Hildebrand was born in Tuscany and educated in a monastery in Rome. His abilities made him a power behind the throne under five popes. He was elected pope on April 22, 1073.Pope Saint Gregory VII, was not even a priest at the time he was elected to be Pope, but a Deacon. This happened in the year 1073, due to the death of Pope Alexander II, after ruling for 12 years. "On the following day his funeral mass was celebrated and he was buried in the Basilica of the Holy Savior, in Rome. As the rights were completed and the Cardinals stood in prayer, before the crypt of the dead pontiff. Suddenly, without apparent cause, there welled up a great roar in the midst of the Basilica "let Hindebrand be Pope!" And as if swept up in an irresistible wave, the assembled cardinals and bishops and priests answered with the shout: "Saint Peter has chosen Hildebrand!"1. ( taken from www.catholicism.org/OGP/pope_chapter6.html)" And so Deacon Hildebrand became Pope Gregory VII.
During the election of Pope Gregory VII, on the throne of Charlemagne, sat a cruel king with screwed up morals, Henry IV. Pope Gregory VII knew of the king wickedness, but did not act against him amedeatly, he gave him many chances to reform. The pope told him to reform his self and to help rid his own nation of simony. Simony was a common practice of this time, it is the buying and selling of the abilities that God gave to priests and other religious. Pope Gregory thought of simony as a very terrible crime and sin.
At first Henry IV, seemed to act on what the pope told him to do, but it then turned out to be just his own self, acting to save his throne. On Christmas Eve, 1075, when the pope was saying midnight mass in the church of Saint Mary, A gang sent by Henry, entered the church and took the pope. The gang stripped him of his clothing, tied him up and, beat him. While this was happening, a huge crowd of Romans assembled, took the pope from the gang and, brought him back to the church were he resumed his mass.