Gregory I, Saint

Gregory I, Saint

biographical name

(born c. 540, Rome—died March 12, 604, Rome) Pope (590–604) and doctor of the church. A Roman patrician, by age 32 he had attained the office of urban prefect. He then felt called to the religious life. He built several monasteries and served as a papal representative before being elected pope in 590, to which he only reluctantly assented. He became the architect of the medieval papacy, seeking, among other things, to curb corruption by centralizing the papal administration. In 598 he won temporary peace with the Lombards, and he allowed the Byzantine usurper Phocas to make permanent peace with them in 602. Eager to convert pagan peoples, Gregory sent Augustine of Canterbury on a mission to England (596). Under Gregory, Gothic Arian Spain see Arianism) became reconciled with Rome. He laid the basis for the Papal States. He was a strong opponent of slavery, and he extended tolerance to Jews. He wrote the Pastoral Rule, a guide for church government, and other works. His extensive recodification of the liturgy and chant led to his name being given to Gregorian chant. He is remembered as one of the greatest of all the medieval popes.

Variants of GREGORY I, SAINT

Gregory I, Saint known as Gregory the Great

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