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September 3, 2012

Feast of Saint Gregory the Great

Pope Saint Gregory the Great

Saint Gregory was born in Rome, in Italy. His father was a politician and his mother is a saint, St. Celia. Gregory studied philosophy and when he was still quite young, became the governor of Rome. When his father died, Gregory made his large house into a monastery. For many years he lived as a good and holy monk. Then Pope Pelagius made him one of the seven ministers of the Church in Rome. When the pope died, Gregory was chosen to take his place. He was so holy and wise; everyone knew he would be a good pope. But Gregory was so humble that he did not want that honor at all and disguised himself and hid in a cave. The people soon found him and made him pope anyway. For fourteen years he ruled the Church. Even though he was always sick, Gregory was one of the greatest popes the Church has ever had. He wrote many books and was a wonderful preacher. He cared for people all over the world. In fact, he considered himself the servant of all. He was the first pope to use the title "servant of the servants of God." All the popes since have used this title.
St. Gregory took special, loving care of poor people and strangers. Every day he used to feed them a good dinner. He was also very sensitive and understanding when people were treated badly. Once, when he was still a monk, he saw some blond English boys up for sale in the slave market of Rome. The saint felt a great desire to go to England to bring the love of Christ to those pagans. When he became pope, one of the first things he did was to send some of his best monks to teach the English people and help bring them to Christ.
This Holy pope suffered a lot in the last few years of his life, yet he continued working for his beloved Church until the very end. He not only influenced the history of the church but greatly contributed to the growth of western monasticism. 

Prayer of Saint Gregory the Great

Oh Lord, make me understand what great peace there is in a heart that desires nothing of this world. Indeed if my heart hankers to acquire worldly advantages it can neither be tranquil nor secure, because it is either seeking to have what it has not, or not to loose what it has. While in adversity it desires prosperity, in prosperity it fears adversity and so it is tossed from one side to the other by these ever fluctuating waves. But if it pleases you oh God let my soul be securely attached to a desire for its heavenly homeland and it will be much less shaken by anxiety over temporal things. When faced with an external disturbance, make it seek refuge in this desire for heaven, as in a most secret hiding place, and be attached to it without being moved. Transcending all that is changeable and in its tranquility of its peace it will be both in this world and outside it.

Pax et Gaudium

O.S.B. Vocation Awareness

O.S.B. Vocation Awareness