samedi 5 mai 2012

Saint PIE V (ANTONIO GHISLIERI), Pape et confesseur


  


Scipione Pulzone (1544–1598). Portrait du Pape Piue V (Michele Ghislieri), 1578


Saint Pie V, pape

Durant les six années de son pontificat (1566-1572), le pape Pie V s'appliqua à faire passer dans la pratique les décrets réformateurs du Concile de Trente. Il promulgua le Catéchisme du Concile, ainsi que le Bréviaire et le Missel romain. Enfin il formula les règles de la récitation du Rosaire et s'en fit le propagateur.

SOURCE : http://www.paroisse-saint-aygulf.fr/index.php/prieres-et-liturgie/saints-par-mois/icalrepeat.detail/2015/04/30/604/-/saint-pie-v-pape

SAINT PIE V

Pape

(1504-1572)

Deux religieux dominicains cheminaient un jour à travers la Lombardie. Dans un village, ils rencontrèrent un petit pâtre nommé Michel Ghislieri, d'une noble famille ruinée par les guerres civiles. La physionomie ouverte et spirituelle de l'enfant, ses questions, ses réponses, frappèrent vivement les bons religieux, qui lui proposèrent de l'emmener pour le faire entrer dans leur Ordre. Le pâtre, joyeux, prit le temps d'aller demander la bénédiction de ses parents.

Ce jour-là, la Providence avait accompli, de la manière la plus simple, un merveilleux dessein, car cet enfant devait être l'immortel saint Pie V. Les études du jeune Michel furent brillantes; l'élève devint lui-même, à vingt ans, un professeur distingué.

Bientôt il lui fallut courber ses épaules sous la charge de supérieur, puis d'inquisiteur. C'est dans cette fonction épineuse qu'il se créa, en défendant les droits de l'Église, des ennemis implacables. Il dut aller à Rome justifier sa conduite. Ce voyage de Rome marque dans la vie du jeune religieux.

Les Dominicains du couvent de Sainte-Sabine, le voyant arriver avec un extérieur négligé, lui firent mauvais accueil; le supérieur alla même jusqu'à lui dire avec raillerie: "Que venez-vous chercher ici, mon Père? Venez-vous voir si le collège des cardinaux est disposé à vous faire Pape?" Le religieux peu charitable ne se doutait pas qu'il prédisait l'avenir.

Le cardinal Caraffa jugea autrement le jeune inquisiteur; sous cet extérieur modeste, il reconnut une grande âme destinée par Dieu à combattre vaillamment l'hérésie; et plus tard, quand il fut devenu Pape sous le nom de Paul IV, il eut hâte de donner un évêché à Michel Ghislieri, qui dut l'accepter malgré ses larmes. Dès lors on vit briller en lui toutes les vertus apostoliques, surtout l'amour des pauvres et des humbles.

Peu de temps après, l'évêque était cardinal. Il n'accepta des exigences de sa dignité que ce qu'il ne pouvait éviter; son palais ressemblait à un couvent, sa vie à celle d'un moine. Jamais plus grande violence ne lui fut faite que quand on lui imposa de force la charge du souverain pontificat. Il prit le nom de Pie V.

Peu de Papes ont vu autour d'eux le rayonnement de plus grands Saints et de plus grands hommes; c'était le temps où vivaient les saint Jean l'Aumônier, les saint Thomas de Villeneuve, les saint Jean de Dieu, les saint Jean de la Croix, les sainte Thérèse, les saint François de Borgia, Louis de Gonzague, Stanislas Kostka, saint Charles Borromée.

Le grand événement de son règne fut la victoire de Lépante, dont il eut la révélation à l'heure même où elle fut remportée.

Abbé L. Jaud, Vie des Saints pour tous les jours de l'année, Tours, Mame, 1950.

SOURCE : http://www.magnificat.ca/cal/fr/saints/saint_pie_v.html


C'est précisément l'Église réorganisée par le concile de Trente que le pape saint Pie V réussit à promouvoir au cours d'une activité sans faille au service de la foi. En effet Michel Ghislieri - jusque-là professeur, maître des novices et prieur, inquisiteur provincial à Côme et à Bergame -, entre dans la grande machine ecclésiastique romaine comme Commissaire général de l'Inquisition en 1551. Son protecteur, le cardinal Carafa devenu Paul IV, le nomme en 1556 évêque de Nepi et Sutri, puis de Mondovi, tout en le faisant Inquisiteur général de la chrétienté.

Il devient cardinal en 1557. Nicole Lemaître, sa récente biographe, montre qu'il commence à modifier l'image sociale du cardinalat. Jusqu'alors, dans un État temporel comme celui du Pape, les cardinaux restaient des princes. " Religieux mendiant, sans famille brillante [...] il pouvait se permettre de faire de sa vie un modèle. " Il limite ses dépenses à l'extrême, aux dépens peut-être du mécénat qui était alors attendu des gens de sa sorte.

Le cardinal Ghislieri connaît des années un peu plus difficiles sous le pontificat de Pie IV qui réussit à terminer le concile de Trente à la fin de 1563. Deux ans après, il lui succède après une élection unanime. Pie V va alors s'employer à mettre en oeuvre les décisions du concile de Trente qui, comme celles de Latran V l'ayant précédé un demi-siècle, auraient pu rester lettre morte. On lui doit la promulgation du Catéchisme tridentin et surtout une refonte de la liturgie par le bréviaire et le missel. La " messe de saint Pie V " veut certes unifier la célébration eucharistique, en reconnaissant des rites légitimes, et la fixer, mais certainement pas d'une manière intemporelle.

Le pape Pie V est un des grands artisans de la Réforme catholique par la purification des moeurs, à la Curie, dans la ville de Rome et les États pontificaux. Il a voulu en donner l'exemple par une vie pieuse, sainte et désintéressée, ce qui l'a amené à renoncer à tous les avantages que sa famille pouvait attendre de son élévation. Pour sa famille religieuse, Pie V, tout en accordant une préséance aux prêcheurs sur les autres ordres, intervint pour les réformer en s'appuyant sur les maîtres de l'ordre.

Un des grands succès de la politique de saint Pie V fut la bataille navale de Lépante contre les Turcs, le 7 octobre 1571. Attribuant cette victoire à la protection de la Vierge Marie, le Pape engagea les prêcheurs à célébrer chaque année une fête de Notre-Dame de la Victoire qui devint ensuite Notre-Dame du Rosaire. Pie V mourut le 1er mai 1572 et fut béatifié exactement un siècle après. Un peu confisqué par l'hagiographie intégriste, Pie V, avec ses limites, ses échecs et son immense travail, a surtout rendu à l'Église le service, après les turpitudes des papes de la Renaissance, de présenter la figure d'un pontife irréprochable, modèle des princes-serviteurs. (Source : Quilici, Alain; Bedouelle, Guy. Les frères prêcheurs autrement dits Dominicains. Le Sarment/Fayard, 1997)



St Pie V

Deux religieux dominicains cheminaient un jour à travers la Lombardie. Dans un village, ils rencontrèrent un petit pâtre nommé Michel Ghislieri, d’une noble famille ruinée par les guerres civiles. La physionomie ouverte et spirituelle de l’enfant, ses questions, ses réponses, frappèrent vivement les bons religieux, qui lui proposèrent de l’emmener pour le faire entrer dans leur Ordre.

Ce jour-là, la Providence avait accompli, de la manière la plus simple, un merveilleux dessein, car cet enfant devait être l’immortel saint Pie V. Les études du jeune Michel furent brillantes ; l’élève devint lui-même, à vingt ans, un professeur distingué.

Bientôt il lui fallut courber ses épaules sous la charge de supérieur, puis d’inquisiteur. C’est dans cette fonction épineuse qu’il se créa, en défendant les droits de l’Église, des ennemis implacables. Il dut aller à Rome justifier sa conduite. Ce voyage de Rome marque dans la vie du jeune religieux.

Les Dominicains du couvent de Sainte-Sabine, le voyant arriver avec un extérieur négligé, lui firent mauvais accueil ; le supérieur alla même jusqu’à lui dire avec raillerie : "Que venez-vous chercher ici, mon Père ? Venez-vous voir si le collège des cardinaux est disposé à vous faire Pape ?" Le religieux peu charitable ne se doutait pas qu’il prédisait l’avenir.

Le cardinal Caraffa jugea autrement le jeune inquisiteur ; sous cet extérieur modeste, il reconnut une grande âme destinée par Dieu à combattre vaillamment l’hérésie ; et plus tard, quand il fut devenu Pape sous le nom de Paul IV, il eut hâte de donner un évêché à Michel Ghislieri, qui dut l’accepter malgré ses larmes. Dès lors on vit briller en lui toutes les vertus apostoliques, surtout l’amour des pauvres et des humbles.

Peu de temps après, l’évêque était cardinal. Il n’accepta des exigences de sa dignité que ce qu’il ne pouvait éviter ; son palais ressemblait à un couvent, sa vie à celle d’un moine. Jamais plus grande violence ne lui fut faite que quand on lui imposa de force la charge du souverain pontificat. Il prit le nom de Pie V.

Son court pontificat fut l'un des plus féconds du XVIe siècle. A l'intérieur de l'Église, il rendit efficaces les décrets du Concile de Trente, publia le missel et le bréviaire romains, travailla avec fermeté à la réforme des mœurs. Il organisa la campagne qui devait se terminer en 1571 à Lépante par l'écrasement définitif de la puissance ottomane qui menaçait l'Europe. Il eut la révélation de la victoire à l’heure même où elle fut remportée. Alors il institua la fête de Notre-Dame de la Victoire, qui devint la fête du Rosaire. St Pie V mourut en 1572. Son tombeau se trouve à Rome dans l'église Ste-Marie Majeure.

Dans le message du Pape Jean-Paul II à Mgr Fernando Charrier, évêque d’Alexandrie, pour le cinquième centenaire de la naissance de saint Pie V, en date du 1er mai 2004, nous pouvons lire :

« Que l’intercession de saint Pie V et l’exemple de ses vertus représentent un encouragement pour chacun en vue de consolider sa foi, en la maintenant intacte et en contact permanent avec les sources de la Révélation, et en la diffusant dans la société pour édifier une humanité ouverte au Christ et orientée vers la construction de la civilisation de l’amour » […] « Grâce à la récitation fervente du Rosaire, on peut obtenir des grâces extraordinaires par l’intercession de la céleste Mère du Seigneur. Saint Pie V en était bien convaincu, lui qui, après la victoire de Lépante, voulut instituer une fête consacrée à la Madone du Rosaire. » […] « À travers la récitation du Rosaire, j’ai confié à Marie, Reine du saint Rosaire, en ce début du troisième millénaire, le bien précieux de la paix et le renforcement de l’institution familiale. Je renouvelle ce geste confiant par l’intercession du grand dévot de Marie que fut Saint Pie V ».

Prions : Dieu qui pour briser les ennemis de votre Eglise, et pour restaurer le culte divin, avez daigné choisir le bienheureux Pie comme souverain Pontife, faites que sa protection nous défende, et que nous nous attachions tellement à votre service, qu'après avoir surmonté toutes les embûches de nos ennemis nous nous réjouissions d'une paix perpétuelle.



Saint Pie V

Pape (226 ème) de 1566 à 1572, dominicain et grand inquisiteur (✝ 1572)

Antonio Ghislieri était un petit berger gardant les moutons dans la campagne lombarde. La générosité d'un voisin l'enverra à l'école chez les dominicains. A 14 ans, il entre dans l'Ordre des Prêcheurs sous le nom de Michele. Toute sa vie, il sera fidèle à ses vœux religieux et gardera la pauvreté jusque dans les fastes pontificaux. En 1550, il est nommé Grand Inquisiteur dans un diocèse très exposé à la prédication protestante. Six ans plus tard, il sera pape, grâce à l'opiniâtreté de saint Charles Borromée, archevêque de Milan qui sera d'ailleurs l'un de ses plus fidèles collaborateurs. Pie V consacrera son pontificat à l'application de la Réforme Catholique définie au Concile de Trente, dans toute l'Église, avec une attention particulière pour les diocèses du Nouveau Monde. Les prêtres doivent donner l'exemple de la pureté des mœurs et du dévouement. Les laïcs doivent fréquenter les sacrements et s'instruire dans la foi. Pour favoriser cette restauration de la piété, le pape fait refondre le missel, achever et traduire en plusieurs langues nationales le catéchisme officiel. Il lui faut aussi contrer la diffusion des thèses protestantes. Il encourage les théologiens, crée la Congrégation de l'Index pour protéger les fidèles contre les thèses hérétiques. Il n'hésite pas à excommunier la reine d'Angleterre Élisabeth 1ère. Il appelle les princes chrétiens à une croisade contre les Ottomans musulmans qui, un siècle plus tôt, avaient anéanti l'Empire chrétien d'Orient. La flotte turque, réputée invincible, sera écrasée à Lépante le 7 octobre 1571. Il est le pape dynamique de la réforme romaine qui marquera l'Église durant plusieurs siècles.

Mémoire de saint Pie V, pape, de l’Ordre des Prêcheurs. Placé sur la chaire de Pierre, il apporta une grande piété et une vigueur apostolique pour appliquer les décrets du Concile de Trente, restaurer le culte divin, la doctrine chrétienne et la discipline de l’Église, et veiller à la propagation de la foi. Il s’endormit dans le Seigneur le 1er mai 1572.

Martyrologe romain



Saint Pie V

Michel Ghislieri naquit le 17 janvier 1504 dans le village de Bosco, près d’Alexandrie (diocèse de Tortone), où il fut berger. Ayant très tôt voulu se consacrer à Dieu, il entra chez les Dominicains de Voghera où, deux ans plus tard, il reçut l’habit et le nom de Michel Alexandrin. Le 18 mai 1521, il prononça ses vœux solennels au couvent de Vigevano et fut envoyé à l’université de Bologne où, après avoir conquis ses grades, il enseigna. Ordonné prêtre à Gênes (1528), pieux et mortifié, défenseur opiniâtre de la discipline et de la doctrine, il fut successivement prieur des couvents de Vigevano, de Socino et d’Albe, puis il fut inquisiteur à Côme ; en juin 1551, il fut nommé commissaire général du Saint-Office ; Paul IV le fit évêque de Sutri et de Népi (4 septembre 1556), le créa cardinal (15 mars 1557) et le nomma inquisiteur général de l’univers chrétien (14 décembre 1558). En disgrâce sous Pie IV, il fut transféré à l’évêché piémontais de Mondovi (27 mars 1560) Au terme du conclave dominé par saint Charles Borromée, Michel Ghislieri que l’on appelait le cardinal Alexandrin, fut élu pape (7 janvier 1566) et prit le nom de Pie V.

Pie V s’employa à mettre en œuvre les décisions du concile de Trente : il fit préparer et publier le Catéchisme du concile de Trente (1566) ; donna une édition révisée du Breviarium romanum (1568) et du Missale romanum (1570) qui furent imposés à toutes les églises d’Occident dont la liturgie propre avait moins de deux siècles, réservant désormais au Saint-Siège l’approbation de toutes les initiatives liturgiques. Pie V réorganisa complètement la Pénitencerie (1569) et réforma les autres services de la Curie ; il institua la congrégation des Evêques (1571) et celle de l’Index (1571). Pie V, très attentif à défendre énergiquement la foi catholique, fit condamner nombre d’hérétiques ; il fit ajouter saint Thomas d’Aquin aux quatre grands docteurs d’Occident et finança l’édition complète de ses œuvres. Pie V mourut le 1° mai 1572. Béatifié le 1° mai 1672, il fut canonisé le 22 mai 1712. Paul VI déplaça sa fête du 5 mai au 30 avril.


Saint Pie V (1566-1572)

Antonio Ghislieri, né à Bosco Marengo en 1504, mort à Rome en 1572.

Exécuter les décret du concile de Trente fut la tâche principale à laquelle s’attela le nouveau pontife. Il réforma l’Église, excommunia Élisabeth d’Angleterre en 1570 et coalisa les forces chrétiennes contre les Turcs, en 1571, lors de la fameuse bataille de Lépante.

