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.
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.
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