Some Awesome People

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

St. Gregory Barbarigo

Ordinary Time: June 17th


St. Gregory was born on September 16, 1625, and he died in 1697. His family lived in Venice and were held in high repute by the people there. He was the fourth son. He excelled in his studies at an early age and became interested in diplomacy and statesmanship. He knew Contarine, the Venetian ambassador and went with him on at least one ambassadorial mission.

After he was ordained a priest in 1655, he organized care for the plague-stricken people of Rome. In 1657, Pope Alexander VII made him the first Bishop of Bergamo. He was a leader in promoting the reforms of the Council of Trent. He visited parishes, organizing the teaching of Christian doctrine and also worked with seminarians and clergy to raise their standards. His work was so respected that in 1660 he was made the Cardinal of Padua.

St. Gregory was extremely interested in higher education and worked for the development of seminaries and libraries. He established a printing press that printed pamphlets for Christians under Moslem rule. He was active in laboring to bring about a reunion with the Greek Church. St. Gregory took part in five papal conclaves (for the election of the pope) and was a candidate in three of them. It is recorded that his congregation thought him to be a man filled with wisdom.

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