Category Archives: Popes

Pope St. Gregory the Great

Today is the Feast of Pope St. Gregory the Great, who was pope from 590-604.  He made several changes in the Roman Canon of the Mass: (1) he added the names of seven female saints (Sts. Felicity, Perpetua, Agatha, Lucy, Agnes, Cecilia, and Anastasia), having noted that none had been included; and, (2) he added the phrase: diesque nostros in tua pace disponas (order our days in Your peace), because of the invading barbarians.


The tomb of Pope St. Gregory the Great in St. Peter’s basilica (Rome).


The church of San Gregorio on Rome’s Caelian Hill.  It was from this church that Pope St. Gregory sent St. Augustine of Canterbury to evangelize England.


The interior of the church


The altar of the Blessed Sacrament


An inscription in honor of St. Andrew the Apostle


An inscription in honor of Pope St. Gregory I


Gregorian Masses are named after Pope St. Gregory.  To the dismay of the monks in the monastery, money was found on a monk who had died.  St. Gregory offered Mass for the repose of his soul for 30 consecutive days, and on the last day saw the soul of the monk ascending to heaven.  This is reputedly the altar which St. Gregory used.


“St. Gregory freed the soul of his monk by thirty Masses.”


A close-up of the inscriptions on the altar


The inscription over the cell where St. Gregory used to repose “by night and by day.”


The throne of Pope St. Gregory the Great.  Notice the grate on the wall to the right.


To the right of the throne of Pope St. Gregory is this grate, which protects hundred of relics.


The church of San Gregorio (in the middle of the photo) seen from the Circus Maximus.  Some ruins on the Palatine Hill are to the left, and you can see the bell tower of San Francesca Romana in the Roman Forum.


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