                          'Died hath Lon
                          In Cell garad--great the evil !
                          It is ruin of the learning and schools
                          Of Erin's island over her border.'"

                          The Saint's church of Disert-Garadh though described so minutely above as in
                          Magh-Garadh, in the territory of Magh-Tuathat otherwise Ui-Foircheallain, in
                          the north of Ossory, has been hitherto sought for in vain. Its position is,
                          however, no longer doubtful. It stood within the churchyard of Cashel, on
                          the south bank of the river Nore, in the original Ui-Foircheallain. The
                          Irish name of this churchyard, as still traditionally handed down in the
                          locality, is Coshel-Gorra, which exactly represents Caipeal-Sapad, or St.
                          Garadh's Cashel.

                          Source: Carrigan "The History and Antiquities of the Diocese of Ossory", Vol
                          2 (1905)


                          http://www.irishmidlandsancestry.com/content/laois/community/parishhistories/castletown_parish.htm
                        • ambrois@xtra.co.nz
                          Celtic and Old English Saints 3 September =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= * St. MacNisse of Connor * St. Balin of Techsaxon * St. Cuthburga
                          Message 12 of 14 , Sep 3, 2011
                          • 0 Attachment
                            Celtic and Old English Saints 3 September

                            =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
                            * St. MacNisse of Connor
                            * St. Balin of Techsaxon
                            * St. Cuthburga of Wimborne
                            * St. Quenburga of Wimborne
                            * St. Hereswitha of Chelles
                            * St. Edward of England
                            * St. Lon-garadh (see #2)
                            * St. Gregory the Great (see #3)
                            =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

                            Saint Lon-garadh of Kilgorey
                            (Garadh, Lon)
                            ---------------------------------------------------
                            Also 24 June


                            There is also another very interesting Irish saint commemorated on 3rd
                            September, St Lon-garad, styled the 'Augustine of Ireland' for his knowledge
                            and love of books. It appears that he perhaps guarded
                            his books a little too jealously and fell foul of St Columbcille who had
                            something of a track record in wanting access to the libraries of others! St
                            Lon's Life is covered in O'Hanlon's Lives of Irish Saints, but this account
                            gives more direct quotations from the sources:

                            St. Garadh, Lon, or Lon-garadh, an Ossory Saint of early date, distinguished
                            as well for his great learning as for his eminent virtues, was the founder
                            and patron of the church of Cashel (or Coshel, as the name is locally and
                            correctly pronounced). He was the contemporary of St. Columbkille, and
                            pre-deceased him, so that his death must have occurred before the year 597.
                            He is commemorated in the Martyrology of Tallaght, on the 24th of June, as
                            "Lon of Cill-Gabra," that is, of Kilgorey, in the parish of Doonane, on the
                            borders of time the parish of Clough. The Martyrology of Donegal also
                            commemorates him on the 24th of June, as "Lon of Cill-Gohhra,' (from which
                            it may be concluded that his festival was kept at Kilgorey, on the 24th of
                            June); and again on the 3rd Sept., thus:

                            "Lon-garadh of Sliabh Mairge, or of Magh Tuathat. Lon-garadh Coisfinn [i.e.
                            of the white foot], of Disert Garadh, in the north of Ossraighe, i.e. of
                            Magh-Garadh in Ui-Faircheallaigh, and of Cill-Gabhra, in Sliabh Mairge. It
                            is said that the book-satchels of Erinn, and the Gospels, and the
                            lesson-books of the students, fell from their racks on the night of
                            Lon-garadh's death, so that no person should ever understand them as
                            Lon-garadh used to understand them. It was of this was said:-

                            "Lon died, [Lon died,]
                            Garadh was unfortunate;
                            He is a loss to learning and schools
                            Of Erinn's isle to its extremities."

                            "A very ancient old-vellum-book, which we have mentioned under Brighit, at
                            1st Feb., and under Patrick, 17th March, states, that Lon-garadh, in his
                            habits and life, was like to Augustine, who was very
                            wise."

                            The Feilire of Aengus, at same date (Sept. 3rd), has:

                            "Longarad, a delightful sun."

