Pope Gregory X

Pope Gregory X (Latin: Gregorius X; c. 1210 – 10 January 1276), born Teobaldo Visconti, was Pope from 1 September 1271 to his death in 1276 and was a member of the Secular Franciscan Order. He was elected at the conclusion of a papal election that ran from 1268 to 1271, the longest papal election in the history of the Catholic Church.

He convened the Second Council of Lyon and also made new regulations in regards to papal conclaves. Though briefly annulled by Pope Adrian V and Pope John XXI, these regulations remained in force until the 20th century,[1] when they were altered by Pope Paul VI.

Pope Clement XI beatified him in 1713 after the confirmation of his cultus.

Pope Blessed

Gregory X
Gregório X (Museu da Saúde, MS.PNT.00030)
Papacy began1 September 1271
Papacy ended10 January 1276
PredecessorClement IV
SuccessorInnocent V
Ordination19 March 1272
Consecration27 March 1272
by John of Toledo
Personal details
Birth nameTeobaldo Visconti
Bornc. 1210
Piacenza, Holy Roman Empire
Died10 January 1276 (aged 66)
Arezzo, Holy Roman Empire
Previous postArchdeacon of Liège (1246–1271)
Coat of armsGregory X's coat of arms
Feast day10 January
Venerated inCatholic Church
Title as SaintBlessed
Beatified8 July 1713
Rome, Papal States
by Pope Clement XI
Other popes named Gregory
Papal styles of
Pope Gregory X
C o a Gregorio X
Reference styleHis Holiness
Spoken styleYour Holiness
Religious styleHoly Father
Posthumous styleBlessed

Early life

Duomo di arezzo, interno, sepolcro di gregorio X, inizi XIV secolo
Tomb of Pope Gregory X in Arezzo's Cathedral of Saint Donatus.

Teobaldo Visconti, a member of the Visconti of Piacenza, was born in Piacenza around 1210.

It is said that he began his career by attaching himself to the household of the Cistercian Cardinal Giacomo de Pecorari, Bishop of Palestrina (1231-1244), who was also from Piacenza. He was attracted by the reputation of holiness which the Cardinal enjoyed; he had been elected abbot of the monastery of Trois-Fontaines in Champagne. Teobaldo became the Cardinal's Oeconomus or Majordomo, and was therefore in constant attendance.[2] The Cardinal was Legate of Pope Gregory IX in Tuscany in 1235, in Lombardy in 1236-1237, and in Provence, France and Germany in 1239-1241. It was probably during the assignment in Provence that Teobaldo became known to important French clergy and laity.[3] He was already Canon of the Basilica of S. Antonino in Piacenza when he returned to Piacenza on business of the Cardinal in 1239.[4]

He then returned to the Cardinal, whose new assignment in France was actually to preach a crusade against Frederick II Augustus, the Hohenstaufen Emperor, who was again at war with Pope Gregory IX. Early in 1239, the Pope had again excommunicated the Emperor. Each had demanded an Ecumenical Council to settle their differences. The Pope was willing, but he planned that the council would meet under his auspices and in his territory. He would also bring to Rome all of the enemies of Frederick Hohenstaufen. It was at this point in 1240 that Teobaldo also became a Canon of the Cathedral of Lyons, at the request of the Canons made to Cardinal Giacomo de Pecorari when a vacancy in their number occurred.[5] Pope Gregory's ecumenical council never took place, and he died on 22 August 1241.

The search for a successor to Gregory IX took more than two months. The new Pope, Celestine IV, who was old and ill, survived his election by only 17 days, dying on 10 November 1241. The second electoral assembly of 1241 did not take place for some time, however. The cardinals who were in Rome at the pope's death, having endured considerable mistreatment during the Vacancy of 22 August 1241 to 25 October 1241, which they did not want to endure again, scattered immediately.[6] Only a half-dozen of the 12 cardinals remained in the city. It was not until June 1243 that all the Cardinals, assembled at Anagni and not in Rome, elected Cardinal Sinibaldo Fieschi of Genoa as Pope Innocent IV. In 1243, when the Bishop of Piacenza died, Innocent IV offered the position to Archdeacon Teobaldo, who declined, preferring to follow in the company of Cardinal Giacomo.[7] Cardinal Giacomo, however, died in Rome on 25 June 1244.


Upon the death of his patron and spiritual model, Teobaldo decided not to remain any longer in the Curia, planning to travel to Paris, where he would study theology. When he reached Lyons, however, he was received by the Archbishop-elect, Philippe, and asked him to be the dominus and magister of the household. Teobaldo initially refused, but the Archbishop insisted and finally Teobaldo accepted the position.

In July 1244, Pope Innocent IV was forced by Frederick II Augustus to flee from Rome. He first travelled to his native Genoa, and then headed to Lyons, where the idea of an ecumenical council took shape. Teobaldo helped to organize the Ecumenical Council which met at Lyons in June and July 1245.[8] During this period, Visconti became acquainted with people such as Bonaventure, Thomas Aquinas, Gui Foucois, Pierre de Tarentaise and Matteo Rubeo Orsini, all of whom were participants in the Council. Visconti was appointed Archdeacon of Heinault in the diocese of Liège on 9 September 1246, perhaps as a reward for his services.[9] He was instructed by Pope Innocent IV (Sinibaldo Fieschi, 1243-1254) to preach the crusade for the recovery of the Holy Land. Such preaching had more of a financial character than one might think, since both Crusaders and Papacy were desperate to raise funds.[10] Teobaldo was not able to do much more than preach, sacerdotally, since he still was not a priest.