La messe qui porte son nom fut célébrée pendant plus de 400 ans.


QUO PRIMUM TEMPORE



Bulle



de S. S. Pie V



présentant le nouveau missel

Dès le premier instant de Notre élévation au sommet de la Hiérarchie Apostolique, Nous avons tourné avec amour Notre esprit et Nos forces et dirigé toutes Nos pensées vers ce qui était de nature à conserver la pureté du culte de l'Église, et, avec l'aide de Dieu Lui-même, Nous nous sommes efforcé de le réaliser en plénitude, en y apportant tout Notre soin. Comme parmi d'autres décisions du saint Concile de Trente, il nous incombait de décider de l'édition et de la réforme des livres sacrés, le Catéchisme, le Bréviaire et le Missel; après avoir déjà, grâce à Dieu, édité le Catéchisme pour l'instruction du peuple, et pour qu'à Dieu soient rendues les louanges qui Lui sont dues, corrigé complètement le Bréviaire, pour que le Missel répondît au Bréviaire, ce qui est convenable et normal puisqu'il sied qu'il n'y ait dans l'Église de Dieu qu'une seule façon de psalmodier et un seul rite pour célébrer la Messe, il Nous apparaissait désormais nécessaire de penser le plus tôt possible à ce qui restait à faire dans ce domaine, à savoir: éditer le Missel lui-même.

C'est pourquoi Nous avons estimé devoir confier cette charge à des savants choisis; et, de fait, ce sont eux qui, après avoir soigneusement rassemblé tous les manuscrits, non seulement les anciens de Notre Bibliothèque Vaticane, mais aussi d'autres recherchés de tous les côtés, corrigés et exempts d'altération, ainsi que les décisions des Anciens et les écrits d'auteurs estimés qui nous ont laissé des documents relatifs à l'organisation de ces mêmes rites, ont rétabli le Missel lui-même conformément à la règle antique et aux rites des Saints-Pères.

Une fois celui-ci révisé et corrigé, après mûre réflexion, afin que tous profitent de cette disposition et du travail que Nous avons entrepris, Nous avons ordonné qu'il fût imprimé à Rome le plus tôt possible, et qu'une fois imprimé, il fût publié, afin que les prêtres sachent quelles prières ils doivent utiliser, quels sont les rites et quelles sont les cérémonies qu'ils doivent conserver dorénavant dans la célébration des Messes: pour que tous accueillent partout et observent ce qui leur a été transmis par l'Église romaine, Mère et Maîtresse de toutes les autres Églises, et pour que par la suite et dans les temps à venir dans toutes les églises, patriarcales, cathédrales, collégiales et paroissiales de toutes les provinces de la Chrétienté, séculières ou de n'importe quels Ordres monastiques, tant d'hommes que de femmes, même d'Ordres militaires réguliers, et dans les églises et chapelles sans charge d'âmes dans lesquelles la célébration de la messe conventuelle à haute voix avec le Chœur, ou à voix basse selon le rite de l'Église romaine est de coutume ou d'obligation, on ne chante ou ne récite d'autres formules que celle conforme au Missel que Nous avons publié, même si ces églises ont obtenu une dispense quelconque, par un indult du Siège Apostolique, par le fait d'une coutume, d'un privilège ou même d'un serment, ou par une confirmation apostolique, ou sont dotées d'autres permissions quelconques; à moins que depuis la première institution approuvée par le Siège Apostolique ou en vertu de la coutume, cette dernière ou l'institution elle-même aient été observées dans ces mêmes églises depuis deux cents ans au moins, d'une façon continue, pour la célébration des messes. Dans ce cas, Nous ne supprimons aucunement à ces églises leur institution ou coutume de célébrer la messe; mais si ce Missel que Nous avons fait publier leur plaisait davantage, de l'avis de l'Évêque ou du Prélat, ou de l'ensemble du Chapitre, Nous permettons que, sans que quoi que ce soit y fasse obstacle, elles puissent célébrer la messe suivant celui-ci.

Par Notre présente constitution, qui est valable à perpétuité, Nous avons décidé et Nous ordonnons, sous peine de Notre malédiction, que pour toutes les autres églises précitées l’usage de leurs missels propres soit retiré et absolument et totalement rejeté, et que jamais rien ne soit ajouté, retranché ou modifié à Notre missel, que nous venons d’éditer.

Nous avons décidé rigoureusement pour l'ensemble et pour chacune des églises énumérées ci-dessus, pour les Patriarches, les Administrateurs et pour toutes autres personnes revêtues de quelque dignité ecclésiastique, fussent-ils même Cardinaux de la Sainte Église romaine ou eussent-ils tout autre grade ou prééminence quelconque, qu'ils devront, en vertu de la sainte obéissance, abandonner à l'avenir et rejeter entièrement tous les autres principes et rites, si anciens soient-ils, provenant des autres missels dont ils avaient jusqu'ici l'habitude de se servir, et qu'ils devront chanter ou dire la Messe suivant le rite, la manière et la règle que Nous enseignons par ce Missel et qu'ils ne pourront se permettre d'ajouter, dans la célébration de la Messe, d'autres cérémonies ou de réciter d'autres prières que celles contenues dans ce Missel.

Et même par les dispositions des présentes et au nom de notre autorité apostolique, Nous concédons et accordons que ce même missel pourra être suivi en totalité dans la messe chantée ou lue, dans quelque église que ce soit, sans aucun scrupule de conscience et sans encourir aucune punition, condamnation ou censure, et qu’on pourra valablement l’utiliser librement et licitement, et cela à perpétuité.

Et, d’une façon analogue, Nous avons décidé et déclarons que les supérieurs, administrateurs, chapelains et autres prêtres de quelque nom qu’ils seront désignés, ou les religieux de n’importe quel ordre, ne peuvent être tenus de célébrer la messe autrement que nous l’avons fixée, et que jamais et en aucun temps qui que ce soit ne pourra les contraindre et les forcer à laisser ce missel ou à abroger la présente instruction ou la modifier, mais qu’elle demeurera toujours en vigueur et valide, dans toute sa force, nonobstant les décisions antérieures et les constitutions et ordonnances apostoliques, et les constitutions générales ou spéciales émanant de conciles provinciaux et généraux, pas plus que l’usage des églises précitées confirmé par une prescription très ancienne et immémoriale, mais ne remontant pas à plus de deux cents ans, ni les décisions ou coutumes contraires, quelles qu’elles soient.

Nous voulons, au contraire, et Nous le décrétons avec la même autorité, qu'après la publication de Notre présente Constitution, ainsi que du Missel, tous les prêtres qui sont présents dans la Curie romaine soient tenus de chanter ou de dire la Messe selon ce Missel dans un délai d'un mois: ceux qui sont de ce côté des Alpes, au bout de trois mois: et enfin, ceux qui habitent de l'autre côté des montagnes, au bout de six mois ou dès que celui-ci leur sera offert à acheter.

Et pour qu'en tout lieu de la Terre il soit conservé sans corruption et exempt de fautes et d'erreurs, Nous interdisons par Notre autorité apostolique et par le contenu d'instructions semblables à la présente, à tous les imprimeurs domiciliés dans le domaine soumis directement ou indirectement à Notre autorité et à la sainte Église romaine, sous peine de confiscation des livres et d'une amende de deux cents ducats d'or à payer au Trésor Apostolique, et aux autres, domiciliés en quelque lieu du monde, sous peine d'excommunication et d'autres sanctions en Notre pouvoir, de se permettre en aucune manière ou de s'arroger le droit de l'imprimer ou de l'offrir, ou de l'accepter sans Notre permission ou une permission spéciale d'un Commissaire Apostolique qui doit être chargé par Nous de ce soin, et sans que ce Commissaire n'ait comparé avec le Missel imprimé à Rome, suivant la grande impression, un original destiné au même imprimeur pour lui servir de modèle pour ceux que ledit imprimeur doit imprimer, ni sans qu'on n'ait préalablement bien établi qu'il concorde avec ledit Missel et ne présente absolument aucune divergence par rapport à celui-ci.

Cependant, comme il serait difficile de transmettre la présente lettre en tous lieux de la Chrétienté et de la porter tout de suite à la connaissance de tous, Nous ordonnons de la publier et de l'afficher, suivant l'usage, à la Basilique du Prince des Apôtres et à la Chancellerie Apostolique, ainsi que sur le Champ de Flore, et d'imprimer aussi des exemplaires de cette même lettre signés de la main d'un notaire public et munis du sceau d'une personnalité revêtue d'une dignité ecclésiastique, auxquels on devra partout, chez tous les peuples et en tous lieux, accorder la même confiance absolument exempte de doute que si l'on montrait ou exposait la présente.

Qu’absolument personne, donc, ne puisse déroger à cette page qui exprime Notre permission, Notre décision, Notre ordonnance, Notre commandement, Notre précepte, Notre concession, Notre indult, Notre déclaration, Notre décret et Notre interdiction, ou n’ose témérairement aller à l’encontre de ses dispositions. Si cependant quelqu’un se permettait une telle altération, qu’il sache qu’il encourrait l’indignation de Dieu tout-puissant et de ses bienheureux apôtres Pierre et Paul.

Donné à Rome, à Saint-Pierre, l'An mil cinq cent soixante-dix de l'Incarnation du Seigneur, la veille des Ides de juillet, en la cinquième année de Notre Pontificat.



St Pie V, pape et confesseur

Mort à Rome le 1er mai 1572. Canonisé par Clément XI en 1712. Fête comme semi-double au 5 mai, premier jour de libre après son natale. Pie VI en fit une fête double en 1775.

Leçons des Matines avant 1960

Quatrième leçon. Pie, né dans une ville du Piémont nommée Bosco, de la noble famille des Ghisleri, originaire de Bologne, entra à l’âge de quatorze ans dans l’Ordre des Frères Prêcheurs. On remarquait en lui une admirable patience, une profonde humilité, une très grande austérité de vie, une application continuelle à l’oraison, et le zèle le plus ardent pour l’observance régulière et la gloire de Dieu. Il s’adonna à l’étude de la philosophie et de la théologie, et excella tellement dans ces sciences, qu’il s’acquitta avec un grand succès de la charge de les enseigner. Il fit en plusieurs lieux des conférences sacrées très fructueuses, remplit longtemps avec une force d’âme inviolable les fonctions d’inquisiteur, et préserva, au péril même de sa vie, un grand nombre de villes de l’hérésie qui s’efforçait de les envahir.

Cinquième leçon. Paul IV, à qui ses vertus le rendaient cher, le promut d’abord à l’évêché de Népi et Sutri, et, deux ans après, le mit au rang des Cardinaux Prêtres de l’Église romaine. Transféré par Pie IV au siège de Mondovi, dans le Piémont, il reconnut que beaucoup d’abus s’étaient introduits dans cette Église, et fit la visite de son diocèse pour les extirper. Lorsque toutes choses furent remises en ordre, il revint à Rome, où il fut occupé des négociations les plus importantes dans l’expédition desquelles il prit toujours le parti de la justice, et déploya une liberté apostolique et une grande constance. A la mort de Pie IV, il fut élu Pape, contre l’attente générale ; mais, sauf l’extérieur, il ne changea rien à sa manière de vivre. Il eut un zèle incessant pour la propagation de la foi, une sollicitude infatigable pour le rétablissement de la discipline ecclésiastique, une vigilance assidue pour l’extirpation des erreurs, une bienfaisance inépuisable pour soulager les nécessités des indigents, un courage invincible pour défendre les droits du siège apostolique.

Sixième leçon. Le sultan des Turcs, Sélim, dont les succès avaient accru l’audace, ayant réuni une flotte nombreuse près des îles Cursolaires, fut vaincu, grâce à Pie V, et plus encore au moyen des prières adressées à Dieu qu’au moyen des armes. Ce Pontife connut cette victoire par une révélation divine à l’heure même où elle fut obtenue, et il l’annonça aux personnes qui se trouvaient avec lui. Il préparait une nouvelle expédition contre les Turcs lorsqu’il tomba gravement malade ; il supporta avec une grande patience de très cruelles douleurs, et étant arrivé à l’extrémité, reçut les sacrements selon l’usage, puis rendit son âme à Dieu dans une paix profonde, l’an mil cinq cent soixante-douze, âgé de soixante-huit ans, après avoir siégé six ans, trois mois et vingt-quatre jours. Son corps est l’objet d’une grande vénération de la part des fidèles dans la basilique de Sainte Marie-Majeure. Dieu opéra de nombreux miracles en faveur de ceux qui recouraient à l’intercession de Pie V, et ces prodiges ayant été prouvés juridiquement, il a été inscrit au nombre des Saints par le Souverain Pontife Clément XI.


Tombeau de Pie V, Rome, Santa Maria Maggiore.

Dom Guéranger, l’Année Liturgique

Déjà de nombreux Pontifes ont paru sur le Cycle, où ils forment une éclatante constellation près du Christ ressuscité qui, en ces jours, donna à Pierre leur prédécesseur les clefs du ciel. Anicet, Soter, Caïus, Clet et Marcellin, tenaient en main la palme du martyre ; Léon seul avait combattu sans répandre son sang ; mais son grand cœur n’eût pas reculé devant ce suprême témoignage. Or voici qu’en ce jour un émule de Léon, donné à l’Église dans ces derniers siècles, vient s’unir à lui et se mêler au groupe triomphant. Comme Léon, Pie V a lutté avec ardeur contre l’hérésie ; comme Léon, il a sauvé son peuple du joug des barbares.

La vie entière de Pie V a été un combat. Dans les temps agités où il fut placé au gouvernail de la sainte Église, l’erreur venait d’envahir une vaste portion de la chrétienté, et menaçait le reste. Astucieuse et souple dans les lieux où elle ne pouvait développer son audace, elle convoitait l’Italie ; son ambition sacrilège était de renverser la chaire apostolique, et d’entraîner sans retour le monde chrétien tout entier dans les ténèbres de l’hérésie. Pie défendit avec un dévouement inviolable la Péninsule menacée. Avant d’être élevé aux honneurs du pontificat suprême, il exposa souvent sa vie pour arracher les villes à la séduction. Imitateur fidèle de Pierre Martyr, on ne le vit jamais reculer en présence du danger, et partout les émissaires de l’hérésie s’enfuirent à son approche. Placé sur la chaire de saint Pierre, il sut imprimer aux novateurs une terreur salutaire, il releva le courage des souverains de l’Italie, et, par des rigueurs modérées, il vint à bout de refouler au delà des Alpes le fléau qui allait entraîner la destruction du christianisme en Europe, si les États du Midi ne lui eussent opposé une barrière invincible. Le torrent de l’hérésie s’arrêta. Depuis lors, le protestantisme, réduit à s’user sur lui-même, donne le spectacle de cette anarchie de doctrines qui eût désolé le monde entier, sans la vigilance du Pasteur qui, soutenant avec un zèle indomptable les défenseurs de la vérité dans tous les États où elle régnait encore, s’opposa comme un mur d’airain à l’envahissement de l’erreur dans les contrées où il commandait en maître.

Un autre ennemi, profitant des divisions religieuses de l’Occident, s’élançait en ces mêmes jours sur l’Europe, et l’Italie n’allait être que sa première proie. Sortie du Bosphore, la flotte ottomane se dirigeait avec fureur sur la chrétienté ; et c’en était fait, si l’énergique Pontife n’eût veillé pour le salut de tous. Il sonne l’alarme, il appelle aux armes les princes chrétiens. L’Empire et la France, déchirés par les factions que l’hérésie a fait naître dans leur sein, entendent l’appel, mais ils restent immobiles ; l’Espagne seule, avec Venise et h petite flotte papale, répondent aux instances du Pontife, et bientôt la croix et le croissant se trouvent en présence dans le golfe de Lépante. Les prières de Pie V décidèrent la victoire en faveur des chrétiens, dont les forces étaient de beaucoup inférieures à celles des Turcs. Nous retrouverons ce grand souvenir sur le Cycle, en octobre, à la fête de Notre-Dame du Rosaire. Mais il faut rappeler aujourd’hui la prédiction que fit le saint Pape, sur le soir de la grande journée du 7 octobre 1 571. Depuis six heures du matin jusqu’aux approches de la nuit, la lutte durait entre la flotte chrétienne et la flotte musulmane. Tout à coup le Pontife, poussé par un mouvement divin, regarda fixement le ciel ; il se tint en silence durant quelques instants, puis se tournant vers les personnes qui étaient présentes : « Rendons grâces à Dieu, leur dit-il ; la victoire est aux chrétiens. » Bientôt la nouvelle arriva à Rome ; et dans toute la chrétienté on ne tarda pas à savoir qu’un Pape avait encore une fois sauvé l’Europe. La défaite de Lépante porta à la puissance ottomane un coup dont elle ne s’est jamais relevée ; l’ère de sa décadence date de cette journée fameuse.

