(28 May 08 - RV) In his weekly audience today Pope Benedict XVI today his lessons
on the Fathers of the Church, this week focusing on Saint Gregory the Great.
the Church, Pope Saint Gregory the Great, who governed the Church of Rome at the end
of the sixth century was at the heart of Pope Benedict XVI’s audience this Wednesday.
The Pope delivered his catechesis from a raised podium, sheltered from the
heat of the May sun, to the thousands of visitors and pilgrims in St Peter’s Square:
of a noble Roman family, Gregory entered the civil service, in which he rose to the
dignity of Prefect of the City, and then embraced the monastic life. Gregory’s learning
and experience, and his outstanding personal gifts, led to his appointment as the
papal representative to the imperial court in Constantinople, and then as the Pope’s
secretary. In the year 590, Gregory was elected Pope”.
Pope Benedict noted
that Gregory’s papal ministry was marked by tireless energy and a clear vision of
the grave problems facing civil society and the Church:
“Gregory made every
effort to contain the Lombard invasion, to provide for the evangelization of that
people, and to establish peace throughout Italy. In addition to his preaching, teaching
and pastoral activity, he also reorganized the management of the Church’s goods and
ensured a more effective administration of her charitable works. At a time of great
social instability, and despite his frequent ill health, Gregory proved an effective,
prudent and saintly pastor, whose life and teaching continue to inspire us today”.
his weekly encounter with the faithful, Pope Benedict greeted groups of pilgrims who
had come from the Americas, Great Britain and Asia, offering good wishes to participants
in the Christian-Hindu symposium being held in Castel Gandolfo.
the English-speaking pilgrims, especially those from England, Scotland, Sweden, Australia,
Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Canada and the United States, I cordially invoke God’s
blessings of joy and peace”.