Pope Gregory XIII

Pope Gregory XIIIAlso known as

  • Ugo Buoncampagno


Studied law at the University of Bologna, Italy. Doctor of canon law and civil law in 1530. Taught law for several years; his students included Duke Alexander Cardinal Farnese, Cardinal Cristoforo Madruzzi, Cardinal Otto Truchsess von Waldburg, Cardinal Reginald Pole, Cardinal Stanislaus Hosius, and Saint Charles Borromeo. Father of an illegitimate son, Giacomo. First judge of Rome, Italy in 1539, appointed by Pope Paul III. Appointed datarius to Cardinal Carafa by Pope Paul IV. Attended the Council of Trent in 1545. Papal legate to Campagna in 1555 for Pope Julius III. Papal legate to France. Bishop of Viesti, Italy in 1558. Attended the Council of Trent from 1558 to 1563 for Pope Pius IV. Created cardinalpriest of San Sisto by Pope Pius IV in 1564. Papal legate to Spain. Secretary of Papal Briefs for Pope Pius V. 226th pope in 1572 at age 70, taking the name Gregory XIII. He had the support of the people of Rome, and the European rulers.

Supported the Jesuits and the decrees of the Council of Trent. Appointed a committe of cardinals, including Saint Charles Borromeo, to clean up clerical abuses and reform the clergy. Fought nepotism. Worked to stir the European princes against the Turks, but could not get them to stop squabbling among themselves. Sought to stop Protestantism by increasing the number and education of priests, and insuring that they were holy, disciplined and dedicated men. Founded several Jesuit colleges and seminaries, training priests and missionaries. Some historians have criticized Gregory for ordering the massacre of Huguenots on Saint Bartholomew’s Day, 1572, but he knew nothing about it until it was done, and even his enemies agreed that he cried over the cruel act. Founded the Congregatio Germanica in 1573 to safeguard the Catholic faith in Germany. Approved the Congregation of the Oratory in 1574. Revised the Julian calendar into the current Gregorian in 1578. Approved the Barnabites in 1579. Approved the Discalced Carmelites in 1580. Revised and updated the Roman Martyrology in 1580. He involved himself actively in the politics of Ireland, England, and France. To raise funds for his political and building projects he confiscated many of the houses and property in the Papal States, which alienated him with the nobility and land owners, and caused general unrest. The oldest surviving papal tiara dates from his pontificate.


Papal Ascension


MLA Citation

  • “Pope Gregory XIII“. CatholicSaints.Info. 21 February 2019. Web. 24 January 2021. <>