Les travaux de saint Pie V pour la régénération des mœurs chrétiennes, l’établissement de la discipline du concile de Trente, et la publication du Bréviaire et du Missel réformés, ont fait de son pontificat de six années l’une des époques les plus fécondes dans l’histoire de l’Église. Plus d’une fois les protestants se sont inclinés d’admiration en présence de ce vigoureux adversaire de leur prétendue réforme. « Je m’étonne, disait Bacon, que L’Église Romaine n’ait pas encore canonisé ce grand homme. » Pie V ne fut, en effet, placé au nombre des Saints qu’environ cent trente ans après sa mort : tant est grande l’impartialité de l’Église Romaine, lors même qu’il s’agit de décerner les honneurs de l’apothéose à ses chefs les plus respectés.

La gloire des miracles couronna dès ce monde le vertueux Pontife : nous rappellerons ici deux de ses prodiges les plus populaires. Traversant un jour, avec l’ambassadeur de Pologne, la place du Vatican, qui s’étend sur le sol où fut autrefois le cirque de Néron, il se sent saisi d’enthousiasme pour la gloire et le courage des martyrs qui souffrirent en ce lieu dans la première persécution. Il se baisse, et prend dans sa main une poignée de poussière dans ce champ du martyre, foulé par tant de générations de fidèles depuis la paix de Constantin. Il verse cette poussière dans un linge que lui présente l’ambassadeur ; mais lorsque celui-ci, rentré chez lui, ouvre le linge, il le trouve tout imprégné d’un sang vermeil que l’on eût dit avoir été versé à l’heure même : la poussière avait disparu. La foi du Pontife avait évoqué le sang des martyrs, et ce sang généreux reparaissait à son appel pour attester, en face de l’hérésie, que l’Église Romaine, au XVIe siècle, était toujours celle pour laquelle ces héros avaient donné leur vie sous Néron.

La perfidie des hérétiques tenta plus d’une fois de mettre fin à une vie qui laissait sans espoir de succès leurs projets pour l’envahissement de l’Italie. Par un stratagème aussi lâche que sacrilège, secondés par une odieuse trahison, ils enduisirent d’un poison subtil les pieds du crucifix que le saint Pontife avait dans son oratoire, et sur lequel il collait souvent ses lèvres. Pie V, dans la ferveur de sa prière, se prépare à donner cette marque d’amour au Sauveur des hommes sur son image sacrée ; mais tout à coup, ô prodige ! Les pieds du crucifix se détachent de la croix, et semblent fuir les baisers respectueux du vieillard. Pie V comprit alors que la malice de ses ennemis avait voulu transformer pour lui en instrument de mort jusqu’au bois qui nous a rendu la vie.

Un dernier trait encouragera les fidèles, par l’exemple du grand Pontife, à cultiver la sainte Liturgie dans le temps de l’année où nous sommes. Au lit de la mort, jetant un dernier regard sur l’Église de la terre qu’il allait quitter pour celle du ciel, et voulant implorer une dernière fois la divine bonté en faveur du troupeau qu’il laissait exposé à tant de périls, il récita d’une voix presque éteinte cette strophe des Hymnes du Temps pascal : « Créateur des hommes, daignez, en ces jours remplis des allégresses de la Pâque, préserver votre peuple des assauts de la mort [1]. » Ayant achevé ces paroles sacrées, il s’endormit paisiblement dans le Seigneur.

Saint Pie V est une des premières gloires de l’Ordre de Saint-Dominique ; nous emprunterons donc au Bréviaire de ce saint Ordre les Répons et les Hymnes qu’il consacre à la louange de l’illustre Pontife.

RÉPONS.

R/. Au moment où ce nouveau Moïse priait Dieu, les mains étendues, sur la colline, Amalec si perfide envers Israël était battu sur la mer près de Lépante ; * Et la victoire remportée était révélée à Pie, alléluia. V/. Il étendit la verge du Rosaire, et les cruels ennemis furent submergés. * Et la victoire remportée était révélée à Pie, alléluia.

R/. Les Agneaux de cire blanche qui ont reçu la bénédiction de Pie apportent la santé aux malades ; les armes meurtrières reculent devant eux : * Ceux qui les portent évitent l’atteinte du plomb mortel, alléluia. V/. Leur présence multiplie la farine, arrête la flamme des incendies, apaise la fureur des flots. * Ceux qui les portent évitent l’atteinte du plomb mortel, alléluia.

R/. Parcourant le cirque où combattirent les anciens martyrs de Rome, il opère un miracle éclatant * Sous les veux d’un peuple nombreux, alléluia. V/. Il prend sur le sol du Vatican une poignée de poussière, et la présente tout imbibée de sang à un ambassadeur chrétien, * Sous les yeux d’un peuple nombreux, alléluia.

R/. Il veut un jour baiser les pieds du Christ sur son crucifix ; mais l’image retire ses pieds pour conserver la vie au pieux serviteur du Christ ; * Elle refuse de recevoir ses baisers dans l’endroit qu’une main perfide a souillé de poison, alléluia. V/. Je ne cherche ma gloire que dans la croix du Seigneur ; à elle seule je prodigue les marques de mon amour. * L’image refuse de recevoir ses baisers dans l’endroit qu’une main perfide a souillé de poison, alléluia.

HYMNE

Que l’orgue fasse entendre ses joyeux concerts à l’honneur de Pie ; que tous les nuages se dissipent devant l’allégresse de ce jour sacré.

Sous le nom de Michel, on le vit terrasser le dragon dans la lutte ; sous le nom de Pie, il sut réprimer l’adversaire impie.

Il fut le bouclier de l’Église dans les périls qui l’assaillaient ; sa forte épée moissonna les sectateurs de l’hérésie.

Imitateur du zèle de Phinéès, il veilla pour la défense des murs de la cité sainte ; il rÉpoussa les barbares qui allaient envahir le sol chrétien, et détourna le cimeterre que la rage du Turc avait tiré contre les fidèles.

Il rétablit avec sollicitude la règle des mœurs, et opposa une barrière invincible au progrès de la secte impie.

Il ne tint pas renfermées dans ses coffres les richesses de l’État ; mais il sut épuiser le trésor dans les nécessités publiques.

Père rempli de bonté envers les pauvres, sa main les secourut avec profusion ; par ses largesses il nourrit un peuple que la disette avait réduit à l’extrémité.

Créateur des hommes, daignez, en ces jours remplis des allégresses de la Pâque, préserver votre peuple des assauts de la mort.

Amen.

L’Hymne suivante est exposée, près du tombeau de saint Pie V, à Sainte-Marie-Majeure, pour servir d’expression à la piété des pèlerins envers le saint Pape.

HYMNE.

Le mépris des hommes pour le culte de Dieu a déchaîné le fléau de la guerre ; la vengeance a suivi le crime, et le châtiment s’apprête à fondre sur la terre.

Dans le péril où nous sommes, quel autre habitant des cieux pourrions-nous invoquer, ô Pie, qui soit pour nous d’un secours plus efficace ?

Nul homme, ô bienheureux Pontife, ne s’est dévoué avec plus d’ardeur que toi à procurer sur la terre la gloire du grand Dieu ;

Nul défenseur n’a plus vaillamment détourné le joug auquel les barbares allaient asservir les nations chrétiennes.

Plus puissant encore au ciel, jette un regard sur ceux qui t’implorent ; apaise les discordes entre les citoyens : repousse les fureurs de l’ennemi.

Obtiens que la terre recouvre les douceurs de la paix ; rendus à la sécurité, nous chanterons d’un cœur plus joyeux nos cantiques à la louange de Dieu.

A vous la gloire, heureuse Trinité, Dieu unique ! à vous honneur et puissance dans les siècles des siècles !

Amen.

Pontife du Dieu vivant, vous avez été sur la terre « le mur d’airain, la colonne de fer [2] », dont parle le Prophète ; et votre constance indomptable a préservé de la violence et des embûches de ses nombreux ennemis le troupeau qui vous avait été confié. Loin de désespérer à la vue des dangers, votre courage s’est élevé comme la digue que l’on bâtit toujours plus haute, à mesure que les eaux de l’inondation arrivent plus menaçantes. Par vous les flots envahissants de l’hérésie se sont enfin arrêtés ; par vous l’invasion musulmane a été refoulée, et l’orgueil du croissant abaissé. Le Seigneur vous fit l’honneur de vous choisir pour être le vengeur de sa gloire et le libérateur du peuple chrétien ; recevez, avec nos actions de grâces, l’hommage de nos humbles félicitations. Par vous l’Église, au sortir d’une crise terrible, recouvra sa beauté. La vraie réforme, celle qui s’accomplit par l’autorité, fut appliquée sans faiblesse par vos mains aussi fermes qu’elles étaient pures. Le culte divin, renouvelé par la publication des livres de la sainte Liturgie, vous dut son progrès et sa restauration ; et tant d’œuvres si fécondes s’accomplirent dans les six années de votre court et laborieux pontificat.

Maintenant, ô saint Pontife, écoutez les vœux de l’Église militante dont les destinées furent un moment déposées entre vos mains. En mourant vous imploriez pour elle, au nom du Sauveur ressuscité, la protection contre les périls auxquels elle était encore exposée ; voyez à quel état le débordement de l’erreur a réduit de nos jours la chrétienté presque tout entière. Pour faire face à tous les ennemis qui l’assiègent, l’Église n’a plus que les promesses de son divin fondateur ; tous les appuis visibles lui manquent à la fois ; il ne lui reste plus que les mérites de la souffrance et les ressources de la prière. Unissez, ô saint Pontife, vos supplications aux siennes, et montrez que vous aimez toujours le troupeau de votre Maître. Protégez dans Rome la Chaire de votre successeur, en butte aux plus violentes et aux plus astucieuses attaques. Les princes et les peuples conspirent d’accord contre le Seigneur et contre son Christ ; déjouez les projets d’une usurpation sacrilège, d’une impiété qui prétend faire mentir les oracles divins. Détournez les fléaux qui menacent l’Europe si ingrate envers sa mère, si indifférente aux attentats commis contre celle à qui elle doit tout. Illuminez les aveugles, confondez les pervers ; obtenez que la foi éclaire enfin tant d’intelligences égarées qui prennent l’erreur pour la vérité, les ténèbres pour la lumière.

Au milieu de cette nuit si sombre et si menaçante, vos regards, ô saint Pontife, discernent les brebis fidèles ; bénissez-les, soutenez-les, accroissez leur nombre. Attachez-les au tronc de l’arbre qui ne peut périr, afin qu’elles ne soient pas dispersées par la tempête. Rendez-les toujours plus fidèles à la foi et aux traditions de la sainte Église : c’est leur seule force au milieu de ces courants d’erreur qui menacent de tout entraîner. Maintenez toujours dans l’unité sacrée nos Églises de France, qui ont donné au monde un si noble exemple de fidélité à l’esprit catholique, en répudiant les œuvres malheureuses d’une époque de confusion, pour embrasser de nouveau les rites que vous aviez sanctionnés de votre autorité suprême. Conservez à l’Église le saint Ordre dans lequel vous fûtes élevé pour de si hautes destinées ; propagez dans son sein la race de ces hommes puissants en œuvres et en paroles, zélés pour la foi et pour la sanctification des âmes, tels que nous les admirons dans ses annales, tels que nous les vénérons sur les autels. Enfin, souvenez-vous, ô Pie, que vous avez été le Père du peuple chrétien, et continuez d’exercer encore cette noble prérogative sur la terre, par votre puissante intercession, jusqu’à ce que le nombre des élus soit arrivé à son complément.

[1] Voici la strophe telle que la prononça saint Pie V, et telle qu’elle était de son temps dans le Bréviaire :

Quaesumus, auctor omnium,

In hoc paschali gaudio,

Ab omni mortis impetu

Tuum defende populum.

Dans la correction des Hymnes sous Urbain VIII, cette strophe a été totalement changée : Ut sis perenne mentibus, etc.

[2] Jerem. I, 18.



Pierre Le Gros le Jeune. Portrait du Pape Pius V , Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome.


Bhx Cardinal Schuster, Liber Sacramentorum

Le nom de Frère Michel Ghislieri — Pie V — orne le frontispice du Missel et du Bréviaire romains, parce que c’est sous son autorité que s’acheva la révision des livres liturgiques expressément réservée au Saint-Siège par le Concile de Trente. Outre ces mérites dans le domaine de la liturgie, saint Pie V a la gloire d’avoir été le Pape de la réforme que depuis deux siècles déjà, appelaient en vain les Pontifes ses prédécesseurs, les conciles, un grand nombre d’évêques et de saints de cette époque si complexe qu’on appelle communément la Renaissance.

Saint Pie V est donc le Pape de la réforme ecclésiastique ; non pas en ce sens qu’il fût le premier à la vouloir et à l’inaugurer, puisque, quand il monta sur le trône de saint Pierre, le Concile de Trente était déjà terminé depuis un certain temps. Mais il fut le Pape de la réforme en tant que, par son autorité et par son exemple, il mit définitivement la Curie romaine et l’épiscopat tout entier sur la voie de ce réveil salutaire de l’esprit ecclésiastique, que plusieurs de ses prédécesseurs, tout en le désirant dans leur cœur, n’avaient pas su soutenir, faute de courage et de constance.

On s’étonne que saint Pie V, de famille modeste, et pauvre religieux dominicain, ait pu s’élever si haut pour le bien de l’Église. Mais c’était un saint, et les instruments de sa puissance étaient la recherche de la seule gloire de Dieu et la prière assidue. Par celle-ci surtout il triompha de l’insolence des Turcs, et il sanctifia le peuple confié à ses soins.

Le saint Pontife sortit pour la dernière fois du Vatican le 21 avril 1572, huit jours avant sa mort, et ce fut une scène admirable.

Quoique malade, il voulut en ce jour visiter pour la dernière fois les sept basiliques principales de Rome, dans l’espérance, disait-il, d’en revoir sous peu les martyrs au ciel. De la basilique de Saint-Paul, il parcourut à pied presque tout le long et mauvais chemin qui conduit à Saint-Sébastien. Arrivé enfin, à bout de forces, à Saint-Jean, ses familiers le supplièrent de monter en litière, ou de remettre le reste du pèlerinage au lendemain. Il répondit en latin : Qui fecit totum, Ipse perficiat opus, et continua sa route.

Il arriva le soir seulement au Vatican, où, s’étant reposé quelque peu, il se fit lire les sept psaumes de la pénitence et le récit de la Passion du Seigneur, n’ayant même plus la force d’enlever son camauro [3] quand il entendait prononcer le saint Nom de Jésus.

Le 28 avril, il essaya de célébrer la messe mais n’y parvint pas. Muni des sacrements, il rendit sa sainte âme à. Dieu le soir du Ier mai, et ses dernières paroles furent une invocation liturgique du Bréviaire :

Quaesumus, Auctor omnium,

In hoc Paschali gaudio,

Ab omni mortis impetu Tuum defende populum.

Sixte-Quint transporta son corps dans une chapelle de Sainte-Marie-Majeure, où on le vénère encore aujourd’hui. Le rochet dont il est revêtu fut donné à Pie VII par Napoléon Ier.

La messe est celle du Commun des Confesseurs Pontifes, Státuit [4]. Seule la première collecte, trop sensiblement marquée de préoccupations historiques, est propre.

