Saints of The English Year – St. Gregory

March 12th

Pope Gregory the Great (c.540-604) holds a key position in the history of Christianity in England, as it was he who sent St. Augustine to convert the Anglo-Saxons. His feast day was thus given a high profile and celebrated in the early English Church, but this popularity does not seem to have translated into secular regard, and no known traditional customs took place on his day. Nevertheless, in the late 1930s, A.R. Wright and T.E. Lines  reported from Lancashire:

The farmer and the cottager deem it necessary, in order to obtain a good crop of onions, to sow the seed on St. Gregory’s day, which is called ‘Gregory-gret-onion’.

[©Steve Roud: The English Year. Penguin 2006]

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