When for six months no pope ruled in St Peter’s basilica in early 590 AD, a monk named Gregory was elected to the papal office. He refused, fled the city for the forest and was eventually dragged back to Rome and was consecrated on 3 September 590. In terms of intellectual powers alone, Gregory probably doesn’t belong in such company as Augustine, Ambrose and Jerome as one of the "Latin Fathers of the Church." But he combined great executive ability with a warm sympathy for human need, and if goodness is the highest kind of greatness, then the church moved rightly in according him the title "Great." He contributed no new ideas and created no epoch in theology, but he formulated the common faith of his day and handed it on to the Catholic Church of the Middle Ages. Subsequently, Gregory stands as the prime example of the Church in the Middle Ages. Gregory refrained from pomposity and called himself simply "the servant of the servants of God," which eventually became one of the standing titles of the popes, ironically.
[tags]Ambrose, Augustine, BlogRodent, church-history, ChurchRodent, Gregory-the-Great, history, Jerome, Peter[/tags]