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Pope Gregory XIII

Born: January 7, 1502

Died: April 10, 1585

Born Ugo Boncompagni in the early 16th century in Northern Italy, Pope Gregory XIII was a scholar, professor of law, and trusted legal advisor to church leadership during the Council of Trent. He became a priest late in life and was eventually elected pope in 1572 following the death of Pope St. Pius V. Taking his papal name after St. Gregory the Great, Pope Gregory XIII is best known today for commissioning our modern calendar, now-coined the Gregorian calendar, which includes a more accurate calculation of leap years than the Julian calendar used at the time. Gregory also founded many colleges and seminaries and was an avid supporter of the Jesuit order, which today operates hundreds of high schools and colleges across the world. Gregory was steadfast in his dedication to implementing reforms across the church, and modern Catholics today not only benefit from such reforms but also from Gregory’s commitment to pursuing truth inside and outside the Church.

Rosie McCarty

Image: Wikimedia Commons