Franciscan Saints



10th January

Blessed Gregory X

Pope, Third Order

Theobald Visconti, as he was called prior to his becoming pope was a Tertiary and a true son of St. Francis, distinguishing himself by his love for the holy places in Palestine and his unceasing efforts to bring peace to the world.

Born in Piacenza in 2110, the young Theobald showed exceptional virtue even as a young child and was a conscientious student, excelling in his studies. In later years he devoted himself to the study of canon law, firstly in Italy and later in Paris and Liege.

He spent more than twenty years associated with the intellectual circles surrounding the university, his closest friends were Franciscans especially St. Bonaventure.

After he was made archdeacon of Liege (1250), Pope Clement IV commissioned him to preach the crusades. Theobald himself took up the cross but instead was sent on a peaceful mission to England.

With the death of his friend, the Tertiary King Louis IX, in 1270 Theobald went eastward, to comfort the king’s son and other Crusaders, and to satisfy his devotion by visiting the holy places. By this time the Papal Throne had been vacant for almost three years since the death of Pope Clement IV on November 1268. A committee of six cardinals, to whom the rest had referred the election, chose as pope, Theobald who was still in the Holy Land. St. Bonaventure was instrumental in his election as he had been summoned from Paris to assist in nominating a candidate and nominated Theobald who at this stage was just the Archdeacon of Liege, Theobald was about sixty at the time.

Upon his return to Rome Theobald was firstly ordained priest and then consecrated bishop; and on March 27, 12 72 was crowned Pope Gregory X.  He reigned for just three years  and nine months during which time he accomplished much as a peacemaker sometimes calling upon Franciscans to help him in this cause, for example during the trouble between Bologna and Venice.

It was Pope Gregory X who convened the Fourteen General Council, the Council of Lyons, which sat for two months between May and July of 1274, five hundred bishops attended this. In 1273 he had made St. Bonaventure a cardinal and told him to accept the red hat in ‘humility of spirit’ for he wanted the seraphic doctor on his side during the council. Joining each other on the way to Lyons they reached there six months before the beginning of the conclave, St. Bonaventure died July 15, three days before the final session.

The more public affairs claimed his attention the greater his strive for personal holiness and perfection. He existed on a sparse diet and few words and managed to carry out his many duties prayerfully in constant union with God. His death occurred at Arezzo on January 10, 1276. Benedict XIV inserted his name in the Roman martyrology; his feast being today – 10th January.

If there is time it is worthwhile following up what Pope Gregory did at the Council of Lyons

St. Gregory the Great's Easter Prayer

It is only right, with all the powers of our heart and mind, to praise You Father and Your Only-Begotten Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ. Dear Father, by Your wondrous condescension of loving-kindness toward us, Your servants, You gave up Your Son. Dear Jesus You paid the debt of Adam for us to the Eternal Father by Your Blood poured forth in loving-kindness. You cleared away the darkness of sin by Your magnificent and radiant Resurrection. You broke the bonds of death and rose from the grave as a Conqueror. You reconciled heaven and earth. Our life had no hope of eternal happiness before You redeemed us. Your Resurrection has washed away our sins, restored our innocence and brought us joy. How inestimable is the tenderness of Your Love!


Prayer Source: Prayers from Various Websites


 Reading Habig, Marion A., O.F.M., 1959, ed., The Franciscan book of Saints, Franciscan Herald Press, Chicago, Illinois

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