Gregorio Barbarigo

May 8, 2022

Today’s Saint of the day is Saint Gregorio Barbarigo. An Italian, Gregorio Giovanni Gaspare Barbarigo, was a cardinal and bishop.

Brief History

St. Gregory Barbarigo was born in 1625 to a Venetian family with a long and illustrious history. He was a good student who pursued a diplomatic career, accompanying Venetian Ambassador Contarini to the Munster Congress in 1648. He then became a priest and was later ordained by Pope Alexander VII as the first Bishop of Bergamo. After some time, he was promoted to Cardinal and given control of the diocese of Padua. With pastoral knowledge and profound insight, he led his flock. St. Gregory Barbarigo fought tirelessly to put the Council of Trent’s reforms into effect. His efforts resulted in significant expansions of the seminaries of Bergamo and Padua. He also built a library and a printing press in Padua. He passed away in 1697. The 18th of June is his feast day.

Fun Facts

  • He was a clear favorite in both the 1689 and 1691 papal conclaves due to his diplomatic and scholarly achievements.
  • He earned a reputation as a scholar for his illustrious education and as an able pastor for his attentiveness to pastoral initiatives and frequent parish visits.
  • He was an uncle of Cardinal Giovanni Francesco Barbarigo and a cousin of Cardinal Marcantonio Barbarigo. Furthermore, he was a distant relative of Cardinal Angelo Barbarigo.
  • In 1650, he was elected to the Collegio dei Savi, launching his political career, which he later recanted.
  • In the winter of 1653, he traveled to Rome to consult Cardinal Chigi, who advised him not to retire as a hermit but to pursue an ecclesiastical career and to begin pursuing a doctorate in law.
  • He studied Greek, mathematics, history, and philosophy at the University of Padua and earned a doctorate in utroque iure on the 25th of September, 1655.
  • In 1656, Pope Alexander VII summoned him to Rome. He bestowed upon him the title of “domestic prelate of his holiness” and entrusted him with additional responsibilities, including chairmanship of the Apostolic Signatura Tribunal.
  • When the plague pandemic struck Rome in May 1656, the pope appointed him to head the special committee tasked with providing aid to plague sufferers.
  • The Pope appointed him bishop of Padua on March 24, 1664, a diocese he would oversee for thirty-three years until his death.


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