This is really one of the exciting things about being a Catholic: 2000 years of saints. St Gregory the Great was born into a patrician family. With wealth, connections, brains and breeding on his side he soon rose up in the ranks of 6th century Roman society.
He gave it all up for the monastery. Then after ordination he was called back to serve as Pope. He used his contacts, his wealth, his privileged upbringing, his education –all of his gifts and his own wealth and the wealth of the papacy to assist the poor, send out missionaries (especially to England) rebuild society, make peace treaties with the barbarians, write books (including the biography of St Benedict) and much more.
Truly a great soul, to be a Catholic is to read the lives of the saints and not just to be inspired, but to feel that somehow their same energy, their love for Christ, their industry and passion and supernatural graces are still alive and available in the world today. The lives of the saints are important to us because it is through them that the Scriptures and the Catechism of the Church are interpreted.
Do you want to understand the gospel more? Read the lives of the saints. Do you want to understand how to pray more? Pray with the saints. Do you want to understand the relationship between charity and the love of Christ? Go with the saints. Do you want to understand Catholic theology? Meditate on the lives of the saints. Each saint incarnates the gospel in a new way. Each one lives out the Catholic faith in a fresh idiom. Each one make the faith come alive in a totally unique and powerful way.