Born about 540, Gregory was Prefect of Rome when he renounced the world and entered a monastery about 575. He was later ordained deacon, and sent on a papal mission to Constantinople. He unwillingly became pope in 590 when Pope Pelagius II died from a severe plague ravaging Rome. It is said that almost at once he organised a massive procession around the entire city, inviting everyone to pray to God for an end to the plague. A vision of the archangel Michael atop Hadrian’s Tomb (now the Castel Sant’Angelo) convinced him that Rome would be spared. Pope Gregory was famous for the emphasis he put on missionary work. He made many changes to the Mass, some of which remain today. He emphasised the aspect of service to the poor for deacons and was well known for his almsgiving to the poor. (When a famine struck Rome in the 590s, Pope Gregory ordered the Church to use its assets to feed the poor.) He is said to always have dined with twelve of the poor himself. His Feast day is September 3.
Novena Prayer to St Gregory the Great St. Gregory, you are known for your zeal for the Catholic faith,
love of liturgy, and compassion and mercy toward those in need.
Please help and guide us so that we may share in these virtues
and thereby bring Jesus into the hearts of our families
and all we encounter. We especially ask for blessings on our parish family,
our priests and our deacons. I also ask that you graciously intercede for me before God so that I might be granted the special assistance and graces that I seek
(state personal intentions here.). Help me to live as a faithful child of God and to attain the eternal happiness of heaven.
St. Gregory the Great pray for us. Amen