Gregory II

Gregory II

Gregory II, Saint, d. 731, pope (715-31), a Roman; successor of Constantine. When Byzantine Emperor Leo III tried to impose iconoclasm in Italy by an imperial edict, Gregory answered that the emperor could not decide tenets of faith. He was supported by a popular uprising directed at the exarch of Ravenna, the emperor's viceroy in Italy. The Lombards, long the enemies of Rome, took up the Roman cause, with the result that its Byzantine suzerainty over Rome was virtually ended. It was Gregory who sent St. Boniface to evangelize Germany. He was succeeded by Gregory III. Feast: Feb. 11.
Pope Saint Gregory II served as pope from May 19, 715 to his death on February 11, 731, succeeding Pope Constantine. Having, it is said, bought off the Lombards for thirty pounds of gold, he used the tranquillity thus obtained for vigorous missionary efforts among the Germanic tribes, and for strengthening the papal authority in the churches of Britain and Ireland. By excommunicating the Byzantine emperor Leo III the Isaurian, he prepared the way for a long series of revolts and civil wars, which tended greatly to the establishment of the temporal power of the popes. He died in 731, and subsequently attained the honour of canonization. The day that Gregory is remembered in the "Martyrology" seems to be any one of February 11th, February 13th, and February 28th.

Gregory II was an alleged collateral ancestor to the Roman Savelli family, according to a 15th century chronicler, but this is undocumented and very likely unreliable. The same was said of Benedict II, but nothing certain is known about a kinship between the two popes.

References

  • from the 9th edition (1880) of an unnamed encyclopedia

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