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St Gregory the Great – Saint of the Day – 3rd September

A reluctant Pope who became the "Apostle of the English", St Gregory the Great became a Doctor of the Church.

“Who am I — what kind of watchman am I? I do not stand on the pinnacle of achievement, I languish rather in the depths of my weakness. And yet the creator and redeemer of mankind can give me, unworthy though I be, the grace to see life whole and power to speak effectively of it. It is for love of him that I do not spare myself in preaching him.”

– St Gregory the Great

St Gregory the Great – Feast: 3rd September

Pope and Doctor of the Church

St Gregory the Great (540-604) belonged to a Roman patrician family and served as a magistrate before embracing the monastic life. He acted as papal legate at Constantinople and was elected Pope in 590. He tightened Church discipline and liturgical practice, reorganised the lands belonging to the Holy See and sent St Augustine to convert the Kingdom of Kent. He is consequently called the ‘Apostle of the English’ and, thanks to his theological and pastoral writings, is a Doctor of the Church.

Reflection

Saint Gregory didn’t want to become Pope, but it was trusted upon him all the same. And yet the good work he did as Pope highlight why God called him to the Papacy: he tightened Church discipline and liturgical practice, cared for the poor, and sent 40 monks to convert the English to Catholicism. It is difficult to be fully open to what God might call us to do, since we each have our own desires for our lives which often take precedence over what God might want. Yet St Gregory’s life shows us that when we are fully open to whatever God might want from us, and when we don’t close an open door because we didn’t find there what we hoped to find, God can work marvels through us for His Kingdom. Are you fully open to God’s will in your life, wherever it may lead?


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