Popes in a Year
#184 - Blessed Pope Gregory X
Pope from September 1, 1271 - January 10, 1276
Lived: c. 1210 - January 10, 1276
Birth name: Teobaldo Visconti
Who was this guy before he was pope?
Teobaldo Visconti was born in northern Italy around the year 1210. He came from solid stock, having been the nephew of Milan’s archbishop and born into the well-known Conti family. Teobaldo was a Secular Franciscan who served in the court of Cardinal Giacamo de Pecorari, a fellow native of Piacenza. After the cardinal’s death, Teobaldo ventured to Lyons, where he worked for the local archbishop before being named Archdeacon of Liege in Belgium. Several years later, on a visit to England for Pope Clement IV, Teobaldo met the future King Edward I and went with him on Crusade to the Holy Land.
Give me the scoop on Gregory X.
Pope Gregory X was elected on September 1, 1271, but wasn’t actually ordained a priest, consecrated a bishop, and installed as pope until the following March, when he returned from the Holy Land. Gregory worked to undo the unseemly ambitions of King Charles of Sicily, which the latter had accomplished during the nearly three years of popeless-ness, then recognized a new king of Germany and Holy Roman Emperor in Rudolph of Habsburg (yes,
He convened the Second Council of Lyons in 1272, and welcomed everyone from bishops and other clergy to a delegation from the Mongol Empire, who were looking to ally against the Muslims. St. Thomas Aquinas, however, sadly died in a convent near Rome, having fallen ill on his way there. Gregory famously rewrote the books on the papal conclave (more on that in a minute), which lasted with few interruptions all the way to the 20th Century. He also began the cause for canonization of King St. Louis IX, who had died two years earlier.
Gregory died in Arezzo, Italy on January 10, 1276, and was beatified by Pope Clement XI in 1713. His cause for canonization was reopened by Pope Pius XII in 1944 and
, with a single miracle attributed to his intercession being needed to grant him the halo. Bl. Gregory, pray for us!
What was he known for?
Gregory X is chiefly known for ending the East-West schism between the Catholic and Orthodox churches...at least for a little while. He had convened the Council at Lyon in 1272 for three primary reasons - a renewed crusade, to reform the clergy (sensing a trend here), and to reunite East and West. Gregory had begun that effort right away in 1271 by sending an envoy to Constantinople, where the patriarch’s chief minister, John Beccos, became completely on board with the reunion. The Orthodox representatives then traveled to Lyon, where they signed a profession of faith and everyone sang the entire Nicene Creed at Mass -- including the
clause. Slow clap.
between Pope Clement IV and Blessed Gregory X remains the longest in Church history, at 1006 days. In fact, the people of Viterbo (where the election was held) became so fed up with the indecision, that in the summer of 1271 they stripped the roof off of the building housing the cardinals! The Cards came to a quick decision after that.
Coming tomorrow...Blessed Pope Innocent V
SOURCES (and further reading)
John, E. (1964). The Popes: A concise biographical history. New York: Hawthorn Books.
Guruge, A. (2010). The Next Pope. New Hampshire: WOWNH
Pope Gregory X -
Pope Gregory X -
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Sent by Matthew Sewell on Thursday, September 7 at 2:00AM