St Gregory II; St Paschal; The Appearing of Our Lady at Lourdes; St Victoria
by americancatholic.org | Source: americancatholic.org
Born in Rome, Gregory
became involved in Church affairs from an early age. It was Pope St Sergius I who noticed the fine
qualities of the pious young man and ordained Gregory a subdeacon. He served under the next four
popes as treasurer of the church, then librarian. He was assigned important missions and accompanied
Pope Constantine to Constantinople for discussions with Emperor Justinian II. Upon the death of
Constantine, Gregory was chosen pope and installed in 715.
Gregory served as pope for 15 years. During that time he held
synods to correct abuses, stop heresy and promote discipline and morality. He rebuilt a great
portion of the walls of Rome to protect the city against attacks by the Lombards. He restored many
churches, and was especially solicitous of the sick and aged. The great monastery near the church of
St Paul was reestablished, as was the abbey of Monte Cassino which had been destroyed by the
Lombards 150 years before. He consecrated St Boniface and St Corbinian as bishops to go as
missionaries to the tribes in Germany. Under Gregory, pilgrims from England increased in numbers to
such an extent that they required a church, a cemetery and a school of their own.
It was in his dealings
with Emperor Leo III that Gregory's spirit of strength and patience was best shown. Leo demanded the
destruction of all holy images and severely penalized those who did not follow his orders. When
bishops failed to convince him of his error, they disobeyed and appealed to the pope. On the one
hand, Gregory tried his best to change the thinking of the emperor. On the other, he counseled the
people to maintain their allegiance to the prince, all the time encouraging the bishops to oppose
Gregory II died in 731.
Other Saints of the
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