Gregory the Great 6

Labor day is a “movable” holiday. According to the Gregorian calendar, today is the memorial of Saint Gregory the Great. Therefore we own this great man at least a brief panegyric. 

In the icon above and in many of the paintings in the video, Saint Gregory is depicted with a dove hovering over or resting on his shoulder. According to tradition (with a small “t”), this dove is whispering the inspiration of  Gregorian chant into the Saint’s ear. Gregory the great liturgical reformer, did not invent the sacred liturgical music form that would forever bear his name. The dove signifies the essence of his longstanding contributions to the Church. His transforming work has been universally recognized as inspired by the Holy Spirit.

In addition to being a symbol of the Holy Spirit, the dove is also a bird of heavenly song. Hence it also serves as an icon of Chant as music come down from heaven and elevating the soul to God. Would you agree?

Mary, Queen of Heaven, Pray for us!

Saint Gregory the Great, Pray for us!


  1. Loved this! Thanks so much for sharing the videos. Sometimes what we see with the eyes and hear with the ears goes straight to the heart. This did for me. God Bless, SR

    • “Sometimes what we see with the eyes and hear with the ears goes straight to the heart.” For me, the essence of sacred art consists in that exactly, when it is truly inspired. Thank you, SR, and God bless!

    • I’m glad you thought the chant was beautiful. That was the solemn tone for the Salve Regina sung by a mixed choir. The simple tone for the same hymn is the one most people are familiar with. I chose this version because it added a unique flavor while remaining beautifully faithful to the canons and dynamics of traditional chant. God bless!

    • Although I used to teach and direct Gregorian chant for a number of years, it is not exactly the type of thing I like to listen to on long road trips. In the liturgy, if it is done right, it is sublime. The more you become familiar with it, the more it grows on you. I have to admit that I do not own a single chant CD or have any Gregorian chant on itunes. I guess I’m a purist — I like it live! I suppose that would be the experience of hearing the singing at the Josephinum.

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