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Gregory the Great

Pope from 590

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Summary Biography Works by Works about Influence

Summary

Born
Died
Related topics
Importance
540
604
Biography, Christian saints, Commentaries, Early works, History
5
Importance is calculated using the length of this author's Wikipedia entry, as well as the number of works by and about this author.
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Biography

 Gregory the Great
Source: Wikipedia

Only two popes, Leo I and Gregory I, have been given the popular title of "the Great." Both served during difficult times of barbarian invasions in Italy; and during Gregory's term of office, Rome was also faced with famine and epidemics.

Gregory was born around 540, of a politically influential family, and in 573 he became Prefect of Rome; but shortly afterwards he resigned his office and began to live as a monk. In 579 he was made representative of the Pope to the Patriarch of Constantinople. Shortly after his return home, the Pope died of the plague, and in 590 Gregory was elected Pope.

Like Leo before him, he became practical governor of central Italy, because the job needed to be done and there was no one else to do it. When the Lombards invaded, he organized the defense of Rome against them, and the eventual signing of a treaty with them. When there was a shortage of food, he organized the importation and distribution of grain from Sicily.

His influence on the forms of public worship throughout Western Europe was enormous. He founded a school for the training of church musicians, and Gregorian chant (plainchant) is named for him. The schedule of Scripture readings for the various Sundays of the year, and the accompanying prayers (many of them written by him), in use throughout most of Western Christendom for the next thirteen centuries, is largely due to his passion for organization. His treatise, On Pastoral Care, while not a work of creative imagination, shows a dedication to duty, and an understanding of what is required of a minister in charge of a Christian congregation. His sermons are still readable today, and it is not without reason that he is accounted (along with Ambrose, Jerome, and Augustine of Hippo) as one of the Four Latin Doctors (=Teachers) of the ancient Church.

English-speaking Christians will remember Gregory for sending a party of missionaries headed by Augustine of Canterbury (not to be confused with the more famous Augustine of Hippo) to preach the Gospel to the pagan Anglo-Saxon tribes that had invaded England and largely conquered or displaced the Celtic Christians previously living there. Gregory had originally hoped to go to England as a missionary himself, but was pressed into service elsewhere, first as apocrisiarius and then as bishop of Rome. He accordingly sent others, but took an active interest in their work, writing numerous letters both to Augustine and his monks and to their English converts.

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Works by Gregory the Great

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External Work.
30 editions published.

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External Work.
41 editions published.

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External Work.
284 editions published.

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External Work.
81 editions published.

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External Work.
3 editions published.

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External Work.
92 editions published.

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Written by 6th century Pope St. Gregory I, this text is one of the only ancient accounts of St. Benedict's life and work. St. Gregory first introduces the life of Benedict with information about his birthplace in Italy, his parentage, and his primary education. St. Gregory tells us that at an early age, St. Benedict abandoned all worldly cares to seek a life of close union with God. In his adulthood, St. Benedict built twelve monasteries and was believed to have performed numerous miracles. St. Benedict is largely known for his book The Rule of St. Benedict, a collection of spiritual and administrative instructions for monks--as a result of this achievement, St. Benedict is often recognized as the founder of Western monasticism. The second half of St. Gregory's text is the reproduction of St. Benedict's seventy-three chapter Rule. Although St. Gregory never engaged with St. Benedict himself, he was able to craft this illuminating portrait of St. Benedict's life by consulting several of St. Benedict's close disciples and successors.

External Work.
238 editions published.

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With over twenty volumes, the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers is a momentous achievement. Originally gathered by Philip Schaff, the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers is a collection of writings by classical and medieval Christian theologians. The purpose of such a collection is to make their writings readily available. The entire work is divided into two series, each with fourteen volumes. The second series focuses on a variety of important Church Fathers, ranging from the fourth century to the eighth century. The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers are comprehensive in scope, and provide keen translations of instructive and illuminating texts from some of the great theologians of the Christian church. These spiritually enlightening texts have aided Christians for over a thousand years, and remain instructive and fruitful even today!

With over twenty volumes, the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers is a momentous achievement. Originally gathered by Philip Schaff, the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers is a collection of writings by classical and medieval Christian theologians. The purpose of such a collection is to make their writings readily available. The entire work is divided into two series, each with fourteen volumes. The second series focuses on a variety of important Church Fathers, ranging from the fourth century to the eighth century. The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers are comprehensive in scope, and provide keen translations of instructive and illuminating texts from some of the great theologians of the Christian church. These spiritually enlightening texts have aided Christians for over a thousand years, and remain instructive and fruitful even today!

External Work.
4 editions published.

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External Work.
320 editions published.

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External Work.
3 editions published.

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External Work.
14 editions published.

View on: WorldCat | Amazon

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Influence of Gregory the Great

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