On various occasions the popes found asylum within its walls, and it was the meeting-place of the conclaves which elected Honorius II.
At subsequent conclaves he was twice nearly elected pope, but on each occasion was opposed by Spain on account of his work On the Monarchy of Sicily, in which he supported the papal claims against those of the Spanish government.
He used to declaim by the hour in the conclaves at Burlington House upon the necessity of securing Fox; upon the strength which his genius would lend to the administration in its task of grappling with the sanguinary giant; upon the impossibility, at least, of doing either with him or without him.
In 1712 the family received the dignity of hereditary marshals of the Church and guardians of the conclaves, which gave them a very great importance on the death of every pope.
Gregory founded the Congregation of the Propaganda, encouraged missions, fixed the order to be observed in conclaves, and canonized Ignatius Loyola, Francis Xavier, Philip Neri and Theresa de Jesus.