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Gregory the Great

In early September the Roman Catholic Church honors Pope Gregory I the Great (540-604), one of its most famous and venerated saints. Eastern Orthodoxy also reveres Pope Gregory, referring to him as Gregory Dialogus, i.e., dialogist.

Gregory already showed great diplomatic wisdom, a distinguishing feature of his subsequent ecclesiastical and secular activities. He was elected to the papal throne in 590. Even today, almost 1,500 years later, historians believe that Gregory I was the wisest and most influential pope of the first millennium.

Pope Gregory I’s activities were primarily aimed at Christianizing Western Europe. As a rule the pope used the spoken word and sermons rather than force or threats. . According to his contemporaries, his “wise magnanimity” played an important role in his political successes, as well as the fact that he reckoned with the national particularities of the peoples being converted to Christianity.

Pope Gregory was not only busy Christianizing the peoples of Western Europe: as the head of the papal state he combated famines and epidemics, reorganized the administration of church lands, protected land lessees from exploitation, and cared for the poor — activities that were ahead of their time

Gregory I is also known as a church writer. ). Immediately after Gregory issued the book Dialogues on the Lives and Miracles of the Italian Church Fathers, he began to be called Dialogus (“dialogist”), especially by the Greeks. . In medieval scholarly circles Gregory’s Commentary on Job (Magna Moralia) was considered the principal authority on religious ethics applicable to almost any life circumstances.

St. Gregory the Great also drew up a canonical list of the seven deadly sins: lust, wrath, envy, gluttony, sloth, pride, and covetousness. These are not the most grievous sins, but in the author’s opinion, they inevitably engender other sins that are far more terrible than the ones listed above. The list of sins goes hand in hand with a list of virtues. Thus, humility is opposed to pride, generosity — covetousness, love — envy, kindness — anger, chastity — lust, abstinence — gluttony, and diligence — sloth.

Apart from his talents as a writer and preacher, St. Gregory was known for his exception sensitivity to and love of music. He founded a special school of church singing, known as Gregorian chant. Throughout his life Gregory collected the chants of various Christian churches and nations, which he included in his Antiphonary. He loved and valued this collection so much that he ordered it chained to the altar of St. Peter’s Cathedral in Rome.


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Studopedia.info - Студопедия - 2014-2022 год . (0.018 сек.) русская версия | украинская версия