St. Gregory I
c.540 - 604
Gregory the Great, the first monastic pope, became the founder of the wordly power of the papacy and gradually the secular ruler of the city of Rome.

Gregory was born of noble family in Rome. Under Pope Pelagius II he served as legate to Constantinople. When Pelagius died in 590, Gregory was chosen pope.

As pope he established missions in Sicily, Sardinia, and Lombardy. He also sent monks to convert England and had the archbishopric at Canterbury established. Gregory introduced the style of singing in churches known as the 'Gregorian chant'.

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Letters from Gregory