Teobaldo's time in Liège was evidently not a happy one. The bishop whom he had come to know at the Council of Lyons, Robert de Thorete, died after a brief illness on 16 October 1246.[11] There had been a struggle for the episcopal seat when he was appointed. The Provost of Utrecht, the candidate of Frederick II, had attempted to usurp the seat, and Cardinal Giacomo de Pecorari, Bishop of Palestrina had been ordered by the Pope to intervene and prohibit an election until the canons of the Cathedral could meet with him. But the vacancy of the papal throne occurred after the death of Pope Gregory XI, and lasted until June 1243. In that interval the squabbling electors came to an understanding, and on 30 October 1240, Robert, the brother of the Bishop of Verdun, was chosen. Another struggle between two candidates ensued on his death, and Cardinal Robert Capocci was sent to settle the election. Since Teobaldo was a canon as well as Archdeacon, he was directly involved. The successful candidate, on 10 October 1247, Henry of Gelders, was a worldly man, the brother of Otto III, Count of Gelders, and was not yet in Holy Orders. In fact, for the next twelve years, he was neither ordained priest nor consecrated bishop. The new Bishop-Elect and his Archdeacon immediately had problems about Teobaldo's conduct of his office while being absent in Paris, an issue which was not settled until the end of 1250.[12]

Finally, in 1258, Henry of Gelders was consecrated. He also had himself elected Abbot of the famous Monastery of Stabulo (Stavelo).[13] This did not mean, unfortunately, that he gave up his former dissolute military life. In 1262, he clashed with Archdeacon Teobaldo. During a Chapter meeting, he was roundly criticized by Teobaldo, who accused him of compromising the virtue of Berta, daughter of Conrardi de Coen le Frison, by force. The Bishop threatened to strike the Archdeacon. Consequently, few days later, Teobaldo was moved to leave Liège, and it is said that he undertook a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.[14] He actually got as far as Paris, where he resumed his long-standing plan of studying Theology. During this time he became a friend of King Louis IX.[15]

Visconti left Liège in 1267 for Paris at the behest of Pope Clement IV who sent him to England to assist Cardinal Ottobono Fieschi, who had been appointed Papal Legate in England in 1265, to support King Henry III in the rebellion of the barons, led by Simon de Montfort.[16] It was during this assignment that Teobaldo became friends with Prince Edward of England (the future Edward I), with whom he went on Crusade. Cardinal Fieschi returned to Viterbo, and participated in the conclave of 1268-1271. Edward took the cross on 24 June 1268, followed Louis IX to Tunisia, and finally reached Acre on 9 May 1271.

Papal election

Visconti was elected to succeeded Pope Clement IV on 1 September 1271 after the papal chair had been vacant for two years and nine months, due to divisions among the cardinals. The College of Cardinals, meeting in Viterbo where Pope Clement IV (1265-1268) had died, was equally divided between the French and Italian cardinals. The French wanted a pope from their own country, influenced by Charles of Anjou, the younger brother of King Louis IX of France, who had been invested with the throne of Sicily by Pope Clement IV (1265-1268). Charles had also successfully intrigued to have himself elected Senator of Rome, and he repeatedly intervened in the political affairs of the entire Italian peninsula. He had entered Rome on 23 May 1265 where he was made Senator and was proclaimed king of Sicily. On 6 January 1266, he was crowned in St. Peter's Basilica by Cardinals Riccardo Annibaldi, Raoul de Grosparmy, Ancher Pantaleoni, Matteo Orsini, and Goffredo da Alatri, with permission of Pope Clement IV, who did not dare to approach Rome himself due to the hostility of the Ghibelline government toward him.[17]

The deadlock was not even broken when the citizens of Viterbo locked up the cardinals in the Episcopal palace where they were meeting, and finally tearing off part of the roof of the building. Finally, in August 1271, the Cardinals decided to appoint a committee, three of their number from each side, to negotiate a settlement (Election by Compromise). When the six could not agree, however, on the choice of one of the cardinals, they decided to look outside their ranks. They settled on Teobaldo Visconti, the Archdeacon of Liège. Their decision was ratified by all of the Cardinals on 1 September 1271.[18] This was a victory, in fact, for the French-leaning faction, since Teobaldo had intimate connections with France, and his nephew, Vicedomino de Vicedomini, a native of Piacenza but Archbishop of Aix in Provence, had been a follower and advisor of Charles of Anjou ever since he came into Italy.

The election of Visconti, after a 2-year, 9-month struggle, came as a complete surprise to him, since it took place while he was engaged in the Ninth Crusade at Acre in Palestine with King Edward I of England. Not wanting to abandon his mission, his first action upon hearing of his election, was to send out appeals for aid to the Crusaders. At his final sermon at Acre just before setting sail for Italy, he famously remarked, quoting Psalm 137, "If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning". Nonetheless, he had to return to Italy immediately, since he had been summoned by the Cardinals in order to accept the election at their hands. On 1 January 1272, the Pope-Elect reached Brindisi, and he arrived in Viterbo, the site of the Election, where the Cardinals were waiting, in early February 1272. On some unknown date he completed the Election by accepting the Papacy; it was in Viterbo that he assumed the papal mantle. But he was still careful to call himself Episcopus-electus. On 13 March 1272, he entered Rome with the entire Roman Curia. Since he was not in Holy Orders, he had to be ordained a priest, which took place on 19 March 1272. He was consecrated a bishop and crowned on 27 March 1272 at St. Peter's Basilica.

Diplomatic communications with Mongols

Niccolò and Maffeo Polo remitting a letter from Kubilai to Pope Gregory X in 1271.

