St. Gregory was born in Rome, in Italy. His father was a politician and his mother is a saint, St. Celia. Gregory studied philosophy and when he was still quite young, became the governor of Rome.
When his father died, Gregory made his large house into a monastery. For many years he lived as a good and holy monk (priest).
Then Pope Pelagius made him one of the seven ministers of the Church in Rome. When the pope died, Gregory was chosen to take his place.
He was so holy and wise; everyone knew he would be a good pope. But Gregory was so humble that he did not want that honor at all and disguised himself and hid in a cave. The people soon found him and made him pope anyway.
For fourteen years he ruled the Church. Even though he was always sick, Gregory was one of the greatest popes the Church has ever had.
He wrote many books and was a wonderful preacher. He cared for people all over the world. In fact, he considered himself the servant of all. He was the first pope to use the title “servant of the servants of God.” All the popes since have used this title.
St. Gregory took special, loving care of poor people and strangers. Every day he used to feed them a good dinner. He was also very sensitive and understanding when people were treated badly.
Once, when he was still a monk, he saw some blond English boys up for sale in the slave market of Rome. The saint felt a great desire to go to England to bring the love of Jesus to those pagans (who did not believe in God). When he became pope, one of the first things he did was to send some of his best monks to teach the English people and help bring them to Jesus.
This holy pope suffered a lot in the last few years of his life, yet he continued working for his beloved Church until the very end.
Reflection: Humility is the foundation of all the virtues. “If we are humble”, say Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, “nothing can harm us”, because a humble person knows how to deal with situations. He knows how to accept what God sends him. And through acceptance we know our true value- we are clay.
Prayer: O God, who care for your people with gentleness and rule them in love, through the intercession of Pope Saint Gregory, endow, we pray, with a spirit of wisdom those to whom you have given authority to govern, that the flourishing of a holy flock may become the eternal joy of the shepherds. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.