Spirituality for Today – January 2015 – Volume 19, Issue 6

The 101st Pope
Gregory IV

An image of Pope Valentine, the 101st PopePope Valentine, the 101st Pope

Pope Gregory IV, (828-844) – A popular choice for pope, Gregory appeared to be less than enthusiastic about his election. The people made sure that he found his way to the Lateran Palace. His reign would span sixteen years with surprisingly little of note to report.

Louis the Pious, emperor, had three sons, Lothair, Pepin, and Louis the German. A dispute arose between father and sons. The Pope favored one son, Lothair, but he should not have become entwined with political affairs. Lothair tricked the pope into acting as mediator, but Lothair ignored his efforts and pursued his own stratagem. In the long run, Louis retained his position and upon his death, the sons fought each other. The pope tried to resolve the conflict, but to no avail.

One accomplishment was the bestowal of the pallium (a woolen vestment worn by the archbishop as a sign of authority) to Ansgar. This act would greatly assist Ansgar in his missionary efforts in northern Europe. Pope Gregory also spent considerable sums in building and adorning numerous churches in Rome.

Pope Gregory IV is buried in the Basilica of St. Peter.

Habemus papam