                            On this passage, the Scholiast in the Leabhar Breac thus comments:

                            "Longarad, i.e. of Sliabh Mairge or in Mag Tuathat in the north of Ossory.
                            Longarad the white-legged in Mag Tuathat in the north of Ossory, i.e. in
                            Ui-Foirchellain, i.e. in Mag Garad in Disert Garad
                            especially, and in Cell Gabra, in Sliabh Mairge, in Les Longaradh.
                            Whitelegged, i.e. great white hair through his legs. Or bright-white were
                            his legs. A sage of learning and jurisprudence and poetry was he. To him
                            Colombcille chanced to come as a guest, and he hid his books from Colomb,
                            and Colombcille left his curse on Longarad's books, to wit, 'May that,'
                            quoth he, 'as to which thou hast shown
                            niggaradliness be of no profit after thee.' And this was fulfilled. For the
                            books still remain and no man reads them. Now when Longarad was dead, men of
                            lore say this, that the book-satchels of Ireland
                            fell down on that night. Or it is the satchels wherein were books of every
                            science in the cell where Colombcille was that fell then, and Colombcille
                            and everyone in that house marvel, and all are silent at the noisy shaking
                            of the books. So then said Colombcille: 'Lon-garadh in Ossory,' quoth he, 'a
                            sage of every science, has now died.' 'May it be long till that comes true,'
                            quoth Baithin.' Unfaith on the man in thy place,' says Colombcille et dixit
                            Colombcille:-

                            'Dead is Lon
                            Of Cell garad--great the evil!
                            To Erin with her many homesteads
                            It is ruin of learning and schools.

                            'Died hath Lon
                            In Cell garad--great the evil !
                            It is ruin of the learning and schools
                            Of Erin's island over her border.'"

                            The Saint's church of Disert-Garadh though described so minutely above as in
                            Magh-Garadh, in the territory of Magh-Tuathat otherwise Ui-Foircheallain, in
                            the north of Ossory, has been hitherto sought for in vain. Its position is,
                            however, no longer doubtful. It stood within the churchyard of Cashel, on
                            the south bank of the river Nore, in the original Ui-Foircheallain. The
                            Irish name of this churchyard, as still traditionally handed down in the
                            locality, is Coshel-Gorra, which exactly represents Caipeal-Sapad, or St.
                            Garadh's Cashel.

                            Source: Carrigan "The History and Antiquities of the Diocese of Ossory", Vol
                            2 (1905)


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                          • ambrois@xtra.co.nz
                            Celtic and Old English Saints 3 September =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= * St. MacNisse of Connor * St. Balin of Techsaxon * St. Cuthburga
                            Message 13 of 14 , Sep 2, 2012
                            • 0 Attachment
                              Celtic and Old English Saints 3 September

                              =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
                              * St. MacNisse of Connor
                              * St. Balin of Techsaxon
                              * St. Cuthburga of Wimborne
                              * St. Quenburga of Wimborne
                              * St. Hereswitha of Chelles
                              * St. Edward of England
                              * St. Lon-garadh (see #2)
                              * St. Gregory the Great (see #3)
                              =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

                              Saint Lon-garadh of Kilgorey
                              (Garadh, Lon)
                              ---------------------------------------------------
                              Also 24 June


                              There is also another very interesting Irish saint commemorated on 3rd
                              September, St Lon-garad, styled the 'Augustine of Ireland' for his knowledge
                              and love of books. It appears that he perhaps guarded
                              his books a little too jealously and fell foul of St Columbcille who had
                              something of a track record in wanting access to the libraries of others! St
                              Lon's Life is covered in O'Hanlon's Lives of Irish Saints, but this account
                              gives more direct quotations from the sources:

                              St. Garadh, Lon, or Lon-garadh, an Ossory Saint of early date, distinguished
                              as well for his great learning as for his eminent virtues, was the founder
                              and patron of the church of Cashel (or Coshel, as the name is locally and
                              correctly pronounced). He was the contemporary of St. Columbkille, and
                              pre-deceased him, so that his death must have occurred before the year 597.
                              He is commemorated in the Martyrology of Tallaght, on the 24th of June, as
                              "Lon of Cill-Gabra," that is, of Kilgorey, in the parish of Doonane, on the
                              borders of time the parish of Clough. The Martyrology of Donegal also
                              commemorates him on the 24th of June, as "Lon of Cill-Gohhra,' (from which
                              it may be concluded that his festival was kept at Kilgorey, on the 24th of
                              June); and again on the 3rd Sept., thus:

                              "Lon-garadh of Sliabh Mairge, or of Magh Tuathat. Lon-garadh Coisfinn [i.e.
                              of the white foot], of Disert Garadh, in the north of Ossraighe, i.e. of
                              Magh-Garadh in Ui-Faircheallaigh, and of Cill-Gabhra, in Sliabh Mairge. It
                              is said that the book-satchels of Erinn, and the Gospels, and the
                              lesson-books of the students, fell from their racks on the night of
                              Lon-garadh's death, so that no person should ever understand them as
                              Lon-garadh used to understand them. It was of this was said:-

                              "Lon died, [Lon died,]
                              Garadh was unfortunate;
                              He is a loss to learning and schools
                              Of Erinn's isle to its extremities."

