May 25, Saint
Also known as
• Hildebrand of Soana
• Ildebrando di Soana
• 25 May
Educated in Rome, Italy. Benedictine monk. Chaplain to Pope Gregory VI. In charge of the Patrimony of Saint Peter. Reformer and excellent administrator. Chosen the 152nd pope, but he declined the crown. 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. Gregory 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 then retreated to Salerno, Italy where he spent the remainder of his papacy.
• c.1020 in Soana (modern Sovana), Italy as Hildebrand of Soana
• 22 April 1073
• 25 May 1085 at Salerno, Italy of natural causes
• 1584 by Pope Gregory XIII
• 1728 by Pope Benedict XIII (equipollent canonization)