Pope Gregory I- 597 A.D.
(Saint Gregory the Great)
It has come to my ears that certain men of perverse spirit have sown
among you some things that are wrong and opposed to the holy faith, so as
to forbid any work being done on the Sabbath day. What else can I call
these [men] but preachers of Antichrist, who when he comes will cause the
Sabbath day as well as the Lord’s Day to be kept free from all work. For
because he [the Antichrist] pretends to die and rise again, he wishes the
Lord’s Day to be held in reverence; and because he compels the people to
Judaize that he may bring back the outward rite of the law, and subject
the perfidy of the Jews to himself, he wishes the Sabbath to be observed.
For this, which is said by the prophet, “You shall bring in no burden
through your gates on the Sabbath day” [Jer. 17:24] could be held to as
long as it was lawful for the law to be observed according to the letter.
But after that the grace of almighty God, our Lord Jesus Christ, has
appeared, the commandments of the law that were spoken figuratively
cannot be kept according to the letter. For if anyone says that this
about the Sabbath is to be kept, he must say that carnal sacrifices are
to be offered. He must say too that the commandment about the
circumcision of the body is still to be retained. But let him hear the
apostle Paul saying in opposition to him: “If you be circumcised, Christ
will profit you nothing” [Gal. 5:2] (Letters 13:1 [A.D. 597]).