Shrine of St. Frideswide, Christ Church Cathedral Oxford.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Feast, September 3rd; Gregory the Great

St. Gregory blessing St. Ethelbert, King of Kent.
(He is often depicted with the dove and the book)

Gregory was born in Rome in the 540s, and his first career was actually the prefect of Rome in573, after-which he took vows and became a monk. He worked for Pope Pelagius, and it was during this time that he came across some slaves in the markets at Marseilles and was told they were angles from Britain, and were not Christians. He bought the slaves, hoping to lead a mission their himself. Instead he was elected pope, succeeding Pelagius to the papacy in the year 590. Soon after he became pope, however, he sent Augustine, a monk of his own monastery, other monks, and the freed Angle slaves, to convert the Anglo-Saxons invading Christian Britain. In doing this Christianity would be restored to what is now England. Bede credits St. Gregory as he does Augustine as an Apostle to the English.

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