As soon as he was elected in 1271, Pope Gregory X received a letter from the Mongol Great Khan Kublai, remitted by Niccolò and Matteo Polo following their travels to his court in Mongolia. Kublai was asking for the dispatch of a hundred missionaries, and some oil from the lamp of the Holy Sepulcher. The new Pope could spare only two friars and some lamp oil. The friars turned back soon after the party left for Mongolia. The two Polos (this time accompanied by the young Marco Polo, who was then 17 years old) returned to the Mongol Empire and remitted the oil from the Pope to Kublai in 1275.[19]

The Mongol Ilkhanate leader Abaqa sent a delegation with over a dozen members to the 1274 Council of Lyon, where plans were made for possible military cooperation between the Mongols and the Europeans.[20] After the Council, Abaqa sent another embassy led by the Georgian Vassali brothers to further notify Western leaders of military preparations. Gregory X answered that his legates would accompany the Crusade, and that they would be in charge of coordinating military operations with the Il-Khan.[21] However, these projects for a major new Crusade essentially came to a halt with the death of Gregory X on 10 January 1276. The money which had been saved to finance the expedition was instead distributed in Italy.[22]

Pope and Council

2593 Lead alloy Papal Bulla of Gregory X (FindID 253118)
Papal bulla of Gregory X

Sometime during his reign as pope, Gregory X wrote a letter against the charges of "blood libel" and persecution against the Jews.[23] Mindful of the scandals attached to the conclave at Viterbo that had elected him, realizing that tighter controls on the entire process of election were needed, he produced the papal bull "Ubi periculum" which was subsequently ratified by the Council of Lyons on 16 July 1274 and incorporated into the Code of Canon Law.

On his arrival at Rome in 1272, his first act was to carry forward the wish of Gregory IX and summon a council. Two days after his coronation Gregory X sent a letter to King Edward I of England, inviting him to a general council to be held on the subject of the Holy Land, beginning on 1 May 1274.[24] Pope Gregory X left Orvieto on 5 June 1273, and arrived in Lyons in the middle of November 1273.[25] Not all of the cardinals followed him. Pope Gregory notes in a letter to King Edward dated 29 November 1273 that Cardinal Riccardo Annibaldi and Cardinal Giovanni Orsini were still in Rome and had been ordered to find a secure place of imprisonment for Guy de Montfort.[26] The two cardinals were hereditary enemies and would be an effective check on each other. Neither was present at the opening of the Council of Lyons.[27] Gregory himself had an immediate meeting with King Philip III of France, whom he had been cultivating vigorously since his accession. The meeting was evidently quite harmonious and successful, since Philip ceded to the Papacy the Comtat Venaissin.[28] The Second Ecumenical Council met at Lyons, beginning on 1 May 1274 for the purpose of considering the East-West Schism, the condition of the Holy Land, and the abuses of the Catholic Church.

Council objectives

His main objective as pope was to convene the council, and he had a programme for that council:

  • Reconciliation with the Orthodox Church to end the schism between the East and West.[29]
  • Preparation of a new crusade and donations of a tithe of all churches for it.[30]
  • Establishment of measures to end abuses in the church.
  • Regulation of papal elections through the constitution "Ubi periculum maius".

The Pope's interests were not doctrinal in nature, but disciplinary.[31]

In connection with the financing of the Crusade, Pope Gregory imposed on all clerics a six-year long tax of 10% of their income. This was a considerable increase in the tax rate, which, on previous occasions had been for three years, at a rate of 5%. 26 permanent tax districts were established, each having a Collector and a Sub-Collector.[32]

His Constitution with respect to conclaves legislated a number of important points:[33]

  • that a meeting for the election of a pope should be held at a suitable place, where the Pope and his Curia were residing when the Pope died; if they were at a villa, or a country village, or a town, they should proceed to the nearest city in the diocese (unless it was under an interdict).
  • that a meeting for the election of a pope should not take place until the space of at least ten days had intervened;
  • that all cardinals who were absent from the Conclave should have no right to cast a vote;
  • that not only absent cardinals, but also men of every order and condition, are eligible to be created the Roman pontiff;
  • that, at the conclusion of the Novendiales, and the Mass of the Holy Spirit sung on the tenth day, all the cardinals who are present should be enclosed in the palace where the Pope died; along with two or, if they are ill, three or four servants; none may enter or leave, except on account of illness. There should be no interior walls, but each cardinal's quarters should be separated from the rest by cloth drapes, and they should live in common.
  • that the place of the conclave and its entries should be carefully guarded;
  • that the Cardinals may not leave the Conclave for any reason, until a new pope has been elected;
  • that Cardinals who arrive after the enclosing of the Conclave, and before the election of a new pope, have the power to enter the Conclave and vote along with the others, and no Cardinal can be excluded for any reason, not even if he be excommunicated;
  • that, if a pope has not been elected in three days, then cardinals are permitted to have only one dish at their meals;
  • that, in holding the deliberations, no one is to be put under an anathema, no one is to engage in bribery, or to make any promises, or by going around politicking to promise a cardinal anything once he has been created pope. During the Conclave, the cardinals are to engage in no other business than completing the election;
  • that no one can be elected pope with out the votes of two-thirds of the Cardinals present in the Conclave;
  • that, upon the death of a pope, all magistracies and offices cease and vacate their functions, except for the Major Penitentiary and the Minor Penitentiaries, and the Chamberlain of the Holy Roman Church (Camerlengo).

Death and burial

Tomb of Pope Gregory X in Arezzo Cathedral
The effigy of Pope Gregory X in Arezzo.

