For my brethren and sisters on the other side of the Tiber, today is the memorial for St. Gregory the Great. Patron of musicians, singers, teachers and students, I feel a certain connection to him, and that connection is only strengthened by his work in my area of study.
Gregory’s Magna Moralia (a/k/a Commentary on Job) includes considerable discussion of the Seven Deadly Sins, providing us with what is now the traditional order of the Sins, beginning with pride and moving through the other sins of the spirit to the sins of the flesh. The mnemonic for this “Gregorian” (as distinct from the older “Cassianic” order, which actually has eight deadlies — it’s a long story) is siiaagl (Superbia, Invidia, Ira, Acedia, Avaritia, Gula, and Luxuria).
And for the benefit of my fellow Prods, even John Calvin spoke highly of Gregory, going so far as to call him “the last good Pope.” (It was John Calvin, after all.) And on top of all this, Gregory is the guy who allegedly said of a blond Briton, “They are not Angles, but Angels”, which led him to send St. Augustine of Canterbury to England.
So a great Gregory’s Day to all, and as I make my way to Kentucky today, I wouldn’t object to those of you who do such things asking for his intercession on behalf of this particular musician, teacher, and student.