Wednesday, May 25, 2011

May 25: Feast of St Gregory VII OSB

The reading from Matins:
"Pope Gregory VII, the former Hildebrand, was born near Soana in Tuscany. As noble as any of the nobility in learning, in holiness and in every kind of virtue, he was a shining light to the whole Church of God. As a young man, he donned the religious habit at the monastery of Cluny, and served God with such zeal and devotion that he was chosen Prior by the holy religious of that monastery. Later, he was made Abbot of the monastery of St. Paul-outside-the-Walls, and then Cardinal of the Roman Church, performing noteworthy services and missions under Popes Leo IX, Victor II, Stephen IX, Nicholas II and Alexander II. At the death of Alexander, he was unanimously elected Pope, and stood out as a most zealous promoter and defender of the freedom of the Church, for which he suffered many things, even having to leave Rome. His last words, as he lay dying, were : I have loved righteousness and hated iniquity, and therefore I am dying in exile. He went to heaven in year of salvation 1085, and his body was buried with honour in the Cathedral of Salerno."

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