Saint Pie V avait coutume de répéter cette belle oraison jaculatoire, en baisant son crucifix, au milieu des souffrances de la maladie qui le conduisit au tombeau : Domine, adauge dolorem, dum adaugeas et patientiam.

Il est dit dans la relation faite par les auditeurs de Rote en vue de procéder à sa canonisation, qu’un témoin oculaire et quatre témoins auriculaires rapportèrent le fait suivant : Un jour, un ambassadeur du roi de Pologne, sur le point de rentrer dans son pays, rencontra saint Pie V sur la place de Saint-Pierre et lui demanda des reliques qu’il lui avait promises. Le Pape descendit alors de sa litière et, ayant ramassé un peu de terre, l’enveloppa dans un mouchoir qu’il remit au diplomate. Celui-ci, croyant à ure moquerie, ne dit rien, mais, arrivé chez lui, dénoua le linge et le vit tout taché de sang. Effrayé de ce prodige, il courut de nouveau chez le Pontife pour lui raconter ce qui était arrivé. Saint Pie V répondit : « Nous savions bien que le sol Vatican est tout détrempé du sang des martyrs, et c’est pourquoi nous avons défendu qu’on donne ici des jeux publics. » — Il ne suffit pas de résider à Rome, il faut y vivre avec foi, si l’on veut en goûter toute la beauté sacrée.

[3] Coiffure spéciale du Pape, appelée aussi clémentine ou papaline.

[4] Avant le nouveau Commun des Souverains Pontifes en 1942.

Dom Pius Parsch, le Guide dans l’année liturgique

La chrétienté doit à saint Pie V le missel et le bréviaire.

Saint Pie V. — Jour de mort : 1er Mai 1572. Tombeau : dans l’église Sainte-Marie-Majeure, à Rome. Vie : Pie V (précédemment frère Michel Ghislieri) est le dernier pape qui ait été canonisé. Il fut d’abord dominicain et travailla beaucoup pour le maintien de la pureté de la foi. Il fut élevé en 1566 sur la Chaire de Saint-Pierre. Il travailla sans relâche à faire appliquer les réformes du concile de Trente. Grande aussi est son importance dans le domaine de la sainte liturgie. Il publia en 1566 le catéchisme romain, ouvrage important qui se trouve aujourd’hui dans les mains de tous les prêtres. Par la publication du bréviaire (1567) et du missel (1570), il établit l’unité de la liturgie dans l’Église romaine. On sait que, grâce à ses efforts et surtout à ses prières, la flotte chrétienne remporta sur les Turcs la victoire de Lépante (6 octobre 1570). C’est à cette occasion que fut instituée la fête du Rosaire. Dans sa vie privée, saint Pie V fut un modèle de piété et d’ascèse. — La messe est du commun des Souverains Pontifes (Si diligis). L’oraison propre fait ressortir que « Dieu a choisi le saint pape Pie pour la rénovation du culte divin ». Nous pouvons, aujourd’hui, placer le travail de l’apostolat liturgique sous le patronage du saint pape, ami de la liturgie.

Sa dernière sortie — Rien n’est émouvant comme la dernière sortie du saint pape. Il franchit la porte du Vatican, la dernière fois, le 21 avril 1572, dix jours avant sa mort. Bien que déjà malade, il voulut visiter les sept églises principales de Rome. Il espérait, comme il le disait, voir bientôt les martyrs au ciel. Il suivit à pied la longue et mauvaise route qui va de Saint-Paul à Saint-Sébastien. Quand il arriva enfin, épuisé, au Latran, son entourage le pria de monter dans une chaise à porteurs ou bien de remettre la fin de son pèlerinage au lendemain. Il répondit : Qui fecit totum, ipse perficiat opus (que celui qui a tout fait achève l’œuvre), et il continua son chemin. Ce n’est que vers le soir qu’il rentra au Vatican. Il se fit encore lire les sept psaumes de la pénitence et l’histoire de la Passion de Jésus. Il n’avait plus la force, en entendant le nom de Jésus, d’enlever sa camaura (calotte). Le 28 avril, il essaya de célébrer la sainte messe, mais il ne le put pas. Muni des derniers sacrements, il rendit son âme à Dieu, le 1er mai. Ses dernières paroles furent une prière du bréviaire.

Pour que nos cœurs goûtent sans fin

En toi, Jésus, la joie pascale,

Préserve de la mort fatale

Ceux que lava ton sang divin.



Pope St. Pius V

(MICHELE GHISLERI).

Born at Bosco, near Alexandria, Lombardy, 17 Jan., 1504 elected 7 Jan., 1566; died 1 May, 1572. Being of apoor though noble family his lot would have been to follow a trade, but he was taken in by the Dominicans of Voghera, where he received a good education and was trained in the way of solid and austere piety. He entered the order, was ordained in 1528, and taught theology and philosophy for sixteen years. In the meantime he was master of novices and was on several occasions elected prior of different houses of his order in which he strove to develop the practice of the monastic virtues and spread the spirit of the holy founder. He himself was an example to all. He fasted, did penance, passed long hours of the night in meditation and prayer, traveled on foot without a cloak in deep silence, or only speaking to his companions of the things of God. In 1556 he was madeBishop of Sutri by Paul II. His zeal against heresy caused him to be selected as inquisitor of the faith in Milan andLombardy, and in 1557 Paul II made him a cardinal and named him inquisitor general for all Christendom. In 1559 he was transferred to Mondovì, where he restored the purity of faith and discipline, gravely impaired by thewars of Piedmont. Frequently called to Rome, he displayed his unflinching zeal in all the affairs on which he was consulted. Thus he offered an insurmountable opposition to Pius IV when the latter wished to admit Ferdinand de'Medici, then only thirteen years old, into the Sacred College. Again it was he who defeated the project ofMaximilian II, Emperor of Germany, to abolish ecclesiastical celibacy. On the death of Pius IV, he was, despite his tears and entreaties, elected pope, to the great joy of the whole Church.


He began his pontificate by giving large alms to the poor, instead of distributing his bounty at haphazard like his predecessors. As pontiff he practiced the virtues he had displayed as a monk and a bishop. His piety was not diminished, and, in spite of the heavy labours and anxieties of his office, he made at least two meditations a day on bended knees in presence of the Blessed Sacrament. In his charity he visited the hospitals, and sat by the bedside of the sick, consoling them and preparing them to die. He washed the feet of the poor, and embraced thelepers. It is related that an English nobleman was converted on seeing him kiss the feet of a beggar covered with ulcers. He was very austere and banished luxury from his court, raised the standard of morality, laboured with his intimate friend, St. Charles Borromeo, to reform the clergy, obliged his bishops to reside in their dioceses, and the cardinals to lead lives of simplicity and piety. He diminished public scandals by relegating prostitutes to distant quarters, and he forbade bull fights. He enforced the observance of the discipline of the Council of Trent, reformed the Cistercians, and supported the missions of the New World. In the Bull "In Coena Domini" he proclaimed the traditional principles of the Roman Church and the supremacy of the Holy See over the civil power.

But the great thought and the constant preoccupation of his pontificate seems to have been the struggle against the Protestants and the Turks. In Germany he supported the Catholics oppressed by the heretical princes. InFrance he encouraged the League by his counsels and with pecuniary aid. In the Low Countries he supportedSpain. In England, finally, he excommunicated Elizabeth, embraced the cause of Mary Stuart, and wrote to console her in prison. In the ardour of his faith he did not hesitate to display severity against the dissidents whennecessary, and to give a new impulse to the activity of the Inquisition, for which he has been blamed by certainhistorians who have exaggerated his conduct. Despite all representations on his behalf he condemned the writings of Baius, who ended by submitting.

He worked incessantly to unite the Christian princes against the hereditary enemy, the Turks. In the first year of his pontificate he had ordered a solemn jubilee, exhorting the faithful to penance and almsgiving to obtain the victory from God. He supported the Knights of Malta, sent money for the fortification of the free towns of Italy, furnished monthly contributions to the Christians of Hungary, and endeavoured especially to bring Maximilian,Philip II, and Charles I together for the defence of Christendom. In 1567 for the same purpose he collected from all convents one-tenth of their revenues. In 1570 when Solyman II attacked Cyprus, threatening all Christianityin the West, he never rested till he united the forces of Venice, Spain, and the Holy See. He sent his blessing to Don John of Austria, the commander-in-chief of the expedition, recommending him to leave behind all soldiers ofevil life, and promising him the victory if he did so. He ordered public prayers, and increased his own supplications to heaven. On the day of the Battle of Lepanto, 7 Oct., 1571, he was working with the cardinals, when, suddenly, interrupting his work opening the window and looking at the sky, he cried out, "A truce to business; our great task at present is to thank God for the victory which He has just given the Christian army". He burst into tears when he heard of the victory, which dealt the Turkish power a blow from which it never recovered. In memory of this triumph he instituted for the first Sunday of October the feast of the Rosary, and added to the Litany of Loreto the supplication "Help of Christians". He was hoping to put an end to the power ofIslam by forming a general alliance of the Italian cities Poland, France, and all Christian Europe, and had begun negotiations for this purpose when he died of gravel, repeating "O Lord, increase my sufferings and my patience!" He left the memory of a rare virtue and an unfailing and inflexible integrity. He was beatified byClement X in 1672, and canonized by Clement XI in 1712.

Sources

MENDHAM, Life and Pontificate of St. Pius V (London, 1832 and 1835); Acta SS., I May; TOURON, Hommes illustres de l'ordre de St.-Dominique, IV; FALLOUX, Histoire de S. Pie V (Paris, 1853); PASTOR, Gesch. der Papste, ARTAUD DE MONTOR, History of the Popes (New York, 1867); Pope Pius V, the Father of Christendom in Dublin Review, LIX (London, 1866), 273.

Lataste, Joseph. "Pope St. Pius V." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 12. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911. 9 Apr. 2015 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12130a.htm>.


Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Albert Judy, O.P.


Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. June 1, 1911. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.


Pope St. Pius V

Antonio Ghislieri was born of poor parents near Alessandria on January 17, 1504. His education began with the Dominicans, and he entered the Dominican order at age 15, taking the name Michael, and became a priest in 1528.

Pope Pius V was a professor of philosophy and theology for years, and served his order and the Church in several high offices: Provincial Superior; Inquisitor at Corno and Bergamo; Bishop of Sutri and Nepi; cardinal; Grand Inquisitor, Bishop of Mondovi and elected Pope Pius V in a modest ceremony on January 17, 1566, his 62nd birthday,

In 1571 a huge Muslim fleet threatened Christendom. Don Juan of Austria led an outnumbered Christian fleet to fight the Muslim navy. Pope Pius V entrusted the Christian fleet to Our Lady.

On October 7, 1571, the Christian fleet won a decisive battle in the Bay of Lepanto. Pope Pius V wished to institute a special feast to honor the Blessed Virgin’s assistance in securing the victory and the safety of Christendom. The feast was to be celebrated on October 7, and Pope Pius V called it the feast day of Our Lady of Victory.

Two years later Pope Gregory XIII changed the name of the feast day to Our Lady of the Rosary as it was through the praying of the rosary that the battle had been won.

October is the month of the Most Holy Rosary. Numerous popes and saints have acclaimed the efficacy of the Rosary. It is, indeed, a most powerful spiritual weapon. Pope John XXIII called the Rosary “The Psalter of the poor.” Theologians have called the Rosary, “The school of contemplation” because it introduces the faithful to meditative prayer.

Among Pope Pius V’s numerous merits were his fervent Marian devotion and the institution of the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.

Pope John Paul II endorsed his predecessor in the Chair of Peter and petitioned, “May the apostolic zeal, the constant pursuit of holiness, and the love of the Virgin, which characterized the life of Saint Pius V, stimulate all.”

Pope John Paul II then challenged us to imitate Pope Pius V’s Marian devotion by rediscovering the simple and profound prayer of the rosary. “Thanks to the fervent recitation of the rosary, extraordinary graces can be obtained through the intercession of the Lord’s heavenly Mother.”

Pope Pius V was a great reformer, committed to eradicating simony, the buying or selling of ecclesiastical pardons or offices, and nepotism from the Roman Curia. To numerous relatives who rushed to Rome with the hope of some privilege, Pope Pius V gave comment that a relative of the pope can consider himself sufficiently rich if he is not indigent.

Pope Pius V published the catechism of the Council of Trent and an improved edition of the Missal and Breviary. The Pontiff tried to make Rome truly a holy city and punished immorality severely. The rigid discipline that Pope Pius V imposed on the Church was the constant norm of his own life.

Pope Pius V promoted several pastoral reforms in the wake of the Council of Trent: The obligation of residence for bishops, the cloister of religious, celibacy and holiness of life of priests, bishops’ pastoral visits, the increase of missions, and the correction of liturgical books.

Pope Pius V excommunicated Queen Elizabeth I in 1570, an act which heightened the persecution of Catholics in England, but it also did much to strengthen Catholics.

A man of great austerity and prayer, Pope Pius V died on May 1, 1572. He suffered much, his prayer was: “Lord increase my pains, but increase my patience too.”

He was canonized in 1712. On his feast day, May 5, Romans still gather at his shrine to venerate a great pope and a holy man.

SOURCE : http://www.ucatholic.com/saints/pope-saint-pius-v/

Pope Saint Pius V, C.P.

(also known as Michael Ghislieri)

Feast Day: May 5th

    People who know nothing else about Pius V are quite apt to remember him as the Pope of the Rosary, recalling his remarkable connection with the Battle of Lepanto.

    Antonio Michael was born into the distinguished but impoverished Ghisleri. His parents could not afford to educate their alert little boy, who seemed far too talented to be a shepherd. One day, as he was minding his father's small flock, two Dominicans came along the road and fell into conversation with him. Recognizing immediately that he was both virtuous and intelligent, they obtained permission from his parents to take the child with them and educate him. He left home at age 12 and did not return until his ordination many years later.

    After a preliminary course of studies, he received the Dominican habit at the priory of Voghera at age 14 and, as a novice, was sent to Lombardy. Here, for the first time, he met the well-organized forces of heresy which he was to combat so successfully in later years.

    After his ordination in 1528, he went home to say his first Mass, and he found that Bosco had been razed by the French. There was nothing left to tell him if his parents were alive or dead. He finally found them, however, in a nearby town. After he said Mass, he returned to a career that would keep him far from home for the rest of his life. He began as a lector in theology and philosophy for 16 years.

    Then he served as novice-master, than as prior of several convents, Michael proved to be a wise and charitable administrator. He was made inquisitor at Como, Italy, where many of his religious brethren had died as martyrs to the heretics. By the time of Michael's appointment there, the heretics' chief weapon was the printed word; they smuggled books in from Switzerland, causing untold harm by spreading them in northern Italy. The new inquisitor set himself to fight this wicked traffic, and it was not the fault of the heretics that he did not follow his brethren to martyrdom. They ambushed him several times and laid a number of complicated plots to kill him, but only succeeded in making him determined to explain the situation more fully to the pope in Rome.

    He arrived in Rome on Christmas Eve, tired, cold, and hungry, and here it was not the heretics that caused him pain, but his own brothers in Christ. The prior of Santa Sabina saw fit to be sarcastic and inhospitable to the unimportant looking friar, who said he was from Lombardy. The pope knew very well who he was, however, and immediately gave him the commission of working with the heretics in the Roman prisons.

    He was a true father to these unfortunates, and he brought many of them back to the faith. One of his most appealing converts was a young Franciscan, a converted Jew of a wealthy family, who had lapsed into heresy through pride in his writing. Michael proceeded to straighten out his thinking, to give him the Dominican habit, and to assure him of his personal patronage, thus securing for the Church a splendid Scripture scholar and writer.

    In 1556, Michael was chosen bishop of Nepi and Sutri. The next year he was named inquisitor general against the Protestants in Italy and Spain and was appointed cardinal, in order, as he said, that irons should be riveted to his feet to prevent him from creeping back into the peace of the cloister. In 1559, Pope Pius IV made him bishop of the war-depleted Piedmont see of Mondovi, to which he soon brought order. Insofar as possible, Michael continued to adhere to the Dominican Rule.

