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Pope Gregory I.,

surnamed the Great, was born of a noble family at Rome, about the year 544. He discovered such abilities as a senator that the Emperor Justinus appointed him prefect of Rome; after which he embraced the monastic life, in a society founded by himself. Pope Pelagius II. sent him as nuncio to Constantinople, and on his return made him apostolical secretary. He was elected successor to that pontiff in 590; and a few years later sent over some monks under the direction of St. Augustine for the purpose of converting the Anglo-Saxons to Christianity. Pope Gregory was pious and charitable; had lofty notions of the papal authority, was a reformer of the clerical discipline, and after his death was canonized. He is, however, accused, but on slight and doubtful evidence, of burning a multitude of the works of ancient authors, lest attention to heathen literature should supersede the monkish and ecclesiastical studies of the age. His works are comprised in 4 vols. Died, 604.

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Ugolino, Pope Gregory IX.,

was a native of Campania, and a near relation of Innocent III. He became Bishop of Ostia and Cardinal, and in 1227 succeeded Honorius III. His coronation surpassed in magnificence any which had preceded it, and the ceremony lasted three days. The principal events of his pontificate were the various incidents of his contest with the great Emperor Frederick II., whom he repeatedly excommunicated, absolving his subjects from their allegiance, and proclaiming a crusade against him. In 1229 Gregory levied a tithe on all moveables in England towards the expenses of his war with Frederick. He established a few years later the Inquisition at Toulouse and Carcassonne excited by his haughty demeanour a revolt at Rome in 1234, and was driven from the city, to which he did not return for three years. St. Anthony of Padua, St. Dominic, and St. Elizabeth were canonized by Gregory IX. Died in 1241, at a very advanced age.

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The above information was gleaned from
various sources and then put together
by Colin Hinson ©1996.

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