March 12

From the Prologue

The son of Senator Gordianus and afterwards, himself, a senator and mayor of the city of Rome. As soon as his father died, Gregory surrendered himself to the spiritual life. From his wealth he built six monasteries in Sicily and the seventh in the city of Rome, in honor of St. Andrew the Apostle, in which he was tonsured a monk. Sylvia, his mother, entered a convent and was tonsured a nun. After the death of Pope Pelagius II, Gregory was chosen Pope. He fled from this honor and authority hiding himself in the mountains and ravines, but the Lord revealed him to those who were seeking him in the following manner: a fiery column appeared from the ground to heaven over the place where Gregory hid himself. He was exceptionally charitable. All of his income was used for building shelters and hospices for the needy. Often he invited less fortunate men and served them around the table. He spent his time writing beneficial [inspirational] books. He is also called Dialogues because he wrote a book under that name in which he extolled the miracles of the Italian saints. He also composed the "Liturgy of the Pre-Sanctified Gifts," which is celebrated on Wednesdays and Fridays of the Great Lenten Season. His Arch-deacon Peter saw a dove flying above Gregory's head as he was seated and writing. He presented himself before the Lord in the year 604 A.D.



Leo the Armenian offers Theophanes,

Offers riches as much as he wants,

Only his name to sign

On the evil roster of iconoclasts.

From the dungeon, Theophanes to him, writes:

O, emperor, to please you I cannot,

Neither, can I to God and to you be true.

While I was young and agreeable to the world

Immense wealth, I had,

Left all and turned to God,

Distributed all, and to the wilderness retreated,

Yet in the wilderness I did not have hunger,

By Himself, God feeds and sweetens me.

In my old age, what do you offer me?

Dust that I despised in early youth!

Nothing, O emperor, to me can you give

That the Lord does not give me a hundred-fold,

Except tortures, for which I waited so long,

From the world, tortures will separate me

And unite me with the All-Precious Lord.

O, emperor, why do you against icons, wage war?

Was not Christ Himself as an icon,

As an icon of the Eternal Hypostases,

As an icon of the Trinity Almighty,

As an icon of the unseen God,

Unseen and unapproachable.

Both you and me, will He judge,

Rule, O emperor, hope in your replacement.

The world passes, only God remains,

Whoever is with God, does not fear the world.

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