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Saturday, March 23, 2013

Pope St Gregory the Great entertained the poor

Saint Gregory admonished his rectors that the papal patrimonies were the goods of the poor, that the thing most to be sought after was not gold, but eternal justice, and that the treasure of the Church was not to be used for selfish ends. By his boundless charities and the extraordinary burden put upon them, he finally emptied his treasury. But this he thought was only as it should be. Every day, he fed at his own table twelve poor pilgrims, whom he insisted on serving himself. We are told that one day when he entered the dining room he saw not twelve men, but thirteen. He inquired of his steward why there was an extra guest, but the astonished steward maintained that they had only the usual number.

“I am sure I see thirteen!” the Pope insisted.

As the meal progressed, Saint Gregory noticed that the countenance of one of his guests kept changing from time to time. Now he would find himself looking into the face of a handsome young man, and again his gaze would fix itself on the same face become suddenly old and venerable. When he could stand the mystery no longer, Pope Gregory drew the strange man aside.

“What is your name?” he asked him.

“Do you not remember,” his guest replied, “the merchant who came to you one day at Saint Andrew’s Monastery and told you that he had lost all his possessions in a shipwreck, and whom you gave twelve pieces of money and the silver dish which was your treasured remembrance of your beloved mother? I am the merchant to whom you gave your mother’s dish. Rather, I am the angel whom God sent to you to prove your charity. Now, do not fear,” he added, seeing Saint Gregory’s trembling amazement, “it is for the alms of that silver dish that God has given you the Chair of Saint Peter. And behold, God has sent me to be your guardian as long as you remain in this world. Whatever you ask will be granted you through me.”

Cathcon- attempts by the modern media to say the Pope is renewing the Papacy through poverty are rather unconvincing.

Since Pope Gregory, the proper titles of the Pope are Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor of the Prince of the Apostles, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Roman Province.
Every Pope is obliged to keep a balance between all of these roles in whatever age they live.  
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