And How It Reveals the Supernatural End of All Education
Today is the Feast of one of the four great early Latin Church Fathers and Doctors of the Church, St Gregory the Great. The others are Ss. Jerome, Ambrose and Augustine.
A Benedictine monk, Gregory was known as the Father of Christian Worship because of his reforms to the Roman liturgy and of course gregorian chant is named after him (although the degree to which he actually composed it is not so certain). He is the patron saint of musician, singers, teachers and students.
Universalis.com, which has the full office for the day, gives the following reflection on him to accompany the Hours of his feast day:
‘He was born in Rome and followed the career of public service that was usual for the son of an aristocratic family, finally becoming Prefect of the City of Rome, a post he held for some years. He founded a monastery in Rome and some others in Sicily, then became a monk himself. He was ordained deacon and sent as an envoy to Constantinople, on a mission that lasted five years.
‘He was elected Pope on 3 September 590, the first monk to be elected to this office. He reformed the administration of the Church’s estates and devoted the resulting surplus to the assistance of the poor and the ransoming of prisoners. He negotiated treaties with the Lombard tribes who were ravaging northern Italy, and by cultivating good relations with these and other barbarians he was able to keep the Church’s position secure in areas where Roman rule had broken down. His works for the propagation of the faith include the sending of Augustine and his monks as missionaries to England in 596, providing them with continuing advice and support and (in 601) sending reinforcements. He wrote extensively on pastoral care, spirituality, and morals, and designated himself “servant of the servants of God.
‘He died on 12 March 604, but as this date always falls within Lent, his feast is celebrated on the date of his election as Pope.’
This painting by Jacopo Vignali is on the ceiling of the library of Dominican monastery of Santa Maria Novella in Florence. It was painted in about 1630 is one of a set of four, which contains the four Latin Fathers mentioned earlier. He is shown from below and is there for the contemplation of the studying monks. We (Read More)