Saint Gregory VII

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Saint Gregory VII

Pope
(1029-1085)

Gregory VII, one of the greatest of the Roman Pontiffs and one of the most remarkable men of all times, was known as Hildebrand before he became Pope. Born in Tuscany in 1020, he was sent to Rome to be educated under his uncle, who was Abbot of Saint Mary’s monastery on the Aventine Hill. It was a time of great danger for the Church, when the Emperors of Germany were claiming it was their role to elect the successors of Saint Peter, the Vicars of Jesus Christ. They sold ecclesiastic dignities at auction or gave them to unworthy favorites, and many sees were occupied by persons who had obtained them with gold. It was this humble monk who had embraced the Benedictine Rule at the famous monastery of Cluny in France, who was chosen to bring a remedy to the current evils. The three great abuses, simony, concubinage, and the custom of receiving investiture from lay hands, seemed to threaten the very foundations of the Church. This great servant of God would never cease to oppose those corruptions of the reign of Christ.
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