Memorial of Saint Gregory the Great, Pope and Doctor of the Church
Saint of the day
Saint Gregory the Great (c.540-604)
When he was in his 30s, Gregory sold the many properties he owned, established seven monasteries in Italy, and distributed much of his considerable wealth to the poor. The next year he became a monk, and devoted himself to an austere life of contemplation and pastoral care of the plague-stricken in Rome. Because he was well known for his holiness, in 590 he was elected pope. Though he did not want the role, he accepted it. As pope he continued his care of the poor and hungry and challenged other leaders to attend to those in need rather than the worldly interests of the Church. Gregory also recognized the need for reform in the Church, and imposed important changes in its government. He promoted monasticism, and is credited with writing many of the prayers recited at Mass. Especially noteworthy among his writings is "Pastoral Care," which describes the ministry of bishops as the shepherding of souls. It became the textbook for medieval bishops. Gregory's way of referring to himself as pope was as "servant of the servants of God." He is the patron saint of England, musicians, singers, teachers, popes, and victims of plague. His feast day is September 3. (Taken from "The Catholic Faith Handbook for Youth.")
It is a natural human desire to want to be powerful. Most of us hope to eventually become great leaders. But, as Saint Gregory the Great reminds us, Jesus does not want us to lead by power. He wants us to lead by example. And the example we are to set is one of servanthood. No matter what our position in life, as Christians we are called to serve others selflessly. How do you serve others? How could you better serve?
Dear Jesus, thank you for serving me through your life. Help me to serve others as you have served me.
Liturgical season information
Place in Year: Ordinary Time
Color of decorations and priest's vestments:
Reading I: Col 1:15-20
Responsorial Psalm: 100:1B-2, 3, 4, 5
Alleluia: Jn 8:12
Gospel: Lk 5:33-39View complete readings on USCCB.org