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Gregory II, Saint

Saint Gregory II, d. 731, pope (715–31), a Roman; successor of Constantine. When Byzantine Emperor Leo III tried to impose iconoclasm in Italy by an imperial edict, Gregory answered that the emperor could not decide tenets of faith. He was supported by a popular uprising directed at the exarch of Ravenna, the emperor's viceroy in Italy. The Lombards, long the enemies of Rome, took up the Roman cause, with the result that its Byzantine suzerainty over Rome was virtually ended. It was Gregory who sent St. Boniface to evangelize Germany. He was succeeded by Gregory III. Feast: Feb. 11.

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