Gregory the great dialogues. St. Gregory the Great: Dialogues 2022-12-10
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Gregory the Great, also known as Saint Gregory I, was a Pope of the Roman Catholic Church who lived in the 6th century. He is known for his influential writings, including the Dialogues, which are a collection of four books containing stories and teachings about the lives of saints and other religious figures.
The Dialogues were written in Latin and are considered one of the most important works of hagiography, or the study of the lives of saints. They are structured as conversations between Gregory and various figures, including Saint Benedict, Saint Jerome, and Saint Augustine. Through these dialogues, Gregory presents the lives and teachings of the saints as examples of how to live a holy and virtuous life.
One of the most famous stories in the Dialogues is the story of Saint Benedict, the founder of Western monasticism. In the dialogue, Gregory presents Benedict as a model of humility and discipline, and tells the story of how he founded the Benedictine Order and established monasteries throughout Italy. The story of Saint Benedict has had a lasting influence on the development of monasticism and the Catholic Church, and is still revered by many today.
In addition to the stories of the saints, the Dialogues also contain teachings and reflections on a wide range of topics, including salvation, the nature of God, and the role of the Church in society. Gregory's writing is characterized by his strong faith and his desire to help others understand and live out the teachings of the Church.
Overall, the Dialogues of Gregory the Great are an important and influential work that has had a lasting impact on the Catholic Church and its teachings. They offer valuable insights into the lives and teachings of the saints, and provide a rich source of inspiration and guidance for those seeking to live a virtuous and holy life.
St. Gregory the Great: Dialogues
But suddenly by miracle the locks were cast far off, and the doors of themselves, making a great noise, flew open: and all the lamps, before put out, were lightened again by fire descending from heaven: and the Arian Bishop that came to 153 enter the church by violence, was suddenly struck blind, so that other men were fain to lead him back again to his own lodging. In the same house there was a Bulgar, servant to the foresaid Narsus, who in all haste, being brought to the sick person, spake unto him in the Bulgarian tongue; and the boy that was born and brought up in Italy, answered him so in that barbarous language, as though he had been born and bred in that country. For he saith that going upon a day into his garden, he found it all full of caterpillars, and seeing all his worts spoiled, turning himself to them, he spake thus: "I adjure you, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to depart from hence, and not to eat any more of these worts ": after which words, those worms did forthwith so vanish away, that there was not one to be found in all the whole garden. Then the man of God, seeing that no oil came from the press, called for water, which he blessed before them all, and with his own hands cast it upon the press: and forthwith, by virtue 167 of that benediction, such plenty of oil ran forth, that the Lombards, who before had long laboured in vain, did not only fill their own vessels, but also his bottle: giving him thanks for that, coming to beg oil, by his blessing he bestowed that upon them which himself had demanded. But why do I spend so many words in discoursing of his wonderful life, when as we have so many miracles, even at these days, wrought at his body? I am well pleased with your answer: but is there, I pray you, anything else of him yet remaining, which may serve for our edification? This portion of the Dialogues represents the most detailed and lengthy biography of Benedict from a near contemporary and is the source of many of the stories told about this important saint.
Divided into Four Books, wherein he entreateth of the Lives and Miracles of the Saints in Italy and of the Eternity of Men's Souls. Gregory I , Dialogi for manuscripts containing only book 2 Vita Benedicti ,. Likewise upon another day, the lamps hanging without light, fire came from heaven and set them a burning: and a few days after, when mass was ended, and the keeper of the church had put out the lamps, and was departed, yet returning back again, he found them burning which before he had put forth; but thinking that he had done it negligently, he did it now more carefully the second time, and so departed the church and shut the door; but returning three hours after, he found them again burning as before: to the end that by the very light the world might manifestly know, how that place was from darkness translated to light. But because I have now spoken sufficient for the 159 condemnation of Arianism, therefore I will return to entreat of such other miracles as have lately fallen out here in Italy. What, I pray, do you think, is the cause that good men are still taken away; and such as for the benefit and edification of many, might live still in this world, either are not to be found at all, or at least very few can be heard of? The sumptuous house of gold, which is being built for an unnamed person, is the ultimate source of the empty throne seen preparing probably for St. I remember that, in the second book of this work, 188 I told you how venerable Benedict as by relation of his own monks I learned being far distant from the city of Capua, beheld the soul of Germanus Bishop of the same place at midnight to be carried to heaven in a fiery globe: who, seeing the soul as it was ascending up, beheld also, in the largeness of his own soul, within the compass of one sunbeam, the whole world as it were gathered together.
