Pope Gregory VII was born Hildebrand circa 1025 in Sovana, a small town in Tuscany. "At an early age, he was sent to Romewhere his uncle served as abbot of the convent of St. Mary on the Aventineto receive an education." He followed Gregory VI into his exile to Germany, continuing his studies in Cologne before ultimately departing for Rome with Pope Leo IX. There, he enthusiastically pursued a clerical life, becoming a subdeacon and steward in the Roman Catholic Church, and later as a legate in France. Over the decades which followed, he garnered the support of the church through his conduction of negotiations regarding the successor of Leo IX. Pope Stephen X was elected under questionable circumstances, but died shortly after, leading to "the hasty elevation of Bishop... [continues]
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