Gregory the Dialogue, Pope of Rome

Gregory the Dialogue, Pope of Rome lived during the reign of emperor Justinian the great in 535. His mother was called Silvia and lived near the door of glorious St. Apostle Paul, at a place called Cella Nova.

Gregory first became a monk and abbot of the monastery of St. Apostle Andrew, which was also called Clioscabre. Then, he ascended the pontifical throne of Rome, not by unreasonable chance but having received his prelacy by divine vote, as it will be shown.

While the saint was at the aforementioned monastery and lived quietly in his cell writing and decorating holy books, a certain poor man that had been rescued from a shipwreck went to him and related his misfortune and asked the saint to have mercy on him. However, he was not a simple man but an angel of God who had appeared in the shape of a poor man that was in need in order to make the compassionate and sympathetic mind of the saint known to everybody.

So, first, this angel, who appeared as a poor man, received six coins from the saint as alms. Then, he returned again and asked for charity. He received six more coins for a second time. He returned for a third time and again he was not sent away empty-handed. Although the saint had no more coins to give him, he willingly gave him the silver plate of the monastery. Thrice blessed Gregory sympathised with the poor and was so forbearing with them that he did not accuse that poor man who first asked alms twice and then appeared to be importunate although the saint had nothing else to give him. He preferred to give him even one of the possessions of the monastery instead of ignoring and turning him away empty-handed (even though canons and laws say that a monastery's possessions cannot be taken away).

When he became bishop and Pope of Rome, he practised his charity to the poor as usual. So, once he ordered the Sacellarius to call twelve poor men to eat with the saint on the same table. When they were seated, there appeared to the saint one more man, whose face and the internal movements of his soul made him different from and unlike the rest of the twelve poor men. So, the saint took him aside and asked him what his name was and how he had come to him. The man answered: "It is not possible for anybody to hear my name but I can reveal to you that I am an Angel of God. I am the one who was formerly sent to you by God to ask alms and, since then, I was ordered to be with you and guard you always."

St. Gregory was full of all the wisdom of the Holy Scriptures. He even left a lot of writings in Latin to the Church of God. The four books which contain the lives of the holy fathers who excelled in Italy have been translated in Greek. Some of them have been translated by his archdeacon Peter, who used to say that this saint's writings had not been composed with human reasoning and words of wisdom but with the grace of the Holy Spirit.

This saint also walked around the Western places teaching and bringing the Saxon people to the faith of Christ.

Thrice blessed Gregory led his life with love for God and then departed to the Lord. His holy relics are kept in elder Rome, where the Saxons used to come every year and honour the saint with holy hymns. They also say that St. Gregory is the one who legislated for the celebration of the presanctified liturgy on the fasting days of great Lent among the Romans. This they do even today.