In his article, “Pope Gregory the Great in the Time of Plague,” Msgr. Steenson says that “Gregory the Great was indisputably amongst the greatest popes to lead the Church (AD 590-604), and he did so as his world was crumbling around him. The Roman Empire in the West had fallen, the infrastructure of Rome lay in ruins, the Tiber was constantly flooding, and famine and the bubonic plague were decimating a population already in steep decline. And the plague had just taken the life of Pope Pelagius II in February of 590.” 1
After becoming Pope, Gregory led a Eucharistic procession of clergy and lay faithful through the city’s streets, chanting “Kyrie eleison (Lord have mercy)” as they called the people to repent and prayed for God to alleviate the plague. This wasn’t without casualties as some 80 people died during that procession. As Msgr points out, “(In later medieval tradition, a miracle had occurred then at Castel San Angelo, where the Archangel Michael appeared, halting the spread of the plague, as the procession approached, bearing the famous icon of Mary the Mother of God, Salus Populi Romani, the salvation of the people of Rome.)” Some reports said they could see Archangel Michael sheath his sword, indicating the plague had ended, as they crossed the bridge.
In the eschatological calendar of the Church, there is to come a time where all nations will recognize and worship Christ in the form of the Eucharist. That age is closer than most people think.
Listen to Fr. Theo discuss Corpus Christi Sunday and what it means for the Church.
28 Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” 30 So they said to him, “Then what sign do you do, that we may see, and believe you? What work do you perform? 31 Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” 32 Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven; my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven, and gives life to the world.” 34 They said to him, “Lord, give us this bread always.” 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 50 This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that a man may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh.” 52 The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” 53 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; 54 he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 56 He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats me will live because of me. 58 This is the bread which came down from heaven, not such as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live for ever.”John 6:28-34, 48-58, Revised Standard Version Catholic edition
The Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian faith. In Greek, eucharistia means thanksgiving and we thank God for allowing us to abide in Him so that He may abide in us until He comes again.
1 – Pope Gregory the Great in the Time of Plague, by Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson May 26, 2020 at https://chnetwork.org/2020/05/26/pope-gregory-the-great-in-the-time-of-plague/