                              "A very ancient old-vellum-book, which we have mentioned under Brighit, at
                              1st Feb., and under Patrick, 17th March, states, that Lon-garadh, in his
                              habits and life, was like to Augustine, who was very
                              wise."

                              The Feilire of Aengus, at same date (Sept. 3rd), has:

                              "Longarad, a delightful sun."

                              On this passage, the Scholiast in the Leabhar Breac thus comments:

                              "Longarad, i.e. of Sliabh Mairge or in Mag Tuathat in the north of Ossory.
                              Longarad the white-legged in Mag Tuathat in the north of Ossory, i.e. in
                              Ui-Foirchellain, i.e. in Mag Garad in Disert Garad
                              especially, and in Cell Gabra, in Sliabh Mairge, in Les Longaradh.
                              Whitelegged, i.e. great white hair through his legs. Or bright-white were
                              his legs. A sage of learning and jurisprudence and poetry was he. To him
                              Colombcille chanced to come as a guest, and he hid his books from Colomb,
                              and Colombcille left his curse on Longarad's books, to wit, 'May that,'
                              quoth he, 'as to which thou hast shown
                              niggaradliness be of no profit after thee.' And this was fulfilled. For the
                              books still remain and no man reads them. Now when Longarad was dead, men of
                              lore say this, that the book-satchels of Ireland
                              fell down on that night. Or it is the satchels wherein were books of every
                              science in the cell where Colombcille was that fell then, and Colombcille
                              and everyone in that house marvel, and all are silent at the noisy shaking
                              of the books. So then said Colombcille: 'Lon-garadh in Ossory,' quoth he, 'a
                              sage of every science, has now died.' 'May it be long till that comes true,'
                              quoth Baithin.' Unfaith on the man in thy place,' says Colombcille et dixit
                              Colombcille:-

                              'Dead is Lon
                              Of Cell garad--great the evil!
                              To Erin with her many homesteads
                              It is ruin of learning and schools.

                              'Died hath Lon
                              In Cell garad--great the evil !
                              It is ruin of the learning and schools
                              Of Erin's island over her border.'"

                              The Saint's church of Disert-Garadh though described so minutely above as in
                              Magh-Garadh, in the territory of Magh-Tuathat otherwise Ui-Foircheallain, in
                              the north of Ossory, has been hitherto sought for in vain. Its position is,
                              however, no longer doubtful. It stood within the churchyard of Cashel, on
                              the south bank of the river Nore, in the original Ui-Foircheallain. The
                              Irish name of this churchyard, as still traditionally handed down in the
                              locality, is Coshel-Gorra, which exactly represents Caipeal-Sapad, or St.
                              Garadh's Cashel.

                              Source: Carrigan "The History and Antiquities of the Diocese of Ossory", Vol
                              2 (1905)


                              http://www.irishmidlandsancestry.com/content/laois/community/parishhistories/cas\
                              tletown_parish.htm
                            • ambrois@xtra.co.nz
                              Celtic and Old English Saints 3 September =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= * St. MacNisse of Connor * St. Balin of Techsaxon * St. Cuthburga
                              Message 14 of 14 , Sep 3, 2013
                              • 0 Attachment
                                Celtic and Old English Saints 3 September

                                =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
                                * St. MacNisse of Connor
                                * St. Balin of Techsaxon
                                * St. Cuthburga of Wimborne
                                * St. Quenburga of Wimborne
                                * St. Hereswitha of Chelles
                                * St. Edward of England
                                * St. Lon-garadh (see #2)
                                * St. Gregory the Great (see #3)
                                =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

                                Saint Lon-garadh of Kilgorey
                                (Garadh, Lon)
                                ---------------------------------------------------
                                Also 24 June


                                There is also another very interesting Irish saint commemorated on 3rd
                                September, St Lon-garad, styled the 'Augustine of Ireland' for his knowledge
                                and love of books. It appears that he perhaps guarded
                                his books a little too jealously and fell foul of St Columbcille who had
                                something of a track record in wanting access to the libraries of others! St
                                Lon's Life is covered in O'Hanlon's Lives of Irish Saints, but this account
                                gives more direct quotations from the sources:

