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He was just standing there, not doing anything special. As a Syrian priest he must have felt a little out of place among the Roman people mourning that day for the dead Pope. As a good preacher, he must have wanted to speak to the funeral procession about Christ’s promise of resurrection. As a learned man, he must have wondered who would follow the holy Saint Gregory II as Pope and where he would take the Church. As a holy man, he must have been praying for Gregory II and for all the people around him to find their place after death in God’s arms. But he was just one of the crowd.

Not to God. And not to the people who recognized the well-known holy man in their midst. Right in the middle of the funeral procession they singled him out. They swept him away and clamored for him to be named the next bishop of Rome. Then suddenly, unexpectedly, without his even lifting a finger, his whole life changed and he could no longer just stand there and do nothing.

After he was proclaimed Pope Gregory III, Emperor Leo II attacked the veneration of holy images. Because Leo II thought the honor paid to Jesus, Mary, and the saints by keeping statues and icons was idolatry, he condemned them and wanted them destroyed. Gregory III didn’t just stand there but immediately sent a letter to Leo II. He couldn’t get the letter through because the priest-messenger was afraid to deliver it. So instead, Gregory called a synod that approved strong measures against anyone who would try to destroy images of Jesus, Mary, or the saints.

Gregory took his stand and Leo II apparently thought the only way to move him was through physical force. So Leo sent ships to kidnap Gregory and bring him to Constantinople. Many people in Rome must have tried to get Gregory to move — but he just stood there. And once again God intervened. A storm destroyed Leo’s ships. The only thing Leo could do was capture some of the papal lands.

So Leo got a few acres of land and we kept our wonderful reminders of the love of God, the protection of Jesus, the prayers of Mary, and the examples of the saints. All because Gregory knew when to take a stand — and when to stand there and let God work. St. Gregory III was Pope from 731-741.

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16 COMMENTS

  1. Praise be to Jesus, Mary and all the Saints in Heaven. Protect us all against evil in this world and help us along the path of salvation to God’s Kingdom. Jesus, Mary and the Heavenly Saints, pray for us, sinners in exile.

      • All Gods people that lead a good life are saints in thier own right. Lead a Godly life and you shall redeem your rewards in the after life.

      • First, choose a holy life. Available to you are the sacraments, prayer, corporeal and spiritual acts of mercy, and taking up your cross. Whatever you find yourself confessing at reconciliation over and over is a cross. Carry that cross and break free. Remember that the standar for heaven is not to just a good person. You have to be holy but remember the things above to help you. Fine a Saint whose life speaks to you.

        • talk to the Lord and be not afraid to tell him your hearts desires, just be prepared for his answer, then spend your time in prayer..

    • u can if u want , u must know it is not an easy way of living , u will face a lot of obstacles , u got 2 leave everything that belongs 2 this earth and b in connection with God , prayer is a a magic tool 2 get close 2 God and b in contact with him , if u feel u r called by God then go a head and don’t fear anything or any 1. praying 4 u

  2. Saturday mornihg and already another chance to comment. As for me, I just want to be whatever it is that my Lord and Savior, the Risen Christ Jesus wants me to be. Here or there, in sickness or in health,I love the song which in part goes “Just one day at a time sweet Jesus that’s all I,m asking of you, help me today, show me the way, one day at a time”. I seem to be at odds in this world, hard to be understood, but I take my stand at the foot of His Cross, in which He redeemed fallen mankind. I love Him and He loves me so much more than I couuld ever deserve. God, in all of His Majesty is so good. “Let everything that hath breath, Preise ye the Lord.” Amen

  3. O invincible defender of Holy Church’s freedom, Saint Gregory of great renown, by that firmness thou didst show in maintaining the Church’s rights against all her enemies, stretch forth from heaven thy mighty arm, we beseech thee, to comfort her and defend her in the fearful battle she must ever wage with the powers of darkness. Do thou, in an especial manner, give strength in this dread conflict to the venerable Pontiff who has fallen heir not only to thy throne, but likewise to the fearlessness of thy mighty heart; obtain for him the joy of beholding his holy endeavors crowned by the triumph of the Church and the return of the lost sheep into the right path. Grant, finally, that all may understand how vain it is to strive against that faith which has always conquered and is destined always to conquer: “this is the victory which overcometh the world, our faith.” This is the prayer that we raise to thee with one accord; and we are confident, that, after thou has heard our prayers on earth, thou wilt one day call us to stand with thee in heaven, before the eternal High Priest, who with the Father and the Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth world without end. Amen.

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