Rome in the year 590 a.d. A plague is tearing through the city. Pope Pelagius II is dead. Outside the walls, Lombard soldiers are raising their swords. What can save the Eternal City? All eyes, and all hopes, are on the next Pope.
Veteran writer Sigrid Grabner tells the dramatic story of Pope Gregory I — a poor monk known now to history as St. Gregory the Great. Born to a noble family and trained in Roman law, Gregory had been prefect of the city of Rome as a young man, but gave up his power to walk in the footsteps of Saint Benedict. Everything changed in a flash when, in 590, he was raised, against his will, to the highest office of Christendom and found himself, as he wrote to one friend, "in the eye of a storm", at the helm of an "old and rotten ship", with the waves groaning around him. He thought he was not up to the job. But he was wrong.
Gregory's political savvy, spiritual energy, generosity, and gift for peacemaking not only steered Rome clear of a shipwreck, but laid the foundations for the future of Europe.
About the Author
Sigrid Grabner is a writer and columnist based in Potsdam, Germany. Formerly a professor at Humboldt University, where she received a Ph.D. in art history, she has published more than ten books of history, biography, and historical fiction. She contributes regularly to the German-language periodical VATICAN Magazin.