Gregory the Great 2014 03 12 San Gregorio 04 2

On Wednesday (March 12th) we celebrated the feast and birthday of Pope Gregory the Great, at the San Gregorio monastery on Monte Celio,  the Celio Hill in Rome, the place from where in 595 Pope Gregory sent Augustine and a community of monks to England. This mission eventually led to the building of Canterbury Cathedral, now the mother church of the Anglican Communion. The monastery is still there, with the current community of Camaldolese Benedictines led by the Prior, Australian Father Peter Hughes, offering very warm hospitality to Anglicans who are pilgrims to the site to this day. This is also the place for visits of Archbishops of Canterbury to Rome who join the Pope there, to pray and witness to the desire that we may be one.

Wednesday’s liturgy prayed for the work of ARCIC and IARCCUM, and for the ongoing quest for unity between our Churches. Father Peter, in partnership with the Anglican Centre in Rome, is encouraging Anglican theological colleges to send groups to the site, to live there for a week or two, and hopes that Anglican visitors to Rome will celebrate the Eucharist there and share in the story of the site itself, as a sign of our shared heritage. We have been together longer than we have been apart, if you look at the years of shared life in England prior to the Reformation.

A good place to pray and hope.
David Moxon, 14/03/2014