    He constantly opposed nepotism. Michael opposed Pius IV's attempt to make 13-year-old Ferdinand de'Medici a cardinal, and defeated the attempt of Emperor Maximilian II of Germany to abolish clerical celibacy.

    January 7, 1565, when the papal chair was vacant following the death of Pius IV, the cardinals, chiefly through the influence of Saint Charles Borromeo, elected Cardinal Ghislieri pope. With great grief, he accepted the office and chose the name Pius V. Charles Borromeo had backed Michael during the election, trusting that he would act as a much-needed reformer.


    His judgment proved true: on Pius's coronation, the money usually distributed to the crowds was given to the hospitals and the poor, and money for a banquet for the cardinals and other dignitaries was given to poor convents. When someone criticized this, he observed that God would judge us more on our charity to the poor than on our good manners to the rich. Such an attitude was bound to make enemies in high places, but it endeared him to the poor, and it gave right-thinking men the hope that here was a man of integrity, and one who could help to reform the clergy and make a firm stand against the Lutheran heresy.

    There were massive problems of immediate urgency during the brief reign of Pius V. From within, the peace of the Church was disturbed by the several heresies of Luther, Calvin, and the Lombards, and by the need for clerical reform. In addition, England was tottering on the brink of a break with Rome. The Netherlands were trying to break away from Spain and had embraced Protestantism. The missions across the sea needed attention. And all through the Mediterranean countries, the Turkish were ravaging Christian cities, creeping closer to world conquest. In the six years of his reign, Pope Pius V had to deal with all these questions--any one of which was enough to occupy his entire time.

    One of Pius's first actions was to demand that bishops should live in their dioceses and parish priests in their parishes. His efforts at regulating his see embraced issues ranging from the abolition of bullfighting, bear-baiting and prostitution, to cleaning out the Roman curia and eliminating nepotism, to cutting down the activities of bandits. He insisted that Sunday must be hallowed. Once a month he held a special court for anyone who felt they had been treated unjustly. He also brought in shipments of corn during a famine at his own expense.
    In his personal life he continued to be a devout mendicant friar; as pope he set himself to enforce the decrees of the Council of Trent with energy and effect. The catechism ordered by the Council of Trent was completed during his rule (1566), and he ordered translations made. The breviary reformed (1568) and missal (1570). He also commissioned the best edition to date of the writings of Saint Thomas Aquinas; it was he who made Thomas a Doctor of the Church in 1567.

    His was a rigorous character; he made full use of the Inquisition and his methods of combating Protestantism were ruthless. Pius had hoped to convert Queen Elizabeth of England. The unfortunate Mary Queen of Scots enjoyed his sympathy and encouragement. He sent reassuring letters to her, and once, at a time when no priest was allowed to go near her, he granted her special permission to receive Holy Communion by sending her a tiny pyx that contained consecrated Hosts. It was he who finally had to pronounce excommunication on Elizabeth of England in 1570, after he had given her every possible chance of repentance.

  Pope Pius V had a high estimate of papal power in secular matters. When he excommunicated Elizabeth I, he absolved her subjects of the allegiance to her as queen. Some would say that this served only to endanger the Catholics in her realm, but essentially the attempt to save the souls of his flock was the prominent concern, however, many were accused of treason and martyred. That he also came into conflict with Philip II of Spain shows with what consistency he applied his principles.

    He encouraged the new society founded by Saint Ignatius of Loyola and established the Jesuits in the Gregorian University. He consecrated three Jesuit bishops for India, gave Saint Francis Borgia his greatest cooperation, and helped to finance missionaries to China and Japan. He built the church of Our Lady of the Angels for the Franciscans and helped Saint Philip Neri in his establishment of the Oratory. Probably the act for which he will be longest remembered in his leadership at the time of the Battle of Lepanto.

    In 1565, the Knights of Saint John defended Malta against a tremendous attack by the Turkish fleet and lost nearly every fighting man in the fortress. It was the pope who sent encouragement and money with which to rebuild their battered city. The pope called for a crusade among the Christian nations and appointed a leader who would be acceptable to all. He ordered the Forty Hours Devotion to be held in Rome, and he encouraged all to say the Rosary.

    When the Christian fleet sailed out to meet the enemy, every man on board had received the sacraments, and all were saying the Rosary. The fleet was small, and numerically it was no match for the Turkish fleet, which so far had never met defeat. They met in the Bay of Lepanto on Sunday morning, October 7, 1565. After a day of bitter fighting, and, on the part of the Christians, miraculous help, the Turkish fleet--what was left of it--fled in disgrace, broken and defeated, its power crushed forever.

    Before the victorious fleet returned to Rome, the pope had knowledge of the victory through miraculous means. He proclaimed a period of thanksgiving; he placed the invocation, "Mary, Help of Christians" in the Litany of Loreto and established the feast in commemoration of the victory. It was almost the last act of his momentous career for he fell victim to a painful illness that killed him in less than a year. He was attempting to form an alliance of the Italian cities, France, Poland, and other Christian nations of Europe to march against the Turks when he died. He is enshrined at Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome.

    Although he was criticized for 'wanting to turn Rome into a monastery,' Saint Pius had the respect of the Roman people, who knew his personal goodness and concern for everybody's welfare. He gave large sums to the poor, lived a life of austerity and piety, and personally visited the sick in hospitals. Pius V is remembered as one of the most important popes of the Counter-Reformation (Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley, Delaney, Dorcy, White).

     Born: in Bosco (near Alessandria), Italy, on January 17, 1504

     Died: May 1, 1572

     Papal Ascension: elected January 7, 1566; crowned January 17, 1566

     Beatified: May 1, 1672 by Pope Clement X

     Canonized: On May 22, 1712, Pope Clement XI enrolled him in the catalogue of the Saints

    Representation: In art, he is shown reciting a rosary; or with a fleet in the distance; or with the feet of a crucifix   withdrawn as he tried to kiss them (White).


Prayers/Commemorations

First Vespers:

Ant.  By pious deeds he merited the name of Pius, and from henceforth, all generations shall call him blessed, alleluia.

V. Pray for us, Blessed Pius, alleluia.

R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ, alleluia.

Lauds:

Ant. Pius, admirable pastor, mindful of thy flock intercede for the interest of the faithful before the Supreme Judge, alleluia.

V. The just man shall blossom like the lily, alleluia.

R. And shall flourish forever before the Lord, alleluia

Second Vespers:

Ant. He that exalteth the humble, hath exalted Pius and placed him in the apostolic see, alleluia.

V. Pray for us blessed Pius, alleluia.

R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ, alleluia.

Prayer:

Let us Pray: O God who, to crush the enemies of Thy Church and to restore divine worship, didst deign to elect Blessed Pius to the office of Supreme Pontiff, grant that we may be defended by his watchful guardianship, and be so attentive to Thy service that , overcoming, the wiles of all enemies, we may enjoy eternal peace. through Christ our Lord. Amen.

SOURCE : http://www.willingshepherds.org/Dominican%20Saint%20III.html#CatherineSiena


St. Pius V., Pope and Confessor

The two original most authentic lives of St. Pius V. are those written by Jerom Catena, secretary to the Cardinal of Alexandria, and consultor to several congregations in Rome, in Italian, highly approved by Sextus V.; the other in Latin, by Ant. Gabutio, superior of the Regular Clerks of St. Paul, much commended by Clement VIII. The titles of these two works are, Hieron. Catena Vita del gloriosissimo Papa Pio V. and Raccolta di Littere di Papa Pio V. Gabutii de Vitâ Pii V. libri 6. Bzovius in his annals on Pius V. adds to this latter several particulars. See his Pius V., also Archangelo Caraccio, Brevis Narratio Gestorum Pii V. Minorelli, Ord. Prædic. Vita S. Pii V. Romæ, 1712. Apostolicarum Pii Quinti Epistolarum libri 5, operâ Fr. Gaubau. Ant. 1649. Paul. Alex. Maffei, Vita di Pio V. Feuillet, Vie du Pape Pie V. Galesini Translatio Corporis Pii V. a Sixto V. celebrata. Agatio di Somma, whose Italian life of this saint was translated into French by Dom. Felibien in 1672. Touron, b. 28, t. 4, p. 306, and the remarks of Henschenius, ad 5, Maij. t. 1, p. 617.

A.D. 1572.

MICHAEL GHISLERI, known afterwards by the name of Pius V. was born at Bosco, a little town in the diocess of Tortona, on the 27th of January, 1504. He was descended of a noble Bolognese family, but considerably reduced in its splendour and fortunes. In his tender years the most perfect maxims of piety were instilled into him, and he never swerved in the least from those principles during the whole course of his life. He studied grammar under the care of the Dominican friars at Voghera; and giving himself up entirely to the most fervent exercises of religion, took the habit of that Order when he was only fifteen years of age. He was sensible that faint and languishing endeavours never deserve to find the inestimable treasure of true virtue, which they undervalue; they are sure to lose ground, and at length to yield under the repeated assaults of the enemy: whereas fervour breaks down all obstacles in the pursuit of perfection, as so many shadows, and courageously marches on, reckoning all labours the sweetest pleasures, and esteeming as nothing whatever leads not to this great end. It was the young novice’s holy ambition to surpass all others in humility, modesty, and the exercises of mortification, obedience, and devotion. In everything he did, he set no bounds to the ardour of his desires to please God, and accomplish his holy will in the most perfect manner. Thus all his actions were perfect sacrifices of his heart, and the meanest were enhanced by the fervour of his intention. To his studies he joined assiduous prayer, watching, fasting, and the exercises of penance and charity. After the uninterrupted fatigue of the day, it was his sweet refreshment to pour forth his soul in tears and devout prayer or meditation, for several hours before the altar, or in his cell. Having prepared himself by a long and fervent retreat, he was ordained priest, at Genoa, in 1528. He taught philosophy and divinity sixteen years, and was long employed in instructing the novices, and in forming them to piety, and in governing different houses of his Order: in all which offices, he laboured effectually to revive the spirit of its holy founder. He never accepted of any priory but by compulsion, and with tears. No one would he ever allow to absent himself from the choir, or to go out of the convent without some urgent necessity. Constant devotion and study he called the double breast from which religious persons draw a spiritual nourishment, which maintains in them the love of God and contempt of the world. Though he went often to Milan to hear the confession of the Marquis of Guast, governor of the Milanese, he could never be persuaded to buy a cloak to defend him from the rain, saying: “Poor followers of the gospel ought to be content with one tunic.” His journey he performed on foot, in recollection and strict silence, unless he opened his mouth to speak to his companion something on God. Pope Paul IV. in 1556, promoted him to the united bishoprics of Nepi and Sutri, in the ecclesiastical state, notwithstanding the tears he shed in endeavouring most earnestly to decline that dignity. Under his care these diocesses soon assumed a new face. In 1557, he was created cardinal by the same pope under the title of St. Mary upon the Minerva, though generally known by that of the Alexandrian cardinal, from Alexandria, a city in Lombardy, a few miles distant from the place of his birth. His dignities served to render his humility and other virtues more conspicuous, but produced no alteration in his furniture, table, fasts, or devotions. He was most scrupulously cautious in the choice of his few necessary domestics, admitting none but persons of most exemplary piety, and he treated them as his children rather than as his servants. Pope Paul IV. dying in 1559, he was succeeded by Pius IV. of the family of Medicis, who translated our good cardinal to the bishopric of Mondovi, in Piedmont, a church reduced by the wars to a deplorable and calamitous condition. The saint hastened to his new flock; and by his zealous exhortations and other endeavours, re-established peace and union, reformed abuses, and restored the splendour of that church.—But an order of his holiness recalled him to Rome for the dispatch of certain public affairs of the church. When Pius IV. proposed to the sacred college the promotion of Prince Ferdinand of Medicis, only thirteen years old, to the dignity of cardinal, our saint opposed the motion with such vigour, that he made himself admired by the whole consistory for his zeal and prudence. The Emperor Maximilian II. wrote to Pope Pius IV. to desire that priests might be allowed to marry, as a means that might facilitate the return of the modern sectaries to the communion of the church. The whole sacred college saw the inconveniencies of such an abolition of the most holy and ancient canons; but none spoke more vigorously against it than our saint. Though charity will allow all condescension that is possible, here it seemed very unseasonable, on many accounts, to abandon so sacred a spiritual law; and this in favour of men, who had shown no disposition towards a reconciliation with the Catholic church, except she would give up many other points, not only of discipline, but also of her faith and doctrine.

Pope Pius IV. after a tedious illness, expired in the arms of St. Charles Borromeo, on the 9th of December, 1565, having filled the chair almost six years. St. Charles, when he saw that the pious cardinal Sirlet, who was first proposed, could not be chosen, united the suffrages of the conclave in favour of our saint, testifying an entire confidence in his virtue. All others applauded the choice, except the pope elect; who, having in vain opposed it by tears and entreaties, at length, for fear of resisting the call of God, gave his consent, on the 7th of January, 1566, and took the name of Pius. The largesses usually bestowed by the popes, at their coronation, on the people of Rome, he converted into alms, to avoid the disorders of intemperance, &c. to which they are liable. He accordingly directed the sums usually expended on such occasions, to be distributed among the poor in the hospitals and elsewhere. He, in like manner, sent to the poorer convents in the city the thousand crowns usually employed in an entertainment for the cardinals, ambassadors, and lords who assisted at the ceremony. His first care was to regulate his family in such a manner, that it might be a model of virtue, and he induced the cardinals to do the like in their respective houses. He forbade the public exhibition of the sights of wild beasts, as savouring too much of inhumanity; and published very severe regulations against excesses in taverns, and against detraction committed in public assemblies, and reestablished a strict observance and execution of the laws. By rigorous edicts, he banished numbers of lewd women under pain of corporal punishment, if found afterwards within the city: others he confined to an obscure part of Rome, under the same penalty if they were seen elsewhere. He said mass every day, (and usually with tears,) unless hindered by sickness; he made daily two meditations on his knees before a crucifix, and called prayer the comfort and support of a pastor amidst the hurry of affairs. His tenderness for the poor and his charities, are not to be expressed: but nothing appeared more admirable in him than his sincere and profound humility. An English Protestant gentleman was converted, by seeing the condescension and affection with which he kissed the ulcers of the feet of a certain poor man. His rigorous fasts and abstemiousness he would scarcely ever mitigate, even on account of sickness. He published the catechism, and the decrees of the council of Trent, which he laboured strenuously to carry into immediate execution; and made many other useful regulations, extending his solicitude to every part of Christendom, particularly the eastern missions. He generously assisted the knights of Malta, when they were besieged by the most formidable armies of the Turks, and by his liberalities enabled them to repair their breaches after their victories, and to build the new impregnable city of Valette, in 1566. 1 The rebellion raised in France under Charles IX. obliged him to exert his vigilance in protecting the city and territory of Avignon against the stratagems of Coligny. He purged the ecclesiastical state of assassins and robbers, but rejected the perfidious proposal of one who offered to invite the chief captain of the robbers to dinner, and then to deliver him up. His severity, which was necessary for the public tranquillity, did not make him forget that mercy, wherever it can be allowed to take place, is to be the favourite inclination of a disciple of Christ. A certain Spaniard had composed a bitter and seditious pasquinade, filled with notorious slanders against his holiness, for which the magistrate had confiscated his estate, and condemned him to death: but the pope granted him a free pardon with this mild request, that when he should see him fall into any fault, he would admonish him of it. By a bull dated the 1st of October, 1567, he condemned several erroneous propositions ascribed to Michael Baius of Lovain, some of which that doctor denied to have been advanced by him, others he with great humility retracted. To recompense the zeal of Cosmus of Medicis, duke of Florence, he granted him by a bull the title of Grand Duke, and crowned him as such at Rome in 1569, though the emperor refused for some time to acknowledge that new title. By a great number of wise regulations he endeavoured to extirpate various scandals and abuses: in a brief, by which he strongly enforces the canons relating to the respect due to holy places, amongst other things, he forbids any either to give or ask an alms in churches, but only at the doors; which is commanded by several councils to prevent an occasion of distractions and an abuse contrary to the silence and respect due to the house of prayer. Certain privileges granted to particular confraternities, seem to have given occasion in some places to too great a neglect of these wholesome and necessary canons.

