Saint Gregory of Tours was born around the year 538 at Arverni, which is now Clermont-Ferrand. He belonged to the Gallo-Roman family, which was a very prestigious family. He was also related to the houses of Gaul. Gregory s original name was Georgius Florentius. He took the name Gregory to honor his late grandfather who was named Gregory. His Grandfather was the Bishop of Langres. When Gregory was young, his father died and he went to live with his Uncle. His uncle, Gallus, was the Bishop of Clermont. Gallus educated him until his death in 554.
Gregory s mother left to live with friends in Burgandy and left her son to Avitus who became Bishop of Clermont after Gallus. Avitus taught Gregory all about the Scriptures. Gregory was not too impressed with the scriptures. Gregory got seriously ill and wasn t supposed to recover. He did recover though and this made him more mindful of God and the scriptures. Gregory then became a friend with the Bishop of Tours whose name was Euphronius. Euphronius died in 573 and Gregory succeeded him as Bishop of Tours. During this time in Tours, there was great political and social chaos.
The relationships with the Bishops and the Kings and Masters was not good. The Kings abused their powers and this caused civil wars. Gregory wrote that these conflicts were more hurtful to the church than the persecution from Diocletian. Eventually the unrest and Tours stopped and peace was at hand. The Masters of Tours were constantly changing until Guntram who was the King of Burgandy took over the rule of Tours. Guntram and Gregory were friends and the role of bishop was given more authority and respect. Guntram signed the Treaty of Andelot in the year 587.
This treaty gave the rule of Tours to Childebert II. Childebert honored Gregory and let him go on many missions. During this time, Gregory played an important role in the building of new churches and restoring the cathedral in Tours. Gregory was also known for being a great historian. He wrote about the miracles of St. Martin (St. Martin s tomb is in Tours) and the history of the Frankish Empire. The history of the Frank was entitled Historia Francorum, It had ten books and started with creation and ended in the year 591.
St Gregory of Tours died in the year 594 and his feastday is November 17th. In my opinion, Gregory was a bishop of action. The impression I got from my research was that he wasn t really into spreading the message of God, but he was into restoring peace so that the message of God could be spread and people could worship without being overpowered by kings. He seemed more like a politician but in a good way. He was a representative of the Christians to bring peace in the government so that the people could worship.