Pope Gregory's health had worsened after he left Lyons in April 1275. He was suffering from a hernia, and so he was forced to stop frequently on the way back toward Rome. He departed Vienne shortly after 30 September 1275 and arrived in Lausanne on 6 October 1275.[34] In Lausanne, he met with the Emperor-elect Rudolph, King of the Romans, and on 20 October 1275, received his oath of fealty.[35] On Tuesday, 12 November 1275, he was in Milan. His party reached Reggio Aemilia on 5 December 1275, and they were in Bologna on 11 December 1275. A severe rise in his temperature and the presence of the hernia forced him to a halt at Arezzo in time for Christmas of 1275. His condition rapidly declined following this and led to his death on 10 January 1276 in Arezzo. He is buried inside the Cathedral Church of Arezzo.

He was succeeded by the Dominican Peter of Tarantaise of Savoy (Pope Innocent V), a close collaborator of the pontiff throughout his pontificate.[36]

Beatifications and canonizations

Throughout his pontificate, Gregory X only canonized one individual. He confirmed the cultus of Franca Visalta in September 1273. She was a Cistercian nun from Piacenza, authoritarian and given to extreme forms of self-mortification. Having been eased out of a Benedictine convent, where she had been placed at the age of seven, she built her own convent, over which she ruled as Abbess.[37]

He commenced the cause of canonization of King Louis IX of France in 1272, an act which bestowed on the king who had died in August 1270 the title of Servant of God.

He beatified Luchesius Modestini in 1274 with the confirmation of his cultus.


Writing in L'Osservatore Romano, Agostino Paravicini Bagliani says that the popular belief that St. Pius V (1566–72) was the first Pope to wear the white cassock is inaccurate. Instead, writes Bagliani, the first document that mentions the Pope's white cassock dates from 1274. "The first pope to be solemnly invested with the red mantle immediately after his election was Gregory VII (1076)," the scholar added, noting that traditionally "from the moment of his election the Pope put on vestments of two colors: red (cope, mozzetta, shoes); and white (cassock, socks)."[38][39]


Pope Clement XI beatified Teobaldo Visconti in 1713, and he was made a patron of the Diocese of Arezzo and of Franciscan tertiaries. His cause of canonization resumed in 1944 under Pope Pius XII and remains open, with the requirement of a miracle attributed to his intercession needed for his canonization.

Pope Gregory X in popular culture

Teobaldo Visconti is a central character in the 1982 American-Italian miniseries Marco Polo, in which he is portrayed by American actor Burt Lancaster.[40] He is also depicted by Irish actor Gabriel Byrne in the Netflix series Marco Polo.

