Gregory the Great, pope and doctor - September 3rd
St Gregory the Great (d. 604, Rome, Italy) (Relics: Rome, Italy)
A major part of the relics of St Gregory the Great and the body of St Sebastian are said to have been taken to Soissons, France in 826 AD. Alban Butler in The Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Other Principal Saints claims that in 1564 these relics were stolen and thrown into a ditch by Calvinists. This tradition then maintains that some of these desecrated relics were recovered and subsequently placed into surrounding churches in that area. Despite this tradition the veneration of St Gregory the Great’s relics in Rome has been maintained for centuries.
First Class Relics
St Peter’s Basilica
Altar of St Gregory the Great
*Located within the left transept near the entrance to the sacristy.
*Relics of St Gregory the Great rest below this altar. The mosaic above this altar recounts a Eucharistic miracle attributed to him.
Churches of Honor in Rome
San Gregorio Magno al Celio
(Saint Gregory the Great at the Celio)
Piazza di San Gregorio 1
*This church is south of the Colosseum. It is not open often.
*The land upon which this church now rests was once owned by the family of St Gregory the Great. In the 6th century he built a monastery upon this property. It was from this monastery that St Augustine of Canterbury and his fellow missionaries were sent out to proclaim the Gospel in England. A plaque within this church recalls the importance of this event.
Santa Maria della Pietà (Our Lady of Mercy)
Via del Portico d'Ottavia / Piazza di Monte Savello 9
*This church is near the Jewish quarter and is alongside the Via Lungotevere De Cenci. It is known also as San Gregorio a Ponte Quattro Capi. It is not open often.
*Tradition holds that this church is built over the location of St Gregory’s birth home.
San Gregorio dei Muratori
(Saint Gregory of the Bricklayers)
Via Leccosa 75
*This tiny church is near the Cavour Bridge along the Tiber River. It is difficult to find as it is at the end of a cul-de-sac and blends into the surrounding buildings. It is dedicated to St Gregory the Great. It is not open often.