ST GREGORY VII, POPE AND CONFESSOR; FEAST DAY: MAY 25
Pope Gregory VII, formerly Hildebrand, was born at Soana in Tuscany and was especially famous for learning, sanctity and every virtue. Through extraordinary service, he gave lustre to the whole Church.
As a young man, he took the religious habit at Cluny and was so fervent that the saintly fathers chose him prior. Later, he became abbot of the monastery of St Paul-Outside-The-Walls at Rome, and then a Cardinal. He was entrusted with offices and missions of the highest importance under Popes Leo IX, Victor II, Stephen IX, Nicholas II, and Alexander II.
After the death of Alexander II, he was unanimously elected Pope, and was the champion and vigorous defender of the Church’s liberty. He suffered a great deal on this account and was compelled to leave Rome. Gregory’s dying words were, “I have loved justice and hated iniquity, and therefore die in exile.” He died in 1085, and his body was buried with due honour in the Cathedral-Basilica of Salerno.
– From: An Approved English Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964