Gregory was born in 669 in Rome. When he was just a young man, he was so pious that he caught the attention of Pope St. Sergius I. Pope Sergius ordained Gregory a subdeacon and Gregory ended up serving under the next four popes in different roles. Under one pope he served as treasurer of the Church; with another, he served as librarian. He also accompanied Pope Constantine to Constantinople for talks with Emperor Justinian II. In the year 715, when Constantine died, Gregory was chosen to replace him in the office of the papacy. During his reign he worked to correct abuses, end heresies, and promote discipline and morality.
Many of the walls around Rome were built at his command to protect the city from attacks by the Lombards. One hundred and fifty years earlier, the Lombards had destroyed the great monastery near St. Paul’s church, so Gregory had it reestablished as the abbey of Monte Cassino. He restored many churches and was very good to the poor and elderly.
St. Boniface and St. Corbinian were consecrated as bishops under Gregory II and sent to the tribes in Germany. During Gregory’s reign, pilgrims from England increased in such great numbers that a church, cemetery and school were required for them.
Gregory was pope during the reign of Emperor Leo III, who ordered that all holy images be destroyed. This was a difficult time for Gregory, but he persevered in his faith, standing against the Byzantine emperor. He counseled the people to be submissive to the authority put over them, however, not to the point of denying their faith.
Pope St. Gregory died in 731.
Pope St. Gregory II was a supporter of the Benedictine order and of the missions of Boniface.
Heavenly Father, we thank you that here in America that we still have freedom of religion. However, Father, we are witnessing that freedom being chipped away as our society continues embrace a culture of death. Help us, dear Father, to stand firm in our faith, fighting against the evil forces in our society and the world. Amen
Other Saints We Remember Today
St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows (1862), cleric, Patron of Clerics
St. Hilary (468), Pope
St. Romanus (460), Abbot