The Dialogues of St. Gregory the Great by Pope Gregory I
What was the cause, that the old enemy presumed to kill his son in his own house: who, thinking him to be a stranger, vouchsafed him of lodging and entertainment? The ship in which the Bishop was, after many great dangers, at length arrived all weather-beaten at the island of Ostica: and when three days were past, and the Bishop could hear no news of the foresaid mariner that was so violently carried away with the storm, nor see him in any part of the sea, very sorry he was, and verily believed that he had been drowned: and so upon great charity bestowed one thing upon him being yet alive, which was not due unto him until he was dead: for he willed that the sacrifice of the healthful oblation should be offered unto almighty God for the absolution of his soul: which being done accordingly, and the ship new rigged, away he departed for Italy, where, arriving at Portua, he found the mariner alive, whom he verily supposed to have been drowned: upon which good chance altogether unlooked for, very glad he was, and demanded of him, how it was possible that he could escape so many days, in so great a danger and so terrible a tempest: who told him, how in that storm he was tossed with that little ship which he governed, and how he did swim with it being full of water: and so often as it was turned upside down, how he gat upon the keel, and held fast there: adding also that, by striving and labouring thus continually day and night, at length, with watching and hunger, his strength began to fail him: and then he told how, by the singular providence and mercy of God, he was preserved from drowning: for as even to this very day he still affirmeth, so then did he verify the same to the Bishop, telling him in this manner. Among miracles very fitly do you enquire the inward state of the mind; for it is almost incredible how miracles, wrought in the sight of men, do with their temptation inwardly assault the soul. Out of his den was the beast let loose, who in great fury and haste set upon the Bishop: but suddenly, forgetting all cruelty, with bowed neck and humbled head, he began to lick his feet: to give them all to understand that men carried towards the man of God the hearts of beasts, and the beasts as it were the heart of a man. Several of these stories are well known even to this day, while others, like the story of Florentius and his ill-fated bear, are merely strange and picturesque. Then I began to marvel at myself, and to think in what case I was before, and how I felt myself now: and when I thought upon my former sickness, I found none of those pangs with which before I was troubled: and when my mind was busied about the affairs of the Abbey, my sickness was quite out of my memory; yea, and as I said, if I did think thereof, yet feeling myself so well and strong, I began to doubt whether I had eaten or no.
Gregory the Great, Dialogues (1911) Book 4. pp. 177
Which thing so soon as I understood, very much grieved I was, and could not quietly digest so great a sin at his hands, that lived with us in community, because the rule of my Monastery was that all the monks thereof should so live in common, that none in particular might possess anything proper to himself. At another time, when a great dearth was in the country, the man of God being desirous to repair the church of St. But as I had before learned of the reverent Bishop Floridus, who was at that time there present with the said Priest, and afterward also plainly understood of him that attended that night upon the sick persons, the foresaid venerable Priest, rising out of his bed, went softly to the place where the mad man lay, and there prayed, laying his hands upon him; whereupon the man became somewhat better. In the same country there is a valley, which is called of the plain people Interocrina 25; in which there lived a certain man of a rare life, called Severus, who was a parish priest of the church of our blessed Lady the mother of God and perpetual virgin. Lying upon his left side, he could not endure their sight: and turning to the wall, there also he found them: at last, being very much beset, and despairing of all means to escape their hands, he cried out with a loud voice: "O truce till to-morrow, O truce till to-morrow": and crying out in this sort he gave up the ghost.
The king, hearing this, was desirous to see the man he spake of: "Your Majesty," quoth he, "shall see him, for his manner is to bring me in daily fresh herbs for my dinner, and I will give orders that he shall do it in your presence": which direction being given, as the king sat at dinner, Paulinus came in, bringing with him divers sallettes and fresh herbs: whom so soon as the king beheld, he fell a trembling, and sending for Paulinus' master who by the marriage of his daughter was so near allied unto him , acquainted him with that secret which before he had concealed, saying: "It is very true that which you have heard, for the last night, in a dream, I saw certain judges in their seats sitting upon me, amongst whom this man also sat for one: and by their sentence that whip was taken from me, which for the punishment of others some time I had. Then quoth she: "Our pastor and patron, blessed St. Then the man of God called for those poor naked men, and gave them that apparel, 126 saying: "Put on these clothes to cover your naked bodies withal. After whose departure, she straightways called for the mother of the Convent, and told her what she had seen and heard: and the third day following, both she and the other before mentioned departed this life: and she also, whose company Galla desired, the thirtieth day after did follow them. Baronius places these events in the year 504 or thereabouts.
By which fact almighty God declared what his soul suffered in the other world, whose dead body flaming fire consumed in this. Then with a sad countenance, and in sorrowful manner, he spake thus unto him: "Why do you give me these, father? And he giveth us to understand that his soul was kept in fire, in that he telleth us how he did beseech Abraham, speaking to him in this manner: Send Lazarus, that he may dip the top of his finger into the water and may refresh my tongue: because I am tormented in this flame. All material on this page is in the public domain - copy freely. That miracle, in mine opinion, was in some thing unlike to this: for then the three children were 140 bound hand and foot, and so thrown into the fire, for whom the King looking the next day, found them walking in the furnace, their garments being nothing hurt by those flames: whereby we gather that the fire into which they were cast, and touched not their apparel, did yet consume their bands, so that at one and the same time, for the service of the just, the fire had force to bring them comfort, and yet had none to procure them torment. But because she had a passing high colour, the physicians told her that, unless she did marry again, that she would through abundance of heat, contrary to nature, have a beard like unto men: which afterward fell so out indeed: but the holy woman little regarded outward deformity, which inwardly in her soul was enamoured with the beauty of the heavenly spouse; and feared not if that in her became foul, which she knew that her celestial spouse did nothing love. This story curiously suggests the apparition of St. In addition, the Dialogues offer a glimpse into the theology of one of the great minds of the Church during the time when Roman authority ebbed forever in the West and ecclesiastical authority emerged to fill the void.
