Few people have influenced the church as much as Gregory the Great. Gregory, otherwise known as Pope Gregory I, led the church in the tumultuous time after the fall of the Roman Empire in the west, and in many ways he set the trajectory of the church throughout the Middle Ages. His theological writings, liturgical reforms, and leadership of the church all marked Gregory as a pivotal figure in the history of the church.
Although Gregory the Great died on March 12, 604, his feast is traditionally celebrated on September 3. So in honor of his amazing life and ministry, this Sunday’s prayer comes from him.
O Lord, You received affronts
without number from Your blasphemers,
yet each day You free captive souls
from the grip of the ancient enemy.
You did not avert Your face
from the spittle of perfidy,
yet You wash souls in saving waters.
You accepted Your scourging without murmur,
yet through your meditation
You deliver us from endless chastisements.
You endured ill-treatment of all kinds,
yet You want to give us a share
in the choirs of angels in glory everlasting.
You did not refuse to be crowned with thorns,
yet You save us from the wounds of sin.
In your thirst You accepted the bitterness of gall,
yet You prepare Yourself to fill us with eternal delights.
You kept silence under the derisive homage
rendered You by Your executioners,
yet You petition the Father for us
although You are his equal in Divinity.
You came to taste death,
yet You were the Life
and had come to bring it to the dead.