See also


  1. ^ Pope Pius VI, in 1798, in consideration of the occupation of Rome by the French, dispensed the Cardinals from many of the conclave regulations, including those of Gregory X: (Pietro Baldassari, Relazione delle aversita e patimenti del glorioso Papa Pio VI negli ultimi tre anni del suo pontificato (Roma: Tipografia poliglotta del S.C. di Propaganda Fide, 1889) II, pp. 297-302). Pope Pius IX, in 1878, in fear that the Italians might invade the Vatican on his death and try to prevent or dominate a conclave, gave Cardinals great latitude in the regulating of the next conclave: Agostino Ceccaroni, Il conclavo (Torino-Roma 1901), pp. 85-129. The rule on bread and water was relaxed, and then ignored at nearly every conclave.
  2. ^ Pietro Maria Campi Dell' historia ecclesiastica di Piacenza II (Piacenza 1651), p. 155, quoting from manuscripts in the Cathedral library at Piacenza and at the Church of S. Antonino. Campi was a Canon of the Cathedral.
  3. ^ Campi, p. 163.
  4. ^ Campi. p. 167. The date of appointment as Canon is unknown, as is the patron. It may have been family influence, the influence of his uncle the Archbishop of Milan, or that of Cardinal Giacomo de Pecorari. In September 1239, he is signatory to a contract drawn up by the Canons of the Basilica.
  5. ^ Campi, p. 169; P. Clerion, Histoire de Lyon Tome troisieme (Lyon 1830), pp. 276-277. Giuseppe de Novaes, Elementi della storia de'sommi pontefici da San Pietro, sino al Pio papa VII III (Roma 1821), p. 249.
  6. ^ Adams, Dr. J. P. "The Sede Vacante and Conclave of 10 November 1241-24 June 1243".
  7. ^ Muratori, p. 600.
  8. ^ Baldwin, Pope Gregory X and the Crusades, p. 25.
  9. ^ Émile Schoolmeesters, "Tableau des archdiacres de Liége pendant le XIIIe siècle," Leodium II (Liège 1903), p. 5. Berger, Les registres d' Innocent IV Volume I (Paris 1884), p. 334 no. 2260, shows that Pope Innocent IV approved the grant on 19 September 1246 by allowing Teobaldo to hold multiple benefices. Cf. Baldwin, p. 24 and n. 50. He held the archdeaconry until 8 March 1271.
  10. ^ Judith Bronstein, The Hospitallers and the Holy Land: Financing the Latin East, 1187-1274 (Woodbridge, Suffolk, UK: Boydell Press 2005), pp. 24-25; 115-121.
  11. ^ Gallia christiana III (Paris 1725), 888-889.
  12. ^ Baldwin, Pope Gregory X and the Crusades, p. 30-31.
  13. ^ Gallia christiana III (Paris 1725), 939-952, at 948-949. He finally resigned all his offices in 1274 in the presence of Gregory X at the Council of Lyons.
  14. ^ Gallia christiana III (Paris 1725), 888-889. Alphonsus Ciaconius, Vitae et Res Gestae Pontificum Romanorum et S.R.E. Cardinalium (ab Augusto Olduino recognitae) Tomus II (Roma 1677), 185—where it is alleged that Henry actually struck Teobaldo. Baldwin, Pope Gregory X and the Crusades, p. 31. The "Vita Gregorii X Papae" severely telescopes events at this point by some five years. It seeks to have Teobaldo take the Cross along with Louis IX and his sons, but that event did not happen until 24 March 1267. If that collocation is accepted, then the length of Teobaldo's assignment in England is seriously reduced and its purpose compromised.
  15. ^ "Vita Gregorii X Papae," ab antiquissimo anonymo auctore scripta, in Ludovico Muratori Rerum Italicarum Scriptores Tomus tertius (Mediolani 1733), p. 600. Campi, p. 223.
  16. ^ Francis Gasquet, Henry the Third and the English Church (London 1905), pp. 403-416.
  17. ^ A. Tomassetti, Bullarium Romanum III (Turin 1858), pp. 748-763. F. Gregorovius, History of Rome in the Middle Ages, Volume V.2 second edition, revised (London: George Bell, 1906), pp. 381-382.
  18. ^ F. Gregorovius, pp. 457-460. H. D. Sedgwick, Italy in the Thirteenth Century Volume II (Boston-New York 1912) 71-80. F. Cristofori, Il conclave del MCCLXX in Viterbo (Roma-Siena-Viterbo 1888) pp. 9-42; 337-348.
  19. ^ J.R.S. Phillips, The Medieval Expansion of Europe second edition (Oxford: Clarendon 1998), p. 113.
  20. ^ Peter Jackson, The Mongols and the West: 1221-1410 (New York: Routledge 2014), especially pp. 167-196. B. Roberg, "Die Tartaren auf dem 2. Konzil von Lyon 1274," Annuarium historiae conciliarum 5 (1973), 241-302.
  21. ^ Jean Richard, Histoire des Croisades (Paris: Fayard 1996), p.465
  22. ^ Jonathan Riley-Smith, "Atlas des Croisades", p.69 (English-language version: The Atlas of the Crusades (Facts-on-file 1991))
  23. ^ [1]. Brian Tierney, The Middle Ages: Sources of Medieval History sixth edition, revised, Vol 1 (New York: McGraw-Hill 1999), 259-260.
  24. ^ Thomas Rymer Foedera, Conventiones, Literae et cuiusque generis Acta Publica inter Reges Angliae et alios... editio tertia, Tomus I. pars 2 (The Hague 1745), pp. 121-122. Other copies went out to other Kings, Princes and rulers of Europe.
  25. ^ Augustus Potthast, Regesta pontificum Romanorum II (Berlin 1875), p. 1671, 1672.
  26. ^ Rymer, II. 2, pp. 134-135. Potthast, no. 20767.
  27. ^ Isidoro Carini, "Brevis Historia Concilii Lugdunensis," in Specilegio Vaticano di documenti inediti e rari estratti dagli Archivi e dalla Biblioteca della Sede Apostolica Volume I (Roma: Ermanno Loescher 1890), pp. 250-251.
  28. ^ Potthast, no. 20761 (21 November 1273).
  29. ^ J. M. Hussey, The Orthodox Church in the Byzantine Empire (Oxford-New York: OUP 2010), Section VIII, parts 1-3.
  30. ^ Maureen Purcell, Papal Crusading Policy, 1244-1291: The Chief Instruments of Papal Crusading Policy and Crusade to the Holy Land from the Final Loss of Jerusalem to the Fall of Acre 1244-1291 (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1975), especially pp. 135-195. Judith Bronstein, The Hospitallers and the Holy Land: Financing the Latin East, 1187-1274 (Woodbridge, Suffolk, UK: Boydell Press 2005), pp. 127-133.
  31. ^ Norman Tanner, Church in Council: Conciliar Movements, Religious Practice and the Papacy (New York-London: I.B.Tauris 2011), pp. 24-25. Cf. Edmund J. Fortman, The Triune God: A Historical Study of the Doctrine of the Trinity (Eugene, Oregon, USA: Wipf and Stock Publishers 1999), p. 229. William Crockett et al., Four Views on Hell (Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA: Zondervan, 1996), pp. 111-113.
  32. ^ Baldwin, Pope Gregory X and the Crusades, p. 4.
  33. ^ These are summarized from the Constitution 'ubi primus', by Franciscus Pagi, Breviarium historico-chronologico-criticum illustriora pontificum Romanorum, Conciliorum Generaliorum acta... III (Antwerp 1718), pp. 406-408.
  34. ^ August Potthast, Regesta Pontificum Romanorum II (Berlin 1875), p. 1700
  35. ^ Pietro Campi, Dell' historia ecclesiastica di Piacenza II (Piacenza 1662), p. 483.
  36. ^ Conclave of 20-21 January 1276 (Dr. J.P.Adams).
  37. ^ Acta Sanctorum: Aprilis Tomus III (Antwerp 1675), pp. 379-404 (biography by Fr. Bertramo Reoldi, O.Cist.).
  38. ^ "Vatican newspaper examines history of red, white papal garb". catholicculture.org. Retrieved 2 April 2015.
  39. ^ "L'Osservatore Romano". osservatoreromano.va. Retrieved 2 April 2015.
  40. ^ Marco Polo on IMDb

Further reading

  • Conclave of 1268–71 (Dr. J.P. Adams)
  • Conclave of January 1276 (Dr. J.P. Adams)
  • Anton Maria Bonucci, Istoria del Pontefice Ottimo Massimo il B. Gregorio X (Roma 1711).
  • H. D. Sedgwick, Italy in the Thirteenth Century Volume II (Boston–New York 1912) 71–80.
  • Ludovico Gatto, Il pontificato di Gregorio X (1271–1276) (Roma: Istituto Storico Italiano per il Medioevo 1959) (Studi Storici, 28–30).
  • Philip B. Baldwin, Pope Gregory X and the Crusades (Woodbridge, Suffolk, England: Boydell & Brewer Ltd, 2014). (Studies in the History of Medieval Religion, volume 41)
  • J. Guiraud and L. Cadier (editors), Les registres de Grégoire X et de Jean XXI (1271–1277) (Paris, 1892–98) [Bibliothèque de l'Ecole Française à Rome 2 série, 12].
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Clement IV
Succeeded by
Innocent V
1268–71 papal election

