St. Gregory VII
Pope, Confessor, Doctor of the Church
Feast Day - May 25
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 justice and hated iniquity, therefore I die in exile. He went to Heaven in the year of salvation 1085, and his body was buried with honor in the Cathedral of Salerno.
Taken from The Hours of the Divine Office in English and Latin, Vol. II: Passion Sunday to August (Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 1963), p. 1820.
Epistle and Gospel for May 25