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Gregory


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Male forename, especially that of a number of popes.

Gregory VII (c. 1020–85), pope from 1073, who asserted the power of the papacy and hierarchy and insisted on clerical celibacy; in his conflict with the Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV (1050–1106) he was at first successful, so that Henry was forced to do penance at Canossa in 1077; finally deposed in 1084, Gregory died at Salerno, his last words being, ‘I have loved justice and hated iniquity; therefore I die in exile.’

St Gregory of Tours (c. 540–94), Frankish bishop and historian. He was elected bishop of Tours in 573; his writings provide the chief authority for the early Merovingian period of French history. His feast day is 17 November.

St Gregory the Great (c. 540–604), pope (as Gregory I) from 590 and Doctor of the Church. An important reformer, he did much to establish the temporal power of the papacy. He sent St Augustine to England to lead the country's conversion to Christianity, and is also credited with the introduction of Gregorian chant. His feast day is 12 March.


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