St. Gregory VII was born in Soana, Italy, around the year 1020. Educated in Rome, he became a Benedictine monk and was chaplain to Pope Gregory VI. Although he was chosen to be the 152nd pope, he declined. He later became the 157th pope. He was a great reformer in the church, suspending corrupt clergymen and fighting simony. St. Gregory VII was eventually driven into exile by the emperor. He spent the rest of his papacy in Salerno, where he died in 1085.