Feast of Saint Gregory the Great

Roman Catholics observe Friday, September 3, the feast day of Saint Gregory the Great (San Gregorio Magno), one of the greatest pontiffs of the Roman Catholic faith and one of only two popes in Church history, aside from Saint Leo the Great, who was accorded the title “the great.”

Photo courtesy RCAM

Diocese of Imus Bishop Reynaldo M. Evangelista will preside over a concelebrated fiesta mass at 9 a.m. at the St. Gregory the Great Parish in Indang, Cavite. Holy masses will also be held at 6 a.m. and at 5 p.m.

Special masses in his honor will also be offered in Legazpi City, Albay; Majayjay, Laguna; and in Ginatilan, Cebu.

In Rome, Italy, Eucharistic celebrations that will include the Gregorian Chant, which St. Gregory introduced in the liturgy, will be held at the St. Peter’s Basilica, where he was buried.

Elected pope on September 3, 590, St. Gregory served up to the time of his death in 604. He had the most influence on the early medieval Church. He introduced the Catholic tradition of the 30 Gregorian masses, a pious practice observed to this day, which involves a series of 30 masses held for 30 consecutive days for the eternal repose of the soul of a departed person.

St. Gregory was known for instigating the first recorded large-scale mission from Rome, the Gregorian Mission, to convert the then-pagan Anglo-Saxons in England to Christianity. He was also well known for his writings, which were more prolific than those of any of his predecessors as Pope.

Born in the year 540 in Rome, the Church considers St. Gregory as “a saint among saints.” His mother, Silvia, and two aunts, Tarsilla and Emiliana, were all canonized by the Church. He died in 604 and was immediately canonized by popular acclaim. He was also declared a Doctor of the Universal Church.