Name Tutor Course Date Pope Gregory I Introduction Pope Gregory I was born in 540 AD in Rome during a politically unstable period whereby Rome's leadership changed hands four times within a span of six years, between 546 and 552 AD. Within this period also, the Justinian plague brought about famine throughout Italy and this caused rioting among the Roman citizens…
The religious atmosphere of Gregory's home played a big role in his education. His devotion to God started while he was a youth and spent much of his time on the scriptures as well as listening to the elder's advice. The strong character of Gregory pushed him up a public career such that at the age of thirty years, he had assumed the position of the prefect of the city, the highest civil position in the city. However, around 574 AD, Gregory left his prestigious position and decided to become a monk. His decision was so firm that he converted his Silician estates and home into monasteries after the death of his father and dedicated them to the apostle St. Andrew. For three years, Gregory led a solitary life in the monastery until he was ordained as a deacon of Rome. Around this time, the Lombards were fast advancing towards Rome, thereby posing a safety threat. This prompted Pope Pelagius II to seek help from Emperor Tiberius by setting up an embassy at Byzantium. The pope sent Gregory to the court of Byzantium as his apocrisiarius (which is Latin word for a permanent ambassador) where he served for six years. While at Byzantium’s court, Gregory faced the challenge of interacting with a worldly atmosphere, which would have even been greater were it not for brethren who had accompanied him from St. Andrews and with whom he prayed and studied scripture at Constantinople. It is during this period that Gregory composed a series of lectures on “morals” with permission from St. Leander of Seville. Concerning the resurrection of the dead, Gregory believed that the elect’s body after resurrection will not be impalpable, as had been propounded by a Patriarch of Constantinople by the name Eutychius. The dispute between Gregory and Eutychius was so heated that it called for the intervention of the emperor who listened to their views in a private session. The emperor gave a verdict that Gregory was right and ordered that a book on the subject matter which had been written by Eutychius to be burned. Although Gregory’s mission to Constantinople was generally a failure with regard to obtaining help for Rome, he acquired important skills which he was later to employ when he became a pope. “This was the important fact that no help was any longer to be looked for from Byzantium, with the corollary that, if Rome and Italy were to be saved at all, it could only be by vigorous independent action of the powers on the spot. Humanly speaking, it is to the fact that Gregory had acquired this conviction that his later line of action with all its momentous consequences is due” (Huddleston 3). Gregory became abbot soon after he was recalled back to Rome and devoted himself to teaching his monks the Holy Scripture. He was also given to mission work throughout his lifetime. At one point, Gregory met with English youths in a forum and desired to convert them. He therefore obtained permission from the Pope, Pelagius II to go to Britain together with his fellow monks for mission work. The Pope granted him permission and the Romans got displeased by the Pope and demanded that Gregory be recalled back to Rome only three days after their departure. This was because of the important position Gregory was holding in Rome. “He was in fact the chief adviser and assistant of ...
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