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St. Gregory of Ostia

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Facts

Death: 1044

Having entered the Benedictine Order, Gregory became abbot of the Roman monastery of Saints Cosmas and Damian. Around the year 1034, Pope Benedict IX, acquainted with Gregory's holiness and wisdom, made him cardinal-bishop of the nearby city of Ostia and the papacy's official librarian. The pontiff then sent Gregory as papal legate to the Spanish kingdom of Navara. Here the bishop renewed the people's morals and the practice of their faith by his preaching and by the establishment of numerous processions, fasts, and other religious exercises. When a plague of locusts wiped out the crops of the region, Gregory led the people in a triduum of public prayers and fasting to obtain a cessation of this infestation. After Gregory imparted his blessing with the sign of the cross, the infestation ended. Over the centuries since his death, Saint Gregory has been regularly invoked in prayer for protection from locusts. With this intention, water to which his bone relics had been touched would be sprinkled upon cultivated fields, gardens, and vineyards.

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