Feast Day : January 10 (formerly February 16)
Gregory was born in 1201 in Piacenza, Italy, as Theobald Visconti. He was archdeacon of Liège, though not yet ordained a priest, when he was elected to succeed Pope Clement IV (r. 1265–68) on September 1, 1271. The Holy See had then been vacant three years due to disagreements among French and Italian cardinals, and Theobald was a compromise candidate who did not even know that he was in the running. He was on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land when news came of his election, and he hurried to Viterbo, where the cardinals were meeting, arriving there in February 1271. He made his entrance into Rome on March 13. On March 19 he was ordained a priest and on March 27 he was consecrated in the Chair of St. Peter, assuming the name Gregory X. Gregory is best remembered for convoking the 14th General Council at Lyons in 1274, which approved a new crusade to retake possession of Christian sites in the Holy Land from the Muslims, a decision that prepared the way for reconciliation between the Roman Catholic and Eastern Churches. However, although money was raised for the crusade, it proved impossible to bring it off, and the schism between East and West in the end went unbridged. Gregory died in Arezzo (Rezzo) on January 10, 1276, on his way back from Lyons. He is honored as a saint in Rome and in several dioceses. Pope Benedict XIV (r. 1740–58) added his name to the Roman Martyrology.