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San Gregorio Magno

18th century Unidentified carved and painted wood 27 1/2 x 9 5/8 x 9 1/4 in. (69.8 x 24.5 x 23.6 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Teodoro Vidal Collection 1996.91.58A-B Smithsonian American Art Museum
2nd Floor, South Wing

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This formidable figure represents St. Gregory wearing the tall miter of the pope. Known as Gregory the Great, Pope Gregory I was one of the four Latin Fathers of the Catholic Church. Born to a noble family in Rome, he gave up personal wealth to dedicate his life to God. He converted his palace into a monastery and lived there for seven years as a monk. He was made a deacon of Rome by Pope Benedict I and became pope in 590. During his papacy, Gregory established the rule of celibacy for the clergy and arranged church music and prayers into the Gregorian chants we hear today.


Religion - saint - St. Gregory