Gregory I, Saint; Pope
[ history - religion ]
[ grèg´e-rê ]
Known as "Gregory the Great."
Pope (590-604) who increased papal authority, enforced rules of life for the clergy, and sponsored many important missionary expeditions, notably that of Saint Augustine to Britain (596).
There are nine orders of angels, to wit, angels, archangels, virtues, powers, principalities, dominations, thrones, cherubim, and seraphim.
- Pope Gregory The Great (c. 540-604). Homilies, no. 34 (c. 600).
: the last of the four original Doctors of the Church.
Gregory was born in Rome into a patrician family. As pope, he enhanced the prestige of the papacy. Under Gregory, the papacy assumed political leadership in Italy and consolidated its lands throughout the country into a single unit, which became the foundation of the Papal States. The invading Lombards had caused the almost complete collapse of Roman civil administration, and Gregory's able administration of the vast estates owned by the church of Rome supplied the food and monies to provide for the poor and protect the population near Rome.
In 597 Gregory sent to England Saint Augustine of Canterbury, along with 40 monks. The great success of this mission led to an enduring sense of loyalty to the papacy among the English, and English missionaries to the Continent encouraged this loyalty among the peoples of northern Europe.
Gregory wrote several practical and moralistic works that were immensely influential in the Middle Ages. He is credited with incorporating Gregorian chant into the liturgy, and is generally believed to have been canonized by popular acclaim upon his death.
His feast day is March 12.
Doctors of the Church:
- eminent teachers of Christian doctrine, proclaimed by a pope or an ecumenical council to be worthy of the title. The church recognizes the cited theologian's contribution to doctrine and understanding of the faith. The person must be a canonized saint. In 1298 Western theologians Saint Ambrose, Saint Augustine, and Saint Jerome, along with Pope Gregory I, were named the original Doctors of the Church.