The papal election of 1268–71 (from November 1268 to 1 September 1271), following the death of Pope Clement IV, was the longest papal election in the history of the Catholic Church. This was due primarily to political infighting between the cardinals. The election of Teobaldo Visconti as Pope Gregory X was the first example of a papal election by "compromise", that is, by the appointment of a committee of six cardinals agreed to by the other remaining ten. The election occurred more than a year after the magistrates of Viterbo locked the cardinals in, reduced their rations to bread and water, and removed the roof of the Palazzo dei Papi di Viterbo.As a result of the length of the election, during which three of the twenty cardinal-electors died and one resigned, Gregory X promulgated the papal bull Ubi periculum on 7 July 1274, during the Second Council of Lyon, establishing the papal conclave, whose rules were based on the tactics employed against the cardinals in Viterbo. The first election held under those rules is sometimes viewed as the first conclave.


Year 1276 (MCCLXXVI) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar.

It is the only Year of Four Popes.

1277 papal election

The papal election of 1277 (May 30 – November 25), convened in Viterbo after the death of Pope John XXI, was the smallest papal election since the expansion of suffrage to cardinal-priests and cardinal-deacons, with only seven cardinal electors (following the deaths of three popes who had not created cardinals). Because John XXI had revoked Ubi periculum, the papal bull of Pope Gregory X establishing the papal conclave, with his own bull Licet felicis recordationis, the cardinal electors were able to take their time. After six months of deliberation, the cardinals eventually elected their most senior member Giovanni Gaetano Orsini as Pope Nicholas III. From the end of the election until Nicholas III's first consistory on March 12, 1278, the number of living cardinals—seven—was the lowest in the history of the Roman Catholic Church.

1294 papal conclave

The papal conclave of 1294 (23–24 December) was convoked in Naples after the resignation of Pope Celestine V on 13 December 1294. Celestine V had only months earlier restored the election procedures set forth in the papal bull Ubi periculum of Pope Gregory X, which had been suspended by Pope Adrian V in July 1276. Every papal election since then has been a papal conclave. It was the first papal conclave held during the lifetime of the preceding pontiff, an event not repeated until the papal conclave of 2013 following the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI.

Cardinals created by Gregory X

Pope Gregory X (1271–1276) create five cardinals in one consistory.

Council of Lyon

The Council of Lyon may refer to a number of synods or councils of the Roman Catholic Church, held in Lyon, France or in nearby Anse.

Previous to 1313, a certain Abbé Martin counted twenty-eight synods or councils held at Lyons

or at Anse.Some of these synods include:

Synod of Lyon (before 523), at which eleven of the members of the Synod of Epaone (517) were present

Synod of Lyon (567), in the presence of Pope John III and during which bishops Salonius of Embrun and Sagittarius of Gap were condemned

First Council of Lyon (1245; Pope Innocent IV; regarding the Crusades)

Second Council of Lyon (1274; Pope Gregory X; regarding union with the Eastern Orthodox and other matters)

Enrico da Fucecchio

Enrico da Fucecchio (died c. 1297) was an Italian Roman Catholic bishop.

He was appointed on April 25, 1273 as Bishop of Diocese of Luni by Pope Gregory X. He insisted on performing his first mass at the Luni Cathedral, a ruined cathedral that had declined since the Roman period.

Franca Visalta

Saint Franca Visalta (1170–1218), also known as Franca of Piacenza, was a Cistercian abbess.

Born in Piacenza, Italy, she became a Benedictine nun in St Syrus Convent at the age of seven and became abbess at a young age. However, she was removed and isolated because of the severe austerities she imposed. Only one nun, Carentia, agreed with Franca's discipline and she moved to a Cistercian convent in Rapallo.

Franca then persuaded her parents to build a Cistercian house in Montelana where she and Carentia both entered. Franca became abbess and maintained the strict austerities on herself, even when her health was failing, and spent most nights praying for several hours in chapel. She later moved the Cistercian community to Pittoli, where she died in 1218. Saint Franca was canonised by Pope Gregory X.

Fromund Le Brun

Fromund le Brun (died 1283) was an English born cleric and judge in Ireland who became Lord Chancellor of Ireland. He lost a long battle to become Archbishop of Dublin, due largely to his notorious pluralism.He is said to have been illegitimate. He is first heard of in Ireland in 1248 as a clerk to the Justiciar of Ireland, and apparently gained considerable judicial experience in this way; he was appointed Lord Chancellor in 1259 and held the office with (possibly) one intermission until his death in 1283. He was a noted pluralist, being appointed Archdeacon of Waterford, while he also held livings in the dioceses of Dublin, Winchester and Salisbury. He became a papal chaplain in 1259.He was the choice of the monks of Holy Trinity Priory to be Archbishop of Dublin in 1271, on the death of Fulk Basset, but he was opposed by William de la Corner, who was the choice of the Chapter of St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin. The matter dragged on for several years, and was in due course referred to the Pope. Le Brun's record of pluralism destroyed his chances of becoming Archbishop. It was found that he was unlawfully in possession of one of his benefices, and

Pope Gregory X declared his election void, but also passed over William in favour of a compromise candidate, John de Derlington, who as a royal confessor also had the confidence of the English Crown. William subsequently became Bishop of Salisbury.

