The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






Pope Gregory X

Gregory X, né Theobald Visconti (ca. 1210 - January 10, 1276) was pope from 1271 to 1276. Italian by birth, born at Piacenza, he spent most of his ecclesiastical career in the north, in the Low Countries.

He succeeded Clement IV after the papal chair had been vacant for three years due to divisions among the cardinals; the equally split French and Italian cardinals wanted a Pope from their country due to the ongoing political situation with Charles of Anjou. The deadlock was finally broken when the citizens of Viterbo, Italy, where the cardinals were assembled, removed the roof from the building where the cardinals were meeting and locked them in, only allowing them bread and water; three days later, Gregory X was elected. (Since then, the cardinals have always chosen the pope under lock and key.) Gregory was considered a strong choice because although he was Italian, he had spent most of his career north of the Alps and thus had not been embroiled in recent Italian political controversies.

His election came as a complete surprise to him, occurring while he was engaged in the Ninth Crusade to Saint Jean d'Acre with Edward I of England in Palestine. Not wanting to leave his mission, his first action as Pope was to send out appeals for aid to the Crusaders, and at his final sermon at Acre just before leaving to sail for Italy he famously said "If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning."

On his arrival at Rome his first act was to summon the council which met at the Second Council of Lyons in 1274 for the purpose of considering the East-West Schism, the condition of the Holy Land, and the abuses of the Catholic Church. It was while returning from that council that he died at Arezzo on the January 10, 1276. To him is due the bull which, subsequently incorporated into the code of canon law, continues to regulate all conclaves for papal elections. He was succeeded by Innocent V.

From the 9th edition (1880) of an unnamed encyclopedia

Last updated: 05-07-2005 10:08:59
Last updated: 05-13-2005 07:56:04