Gregory the Great Dialogues : Medieval Text Manuscripts
You see, then, that the reason is all one, why, in the next life, none shall pray for men condemned for ever to hell fire: that there is now of not praying for the devil and his angels, sentenced to everlasting torments: and this also is the very reason why holy men do not now pray for them that die in their infidelity and known wicked life: for seeing certain it is that they be condemned to endless pains, to what purpose should they pray for them, when they know that no petition will be admitted of God, their just judge? Please consult the store to determine exact fees. And because it found not there any place upon which it might rest, it hangeth at this time in such sort, that all which now look upon it do verily think that it would continually fall. This child, in that great mortality which happened three years since, 22 fell sick, and came to the point of death: and his father holding him at that time in his arms, the child as they say, which were then present beheld with trembling eyes certain wicked spirits coming towards him: at which sight he began to cry out in this manner: "Keep them away, father, keep them away": and crying so out, he turned away his face, and would have hid himself in his father's bosom: who demanding why he was so afraid, and what he saw: "O father," quoth he, "there be blackamoors come to carry me away ": after which words straightways he blasphemed God, and so gave up the ghost. For whereas his hands and feet were with the gout before swollen and festered, and by reason of much corrupt matter, did savour and smell: yet when he was dead, and his body after the manner came to be washed, they found his hands and feet so sound and whole, as though they had never been troubled with any such sores at all. After serving as apocrisiarius, or papal legate, to the imperial court of Byzantium, for Pope Pelagius II. John also, an honourable man, one of the governors of this city, 82 and one that is of great gravity and credit, as all know, told me how one Valerianus, that was a gentleman of the city of Bressa, departed this life, whose body for money the Bishop was content should be buried in the church.
Gregory the Great, Dialogues (1911) Introduction. typemoon.org
The reason you bring is so clear, that I cannot gainsay it: but now another question cometh to my mind, and that is, how the soul can truly be called immortal, seeing certain it is that it doth die in that perpetual fire. The day 168 following, again he set it before them, and again the pieces remaining were far more than the former fragments: and so, for the space of ten days together, all those artificers and workmen lived upon that one loaf, and were very well satisfied: some thing remaining every day for the next, as though the fragments had by eating increased. For sometime they proceed of too much fulness or emptiness of the stomach: sometime by illusion: sometime both by thought and illusion: sometime by revelation: and sometime both by thought and revelation. Having witnessed the endless string of disasters that shattered his beloved Italy in the late 6th century A. Certain Lombards being upon a time pressing of olives to make oil, Sanctulus, as he was both merry in countenance and heart, came unto them, and saluted them pleasantly: and shewing them his bottle which he brought, rather willed than desired them to fill it with oil. Whose grace in preaching was so great, that the fame thereof came even to Rome itself: and as the tongues of flatterers do with their glorious words kill the souls of such as give them the hearing, at the same time some of the Roman clergy did in flattering sort complain unto the Bishop of this Apostolic see, saying: "What manner of rustical companion is this, that hath taken upon him authority to preach, and, being without learning, presumeth to usurp unto himself the office of our Apostolical Lord? If we respect outward and visible things, of necessity we must so believe; but if we turn our eyes to invisible things, then certain it is that it is a greater miracle, by preaching of the word and virtue of prayer, to convert a sinner than to raise up a dead man: for in the one, that flesh is raised up which again shall die: but in the other, he is brought from death which shall live for ever.
All material on this page is in the public domain - copy freely. Qui scripsit scribat semper cum domino uiuat. St Syrus, who is specially venerated at Genoa, was Bishop of Pavia, and was martyred about 96. For that our soul doth live after the death of the body, reason doth teach us, assisted and holpen with faith: for almighty God created three kinds of spirits having life. But when God determined to make an end of so many sins, he sent him a great sickness; and when 231 his last time drew near, in that very hour in which his soul was to leave the body, lying with his eyes open, he saw certain cruel men and black spirits stand before him, pressing upon him to carry him away to the pit of hell: at which fearful sight he began to tremble, to wax pale, to sweat, and with pitiful outcries to crave for truce: and often with faltering tongue to call for his son Maximus whom, when I was a monk, I knew also to profess the same kind of life , saying: "Come away, Maximus, with all speed.