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Who was Pope St. Gregory the Great?

Catholic saints are holy people and human people who lived extraordinary lives. Each saint the Church honors responded to God's invitation to use his or her unique gifts. God calls each one of us to be a saint.
St. Gregory the Great is the patron saint of our parish and school.

Gregory was prefect of Rome before he was 30 years of age. After five years in office he resigned, founded six monasteries on his Sicicilian estate and became a Benedictine monk. Ordained a priest, he became one of the pope's seven deacons, and also served six years in the East as papal nuncio in Constantinople. He was recalled and became abbot, and at the age of 50 was elected pope by the clergy of Rome.

He was direct and firm. He removed unworthy priests from office, forbade taking money for many services, emptied the papal treasury to ransom prisoners of the Lombards and to care for persecuted Jews and victims of plague and famine. He was very concerned about the conversion of England, sending 40 monks from his own monastery. St. Gregory the Great is known for his reform of the liturgy, for strengthening respect for doctrine.

Gregory lived in a time of perpetual strife with invading Lombards and difficult relations with the East. When Rome itself was under attack, it was he who went to interview the Lombard king. A historian has written: " It is impossible to conceive what would have been the confusion, the lawlessness, the chaotic state of the Middle Ages, without the medieval papacy, and of the medieval papacy, the real father is Gregory the Great.

Gregory was content to be a monk, but he willingly served the Church in other ways when asked. He sacrificed his own preferences in many ways, especially when called to be Bishop of Rome. Once he was called to public service, Gregory gave his considerable energies to complete his work.