Notwithstanding his attention to the public affairs, the good pope did not forget that the exercises of an interior life are the means by which our souls must maintain and improve the spirit of holy charity, and by it sanctify our exterior actions. Prayer and holy meditation were his delight; for he well knew that the fire of charity will soon be extinguished in the heart unless it be continually nourished by new fuel. St. Pius joined to prayer assiduous mortification, and large alms. He often visited the hospitals, washed the feet of the poor, kissed their ulcers, comforted them in their sufferings, and disposed them for a Christian death. He gave twenty thousand crowns of gold to the hospital of the Holy Ghost, and great and frequent charities to other hospitals; he founded a distribution of dowries for the marriage of poor women, and made many most useful pious foundations to perpetuate the honour of God and the salvation of souls, particularly for the instruction of youth in the Christian doctrine, which he earnestly recommended to all pastors by an express bull, in 1571. In the time of a great famine in Rome, he imported corn at his own expense from Sicily and France, to the value of above one hundred thousand gold crowns; a considerable part of which he distributed among the poor, gratis, and sold the rest to the public much under prime cost. Frugal in all things that regarded himself, he was enabled by his good economy to make many useful foundations for promoting virtue and religion, and to relieve the distressed by incredible general alms-deeds and public benefactions, exclusively of the large daily demands which particular charities made upon him. He was a great encourager of learning and learned men; and to him the schools are indebted for the most accurate edition of the works of St. Thomas Aquinas, which appeared in 1570. He wrote to queen Mary Stuart, in 1570, to comfort her during her long imprisonment suffered for religion.

Selimus II. emperor of the Turks, pursuing the ambitious and boundless designs of his father Solyman, proposed nothing less to himself than to overrun all Christendom with his arms, and to add all the western kingdoms to his empire. Though he was himself an effeminate tyrant, enervated by drunkenness and debaucheries, he was long successful in his wars, by the conduct of veteran soldiers and experienced generals, who had been trained up by his warlike father. Flushed with victories and elated with pride, when Italy was afflicted with a famine, and the great arsenal of Venice had been lately almost entirely destroyed by a dreadful fire, he haughtily demanded of that republic the peaceable surrender of the isle of Cyprus, by way of satisfaction for pretended injuries; though in reality for the sake of its excellent wine, with which liquor he was extremely besotted, though forbidden by the koran, threatening that in case of refusal he would force it from them. Having all things in readiness beforehand, the infidels immediately invaded the island, took Nicosia by storm, in 1570, after a siege of forty-eight days, and in 1571, Famagusta by capitulation, after having battered that city with above 1,500,000 cannon shot, during a siege of seventy-five days. Notwithstanding the articles of an honourable capitulation had been ratified by the most solemn oaths, the Bashaw Mustapha, by an unheard of treacherous perfidy, put to most cruel deaths all the brave Venetian officers of the place; and caused the valiant Venetian governor Brigadin, after cutting off his ears and nose, with a thousand insults, blasphemies, and torments continued or repeated for many days, to be flayed alive in the market-place: all which he suffered with admirable patience, and in great sentiments of piety, expiring when his skin was torn off to his waist. Alarmed at the danger which threatened all Christendom, St. Pius entered into a league with Philip II. king of Spain, and the Venetians, in order to check the progress of the Mahometans; the other Christian princes excusing themselves from acceding to it, on account of domestic broils. This alliance was ratified in May, 1571; and to avoid occasions of dissension among the princes who were engaged, the pope was declared chief of the league and expedition, who appointed Mark Antony Colonna general of his gallies, and Don John of Austria generalissimo of all the forces. The army consisted of twenty thousand good soldiers, beside seamen; and the fleet of one hundred and one great gallies, some tall ships, and a considerable number of galliots and small vessels. The pope, together with his apostolic benediction, sent to the general a prediction of certain victory, with an order to disband all soldiers who seemed to go only for the sake of plunder, and all scandalous and riotous persons, whose crimes might draw down the divine indignation upon their arms.

The Christians sailed directly from Corfu, and found the Turkish fleet at anchor in the harbour of Lepanto. As soon as the Turks saw the Christian fleet so near, they reinforced their troops from the land, and sailed out in order of battle, Don John kept the centre, and had for seconds Colonna and the Venetian general Venieri: Andrew Doria commanded the right wing, and Austin Barbarigo the left. Peter Justiniani, who commanded the gallies of Malta, and Paul Jourdain were posted at the extremities of this line. The Marquess of Sainte Croix had a body of reserve of sixty vessels ready to sustain or relieve any part in danger of being overpowered. John of Cordova, with a squadron of eight vessels, scoured before, to spy and give intelligence; and six Venetian galeasses formed an avant-guard to the fleet. A little after sunrise the Turkish fleet, consisting of three hundred and thirty sail of all sorts, appeared in sight, almost in the same order of battle, only, according to their custom, in form of a crescent. They had no squadron of reserve, and therefore their line being much wider, they far outfronted the Christians, which is a great advantage in battle. Hali was in the centre, facing Don John of Austria: Petauch was his second; Louchali and Siroch commanded the two wings, against Doria and Barbarigo. Don John gave the signal of battle, by hanging out the banner sent him from the pope, on which the image of Christ crucified was embroidered. The Christian generals harangued their soldiers in few words, then made a sign for prayers; at which the soldiers fell on their knees before a crucifix, and continued in that posture in fervent prayer till the fleets drew near to each other, when at a second signal the battle began. The Turks bore down with great rapidity on the Christians, being assisted by a brisk gale of wind, which promised them the greatest advantage possible, especially as they were superior in numbers, and in the extent of their front. But the wind, which, before was very strong, fell just as the fight began, was succeeded by a calm, and this soon after by a high wind, entirely favourable to the Christians; which carried the smoke and fire of their artillery upon the enemy, almost blinded them; and at length quite bore them down. The battle was most obstinate and bloody, and the victory the most complete that ever was gained over the Ottoman empire. After three hours’ fight, with equal advantage, the left wing, commanded by Barbarigo, got the better, and sunk the galley which Siroch was in, who had fought to admiration. His loss so dispirited his squadron, that, being vigorously pressed by the Venetians, it gave way, and made towards the coast. Don John, seeing this advantage of his right wing, was animated with new courage, doubled his fire, and killed Hali, the Turkish general, boarded his galley, pulled down his flag, and cried, Victory: after which it was no longer a fight, but a perfect slaughter in the centre; the Turks suffering themselves to be killed without making any resistance. Louchali, indeed, by his numbers and wider front, kept Doria and the right wing at a distance, till the Marquess of Sainte Croix coming up to join him, the Turk made all the sail he could, and escaped by flight, with thirty gallies, all the rest being either taken or sunk. 2 This battle was fought on the 7th of October, 1571, and continued from about six in the morning till evening, when the approaching darkness and the roughness of the sea obliged the Christians to betake themselves to the next havens. The Turks, with their haughty emperor, were seized with the utmost consternation at the news of their dreadful overthrow: and the city of Constantinople was as much alarmed as if the enemy had been at the gates: many of the inhabitants carried their treasures to the Christians to keep for them, as if the town had been already in their hands. The infidels, who, elated by their rapid conquests in the East, had already swallowed up, in their imagination, Italy, and all the rest of Christendom, were taught by this defeat that the tide of their victories was stemmed. God, who has set bounds to the raging billows of the sea, and who weighs in his hand the globe of the universe as a grain of sand, fixes limits to states and empires, and governs their revolutions. By abandoning many flourishing nations to the infidels, he has given a terrible instance of his justice, by which he admonishes others whom he has hitherto spared, though, perhaps, more guilty, to fear his anger, and by sincere repentance to sue for mercy, whilst it is yet offered them. It is owing to his clemency towards the remaining part of Christendom, that he bridled the fury of these most fierce and barbarous infidels, in the very height of their pride and prosperity. From that time the Turks 3 have gradually weakened themselves by their own domestic policy, and have at present reason to dread the arms of those Christian powers, to whom their very name was formerly a terror. In the battle at Lepanto, the infidels lost thirty thousand men, with their general, Hali, and above two hundred ships and galleys, besides ninety that were stranded, burnt, or sunk. There were taken one hundred and sixteen pieces of great cannon, two hundred and fifty-six smaller, and five thousand prisoners, with a great number of officers of rank, among whom were two sons of Hali, nephews to the grand signior. The booty was exceeding great; for the Turkish fleet was laden with the plunder of many merchantmen, and of several islands: fifteen thousand slaves, that were found chained on board their gallies, were set at liberty.

The holy pope from the beginning of the expedition, had ordered public prayers and fasts, and had not ceased to solicit heaven, with uplifted hands, like Moses on the mountain, besides afflicting his body by watching and fasting. At the hour of the battle the procession of the rosary, in the church at the Minerva, was pouring forth solemn prayers for the victory. The pope was then conversing with some cardinals on business: but, on a sudden, left them abruptly, opened the window, stood some time with his eyes fixed on the heavens, and then shutting the casement, said: “It is not now a time to talk any more upon business; but to give thanks to God for the victory he has granted to the arms of the Christians.” This fact was carefully attested, and authentically recorded, both at that time and again in the process for the saint’s canonization. 4 In consequence of this miraculous victory, the pope ordered the festival of the rosary to be kept on the first Sunday of October, in perpetual thanksgiving to God, and in the Litany of our Lady inserted those words: succour of Christians. He caused a triumph to be decreed to Don John, which was graced with many illustrious prisoners; and he bestowed honours and gratifications on other generals and officers. The year following he was preparing to pursue the advantage gained by this great victory, when he died of the stone, on the 1st of May, 1572, being sixty-eight years, three months, and fifteen days old, having governed the church six years and almost four months. He had suffered from January the sharpest pains with heroic patience. He was beatified by Clement X. in 1672, and canonized by Clement XI. in 1712. His precious remains lie in the church of St. Mary Major. Many miracles are recorded by Gabutius. Henschenius has added a relation of many others approved by the auditors of the Rota under Urban VIII. in 1629. 5
The greatest danger in a public elevated station is, as St. Bernard pathetically put his disciple, whom he saw raised to the popedom, in mind of, lest, in the hurry of external concerns, we should forget to give sufficient attention to those of our own souls, and lose ourselves in the wilderness or tumult of distracting thoughts and employments. But those who have their whole time at their own disposal, yet have their eyes always abroad, and live, as it were, without themselves, are truly foolish. Every one’s first and principal business is included within himself, in his own heart. It is so deep, that we shall always find in it exercise enough, and shall never be able to sound it: only he, who tries the thoughts and reins, can thoroughly know it. What have we to do to concern ourselves so much with the wars of states, and the quarrels of private persons? But it is infinitely both our duty and our interest to take cognizance of the contests between the flesh and the spirit within our own breasts: to appease this intestine war, by teaching the flesh to be in subjection, placing reason on its throne, and making God reign sovereignly in our hearts. It is not so slight a task as men generally seem to imagine, to keep our domestic kingdom in good order, and to govern wisely and holily those numerous people which are contained in this little state, that is to say, that multitude of affections, thoughts, opinions and passions which easily raise tumults in our hearts. Those who are charged with the care of others, are obliged to reserve to themselves leisure for pious meditation, prayer, and self-examination, and diligently to watch over their own souls. “He who is bad to himself, to whom will he be good?” 6
Note 1. The knights of Malta, or of St. John of Jerusalem, were originally called knights hospitallers, instituted by certain merchants of Amalphi, in the kingdom of Naples, who, trading in the Levant, obtained leave of the Caliph of the Saracens, to build a house at Jerusalem, for themselves and pilgrims, on paying an annual tribute. Soon after, they founded a church in honour of St. John Baptist, with an hospital for sick pilgrims; from which they took their name. The valiant and most pious prince, Godfrey of Bouillon, who took Jerusalem, in 1099, exceedingly favoured these hospitallers, who, in the reign of Baldwin I. king of Jerusalem, in 1104, added to their three religious vows another, by which they obliged themselves to defend the pilgrims in the Holy Land from the insults of the Saracens. From that time they became a military Order of knights, and wore for their badge a cross, with eight points. In 1187, Saladin, the Caliph of Syria and Egypt, wrested Jerusalem, for the last time, from the Christians, after the kingdom of the Latins had maintained itself there eighty-nine years, under eight kings. The knights retired to Acon, or Acre, anciently called Ptolemais, on the sea-coast in Palestine, till that strong fortress was taken by storm, by the Saracens, in 1291. From which time they resided in Cyprus, till, in 1310, they gallantly took Rhodes from those infidels, and the year following defended it against their furious assaults, being relieved by the seasonable succours brought by the brave Amedeus IV. count of Savoy. The Turks having vanquished the Saracens, and embraced their superstition, and Mahomet II. having taken Constantinople by storm, in 1453, under Constantine Paleologus, the last Grecian emperor, these knights became more than ever the bulwark of Christendom. Under the conduct of the valiant grandmaster, Aubusson, in 1480, they bravely defended their isle for two months against the victorious army, of above one hundred thousand men, of Mahomet II. the greatest warrior of all the Turkish emperors, who conquered the two empires of Constantinople and Trebizonde, twelve kingdoms, and two hundred cities. But Solyman II. surnamed the Magnificent, after a gallant defence made by the knights, rendered himself master of this strong fortress by the treachery of the chancellor of the Order, in 1522; and the grand master, Villiers l’Isle-Adam, after prodigies of valour, was obliged to seek a new retreat. The Emperor Charles V. gave the knights the isle of Malta, in 1530. Solyman II. in 1566, bent the whole strength of his empire against this small island; but after a vigorous siege of four months his army was shamefully repulsed by the most memorable defence that is recorded in history, under the conduct of the grand-master, John de Valette, assisted by the munificence chiefly of Pope Pius V. The Turks retreated with eighty thousand men, when the grand-master had only six thousand. The knights of this Order are obliged to make proof of their being nobly descended for four generations, both by the father and mother’s side, and upon their admission pay two hundred and fifty crowns in gold to the treasury of the Order. They make the three religious vows, consequently can never marry; and add a fourth, never to make peace with the infidels. They observe certain constitutions borrowed from the rule of the regular canons of St. Austin. Formerly this Order consisted of eight languages or nations; but the English, which was the sixth, was extinguished by King Henry VIII. Each language is divided into certain grand priories; and every grand priory into several commanderies. Servant-knights prove their nobility; but not for four descents. The chaplains must also be of noble extraction. The Donnes or Demi-Crosses are not strictly members of the body; may marry, and wear a gold cross of three branches; those of the knights having four. The grand-master is chosen by the priors. There are servants of the office who are employed in the hospitals. The chief end of this military Order is to defend the innocent, and protect and cover Christendom from the insults of the Mahometans; in imitation of the Macchabees, who, with the zeal of martyrs, defended the people of God in the old law.

  Raymund du Puy was the first grand-master after they commenced knights. He drew up the statutes of the Order, and died in 1160. Several saints which this Order has produced are honoured at Malta; on whom see Le Martyrologe des Chevaliers de Malte, par M. Goussancour, two tombes. And as to its many great heroes, and the glorious military exploits achieved by them, read the history of Malta by Abbé Vertot, though in this he has not equalled the reputation of his other works, and has failed not only in the style, but also in sentiments and exactitude.

  The knights of Malta are obliged, after their profession, to wear a white cross or star with eight points, sewed on the left side of their cloak or coat. But before their vows, they wear a gold cross, with eight points, enamelled with white, hanging at a black riband. The knights may defer their vows, and seldom make them till sure of a commandery. The languages of Malta now subsisting are called, of Provence, Auvergne, France, Italy, Arragon, Germany, and Castille. France alone having three languages, it is the most powerful in the Order. In Spain other military religious Orders nourish, as those of Alcantara and Calatrava, instituted upon the taking of those towns from the Moors; they are subject to the Cistercian rule, but the knights are not hindered by their vow from marrying once. In Portugal that of Avis is likewise under the Cistercian rule: it was re-established after the victory of Evora, over the Moors, and confirmed by Innocent IV. in 1234.

