Monday, September 5, 2016

Saint Gregory the Great: Lover of Cherries

Saint Gregory the Great is the patron of teachers, students, musicians and he is an intercessor against gout, fever and plagues. Saint Gregory held possessions and chants to hold back a great plague in Rome. He also popularized saying, "God Bless You" in a spiritual attempt to physically eradicate the bubonic plague by blessing those who were sick and spreading the disease. The day we celebrate this great man is September 3rd. 

Saint Gregory the Great had a great love of cherries. It is said that on the feast of St. Mark, April 25th was suddenly overwhelmed by an overwhelming powerful desire for cherries. History says that servants and gardeners were at a loss. The spring weather was still fresh were just blossoming.
Fortunately, one gardener who was wandering through the gardens in despair when he was visited by St. Mark in a cloud of fire. The saint asked him why he was upset. As soon as Saint Mark heard the answer, he placed a special blessing on a cherry tree, and in an instant it was covered in fragrant, succulent red cherries. Popes now have cherries served on the feast of Saint Mark and Saint Gregory the Great in honor of this legend.

This year Saint Gregory the Great's feast day fell during the middle of a crazy weekend for my family. We attended the Labor Day Lift Off  for the first time. Due to a change in my work schedule for the week and adding this exciting adventure to our weekend required some rearranging in our schedule. At least we were able to make it to the event and cross off an activity on our Autumn Bucket List. I will be sharing my post on Saint Teresa of Calcutta later this week! Don't worry, I may be a little jumbled at times but it all evens out in the end. 

We had intended to have a small celebration later during the weekend but we never were able to make the Cherry Crisp we were hoping to make in his honor. I have included a recipe below. We did have a discussion about him and the stories that are remembered most about him. 

Since tomorrow is the first day back to school since Labor Day Weekend, I suggest sending something special for your children's teachers and/or something special to school with your children since Saint Gregory is a patron of teachers and students!

Cherry Crisp:

1 Can Cherry Pie Filling 
1 1/4 Cup Bisquick
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 Tablespoon Cinnamon
1 Egg
1/4 Cup Melted Butter

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Pour fruit in 8 x 8 pan. Mix Bisquick, sugar and cinnamon. Mix dry ingredients and egg together until crumbly. Sprinkle over fruit as a topping. Pour melted butter over topping mix. Bake 25 minutes. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

The novena below is normally said August 26th through September 3rd but you can always say a novena whenever you feel the need!

Novena to Saint Gregory the Great:

St. Gregory, you are known for your zeal for the Catholic faith, love of liturgy, and compassion and mercy toward those in need. Please help and guide us so that we may share in these virtues and thereby bring Jesus into the hearts of our families and all we encounter. We especially ask for blessings on our parish family, our priests and our deacons. 

I also ask that you graciously intercede for me before God so that I might be granted the special assistance and graces that I seek (state personal intentions here.). Help me to live as a faithful child of God and to attain the eternal happiness of heaven. 

St. Gregory the Great pray for us. 

Saint Gregory the Great, pray for us!


  1. I loved this post! I like being able to put a personality to the saints. We love cherries, too.

    1. I know exactly what you mean! I try to find something that I can share with my boys that makes the saint "unique". It makes it easier to form a connection.