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Saint Gregory Barbarigo

Saint

Saint Gregory Barbarigo

Feast Day: June 18

Birth: September 16, 1625
Death: June 18, 1697
Saint Gregory Barbarigo, also known as Gregory Bardardico, Gregorio Barbarigo, and Gregorio Giovanni Gasparo Barbarigo, was born on 16 September 1625 in Venice, Italy. He was the son of a Venetian senator and received a high-quality education at the prestigious University of Padua. After completing his studies, Gregory focused on his legal career, becoming both a civil and canon lawyer. Notably, he played a significant role in the negotiations for the Peace of Westphalia, which brought an end to the Thirty Years’ War on 24 October 1648. During this time, he worked alongside the future Pope Alexander VII, Archbishop Fabio Chigi. On 21 December 1655, Gregory was ordained as a priest. He quickly gained recognition for his talents and dedication, eventually becoming a domestic prelate to Pope Alexander VII. Additionally, he held the positions of Referendary of the Tribunals of the Apostolic Signature of Justice and of Grace. In recognition of his strong faith and admirable qualities, Gregory was consecrated as the Bishop of Bergamo, Italy, on 9 July 1657. His dedication to his episcopal duties and his tireless efforts to uphold Catholic teachings gained him great respect and admiration. On 5 April 1660, Gregory was elevated to the rank of cardinal, further affirming his role as an influential figure within the Catholic Church. Later, on 24 March 1664, he was appointed as the Bishop of Padua, Italy. Gregory actively participated in several papal conclaves throughout his lifetime. He was part of the conclave of 1667 that selected Pope Clement IX, the conclave of 1676 that chose Blessed Pope Innocent XI, the conclave of 1689 that elected Pope Alexander VIII, and the conclave of 1691 that elected Pope Innocent XII. His involvement in these crucial gatherings highlights his standing as a trusted advisor and an expert in church matters. Apart from his ecclesiastical duties, Gregory was known for his philanthropy. His charitable work was remarkably generous, earning him the reputation of being a leading citizen involved in charitable activities on a princely scale. One of Saint Gregory Barbarigo's great aspirations was to promote unity between the Latin and Orthodox Churches. He dedicated himself to fostering dialogue and understanding between these two branches of Christianity. Saint Gregory Barbarigo passed away on 18 June 1697 in Padua, Italy, due to natural causes. He was buried in the cathedral of Padua, where his memory and devotion continue to be honored. Recognized for his holiness and exemplary life, Saint Gregory Barbarigo was beatified on 6 July 1761 by Pope Clement XIII and canonized on 26 May 1960 by Blessed Pope John XXIII. His feast day is celebrated on 18 June, although it was previously observed on 17 June before the liturgical changes of 1969. Saint Gregory Barbarigo remains an esteemed figure, admired for his numerous contributions to the Church and society as a whole.