Saint Gregory the Great
Pope and Doctor of the Church
St. Gregory, born at Rome about the year 540, was the son of Gordianus, a wealthy
senator, who later renounced the world and became one of the seven deacons of Rome. After
he had acquired the usual thorough education, Emperor Justin the Younger appointed him, in
574, Chief Magistrate of Rome, though he was only thirty-four years of age.
After the death of his father, he built six monasteries in Sicily and founded a seventh in
his own house in Rome, which became the Benedictine Monastery of St. Andrew. Here, he
himself assumed the monastic habit in 575, at the age of thirty-five.
After the death of Pelagius, St. Gregory was chosen Pope by the unanimous consent of
priests and people. Now began those labors which merited for him the title of Great. His
zeal extended over the entire known world, he was in contact with all the Churches of
Christendom and, in spite of his bodily sufferings, and innumerable labors, he found time
to compose a great number of works. He is known above all for his magnificent
contributions to the Liturgy of the Mass and Office. He is one of the four great Doctors
of the Latin Church. He died March 12, 604. He is the patron of teachers.