St. Gregory's Day

St. Gregory's Day

March 12
St. Gregory was a sixth-century monk who became a pope. He is said to have invented the Gregorian chant. Popular legend attributes many acts of kindness to St. Gregory. One is that he freed frogs from the ice of early spring. Another is that he loved beggars and fed them at his own table with food served on golden plates.
St. Gregory is also the patron saint of schoolchildren and scholars. In Belgium, schoolchildren rise early on March 12 and parade through the streets dressed as "little soldiers of St. Gregory." They carry a big basket for gifts and are accompanied by a noisy drummer. One of them is dressed as Pope Gregory in gaudy vestments and a gold paper crown. The young girls in the procession wear big shoulder bows that resemble the wings of a butterfly. They march from house to house, pausing at each door to sing a song and to ask for treats.
The procession always includes a group of angels, because the legend says that when Gregory was walking through the slave market at Rome, he saw a group of handsome young English youths. Upon learning their nationality, he exclaimed, "Were they but Christians, they would truly be angeli [angels], not Angli [Anglo-Saxons]!"
SOURCES:
FestWestEur-1958, p. 5
OxYear-1999, p. 114