Pope Gregory VII  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Pope St. Gregory VII (c. 1015/1028 – May 25, 1085), born Hildebrand of Sovana (Template:Lang-it), was Pope from April 22, 1073, until his death. One of the great reforming popes, he is perhaps best known for the part he played in the Investiture Controversy, his dispute with Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor affirming the primacy of the papal authority and the new canon law governing the election of the pope by the College of Cardinals. He was at the forefront of both evolutionary developments in the relationship between the emperor and the papacy during the years before becoming pope. He was beatified by Pope Gregory XIII in 1584, and canonized in 1728 by Pope Benedict XIII as Pope St. Gregory VII.

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