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4. Gregory the Great and Monasticism

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Chapter Summary

Gregory the Great is connected with some very important aspects of monasticism. His relationship with the movement of Benedict of Nursia stands at the beginning of the development of what became the very influential Benedictinism. The great historical success of the Benedictine rule to some extent obstructs the recognition of other early monastic traditions and influences that decisively formed Gregory's own monastic life and thinking, and possibly even more strongly than the Benedictine ideal of the monk. On becoming pope, Gregory moved from the monastery of St. Andrew to the Lateran palace; but there too he adhered to the monastic life. Gregory answered several letters of congratulation from friends on his election to the papacy by lamenting that he had thus lost the monastic life. According to a statement by Gregory in June 597, he had the care of 3000 monastic institutions.

Keywords: Benedict of Nursia; Benedictinism; Gregory; Lateran palace; monasticism; papacy



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