St Gregory the Great Factbites


St Gregory the Great’s mother is a canonized saint – St Silvia (Nov 3).

St Augustine of Canterbury had been the prior St Gregory who was abbot at the Roman monastery founded by St Gregory in Rome.

Non Angli, sed Angeli. “They are not Angles, but Angels.” said by Gregory when he first encountered English prisoners at a slave market.

Liturgical changes made by St Gregory:

  • In the Canon of the Mass he inserted the words “diesque nostros in tua pace disponas, atque ab aeterna damnatione nos eripi, et in electorum tuorum jubras grege numerari”; (“grant us peace in our days, save us from final damnation, and count us among the flock of your chosen ones”)
  • he ordered the Pater Noster to be recited in the Canon before the breaking of the Host
  • he provided that the Alleluia should be chanted after the Gradual out of paschal time, to which period, apparently, the Roman use had previously confined it;
  • he prohibited the use of the chasuble by subdeacons assisting at Mass (I suppose deacons could still wear it at this time)
  • he forbade deacons to perform any of the musical portions of the Mass other than singing the Gospel

from the Catholic Encyclopedia

Timeline of St Gregory’s Life

AD 540 Gregory born

AD 573 At just over the age of 30 Gregory was raised to the highest civil office in Rome, that of Prefect.

AD 574 Gregory abandons his brilliant political career and and becomes a monk (whether he followed the rule of St Benedict is debated – different Lives contradicting one another).

AD 578 Pope Pelagius II ordained him against his will to the diaconate to serve as one of the esteemed Seven Deacons of Rome.

AD 579 The same pope sent Gregory to Constantinople and made him the permanent papal amabassador to Byzantium.

AD 586 Gregory is recalled to Rome and becomes secratary to Pope Pelagius II and Abbot of St Andrew’s.

AD 590 Pope Pelagius II died and Gregory was elected Pope.

AD 597 St Gregory sends St Augustine to England as a missionary.

AD 604 St Gregory died and was immediately canonized a saint by acclamation.

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