ST GREGORY BARBARIGO, BISHOP AND CONFESSOR – MEMORIAL: JUNE 18
Gregory Barbarigo, born in Venice of an ancient and noble house, was graduated with high honours at the university of Padua, where he received doctorates in both canon and civil law.
At the age of nineteen, while attending the Peace Congress at Munster at the instance of the Apostolic Nuncio, Fabio Chigi, he decided to consecrate himself to the service of the Church. After Gregory was ordained to the priesthood, it was this same Chigi, now raised to the papal throne as Alexander VII, who nominated him to the Bishopric of Bergamo, then created him a cardinal and finally transferred him to the Bishopric of Padua.
UPROOTING OF VICE AND THE PROMOTION OF VIRTUE
In carrying out his pastoral duties, he imitated the zeal of St Charles Borromeo and laboured until the end of his life at the task of putting into effect the admonitions and decrees of the Council of Trent concerning the uprooting of vice and the promotion of virtue. He enlarged the seminaries of both Bergamo and Padua; he added to the prestige of the latter city, particularly, by establishing a library there, and also a printing press for the purpose of publishing books for the peoples of the Near East in their own languages. He took special pains to promote catechetical instructions and made it a special point to visit every village of his diocese, teaching and encouraging wherever he went.
He was remarkable for his works of charity and holiness of life, being so generous to the needy and the poor that he sold his furniture, his clothing and even his bed in order to help them. At length, after a short illness he fell asleep peacefully in the Lord on June 15, 1697. Famous for merit and virtue, he was beatified by Clement XIII and added to the list of saints by John XXIII.
O God, who have willed that Blessed Gregory, your Confessor and Bishop, be renowned for the care of his flock and compassion for the poor, favourably grant that we who honour his merits may imitate the example of his charity. Through our Lord…
– From: An Approved English Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964