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Saint Gregory Barbarigo

Saint Gregory Barbarigo
  • Century: 17th Century, 18th Century
  • Patronage: Builders, Caregivers
  • Feast Day: June 18th

St. Gregory Barbarigo was born in Venice, Italy in 1635.  His father was an Italian diplomat and the two of them traveled extensively throughout Italy and Europe.  By the age of 30, he had finished with school and earned a degree in law.  He was disturbed by the lack of faith he observed in many of the leaders of his time.  His strong desire to spread the Catholic Faith and renew the Church, as well as a desire to heal divisions with the church, led Gregory to become a Priest. 

Gregory was ordained in 1644 and was sent to Rome.  In Rome he ministered to the sick and dying – during a severe epidemic.  Pope Alexander VII personally assigned St. Gregory to the construction of hospitals and sanitary facilities to help the stricken. 

Acknowledging the success of his efforts Pope Alexander consecrated Gregory a Bishop and Cardinal of the Church.  He continued to do his work of building in the places he served.  He expanded his dedication to increasing the faith of the region by building schools.  After exhausting himself in God’s service – Cardinal Gregory died in 1706 at the age of 81.  Pope John XXIII canonized him in 1960.   To this day, many parishes, schools, and hospitals are named St. Gregory in honor of this great Cardinal and saint. 

Practical Take Away

St. Gregory teaches us with his life, that he intended to be a lawyer.  But, his conscience bothered him because of the lack of faith in the government and people of his time.  He chose to do something about it – he became a priest.  Not only did he become a priest to help convert and teach the faith, but also he put his faith into action and spent his life building hospitals, and schools to care for the faithful.  His life is an example to us all, no matter what our vocation or job is, we can all use our skills for the glory of God and building up His kingdom.