Posted by: fvbcdm | April 30, 2014

Feast of Saint Pius V  (30 April 2014)

Today we have the opportunity to think of the gift of the papacy and of our present Pope. For today is the feast of Pope Saint Pius V, our Dominican brother who reigned as pope back in the 1500s. He worked very hard to implement throughout the Church the directives of the Council of Trent, which had just taken place. His devotion to Our Lady was so great that he chose to be buried in the Roman basilica of Saint Mary Major, as it’s called.

In the battle of Lepanto, Don Juan of Austria, the Venetian fleet, the Maltese fleet, and ships from several other parts of Christian Europe engaged the Turkish fleet in a tremendous sea conflict.  The Muslims had been expelled from southern Spain just 79 years before that, ending their 700-year-old occupation of the Iberian peninsula, that is, Spain and Portugal. They had likewise been defeated in their attempts to invade Europe from the east at the battle of Vienna. Now, they were trying to invade Europe by sea, sending this great fleet from Turkey to overrun Italy and then all of Christian Europe.

Pope Saint Pius V was pope at that time, and he realized the danger which Europe and the Church were facing, and the importance of a Christian victory over the forces of Islam. A man of deep faith and devotion to the Mother of Jesus, and especially to the Rosary, he asked the people of Rome to pray the Rosary for a naval victory. The battle occurred on October 7. Before the news of the Christian victory had time to reach Rome by ordinary means, the Pope rose from his desk and went to his window in the Vatican. He gazed out into the sky, then turned to those present and said, “The victory is ours; Christianity has prevailed again over Islam.” In due time, the news of the victory at Lepanto reached Rome by courier. The city was filled with relief and joy, and Pope Saint Pius decreed that October 7 would thenceforth be celebrated as a feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. Thank you for seeking God’s truth. God bless you.  Father Victor Brown, O.P.

Note:  This message was composed some years ago

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