St. Gregory II
Birth: 669 in Rome, Italy; died 731
Papacy Start Date 19 May 715
Papacy End Date 11 February 731
sometimes celebrated also on February 13.
Feastday: February 11
St. Gregory II was the scion of a noble Roman family. Under Sergius I, Gregory was the librarian and the keeper of the purse; he accompanied Pope Constantine when the pope traveled to Constantinople to protest the anti-western canons of the Second Trullan or Quintisext Council 692. Successful, the two returned to Rome in 711
The 89th pope, Saint Gregory, became involved in church affairs in his youth, was educated at the Lateran, became a subdeacon under Pope Saint Sergius, served as treasurer and librarian of the Church under four popes, and became widely known for his learning and wisdom. In 710, now a deacon, he distinguished himself in his replies to Emperor Justinian when he accompanied Pope Constantine to Constantinople to oppose the Council of Trullo canon that had declared the patriarchate of Constantinople independent of Rome and helped to secure Justinian's acknowledgment of papal supremacy.
On May 19, 715, Gregory was elected pope to succeed Constantine, put into effect a program to restore clerical discipline, fought heresies, began to rebuild the walls around Rome as a defense against the Saracens, and helped restore and rebuild churches including Saint Paul-Outside-the-Walls, hospitals, and monasteries, including Monte Cassino under Petronax, which had been destroyed by Lombards about 150 years previously. He sent missionaries into Germany, among them Saint Corbinian and Saint Boniface in 719, whom he consecrated bishop. He also helped Saint Nothelm in his researches in the papal archives to provide material for Saint Bede's Ecclesiastical history. Gregory also received the Wessex king Ina, who became a monk in Rome in 726.
Gregory II resisted the iconoclasm of Emperor Leo III the Isaurian. He also resisted taxes the Emperor imposed, and the emperor plotted to kill the pope. In 716,
An old tradition makes Gregory a Benedictine monk, and his office figured for centuries in several Benedictine Propria.
The outstanding concern of his pontificate was his difficulties with Emperor Leo III the Isaurian. Gregory opposed Leo's illegal taxation on the Italians, and counseled against the planned revolt of Italy against Byzantium and the election of an emperor in opposition to Leo. He also demanded that Leo stop interfering with church matters, vigorously opposed iconoclasm supported by the emperor, and severely rebuked him at a synod in Rome in 727. Gregory also supported Germanus, patriarch of Constantinople, against Leo. Gregory's relations with the Lombards who were intent upon conquering Italy were friendly mainly due to his influence with their leader, Liutprand .
Gregory peacefully regained papal territory from the Lombards, and when King Liutprand of the Lombard s threatened to invade Rome in 729, Gregory disuaded him
Gregory died in February, and was buried in St. Peter's 11 Feb., 731.