On September 3, 590 AD, Pope Gregory I was consecrated. He did not particularly want the job. He would have rather spent the rest of his days as a monk. You see, he enjoyed the strict rules of the monk lifestyle.Once, when a monk confessed on his deathbed to stealing three gold coins, Gregory ordered him to be left to die alone. He must have had a change of heart, though. Later, he had 30 masses dedicated to the man. It is that large heart that made him the great leader that he is known to be today and earned him the name Gregory the Great.
The prodigal son
Gregory grew up in the church. His parents, Silvia and Gordianus, both held high status within it. So, it’s no wonder that he would go on to be a Prefect of Rome.
When his father passed away, Gregory took very strongly to the monk lifestyle. So much so that he even had his family home converted to a monastery. I mean, this guy was obsessed with living a pure life.
It follows that that’s why Pope Pelagius II wanted Gregory to be his successor. He must have known that he could do some real good. Better yet, he might be able to make the church popular again. And that is exactly what he did.
He cared so much about the people that he refused to eat until his monks had returned from delivering food to the poor. He even invited twelve poor people to eat with him at each meal. This guy was like the Robin Hood of Rome…except he didn’t break any laws.
A aaint in all rights
He lived a good life until his death on March 12, 604. His impact still lives on. The church became the most obeyed governing force in Rome. He even made changes to the order of mass that are still in place today.
The clergy did screw one thing up when honoring him, though. They placed the Saint Gregory’s feast on March 12th, which is during Lent. That mistake has since been rectified. It now falls on September 3rd.