After reading yesterday’s post about St Gregory the Great, our friend Jordan Hainsey sent in some photographs of the principal Roman church dedicated to him, known as “St Gregory on the Caelian Hill.” The church was originally just an simple oratory on the property of a villa which belonged to Pope Gregory’s family, and which he converted into a monastery; it was from this place that he sent the monastery’s quondam prior, St Augustine of Canterbury, and his companions on the famous mission to the Anglo-Saxons. As is the case with many Roman churches, it was originally dedicated to another Saint, in this case, the Apostle Andrew, but later came to be renamed for its founder; since 1573. it has been a Camaldolese monastery.
|At the entrance to a side chapel is an ancient Roman marble chair from the 1st century B.C. which is held by tradition to be the cathedra on which Pope Gregory sat when presiding at liturgies in the church.|
|On one of the sanctuary’s side walls is late-7th century icon of the Madonna and Child. Tradition claims that Saint Gregory prayed before this picture, and that the Madonna spoke to him.|
|At the end of the right side aisle is the Chapel of Saint Gregory; the altarpiece by Sisto Badalocchio shows Saint Gregory Inspired by the Holy Spirit. (1606)|