Friday, September 03, 2010

(St. Gregory the) Great day!

1) Opening BBQ, tomorrow (Sept 4), 12 noon – 4 pm, Newman Center.
FREE Chipotle and Coldstone for all GW students!!
Also, sign-ups for Freshmen Retreat, FOCUS, RCIA, Knights of Columbus, and Catholic Daughters

2) Opening student Masses – Sun, Sept 5, 5:30 pm, 7:30 pm, 10 pm, St Stephen’s Church (25th St. and Penn. Ave.)

“Great day!” This is what an athlete at Mount St. Mary’s and good friend of mine would say every day at practice. I say it today. Great day!! It’s my feast day and my Mom’s birthday. Please say a prayer for us today. My parents are way cool for giving me a patron saint with “The Great” after his name. Does your patron saint have this title?? (only if you're Leo or…hmmm, who else…John Paul??)

Here are some interesting excerpts from an article found on about the heroic life of Pope St. Gregory. To view it in full, please click on today’s title.

St. Gregory the Great, pray for us!

Pope Saint Gregory the Great not only saved the Church, in times so frightful that the men who lived in them were sure that the end of the world was come, but he founded the great civilization which has lasted down to our day and of which we are part, Western Civilization. All alone, in the midst of famine and pestilence, floods and earthquakes, endangered by Greeks and barbarians alike, and abandoned by the Emperor, Pope Gregory, frail and ailing in body but strong and undaunted in spirit, succored and saved his people, his city, his country, and the whole of Christendom…

The custom of saying “God bless you” when someone has sneezed, and the making of the Sign of the Cross on the mouths of those who yawn, goes back to the days of Saint Gregory and the Roman plague. The dread disease always ended in a spasm of sneezing or yawning, and the holy Pontiff ordered that “God bless you” should be said to those who sneeze, and the blessing of the Sign of the Cross should be put on the mouths of those who yawned…

Saint Gregory was, above all else, a vigilant guardian of the Church’s doctrine, always the mark of a holy Pope. He ordained, early in his pontificate that the first four Ecumenical Councils of the Church should be treated with the respect given to the four Gospels. He worked unceasingly to stamp out heresy. He ordered that at the beginning of Lent the blessed ashes should be placed on the foreheads of the faithful, instead of upon only the head of the Pope — as had been the custom up to that time — and that the priest should repeat to each one, “Remember, man, that dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return.”..

There has been a revival also in our day of the beautifully reverent “Gregorian Chant,” named in honor of Saint Gregory’s patient labor in restoring the ancient chant of the Church and in setting down the rules to be followed so that Church music might more perfectly fulfill its function. Pope Gregory held that the place of Church music was a subordinate one. It should never provide, he said, anything more than a background for the sacred reenactment of Calvary. It should never draw attention to itself, and away from the Holy sacrifice of the Mass. It should, while disposing the minds of the faithful to profound reverence of God, and making more ardent the love of their hearts for Him, never become an end in itself…

“Since,” the Pope wrote Theodelinda, “since, then, by my own public profession you know the entireness of our belief, it is fitting that you have no further scruple concerning the Church of Saint Peter, Prince of the Apostles. But persist in the true Faith, and ground your life on the rock of the Church, that is, in his confession: lest your many tears and your good works avail nothing, if they be separated from the true Faith. For as branches wither without a root, so works, however good they seem, are nothing if separated from the solidity of the Faith.”

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