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St. Sylvia

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Feastday: November 5
Patron of Pregnant Women
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St. Sylvia, Mother of St. Gregory the Great (Feast - November 5) The Church venerates the sanctity of Sylvia and Gordian, the parents of St. Gregory the Great, as well as his two aunts, Tarsilla and Emiliana. St. Sylvia was a native of the region of Sicily while St. Gordian, her husband, came from the vicinity of Rome. They had two sons: Gregory and another whose name has not survived the ages. Gordian died about 573 and Gregory converted his paternal home into a monastery. Sylvia therefore retired to a solitary and quasi-monastic life in a little abode near the Church of St. Sava on the Aventine. It became her custom frequently to send fresh vegetables to her son on a silver platter. One day, when Gregory found himself with nothing to give a poor beggar, he presented him with the platter. St. Sylvia is thought to have gone on to her heavenly reward between 592 and 594. After her death, the holy Pontiff had a picture of both his parents depicted in the Church of St. Andrew. In the sixteenth century, Pope Clement VIII had St. Sylvia inscribed in the Roman Martyrology.

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