SAINT GREGORY THE GREAT
Among all the Pastors, whom our Lord Jesus Christ has placed, as his Vicegerents, over the universal Church, there is not one whose merits and renown have surpassed those of the holy Pope, whose feast we keep to-day. His name is Gregory, which signifies watchfulness; his surname is the Great, and he was in possession of that title when God sent the Seventh Gregory, the glorious Hildebrand, to govern his Church. In recounting the glories of this illustrious Pontiff, it is but natural we should begin with his zeal for the Services of the Church. The Roman Liturgy, which owes to him some of its finest Hymns, may be considered as his work, at least in this sense, that it was he who collected together and classified the prayers and rites drawn up by his predecessors, and reduced them to the form, in which we now have them. He collected also the ancient chants of the Church, and arranged them in accordance with the rules and requirements of the Divine Service.
Hence it is, that our sacred music is called the Gregorian Chant, which gives such solemnity to the Liturgy, and inspires the soul with respect and devotion during the celebration of the great Mysteries of our Faith. He is, then, the Apostle of the Liturgy, and this alone would have immortalized his name; but we must look for far greater things from such a Pontiff as Gregory. His name was added to the three, who had hitherto been honored as the great Doctors of the Latin Church. These three were Ambrose, Augustine, and Jerome; who else could be the fourth but Gregory? The Church found in his Writings such evidence of his having been guided by the Holy Ghost, — such a knowledge of the Sacred Scriptures, such a clear appreciation of the Mysteries of Faith, and such unction and authority in his teachings, that she gladly welcomed him as a new guide for her children.
Such was the respect, wherewith everything he wrote was treated, that his very Letters were preserved as so many precious treasures. This immense Correspondence shows us, that there was not a country, scarcely even a city, of the Christian world, on which the Pontiff had not his watchful eye steadily fixed; that there was not a question, however local or personal, which, if it interested religion, did not excite his zeal and arbitration, as the Bishop of the universal Church. If certain writers of modern times had but taken the pains to glance at these Letters, written by a Pope of the 6th century, they would never have asserted, as they have done, that the prerogatives of the Roman Pontiff are based on documents, fabricated, as they say, two hundred years after the death of Gregory. Throned on the Apostolic See, our Saint proved himself to be a rightful heir of the Apostles, not only as the representative and depository of their authority, but as a fellow-sharer in their mission of calling nations to the True Faith.
The Liturgical Year – Ven. Dom Guéranger O.S.B.
Eucharistic Miracle of Rome – ITALY, 6th-7th Century
Among the most important works in which this Eucharistic Miracle, which occurred in Rome in the year 595, is mentioned is The Life of Blessed Pope Gregory, written by a deacon named Paul in 787.
It was the custom in those days that the bread used for the Eucharistic Celebration was prepared by the faithful themselves. Pope St. Gregory the Great was a direct witness of this Miracle. One Sunday, while he was celebrating Holy Mass in the ancient church dedicated to St. Peter, at the time for distributing Holy Communion, he noticed that among the faithful standing in line there was also present one of the women who had prepared the bread for the Consecration. She was laughing out loud. The Pope, visibly disturbed, asked her what was the reason for her behavior. The woman defended herself by saying she could not bring herself to believe how it was possible that the bread which she herself had prepared with her hands, thanks to the words of consecration, had become the Body and Blood of Christ. At that point, St. Gregory prohibited her from going to Communion and implored God to enlighten her. Just when he finished praying, he saw the very portion of bread prepared by that woman change into flesh and blood. The woman, repentant, knelt down to the ground and began to weep. Even today, part of the Relic of the Miracle is preserved at Andechs in Germany, at the local Benedictine Monastery.
St. Gregory I, the Great – Pope and Doctor / Thursday in the Third Week of Lent
Double/White Vestments – Missa ‘Si díligis me’
INTROIT – John 21:15-17
Si díligis me, Simon Petre, pasce agnos meos, pasce oves meas.
Ps.Exaltábo te, Dómine, quóniam suscepísti me, nec delectásti inimícos meos super me. Gloria Patri.
If thou lovest Me, Simon Peter, feed My lambs; feed My sheep.
Ps. I will extol Thee, O Lord, for Thou hast upheld me: and hast not made my enemies to rejoice over me. Glory be to the Father.
