Pope St Gregory VII
(1020 – 1085)
St Gregory was born the son of a blacksmith at Hildebrand, Italy. In his youth, he was sent to Rome to study.
He was elected Pope in 1073 and remained so until his death in 1085. St Gregory was a great reformer. He played a major role in removing government powers to appoint Bishops and other Church Clergy and, confronted Henry IV, the Holy Roman Emperor, to make Papal elections the direct responsibility of Cardinals. However, this and other disputes with Henry IV led to his excommunication on two separate occasions.
St Gregory also rigorously enforced the church’s rule of celibacy for Catholic Clergy and challenged the practice of payments to gain church positions. He was instrumental in affirming the teaching that “Jesus is truly present in the Blessed Sacrament”. He said, “I believe in my heart and openly profess that the bread and wine that are placed on the altar are, through the mystery of the sacred prayer and the words of the Redeemer, substantially changed into the true and proper and life-giving flesh and blood of Jesus Christ our Lord”.
His Feast Day is 25th May, the anniversary of the date of his death.
Pope St Gregory:
Pray for us that we will never doubt the presence of Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist.
Glory be to the…