St. Gregory VII


 
Feast Day:
Roman Rite Calendar - 05/25


Also known as
    Hildebrand

Memorial
    25 May

Profile
    Educated in Rome. Benedictine monk. Chaplain to Pope Gregory VI. In charge of the Patrimony of Saint Peter. Reformer and excellent administrator. Chose 152nd pope, but he declined. Chief counselor to Pope Victor II, Pope Stephen IX, Pope Benedidct X, and Pope Nicholas II. 157th pope.

    At the time of his ascension, simony and a corrupt clergy threatened to destroy faith in the Church. Gregory took the throne as a reformer, and Emperor Henry IV promised to support him. He suspended all clerics who had purchased their position, and ordered the return of all purchased church property. The corrupt clergy rebelled; Henry IV broke his promise, and promoted the rebels. Gregory responded by excommunicating anyone involved in lay investiture. He summoned Henry to Rome, but the emperor's supporters drove Gregory into exile. Henry installed the anti-pope Guibert of Ravenna, who was driven from Rome by Normans who supported Gregory; the Normans were, themselves, so out of control that the people of Rome drove out them and Gegory. The Pope retreated to Salerno where he spent the remainder of his papacy.

Born
    c.1020 as Hildebrand in Soana, Italy

Papal Ascension
    1073

Died
    1085 at Salerno, Italy of natural causes



All information used with permission of the Patron Saint Index.

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