IHS Second Sunday after Easter—5 May AD 2019Feast of Pope Saint Pius V Ave Maria!

 

 

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If today we're not Sunday we would be celebrating the feast of Pope Saint Pius V. Now most traditional Catholics associate Saint Pius' name with the Tridentine revision of the Holy Mass and the missal he decreed “in perpetuity” for the Roman Rite. But as important as that was, there are many more things we should acknowledge about this great Saint.

Pius was born Antonio Ghislieri In 1504 to noble parents. He was educated by the Dominicans, and joined that Order in1518, taking the name Michele, and becoming a priest in 1528. He lived a life of very notable piety, denying himself the few creature comforts the monastery had to offer. He often walked—sometimes barefoot and without a cloak—instead of going on horseback. Even as Pope, he would be remembered for meditating before the Blessed Sacrament twice a day. He ate little, carefully observing the Order's rules for fasting and abstinence. He was faithful in offering Mass, preaching, and hearing Confessions. He was insistent that his Dominican brethren, likewise observe the rule of the Order. His preaching and his teaching were well known as an orthodox counterbalance to the heresies of the times. Indeed, he would become an important force in the counter-reformation.

In 1556 he was made Bishop of the diocese of Sutri. The following year he was made a Cardinal and appointed Inquisitor General at Rome. In addition to doctrinal concerns, the Inquisitor was concerned with the behavior of the clergy. In an era when too many aristocrats thought of a diocese, an abbey, or a parish as little more than a revenue stream that could be maintained by a paid substitute, the Inquisitor insisted that bishops, abbots, and priests personally provide the pastoral care associated with their benefice—they were supposed to live in, and care for the people within their territory. He also opposed the vice of nepotism—the idea that bishops could appoint close relatives to rich benefices, even if the relative was utterly unqualified. He drew the wrath of his predecessor, Pius IV, who wanted to appoint a thirteen year old nephew to the College of Cardinals. In like manner, he drew the wrath of the German Emperor, Maximillian II, when the latter sought to abolish the celibacy of the clergy in his domain. Later, as Pope, he decreed the death penalty for unrepentant clergy who abused their subjects (and each other).[2] Pope Francis would do well to recognize that this problem and its solution were acknowledged a few centuries ago. Removed as Inquisitor for challenging Pius IV’s nepotism, Ghislieri was elected Pope in his own right (January 1566), and took the name of Pius V.

As a Cardinal, he had participated in the Council of Trent, and as pope he fulfilled the Council’s edicts to provide a uniform rite for the Mass (1570) and Divine Office (1568), and an official Catechism (1566). The missal was to be used forever; by any institution not having its own rite is use for two hundred years or more,[3]

Protestantism proved to be a political revolution in addition to its religious rupture. The countries of Europe were no longer united by a common Catholic Faith. This became critically important with the resurgence of Islamic naval activity in the Mediterranean. To meet this threat, Pope Pius recruited the remaining Catholic sovereigns into a "Holy League,” which included the Papal States, the Knights of Malta, Habsburg Spain and the maritime powers of Italy. The League was commanded by Don Juan of Austria, and have a combined “force of 200 galleys, 100 other ships, 50,000 infantry, 4,500 cavalry and adequate artillery.”[4]

The victory in the Battle of Lepanto—fought under the patronage of Our Lady of the Rosary—secured the western Mediterranean against Moslem raiders. The battle was fought on 7 October 1571, which led to the establishment of the feast of Our Lady of Victories (later Our Lady of the Rosary) on the first Sunday of each October.

Pope Pius died the following year (1 May 1572) at the age of 68. He was beatified precisely one hundred years later, and canonized about forty years thereafter on 22 May 1712, by Pope Clement XI.[5] One hundred and forty years was not an unusually long period for canonization in that era. The Church followed a rigorous process to insure the holiness and devotion to duty of Its saints. We are justly proud to be associated with this great and holy Pope, by virtue of the Holy Rosary and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.


NOTES:
[1] http://www.rosarychurch.net/images/arms_Pius_v.gif

[2] http://wdtprs.com/blog/2019/04/30-april-no-st-pius-v-a-saint-against-clerical-depravity/

[3] Bull Quo primum tempore (1570) http://caer-glow.rosarychurch.net/quo_primum_tempore.html

[4] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holy_League_(1571)

[5] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Pius_V 

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