What's more, my Italian friends and their families marked their "onomastico" with as much festivity as we would celebrate a birthday.
I think that Catholic customs like this are very important and I do my best promote them in the parish. So when I realized that the first Mass of the new school year fell on the memorial of Pope St. Gregory the Great I talked to the students about it, and suggested they find out when their patron's feast occurs so they can encourage their families to mark the day in some way.
Well, I discovered that I may have been preaching to the converted! Here is the gift that the staff and students gave me at the end of Mass:
To add to my delight, the bottle was no gimmick--turns out it's from an award winning winery in California, owned by an Italian family. And sure enough--the patriarch was Gregorio!