The Feast of St Gregory the Great, patronal saint of our church in Alresford, falls this week on September 3rd
Gregory was born about A.D. 540 in Rome, the son of a wealthy senator. Like most of the nobility of his time, he was well educated. But unlike many, he was generous and concerned about those who were poor.
In his early thirties, Gregory was made the chief prefect, or governor, of Rome. Gregory was attracted to the religious life and soon left his position. He converted the family estate in Rome into the Abbey of Saint Andrew, became a monk there, and founded six Benedictine monasteries on his estates in Sicily. In about 578, he was ordained a deacon of Rome and sent as the papal ambassador to Constantinople, where he served until 585. When he arrived back in Rome, he was made the abbot of Saint Andrew’s.
In 590, Gregory was acclaimed pope by the clergy and the people of Rome. Unwillingly, Gregory accepted the role, calling himself the “servant of the servants of God.” Because of his political skill, learning, talents, and deep devotion to God, Gregory was able to make peace with the invading Lombards, save the city from famine by reorganizing the property and granaries of the Church, and restore order within the Church. In 596, he sent Augustine of Canterbury and 40 other monks to England to teach the Angles the faith. Gregory is called the “Apostle of England.”
He implemented some liturgical reforms especially in the area of music. The music that we know today as Gregorian chant developed from his impetus; however, his true greatness is found in his humility, his gentleness in dealing with all types of people, his steadfast devotion and love of Christ, His Scriptures, and prayer. All of these traits, combined with God’s grace and Gregory’s love for the people, helped him solve the practical everyday problems of Christ’s Church in a manner that provided a path for others to follow.
Canon Paul will be away from 1st to 26th September, taking his annual leave.
Friday 5th September – Mass at St. Barnabas, Weeke, at 10.00am.
Saturday 6th September – Mass in Winchester Cathedral at 10.00am.
(And so, 9.00am Saturday Mass in St. Peter’s is cancelled.)
Saturday 6th September – 6.00pm Mass in St Peter’s is an Anniversary Mass in celebration of the commencement of Eucharistic Adoration.