  The knights templars, of whom we sometimes make mention, were instituted by seven gentlemen at Jerusalem, in 1118, to defend the holy places and pilgrims from the insults of the Saracens, and keep the passes free for such as undertook the voyage of the Holy Land. They took their name from the first house which was given them by King Baldwin II: situated near the place where anciently the temple of Solomon stood. By the liberality of princes, immense riches suddenly flowed into this Order, by which the knights were puffed up to a degree of insolence which rendered them insupportable even to the kings who had been their protectors; and Philip the Fair, king of France, resolved to compass their ruin. They were accused of treasons and conspiracies with the infidels, and of other enormous crimes, which occasioned the suppression of the Order by a decree of Pope Clement V., and the general council of Vienne, in 1312. The year following the grand-master, who was a Frenchman, was burnt at Paris, and several others suffered death, though they all with their last breath protested their innocence as to the crimes that were laid to their charge. These were certainly much exaggerated by their enemies, and doubtless many innocent men were involved with the guilty. A great part of their estates was given to the knights of Rhodes or Malta.

The Teutonic knights owe their establishment to certain German gentlemen from Bremen and Lubec, at the siege of Acon or Acre in Palestine, who instituted this Order in imitation of the knights templars and hospitallers. It was approved by Calixtus II, in 1192. The Teutonic knights conquered, in 1250, the infidels of Prussia, whom the Polanders had not been able to subdue, and built the cities of Elbing, Marienbourg, Thorn, Dantzic, and Koningsburg. The Poles disputed several of these territories with them. At length Albert, marquis of Brandenbourg, grand-master, embracing Lutheranism with several of the knights, quitted the title of grand-master, and drove the Order out of Prussia, which he left to the house of Brandenbourg. From which time the Order is reduced to a few poor commanderies, and the grand-master resides at Margentheim or Mariendal in Franconia. [back]

Note 2. See Gratiani’s History of Cyprus. [back]

Note 3. The Turks derive their pedigree from a Scythian nation of Great Tartary, not from the Turcomans in Armenia and Assyria, nor from Turkistan, in Great Tartary, as some have fancied; though both those nations seem also of Scythian extraction. The original country of the Turks, according to Prince Cantemir, was Chuter or Kitaia, that is, Great Tartary, in the provinces above the Caspian sea, which was as inexhausted a hive in sending out numberless swarms, as the European Scythia and Sarmatia. The Turci were anciently a most numerous and powerful nation, spread in European Scythia, now Muscovy, near the Volga, where, from the time of the Emperor Mauritius, they are often mentioned by Constantine Porphyrogeneta, (l. de regendo imperio, ad Romanum Filium: et l. de Legationibus,) and by other Byzantine historians. They were also dispersed wide in Asia, above the Caspian sea; and this was perhaps the original country of the Turci, whence some tribes had passed into Europe. M. de Guignes (Histoire Générale des Huns, des Turcs, &c., t. 3,) shows, that the Huns came originally from the eastern part of Tartary, that borders upon China, and that by wars with the Chinese, and various domestic revolutions, they were driven by several migrations to the West, some to the Volga, others about the Caspian sea. They were afterwards called Turks. Among the Asiatic Turks, or Tartars, Gingischan, (which word, in the Mogul language, signifies king of kings,) a prince of the Ogusian Tartars, about the year 1200, conquered Mogul and Persia, and entirely overthrowing this last empire, erected upon its ruins a new one, comprising all the East, so far as was known to the Greeks. This great conqueror dying in 1224, one of his sons succeeded him in Persia, another in Mogul, and a third in part of Tartary; in other places, his governors made themselves independent. The Turks are descended of another branch of these Ogusian or Gingischan Tartars. The example of Gingischan excited Soliman Shah, prince of Nera, a city on the coast of the Caspian sea, and head of a wandering tribe of the same Tartars, to tread in his steps. With fifty thousand select soldiers, he passed Mount Caucasus, and, bending his course towards Asia, overran several countries in 1211; but was drowned in attempting to pass the Euphrates on horseback, in 1219. His sepulchre is shown near Aleppo, and held by the Turks in great veneration to this day. His sons often served with their forces under the Saracen sultans, who were then masters of the eastern parts of the Grecian empire: sometimes with them, and sometimes alone, they plundered the provinces of the Greeks, and about that time renounced idolatry to embrace Mahometism, the superstition of the Saracens. Othman, one of the descendants of Soliman Shah, rendered great services to Aladin, the Saracen sultan of Iconium, till that prince, compelled by intestine commotions, abandoned his dominions, and fled to the Emperor Michael Palæologus, who kept him in perpetual imprisonment. Upon this revolution, Othman easily obtained the sovereignty of Aladin’s country, and laid the foundation of the Turkish monarchy at Iconium, about the year 1300. He afterwards conquered Bithyna, and took the city of Prusa, in 1326, where he fixed his residence. From him is the imperial Turkish family called Othmans or Ottomans. Tamerlane, the founder of a great empire in Tartary, a generous and valiant prince, to defend the Grecian empire against the perpetual encroachments of the Turks, fell upon the latter, took their sultan Bajazet, and kept him prisoner in an iron cage, having defeated him, not near Prusa, as the Greeks suppose, but near the banks of the Euphrates, as Prince Cantemir proves, from the unanimous consent of all Turkish and other oriental monuments. Notwithstanding this check, the Turks extended their conquests over both the Saracens and Greeks, till Mahomet II. took Constantinople, in 1453, and Trebizond, in 1456. The Persians called both the Gingischan Scythians, by whom they were conquered, and these Othmans, by the same name—Turks; which name is given the latter by all foreigners. This account of the original of the Turkish nation is given us by Prince Demetrius Cantemir, in his History of the Othman Empire, printed in 1743. It is drawn from the Turkish and oriental memoirs, and agrees with what is recorded by Chalcondylas, the only historian among the Greeks who deserves credit concerning the first transactions of this nation. Prince Cantemir observes, that the Turks own the Crim Tartars to be descended from the same Ogusian tribe, by a younger branch, to that of the Othmans; and the Turks have often declared that if the Othman family fail, that of Crim Tartary is to succeed to their empire. [back]

Note 4. See Card. Lambertini, afterwards Benedict XIV. de Beatif. and Canoniz. Sanctor. t. 1, p. 524. [back]

Note 5. Bolland, t. 1, Maij. pp. 714, 719. [back]

Note 6. Eccl. xiv. 5. [back]

Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73).  Volume V: May. The Lives of the Saints.  1866.

SOURCE : http://www.bartleby.com/210/5/051.html

Pius V, OP Pope (RM)
(also known as Michael Ghislieri)


Born in Bosco (near Alessandria), Italy, on January 17, 1504; died May 1, 1572; canonized in 1712; feast day formerly on May 5.



People who know nothing else about Pius V are quite apt to remember him as the Pope of the Rosary, recalling his remarkable connection with the Battle of Lepanto.

Antonio Michael was born into the distinguished but impoverished Ghisleri. His parents could not afford to educate their alert little boy, who seemed far too talented to be a shepherd. One day, as he was minding his father's small flock, two Dominicans came along the road and fell into conversation with him. Recognizing immediately that he was both virtuous and intelligent, they obtained permission from his parents to take the child with them and educate him. He left home at age 12 and did not return until his ordination many years later.

After a preliminary course of studies, he received the Dominican habit at the priory of Voghera at age 14 and, as a novice, was sent to Lombardy. Here, for the first time, he met the well-organized forces of heresy which he was to combat so successfully in later years.

After his ordination in 1528, he went home to say his first Mass, and he found that Bosco had been razed by the French. There was nothing left to tell him if his parents were alive or dead. He finally found them, however, in a nearby town. After he said Mass, he returned to a career that would keep him far from home for the rest of his life. He began as a lector in theology and philosophy for 16 years.

Then he served as novice-master, than as prior of several convents, Michael proved to be a wise and charitable administrator. He was made inquisitor at Como, Italy, where many of his religious brethren had died as martyrs to the heretics. By the time of Michael's appointment there, the heretics' chief weapon was the printed word; they smuggled books in from Switzerland, causing untold harm by spreading them in northern Italy. The new inquisitor set himself to fight this wicked traffic, and it was not the fault of the heretics that he did not follow his brethren to martyrdom. They ambushed him several times and laid a number of complicated plots to kill him, but only succeeded in making him determined to explain the situation more fully to the pope in Rome.

He arrived in Rome on Christmas Eve, tired, cold, and hungry, and here it was not the heretics that caused him pain, but his own brothers in Christ. The prior of Santa Sabina saw fit to be sarcastic and inhospitable to the unimportant looking friar, who said he was from Lombardy. The pope knew very well who he was, however, and immediately gave him the commission of working with the heretics in the Roman prisons.

He was a true father to these unfortunates, and he brought many of them back to the faith. One of his most appealing converts was a young Franciscan, a converted Jew of a wealthy family, who had lapsed into heresy through pride in his writing. Michael proceeded to straighten out his thinking, to give him the Dominican habit, and to assure him of his personal patronage, thus securing for the Church a splendid Scripture scholar and writer.

In 1556, Michael was chosen bishop of Nepi and Sutri. The next year he was named inquisitor general against the Protestants in Italy and Spain and was appointed cardinal, in order, as he said, that irons should be riveted to his feet to prevent him from creeping back into the peace of the cloister. In 1559, Pope Pius IV made him bishop of the war-depleted Piedmont see of Mondovi, to which he soon brought order. Insofar as possible, Michael continued to adhere to the Dominican Rule.

He constantly opposed nepotism. Michael opposed Pius IV's attempt to make 13-year-old Ferdinand de'Medici a cardinal, and defeated the attempt of Emperor Maximilian II of Germany to abolish clerical celibacy.

January 7, 1565, when the papal chair was vacant following the death of Pius IV, the cardinals, chiefly through the influence of Saint Charles Borromeo, elected Cardinal Ghislieri pope. With great grief, he accepted the office and chose the name Pius V. Charles Borromeo had backed Michael during the election, trusting that he would act as a much-needed reformer.

His judgment proved true: on Pius's coronation, the money usually distributed to the crowds was given to the hospitals and the poor, and money for a banquet for the cardinals and other dignitaries was given to poor convents. When someone criticized this, he observed that God would judge us more on our charity to the poor than on our good manners to the rich. Such an attitude was bound to make enemies in high places, but it endeared him to the poor, and it gave right-thinking men the hope that here was a man of integrity, and one who could help to reform the clergy and make a firm stand against the Lutheran heresy.

Pope Saint Pius

There were massive problems of immediate urgency during the brief reign of Pius V. From within, the peace of the Church was disturbed by the several heresies of Luther, Calvin, and the Lombards, and by the need for clerical reform. In addition, England was tottering on the brink of a break with Rome. The Netherlands were trying to break away from Spain and had embraced Protestantism. The missions across the sea needed attention. And all through the Mediterranean countries, the Turkish were ravaging Christian cities, creeping closer to world conquest. In the six years of his reign, Pope Pius V had to deal with all these questions--any one of which was enough to occupy his entire time.
One of Pius's first actions was to demand that bishops should live in their dioceses and parish priests in their parishes. His efforts at regulating his see embraced issues ranging from the abolition of bullfighting, bear-baiting and prostitution, to cleaning out the Roman curia and eliminating nepotism, to cutting down the activities of bandits. He insisted that Sunday must be hallowed. Once a month he held a special court for anyone who felt they had been treated unjustly. He also brought in shipments of corn during a famine at his own expense.

In his personal life he continued to be a devout mendicant friar; as pope he set himself to enforce the decrees of the Council of Trent with energy and effect. The catechism ordered by the Council of Trent was completed during his rule (1566), and he ordered translations made. The breviary reformed (1568) and missal (1570). He also commissioned the best edition to date of the writings of Saint Thomas Aquinas; it was he who made Thomas a Doctor of the Church in 1567.

His was a rigorous character; he made full use of the Inquisition and his methods of combatting Protestantism were ruthless. Pius had hoped to convert Queen Elizabeth of England. The unfortunate Mary Queen of Scots enjoyed his sympathy and encouragement. He sent reassuring letters to her, and once, at a time when no priest was allowed to go near her, he granted her special permission to receive Holy Communion by sending her a tiny pyx that contained consecrated Hosts. It was he who finally had to pronounce excommunication on Elizabeth of England in 1570, after he had given her every possible chance of repentance.

Pius V had a high estimate of papal power in secular matters, though sometimes showing little talent for dealing with them. When he excommunicated Elizabeth I, he absolved her subjects of the allegiance to her as queen. This served only to endanger the Catholics in her realm, however, and many were accused of treason and martyred. (It is interesting to note that Elizabeth II visited Pope John XXIII at the Vatican on Pius V's original feast day, May 5, nearly four centuries later.) That he also came into conflict with Philip II of Spain shows with what consistency he applied his principles.
He encouraged the new society founded by Saint Ignatius of Loyola and established the Jesuits in the Gregorian University. He consecrated three Jesuit bishops for India, gave Saint Francis Borgia his greatest cooperation, and helped to finance missionaries to China and Japan. He built the church of Our Lady of the Angels for the Franciscans and helped Saint Philip Neri in his establishment of the Oratory. Probably the act for which he will be longest remembered in his leadership at the time of the Battle of Lepanto.

In 1565, the Knights of Saint John defended Malta against a tremendous attack by the Turkish fleet and lost nearly every fighting man in the fortress. It was the pope who sent encouragement and money with which to rebuild their battered city. The pope called for a crusade among the Christian nations and appointed a leader who would be acceptable to all. He ordered the Forty Hours Devotion to be held in Rome, and he encouraged all to say the Rosary.

When the Christian fleet sailed out to meet the enemy, every man on board had received the sacraments, and all were saying the Rosary. The fleet was small, and numerically it was no match for the Turkish fleet, which so far had never met defeat. They met in the Bay of Lepanto on Sunday morning, October 7, 1565. After a day of bitter fighting, and, on the part of the Christians, miraculous help, the Turkish fleet--what was left of it--fled in disgrace, broken and defeated, its power crushed forever.

Before the victorious fleet returned to Rome, the pope had knowledge of the victory through miraculous means. He proclaimed a period of thanksgiving; he placed the invocation, "Mary, Help of Christians" in the Litany of Loreto and established the feast in commemoration of the victory. It was almost the last act of his momentous career for he fell victim to a painful illness that killed him in less than a year. He was attempting to form an alliance of the Italian cities, France, Poland, and other Christian nations of Europe to march against the Turks when he died. He is enshrined at Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome.

Although he was criticized for 'wanting to turn Rome into a monastery,' Saint Pius had the respect of the Roman people, who knew his personal goodness and concern for everybody's welfare. He gave large sums to the poor, lived a life of austerity and piety, and personally visited the sick in hospitals. Pius V is remembered as one of the most important popes of the Counter-Reformation (Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley, Delaney, Dorcy, White).

In art, he is shown reciting a rosary; or with a fleet in the distance; or with the feet of a crucifix withdrawn as he tried to kiss them (White).

SOURCE : http://www.saintpatrickdc.org/ss/0430.shtml

San Pio V (Antonio Ghislieri) Papa

30 aprile - Memoria Facoltativa

Bosco Marengo, Alessandria, 27 gennaio 1504 - Roma, 1 maggio 1572

(Papa dal 17/01/1566 al 01/05/1572)

Antonio Michele Ghislieri, religioso domenicano, creato vescovo e cardinale, svolse compiti di alta responsabilità nella Chiesa. Divenuto papa col nome di Pio V, operò per la riforma della Chiesa in ogni settore, sulle linee tracciate dal Concilio tridentino. Pubblicò i nuovi testi del Messale (1570), del Breviario (1568) e del catechismo romano. (Mess. Rom.)