O God, Who didst give to the soul of Thy servant Gregory the reward of everlasting bliss: mercifully grant, that we who are oppressed by the burden of our sins, may be raised up by his intercession with Thee. Through Jesus Christ thy Son…
Second Collect For The Feria In Lent
O God, who hast in their heavenly birthday bestowed upon thy blessed Saints Cosmas and Damian everlasting glory, and upon us the assistance of thine unspeakable providence: grant, we pray thee, that we, who now observe the same, may use it to the increasing of thy honor and glory. Through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end.
EPISTLE – I Peter 5: 1-4, 10-11
Dearly beloved, the ancients therefore that are among you, I beseech , who am myself also am ancient, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ as also a partaker of that glory which is to be revealed in time to come feed the flock of God which is among you, taking care of it, not by constraint, but willingly, according to God: not for filthy lucre’s sake, but voluntarily: neither as lording it over the clergy, but being made a pattern of the flock from the heart. And when the prince of pastors shall appear, you shall receive a never fading crown of glory. But the God of all grace, Who hath called us unto His eternal glory in Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a little, will himself perfect you, and confirm you, and establish you. To Him be glory and empire for ever and ever. Amen.
GRADUAL: Psalm 106: 32, 31
Let them exalt him in the Church of the people: and praise him in the chair of the ancients. Let the mercies of the Lord give glory to him, and the wonderful works to the children of men.
TRACT – Psalm 39:10-11
I have declared Thy justice in a great church, lo, I will not restrain my lips: O Lord, Thou knowest it. I have not hid Thy justice within my heart: I have declared Thy truth and Thy salvation. I have not concealed Thy mercy and Thy truth from a great council.
GOSPEL: Matthew 16: 13-19
At that time, Jesus came into the quarters of Cæsarea Philippi, and He asked His disciples, saying, “Whom do men say that the Son of man is?” But they said, Some, John the Baptist, and other some, Elias, and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. Jesus saith to them, “But whom do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answering, said to him, “Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but My Father Who is in Heaven: and I say to thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it; and to thee I will give the keys of the kingdom of Heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in Heaven; and whatsoever thou shall loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in Heaven.”
OFFERTORY – Jeremiah 1. 9-10
Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth: See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.
Vouchsafe, O Lord, we beseech Thee, that through the intercession of blessed Gregory, we may profit by this oblation of the Sacrifice which wrought for the whole world remission of sin. Through Jesus Christ…
SECOND SECRET OF THE FERIA IN LENT
O Lord, who in this holy sacrifice hast given unto us thyself the firstfruits of all martyrs: we beseech thee to accept the oblations which we render unto thee, in honor of the servants, whose death is right dear in thy sight. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord. Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God.
PREFACE – OF THE APOSTLES
It is truly meet and just, right and for our salvation, to entreat Thee humbly, O Lord, that Thou woulds not desert Thy flock. O everlasting Shepherd; but through Thy blessed Apostles, wouldst keep it under Thy constant protection; that it may be governed by those same rulers, whom as vicars of Thy work, Thou didst set over it to be its pastors. And therefore with Angels and Archangels, with Thrones and Dominations, and with all the hosts of the heavenly army, we sing the hymn of The glory, evermore saying:
Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus, Dóminus Deus Sábaoth. Pleni sunt cæli et terra glória tua. Hosánna in excélsis. Benedíctus qui venit in nómine Dómini. Hosánna in excélsis.
COMMUNION – Matthew 16: 18
Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church.
O God, Who didst make the blessed Pontiff Gregory rank in merit with Thy Saints: mercifully grant that we who celebrate this festival in his memory, may also follow the example of his life. Through Jesus Christ…
Second Postcommunion For The Feria in Lent
Grant, we pray thee, O Lord, that we who have here received this holy sacrament pleading the merits of thy blessed Martyrs Cosmas and Damian, may obtain therein the assurance of our everlasting salvation. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord. Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end.
Introit – 00:00:00 – 00:06:27
Kyrie Eleison – 00:06:28 – 00:12:59
Asperges me, Domine – 00:13:00 – 00:19:40
Credo IV – 00:19:41 – 00:27:26
Pange lingua gloriosi – 00:27:27 – 00:33:57
Gradual and Alleluia – 00:33:58 – 00:40:38
Credo III – 00:40:39 – 00:47:21
Jesu dulcis memoria – 00:47:22 – 00:54:23
Adoro te devote – 00:54:34 – 01:01:01
St. Gregory the Great, ora pro nobis!