So it’s 595 CE, and Bede tells us that Pope Gregory the First decided to visit a nearby slave market. Why? I’m not sure. Maybe it was a slow day at the Vatican, and this was before the internet so what else are you going to do for fun? Whatever the reason, apparently the Pope decided to go peruse the wares, so to speak.
And we’re told that he came upon a group of pale skinned, fair haired slave boys. And apparently they caught his eye. When Gregory inquired about them, he was told they were Angles.
It’s reported that he responded to this saying Non Angli, sed angeli (in English, that means “not Angles, but Angels”). I like to imagine that he turned to a nearby acolyte, shouted “Up top!” and high fived him.
Anyway, we’re told that he then asked more specifically where the boys were from, and he was told that they were pagans from Diera. To which Gregory added that they should be rescued from “de ira” (which, in Latin, means “from wrath”).
And then hopefully he turned around and said “Sabinian, don’t leave me hanging bro… come on, that was pretty good.”
But Bede neglects to tell us if high fives actually occurred… but the high fives (or more likely groans) were well deserved because we’re also told that after learning that the king of Diera was named King Aelle, Gregory instead decided to refer to him King Alleluia.
And then I’m guessing he said “Thank you, you’ve been a great audience. I’ll be here all week.” Before dispatching Augustine to convert the pagans…