Pope Gregory X was the 184th pope of the Catholic Church and the 10th to use the Gregory name. Many know him for the regulations he implemented that the Church still uses and for his beatification in later years. You can learn quite a bit about Pope Gregory X in this article.
Before becoming Pope Gregory X, the man who would adopt this name lived in Piacenza, Italy. He was born circa 1210 and given the name Teobaldo by his parents. Teobaldo was a member of the Visconti family who lived in the city for many years. Family connections put him in touch with the Cistercian family and later Cardinal Giacomo who was a bishop. This connection helped him strike out and gain support from a monastery that named him an abbot. Teobaldo became close to the cardinal and traveled with him often. The cardinal also sent the man on solo trips to Germany and France, which helped him gain recognition from other bishops.
When Pope Clement IV passed away, bishops were at a loss as to who to choose for the papacy. They convened for a papal election in 1268 and began suggesting names. Several other men served before Clement IV but usually ruled for a short period. As they could not reach a decision, the election continued for nearly three years and led to the rise of an antipope. Teobaldo turned down the position several times as he wanted to continue working with the cardinal but finally accepted the position following the cardinal’s death.
Second Council of Lyons
Historians primarily recognize Pope Gregory X for overseeing the Second Council of Lyons. This was a convention designed to unite the eastern and western churches. During the council, both the pope and bishops met with Michael VIII who was the Byzantine Emperor. They discussed launching a new crusade and making changes to the Church. Those in attendance agreed that popes would remain on-site during future elections until they could reach a decision removed Alfonso X from the imperial throne.
The Second Council of Lyons began in 1271 when the pope came to Rome but continued for several years and kept him away from his native home. Pope Gregory X became ill during the last days of the council and saw his symptoms worsen in the coming days. He had a hernia that caused him some pain and asked his companions to stop several times on their travels to let him rest. The pope made it to Vienne and several other cities before he passed away from a high fever on January 10, 1276, while in Arezzo. His body was then interred in the Cathedral of Arezzo. Pope Clement XI oversaw the beatification of Pope Gregory X in 1713. He is now the patron saint of the church where his body lies and associates in the Franciscan Order.
Quick Facts About Pope Gregory X
- He was born in Piacenza, Italy in part of the Holy Roman Empire.
- Known as Teobaldo during his early years, he was born circa 1210.
- The pope died on January 10, 1276.
- He died of natural causes due to a hernia and a fever.
- His papacy began on September 1, 1271.
- The papacy of Pope Gregory X ended on January 10, 1276.
- The successor to the papal throne was Pope Innocent V.
Interesting Facts About Pope Gregory X
- The papal election that finally selected Teobaldo was the longest in the history of the Catholic Church.
- Pope Gregory X ruled the Church for four years and 131 days.
- During his papacy, Gregory X began the canonization of King Louis IX. He put forth an act named the King a Servant of God.
- Both Burt Lancaster and Gabriel Byrne portrayed Pope Gregory X in different television shows over the years. Lancaster played the pope in a 1982 miniseries. Byrne played Gregory X in the Netflix series Marco Polo.
- The future pope met the real Marco Polo when he traveled to Mongolia in the 1270s. Polo was only a teenager at the time.
- In the Catholic Church, Pope Gregory X is a blessed saint with a feast day held on January 10.