                                St. Garadh, Lon, or Lon-garadh, an Ossory Saint of early date, distinguished
                                as well for his great learning as for his eminent virtues, was the founder
                                and patron of the church of Cashel (or Coshel, as the name is locally and
                                correctly pronounced). He was the contemporary of St. Columbkille, and
                                pre-deceased him, so that his death must have occurred before the year 597.
                                He is commemorated in the Martyrology of Tallaght, on the 24th of June, as
                                "Lon of Cill-Gabra," that is, of Kilgorey, in the parish of Doonane, on the
                                borders of time the parish of Clough. The Martyrology of Donegal also
                                commemorates him on the 24th of June, as "Lon of Cill-Gohhra,' (from which
                                it may be concluded that his festival was kept at Kilgorey, on the 24th of
                                June); and again on the 3rd Sept., thus:

                                "Lon-garadh of Sliabh Mairge, or of Magh Tuathat. Lon-garadh Coisfinn [i.e.
                                of the white foot], of Disert Garadh, in the north of Ossraighe, i.e. of
                                Magh-Garadh in Ui-Faircheallaigh, and of Cill-Gabhra, in Sliabh Mairge. It
                                is said that the book-satchels of Erinn, and the Gospels, and the
                                lesson-books of the students, fell from their racks on the night of
                                Lon-garadh's death, so that no person should ever understand them as
                                Lon-garadh used to understand them. It was of this was said:-

                                "Lon died, [Lon died,]
                                Garadh was unfortunate;
                                He is a loss to learning and schools
                                Of Erinn's isle to its extremities."

                                "A very ancient old-vellum-book, which we have mentioned under Brighit, at
                                1st Feb., and under Patrick, 17th March, states, that Lon-garadh, in his
                                habits and life, was like to Augustine, who was very
                                wise."

                                The Feilire of Aengus, at same date (Sept. 3rd), has:

                                "Longarad, a delightful sun."

                                On this passage, the Scholiast in the Leabhar Breac thus comments:

                                "Longarad, i.e. of Sliabh Mairge or in Mag Tuathat in the north of Ossory.
                                Longarad the white-legged in Mag Tuathat in the north of Ossory, i.e. in
                                Ui-Foirchellain, i.e. in Mag Garad in Disert Garad
                                especially, and in Cell Gabra, in Sliabh Mairge, in Les Longaradh.
                                Whitelegged, i.e. great white hair through his legs. Or bright-white were
                                his legs. A sage of learning and jurisprudence and poetry was he. To him
                                Colombcille chanced to come as a guest, and he hid his books from Colomb,
                                and Colombcille left his curse on Longarad's books, to wit, 'May that,'
                                quoth he, 'as to which thou hast shown
                                niggaradliness be of no profit after thee.' And this was fulfilled. For the
                                books still remain and no man reads them. Now when Longarad was dead, men of
                                lore say this, that the book-satchels of Ireland
                                fell down on that night. Or it is the satchels wherein were books of every
                                science in the cell where Colombcille was that fell then, and Colombcille
                                and everyone in that house marvel, and all are silent at the noisy shaking
                                of the books. So then said Colombcille: 'Lon-garadh in Ossory,' quoth he, 'a
                                sage of every science, has now died.' 'May it be long till that comes true,'
                                quoth Baithin.' Unfaith on the man in thy place,' says Colombcille et dixit
                                Colombcille:-

                                'Dead is Lon
                                Of Cell garad--great the evil!
                                To Erin with her many homesteads
                                It is ruin of learning and schools.

                                'Died hath Lon
                                In Cell garad--great the evil !
                                It is ruin of the learning and schools
                                Of Erin's island over her border.'"

                                The Saint's church of Disert-Garadh though described so minutely above as in
                                Magh-Garadh, in the territory of Magh-Tuathat otherwise Ui-Foircheallain, in
                                the north of Ossory, has been hitherto sought for in vain. Its position is,
                                however, no longer doubtful. It stood within the churchyard of Cashel, on
                                the south bank of the river Nore, in the original Ui-Foircheallain. The
                                Irish name of this churchyard, as still traditionally handed down in the
                                locality, is Coshel-Gorra, which exactly represents Caipeal-Sapad, or St.
                                Garadh's Cashel.

                                Source: Carrigan "The History and Antiquities of the Diocese of Ossory", Vol
                                2 (1905)


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