Fromund bought Roebuck Castle, in the south of County Dublin in 1261; it is possible that the purchase was a mistake from the financial point of view, since he was rumoured to be heavily in debt shortly before his death. Roebuck passed to Nigel le Brun, who seems to have been Fromund's nephew. The Le Brun family remained at Roebuck until the late fifteenth century, when it passed by marriage to the first Baron Trimlestown. It is now part of University College Dublin. Fromund also held lands at Tankardstown in County Meath, which he later granted to Theobald Butler.He was succeeded as Lord Chancellor by Walter de Fulburn.

Giovanni Visconti (bishop)

Giovanni Visconti — according to Lorenzo Cardella nephew of Pope Gregory X. He was ostensibly created cardinal-bishop of Sabina by his uncle in 1275 and in 1276 was named judge in the case concerning the translation of bishop Giovanni of Potenza to the archbishopric of Monreale, postulated by the cathedral chapter of Monreale. He died in 1277 or 1278.

The modern scholars have concluded that no such cardinal existed in 13th century because the suburbicarian see of Sabina was occupied by Bertrand de Saint-Martin from 1273 until at least 1277. The document of Pope John XXI concerning the postulation of bishop Giovanni of Potenza to the see of Monreale actually refers to cardinal Bertrand and even explicitly calls him by name.

Guiscardo Suardi

Guiscardo Suardi (died 22 Feb 1282) was a Roman Catholic prelate who served as Bishop of Bergamo (1272–1282).

January 1276 papal conclave

The papal conclave of January 1276 (January 21–22), was the first papal election held under the rules of constitution Ubi periculum issued by Pope Gregory X in 1274, which established papal conclaves. According to Ubi periculum Cardinals were to be secluded in a closed area; they were not even accorded separate rooms. No cardinal was allowed to be attended by more than one servant unless ill. Food was to be supplied through a window; after three days of the meeting, the cardinals were to receive only one dish a day; after five days, they were to receive just bread and water. During the conclave, no cardinal was to receive any ecclesiastical revenue. These provisions were regularly disregarded, at the discretion of the cardinals, particularly the requirement of being incommunicado.

Although several times before papal elections were held in the circumstances similar to those described by Ubi periculum, for the first time such situation was formally required by a papal Constitution. For this reason, the Conclave of January 1276 can be considered the first papal conclave in history in the strictly legal sense of this word.

Matthew (bishop of Ross)

Matthew (died 1274) was a 13th-century cleric based in the Kingdom of Scotland. Walter Bower called him Macchabeus, a Latinization (literature) of the Gaelic name Mac Bethad or Mac Beathadh, previously held by a 12th-century bishop. Either Bower is confused or Matthew changed his name or took a pseudonym more appropriate to the environment of the "international" church, a practise not unusual in the period.He was given the title of Magister ("Master") by Bower, indicating the completion of a university education and more particularly of a Masters' degree at some stage in his life, but details of this have not survived and the title may be spurious. He is found as succentor of the cathedral of Ross in a Moray document dating between 1255 and 1271; he is the first person known to have held this position, and probably the first to have held this new position under the new cathedral constitution of 1256.After the death of Robert, Bishop of Ross, Matthew was part of the team of five compromissarii (delegated electors) who voted for the new bishop; as it happened, it was Matthew who was elected. He travelled to the papal court at Orvieto, along with the archdeacon Robert de Fyvie, and without waiting very long, was consecrated by Pope Gregory X personally (per nos ipsos) by 28 December 1272, on which date a mandate was issued authorising him to proceed to his bishopric.Presumably after returning to Ross, he travelled back to continental Europe to attend the Second Council of Lyon in France, held in the summer of 1274. There, according to Bower, he died (of unspecified causes); Bower on this occasion calls him Magister Matthaeus episcopus Rossensis, "Master Matthew Bishop of Ross" rather than Macchabeus. Whether or not Bower's claim about his death at Lyons is true, the bishopric was certainly vacant by the following Christmas.

Pope Gregory

Gregory has been the name of sixteen Roman Catholic Popes and two Antipopes. The Latin name is Gregorius.

Pope Gregory I "the Great" (590–604), after whom the Gregorian chant is named

Pope Gregory II (715–731)

Pope Gregory III (731–741)

Pope Gregory IV (827–844)

Pope Gregory V (996–999)

Pope Gregory VI (1045–1046)

Antipope Gregory VI

Pope Gregory VII (1073–1085), after whom the Gregorian Reform is named

Pope Gregory VIII (1187)

Antipope Gregory VIII

Pope Gregory IX (1227–1241)

Pope Gregory X (1271–1276)

Pope Gregory XI (1370–1378)

Pope Gregory XII (1406–1415)

Pope Gregory XIII (1572–1585), after whom the Gregorian calendar is named

Pope Gregory XIV (1590–1591)

Pope Gregory XV (1621–1623)

Pope Gregory XVI (1831–1846)

Pope Innocent V

Pope Innocent V (Latin: Innocentius V; c. 1225 – 22 June 1276), born Pierre de Tarentaise, was pope from 21 January to 22 June 1276. He was a member of the Order of Preachers and was a close collaborator of Pope Gregory X during his pontificate. He was beatified in 1898 by Pope Leo XIII.

