Gregory the Great

Gregory the Great (c. 540-604)

Standing in a role of one facilitating a major change in society is pivotal, even though the people engaged in the transition may be the ones who really need to possess the talents and resources to bring the change about, or respond to it happening through external forces.

Gregory the Great, remembered today is one such figure.  He has been spoken of as the last of the popes of the early Church period and the first of the popes of the medieval Church.  He was an able administrator, diplomat, political player and compiler of the great teaching texts of the Church as well, especially leading in the field of biblical exposition in preaching, leaving everything he touched better organised than it was before, at the same time as seeing that he may be the last pope as he believed that the culmination of all things under God was at hand.  There are many that see the current world crisis between pandemic and climate change as providing a similar outlook, yet at the same time are building for health and security and new structures, and a worldwide vision of a global society.  

Gregory the Great was also responsible for sending missionaries to Britain under the leadership of Augustine.  They arrived in Kent in 597 and established their base at Canterbury.  It is said that Gregory the Great’s interest in England came after seeing some English slaves in a slave market in Rome.  He is said to have uttered, “they are not Angles but Angels.”

John Mann