Etimologia: Pio = devoto, religioso, pietoso (signif. Intuitivo)

Emblema: Tiara, Camauro, Bastone Pastorale

Martirologio Romano: San Pio V, papa, che, elevato dall’Ordine dei Predicatori alla cattedra di Pietro, rinnovò, secondo i decreti del Concilio di Trento, con grande pietà e apostolico vigore il culto divino, la dottrina cristiana e la disciplina ecclesistica e promosse la propagazione della fede. Il primo di maggio a Roma si addormentò nel Signore.

(1 maggio: A Roma, anniversario della morte di san Pio V, papa, la cui memoria si celebra il giorno precedente a questo).

San Pio V, al secolo Antonio (in religione Michele) Ghislieri (Bosco Marengo, 27 gennaio 1504 - Roma, 1º maggio 1572), è il Papa della Controriforma, della battaglia di Lepanto, del catechismo romano, del breviario romano riformato e del messale romano.

Negli anni di preparazione al sacerdozio, insieme a una solida formazione teologica, facilitata da una fervida intelligenza, manifestò quella austerità di vita che sempre lo caratterizzò. Nel 1528 ricevette l’ordinazione sacerdotale a Genova e già a quel tempo si distinse per la forza del suo credo: a Parma sostenne trenta proposte a supporto del seggio pontificio contro le eresie che si scagliavano contro di esso.

Come rettore di vari conventi domenicani si distinse per la rigida e santificante disciplina imposta, e ricevette la nomina di inquisitore della città di Como. Giunto a Roma nel 1550 divenne Commissario generale dell’Inquisizione romana.  Paolo IV (1476-1559) lo nominò vescovo di Sutri e Nepi nel 1556; fu in seguito creato cardinale con il titolo di Santa Maria sopra Minerva (1557). Nel 1558 divenne Grande Inquisitore e due anni dopo vescovo di Mondovì.

Il 7 gennaio 1566, fu inaspettatamente eletto Papa grazie ad un accordo stabilito fra i cardinali Carlo Borromeo (1538-1584) e Alessandro Farnese (1520-1589). La sua elezione fece tremare la Curia romana e non solo quella. Serietà e inflessibilità iniziarono immediatamente: niente festeggiamenti e sontuosi banchetti per solennizzare l’elezione pontificia.

Cercò, con ogni mezzo, di migliorare i costumi della gente emettendo bolle, punendo l’accattonaggio, vietando le dissolutezze del carnevale, cacciando da Roma le prostitute, condannando i fornicatori e i profanatori dei giorni festivi. Per i bestemmiatori furono previste sanzioni economiche e corporali. Difese strenuamente il vincolo matrimoniale, infliggendo punizioni agli adulteri. Ridusse il costo della corte papale, impose l’obbligo di residenza dei vescovi e affermò l’importanza del cerimoniale. Le sue decisioni furono di enorme importanza: rafforzò gli strumenti della Controriforma per combattere l’eresia ed il Protestantesimo e diede nuovo impulso all’Inquisizione romana.

Risoluto e onesto, piemontese tutto d’un pezzo, fu rigido oppositore del nepotismo. Ai numerosi parenti accorsi a Roma con la speranza di ottenere da lui qualche privilegio e beneficio economico, Pio V disse che un parente del Papa può considerarsi sufficientemente ricco se non conosce la miseria.

Fu lui, l’11 aprile 1567, a dare  il titolo di dottore della Chiesa a san Tommaso d’Aquino (1225-1274). Nel 1568 lo stesso titolo fu concesso anche a quattro Padri della Chiesa d’Oriente: sant’Atanasio (295 ca.- 373), san Basilio Magno (329-379), san Giovanni Crisostomo (344/354-407) e san Gregorio Nazianzeno (329 – 390 ca.). Da questi suoi atti si evince la sua ferma volontà di custodire in sommo grado l’integrità della Fede e di difendere la Chiesa dagli avversari e dalle eresie, ben sapendo che il consenso nei suoi confronti avrebbe ricevuto duri colpi: la sua intransigenza e il suo zelo gli valsero molti nemici in tutta Europa e oltre. Celebri sono rimaste le volgari pasquinate dileggianti la sua persona.

Fu coraggioso difensore dei diritti giurisdizionali della Chiesa e per questo si scontrò con Filippo II di Spagna (1527-1598). Durante le guerre di religione in Francia, sostenne i cattolici contro gli ugonotti, mentre in Inghilterra appoggiò la cattolica Maria Stuarda (1542-1587) contro l’anglicana Elisabetta I (1533-1603), che scomunicò nel 1570 con la bolla Regnans in Excelsis.

Non ebbe paura della violenza musulmana e preoccupato delle mire geopolitiche dei turchi, promosse la «Lega Santa» dei principi cristiani contro la mezzaluna, unendosi in alleanza con Genova, Venezia e Spagna. Le forze navali della Lega si scontrarono, il 7 ottobre 1571, con la flotta ottomana nelle acque al largo di Lepanto, riportando una memorabile vittoria, che si verificò grazie, soprattutto, alla crociata di Rosari che erano stati recitati per ottenere l’aiuto divino. La vittoria venne comunicata “in tempo reale”: Pio V ebbe, infatti, una visione, dove vide cori di Angeli intorno al trono della Beata Vergine che teneva in braccio il Bambino Gesù e in mano la Corona del Rosario. Dopo l’evento prodigioso – era mezzogiorno – il Papa diede ordine che tutte le campane di Roma suonassero a festa e da quel giorno viene recitato l’Angelus a quell’ora. Due giorni dopo un messaggero portò la notizia dell’avvenuto trionfo delle forze cristiane. Il 7 ottobre del 1571 venne celebrato il primo anniversario della vittoria di Lepanto con l’istituzione della «Festa di Santa Maria della Vittoria», successivamente trasformata nella «Festa del Santissimo Rosario».

San Pio V nella sua vita non cercò mai altri interessi che quelli del Regno di Dio e prima di spirare dichiarò ai cardinali, radunati intorno al suo letto: «Vi raccomando la santa Chiesa che ho tanto amato! Cercate di eleggermi un successore zelante, che cerchi soltanto la gloria del Signore, che non abbia altri interessi quaggiù che l’onore della Sede Apostolica e il bene della cristianità».

Autore: Cristina Siccardi



Tra le più grandi glorie del Piemonte rifulge il grande pontefice San Pio V, al secolo Antonio Michele Ghisleri, nativo di Bosco Marengo (Alessandria) ove vide la luce il 27 gennaio 1504 da una nobile famiglia. Per sopravvivere fece il pastore, finché all’età di quattordici anni entrò tra i Domenicani di Voghera. Nel 1519 professò i voti solenni a Vigevano, poi completò gli studi presso l’università di Bologna e nel 1528 ricevette l’ordinazione presbiterale a Genova. Per ben sedici anni insegnò filosofia e teologia e successivamente fu priore nei conventi di Vigevano e di Alba, rigorosissimo con sé stesso e con i confratelli nell’osservanza religiosa. Nominato poi inquisitore a Como, spiegò ogni sua forza per arrestare le dottrine protestanti che segretamente venivano introdotte in Lombardia. Il suo intelligente vigore non tardò ad attirare l’attenzione del cardinale Giampietro Carata, che ottenne la sua nomina a commissario generale del Sant’Uffizio. Quando egli divenne papa col nome di Paolo IV, elesse il Ghisleri prima vescovo di Sutri e Nepi, ed in seguito cardinale nel 1557, con l’incarico di inquisitore generale di tutta la cristianità.

Dopo l’elezione di Pio IV, nel 1560 il Cardinal Ghisleri fu nominato vescovo di Mondovì, ma ben presto dovette far ritorno a Roma per occuparsi di otto vescovi francesi accusati di eresia. Non ebbe rapporti assai cordiali con il nuovo papa, del quale disapprovava con rude indipendenza l’indirizzo mondano e nepotista.
Alla sua morte, proprio Ghisleri fu chiamato a succedergli, per suggerimento di San Carlo Borromeo, nipote del papa defunto. Il giorno dell’incoronazione, anziché far gettare monete al popolo come consuetudine, in novello Pio V preferì soccorrere a domicilio molti bisognosi della città di Roma. Anche da papa continuò a vestire il bianco saio domenicano, a riposare sopra un pagliericcio, a cibarsi di legumi e frutta, dedicando l’intera sua giornata al lavoro e alla preghiera.

Poi V godette subito dell’ammirazione e del rispetto di tutti per la pietà, l’austerità e l’amore per la giustizia. Ritenendo opportuna i cardinali la presenza di un nipote del papa nel collegio dei Principi della Chiesa, convinsero il pontefice a conferire la porpora al domenicano Michele Bonelli, figlio di sua sorella, affinché lo aiutasse nel disbrigo degli affari. A un figlio di suo fratello concesse l’ingresso nella milizia pontificia, ma lo cacciò dal territorio dello Stato non appena seppe che coltivava illeciti amori. Colpì inoltre senza pietà gli abusi della corte pontificia, dimezzando le inutili bocche da sfamare e nominando un’apposita commissione per vigilare sulla cultura ed i costumi del clero, che a quel tempo lasciavano molto a desiderare.
Nell’attuazione delle disposizioni impartite dal Concilio di Trento fu coadiuvato da Monsignor Niccolò Ornamelo, già braccio destro di San Carlo a Milano. Ai sacerdoti vennero interdetti la simonia, gli spettacoli, i giochi, i banchetti pubblici e l’accesso alle taverne. Ai vescovi fu imposto un previo esame di accertamento circa la loro idoneità, la residenza, pena la privazione del loro titolo, la fondazione dei seminari e l’erezione delle cosiddette Confraternite di catechismo.

Nella curia Pio V organizzò la Penitenzieria, creò la Congregazione dell’Indice per l’esame dei libri contrari alla fede, intervenne personalmente alle sessioni del Tribunale dell’Inquisizione e talvolta concesse udienza al popolo per ben dieci ore consecutive. Le sue maggiori attenzioni erano rivolte ai poveri che ascoltava pazientemente e confortava anche con aiuti pecuniari. Il papa era compiaciuto di poter partecipare alle manifestazioni pubbliche della fede nonostante le torture della calcolosi, di far visita agli ospedali, di curare egli stesso i malati e di esortarli alla rassegnazione. Suggerì ai Fatebenefratelli di aprire un nuovo ospizio a Roma. Durante la carestia del 1566 e le epidemie che seguirono, fece distribuire ai bisognosi somme considerevoli ed organizzare i servizi sanitari. Al fine di reperire le ingenti somme necessarie, provvedette a sopprimere qualsiasi spesa superflua, addirittura facendo adattare alla sua statura gli abiti dei suoi predecessori. Con una simile austerità di vita il papa riuscì nonostante tutto ad imporsi sugli avversari e ad indurre gli altri prelati e dignitari della curia romana ad un maggiore spirito di devozione e penitenza.

Per l’uniformità dell’insegnamento, secondo le indicazioni del Concilio Tridentino, che aveva richiesto fosse redatto un testo chiaro e completo della dottrina cristiana, Pio V ne affidò la redazione a tre domenicani e lo pubblicò nel 1566. L’anno seguente proclamò San Tommaso d’Aquino “Dottore della Chiesa”, obbligando le Università allo studio della Somma Teologica e facendo stampare nel 1570 un’edizione completa e accurata di tutte le opere teologiche del santo. In campo liturgico si deve alla lungimiranza di questo pontefice la pubblicazione del nuovo Breviario e del nuovo Messale, cioè il celebre rito della Messa ancor oggi conosciuto proprio con il nome di San Pio V. In ambito musicale inoltre nominò il Palestrina maestro della cappella pontificia. Suo merito fu anche quello di promuovere l’attività missionaria con l’invio di religiosi nelle “Indie orientali e occidentali” ed un pressante invito agli spagnoli a non scandalizzare gli indigeni nelle loro colonie.

Al fine di contrastare l’immoralità dilagante fra il popolo romano, il pontefice punì l’accattonaggio e la bestemmia, vietò il combattimento di tori ed i festeggiamenti carnevaleschi, espulse da Roma parecchie cortigiane. Per sottrarre i cattolici alle usure degli ebrei favorì i cosiddetti Monti di Pietà, relegando gli ebrei in appositi quartieri della città. Pur non avendo una particolare attitudine per l’amministrazione dello stato, non trascurò il benessere dei suoi sudditi costruendo nuove strade ed acquedotti, favorendo l’agricoltura con bonifiche, adeguando le fortezze di difesa e curando assai gli ospedali. Contemporaneamente al lavoro di pubblica amministrazione, Pio V agiva con grande energia sul fronte della difesa della purezza della fede: sotto il suo pontificio infatti Antonio Paleario e Pietro Carnesecchi, già protonotari apostolici, subirono l’estremo supplizio per aver aderito al protestantesimo e gli Umiliati furono soppressi, poiché a Milano avversavano le riforme operate dal Borromeo. Inoltre scomunicò e “depose” la regina Elisabetta I d’Inghilterra, rea della morte della cugina Maria Stuart e di aver così aggravato l’oppressione dei cattolici inglesi.
Inviò in Germania come legato pontificio Gian Francesco Commendone, tentando di impedire che l’imperatore Massimiliano II potesse sottrarsi alla giurisdizione della Santa Sede. Inviò in Francia proprie milizie contro gli Ugonotti tollerati dalla regina Caterina de’ Medici. Il re spagnolo Filippo II fu esortato da Pio V a reprimere il fanatismo anabattista nei Paesi Bassi. Michele Baio, professore all’Università di Lovanio e precursore del giansenismo, meritò la condanna delle proprie tesi eretiche. San Pietro Canisio, su incarico papale, confutò le Centurie di Magdeburgo, prima tendenziosa storia ecclesiastica redatta dai protestanti.

Ma l’episodio più celebre della vita di questo grande pontefice, unico piemontese ad essere stato elevato al soglio di Pietro in duemila anni di cristianesimo, è sicuramente il suo intervento in favore della battaglia di Lepanto. Per stornare infatti la perpetua minaccia che i Turchi costituivano contro il mondo cristiano, il santo papa s’impegnò tenacemente per organizzare un lega di principi, in particolare dopo la presa di Famagosta eroicamente difesa dal veneziano Marcantonio Bragadin nel 1571 che, dopo la resa, fu scuoiato vivo. Alle flotte pontificie si unirono quelle spagnole e veneziane, sotto il supremo comando di Don Giovanni d’Austria, figlio naturale dell’imperatore Carlo V. Il fatale scontro con i Turchi, allora all’apogeo della loro potenza, avvenne il 7 ottobre 1571 nel golfo di Lepanto, durò da mezzodì sino alle cinque pomeridiane e terminò con la vittoria dei cristiani. Alla stessa ora Pio V, preso da altri impegni, improvvisamente si affacciò alla finestra, rimase alcuni istanti in estasi con lo sguardo rivolto ad oriente, ed infine esclamò: “Non occupiamoci più di affari. Andiamo a ringraziare Dio perché la flotta veneziana ha riportato vittoria”. A ricordo del felice avvenimento che cambiò il corso della storia, fu introdotta la festa liturgica del Santo Rosario, al 7 ottobre, preghiera alla quale sarebbe stata attribuita dal papa la vittoria. Il senato veneto infatti fece dipingere la scena della battaglia nella sala delle adunanze con la scritta: “Non la forza, non le armi, non i comandanti, ma il Rosario di Maria ci ha resi vittoriosi!”.

Pio V era però ormai spossato da una malattia, l’ipertrofia prostatica, di cui per pudicizia preferì non essere operato. Radunati i cardinali attorno al suo letto di morte, rivolse loro alcune raccomandazioni: “Vi raccomando la santa Chiesa che ho tanto amato! Cercate di eleggermi un successore zelante, che cerchi soltanto la gloria del Signore, che non abbia altri interessi quaggiù che l’onore della Sede Apostolica e il bene della cristianità”. Spirò così il 1° maggio 1572. La sua salma riposa ancora oggi nella patriarcale basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore in Roma. Papa Clemente X beatificò il suo predecessore cent’anni dopo, il 27 aprile 1672, e solo Clemente XI lo canonizzò poi il 22 maggio 1712.

Autore:
Fabio Arduino