Second Council of Lyon

The First Council of Lyon, the Thirteenth Ecumenical Council, took place in 1245.The Second Council of Lyon was the fourteenth ecumenical council of the Catholic Church, convoked on 31 March 1272 and convened in Lyon, Kingdom of Arles (in modern France), in 1274. Pope Gregory X presided over the council, called to act on a pledge by Byzantine emperor Michael VIII to reunite the Eastern church with the West. The council was attended by about 300 bishops, 60 abbots and more than a thousand prelates or their procurators, among whom were the representatives of the universities. Due to the great number of attendees, those who had come to Lyon without being specifically summoned were given "leave to depart with the blessing of God" and of the Pope. Among others who attended the council were James I of Aragon, the ambassador of the Emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos with members of the Greek clergy and the ambassadors of Abaqa Khan of the Ilkhanate. Thomas Aquinas had been summoned to the council, but died en route at Fossanova Abbey. Bonaventure was present at the first four sessions, but died at Lyon on 15 July 1274. As at the First Council of Lyons Thomas Cantilupe was an English attender and a papal chaplain.In addition to Aragon, which James represented in person, representatives of the kings of Germany, England, Scotland, France, the Spains and Sicily were present, with procurators also representing the kingdoms of Norway, Sweden, Hungary, Bohemia, the "realm of Dacia" and the duchy of Poland. In the procedures to be observed in the council, for the first time the nations appeared as represented elements in an ecclesiastical council, as they had already become represented in the governing of medieval universities. This innovation marks a stepping-stone towards the acknowledgment of coherent ideas of nationhood, which were in the process of creating the European nation-states.

The main topics discussed at the council were the conquest of the Holy Land and the union of the Eastern and Western Churches. The first session took place on 7 May 1274 and was followed by five additional sessions on 18 May 1274, 4 or 7 June 1274, 6 July 1274, 16 July 1274, and 17 July 1274. By the end of the council, 31 constitutions were promulgated. In the second session, the fathers approved the decree Zelus fidei, which contained no juridical statutes but rather summed up constitutions about the perils of the Holy Land, the means for paying for a proposed crusade, the excommunication of pirates and corsairs and those who protected them or traded with them, a declaration of peace among Christians, a grant of an indulgence for those willing to go on crusade, restoration of communion with the Greeks, and the definition of the order and procedure to be observed in the council. The Greeks conceded on the issue of the Filioque (two words added to the Nicene creed), and union was proclaimed, but the union was later repudiated by Andronicus II, heir to Michael VIII. The council also recognized Rudolf I as Holy Roman Emperor, ending the Interregnum.

Treaty of Orléans

The Treaty of Orléans was a marriage treaty signed in 1275, that led to a short-lived personal union between the kingdoms of Navarre and France. It was signed by Philip III of France and his cousin Blanche of Artois, mother and regent to the two-year-old Joan I of Navarre. The original intent of the treaty was not to create a personal union, however, but to enable Philip to administer Navarre in Joan's name. Joan was also to marry either Philip's firstborn and heir apparent, Louis, or his second son, Philip. Pope Gregory X explicitly stated that he preferred a match with the younger son, as he probably wished to avoid merging Navarre with France. Louis died in 1276, however, leaving Philip as the only choice per the terms of the treaty.Notably, the treaty bound both Philip and Blanche to convince their children to accept the marriage once they reach the age of consent, "unless serious illness, deformity, or other reasonable impediment appears in either of them before their marriage". The treaty also stipulated that if Joan's husband was not to succeed to the French throne, she would be assigned an additional annual revenue of 4,000 livres as compensation for her dower. If Joan's husband did succeed Philip, Philip promised that she would receive an even larger dower. The treaty was to have no effect on Blanche's guardianship over Joan or Blanche's own dower. The first French-appointed governor of Navarre, per the terms of the treaty, was the seneschal of Toulouse Eustache de Beaumarché.The treaty effectively gave France a strategic stronghold in Iberia, but it also ensured that Joan would not lose her kingdom to the neighbouring Castile and Aragon. More importantly, however, it brought Joan's County of Champagne into the French royal domain. The personal union created by the treaty ended in 1328, when Philip and Joan's granddaughter Joan II of Navarre failed to inherit the French crown. Champagne, however, remained in French hands.

Ubi periculum

Ubi periculum is a papal bull promulgated by Pope Gregory X during the Second Council of Lyon on 7 July 1274 that established the papal conclave format as the method for selecting a pope, specifically the confinement and isolation of the cardinals in conditions designed to speed them to reach a broad consensus. Its title, as is traditional for such documents, is taken from the opening words of the original Latin text, Ubi periculum maius intenditur, 'Where greater danger lies'. Its adoption was supported by the hundreds of bishops at that council over the objections of the cardinals. The regulations were formulated in response to the tactics used against the cardinals by the magistrates of Viterbo during in the protracted papal election of 1268–1271, which took almost three years to elect Gregory X. In requiring that the cardinals meet in isolation, Gregory was not innovating but implementing a practice that the cardinals had either adopted on their own initiative or had forced upon them by civil authorities. After later popes suspended the rules of Ubi periculum and several were elected in traditional elections rather than conclaves, Pope Boniface VIII incorporated Ubi periculum into canon law in 1298.

William Wishart

See also William Wishart (disambiguation)William Wishart (or Wischard) (died 28 May 1279) was a 13th-century Bishop of St. Andrews. He was postulated to the see of St. Andrews (Cell Rígmonaid or Cill Rìmhinn) while holding the position as Bishop-elect of Glasgow, which he resigned when, on 2 June 1271, he was elected to that vacant see. He was succeeded at Glasgow by his cousin (consanguieus), Robert Wishart. His election to St. Andrews was notable, because apparently the bishopric's Céli Dé community were excluded from the election. Pope Gregory X charged the Bishop of Moray, the Bishop of Aberdeen, and the Bishop of Argyll, to look over the character of the elect and to investigate the legitimacy of the election, of the latter of which the Pope had suspicions. William, however, emerged successfully, and was consecrated at Scone on 15 October 1273.

William died on 28 May 1279, at Morebattle in Teviotdale. He was buried at St Andrews.

1st–4th centuries
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