From the day he became Pope, Saint Gregory applied himself vigorously to the duties of the Church, appointing overseers to look after its secular affairs so he could devote himself to the celebration of Holy Mass where his homilies on the Gospel and the Eucharist became the talk of Rome.

He dealt with codifying rules for selecting deacons and priests to make these offices more spiritual. Until Saint Gregory's time, for example, deacons were elected not because of their spirituality but because they had good voices to help sing the liturgy.

Because he so loved the solemn celebration of the Eucharist, Saint Gregory devoted himself to compiling the Antiphonary–containing the chants of the Church used during the liturgy (which is called today by his name, Gregorian Chant)–and setting up the foundation for the Schola Cantorum, Rome's famous training school for choristers.

Saint Gregory never rested and wore himself down almost to a skeleton. Even as he lay dying, he directed the affairs of the Church and continued his spiritual writing. He died in 604 and was buried in St. Peter's Church. Saint Gregory is venerated as the fourth Doctor of the Latin Church and his influence on the daily life of the Church is evident even in our own time.

Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration Newsletter
April 1990