- Hildebrand of Soana
- Ildebrando di Soana
Educated in Rome, Italy. Benedictine monk. Chaplain to Pope Gregory VI. In charge of the Patrimony of Saint Peter. Reformer and excellent administrator. Chosen the 152nd pope, but he declined the crown. Chief counselor to Pope Victor II, Pope Stephen IX, Pope Benedidct X, and Pope Nicholas II. 157th pope.
At the time of his ascension, simony and a corrupt clergy threatened to destroy faith in the Church. Gregory took the throne as a reformer, and Emperor Henry IV promised to support him. Gregory suspended all clerics who had purchased their position, and ordered the return of all purchased church property. The corrupt clergy rebelled; Henry IV broke his promise, and promoted the rebels. Gregory responded by excommunicating anyone involved in lay investiture. He summoned Henry to Rome, but the emperor’s supporters drove Gregory into exile. Henry installed the anti-pope Guibert of Ravenna, who was driven from Rome by Normans who supported Gregory; the Normans were, themselves, so out of control that the people of Rome drove out them and Gegory. The Pope then retreated to Salerno, Italy where he spent the remainder of his papacy.
Now, my dearest brothers, listen carefully to what I tell you. All those throughout the world who are numbered as Christian and who truly acknowledge the Christian faith know and believe that the blessed Peter, the prince of the apostles, is the father of all Christians and, after Christ, the first shepherd, and that the holy Roman Church is the mother and teacher of all the churches. Therefore, if you believe this and hold to it without hesitation, I ask you and enjoin upon you by Almighty God – I your brother and unworthy teacher as I am – to support and assist your father and your mother if you wish to have, through them, the remission of all your sins, along with blessings and grace in this world and in the life to come. May almighty God, from whom all good things come, continually enlighten your minds and fill them with love for him and for your neighbor, so that by your devotion you may deserve to make this father and mother of whom I have spoken your debtors and enter without shame into their company. Amen. – from a letter by Pope Saint Gregory VII
- “Pope Saint Gregory VII“. CatholicSaints.Info. 23 January 2009. Web. 5 May 2015. <>