Saturday, May 3, 2008

Happy belated Pope St. Pius V Day!

So I took a respite from the blog here, and all that happens is that I miss the feast days of two of the most awesome saints in history. More on the other guy later.

Let's first reflect on the fact that in the last, oh, 700 years or so of Church history, there have been a grand total of two popes who have been canonized as saints. That's right. Two. And I'm talking about full-blown canonization. We've got plenty who have been beatified for some time now but have yet to receive full canonization. This isn't to say that it's been seven centuries of crappy popes either. In addition to those beatified, you've got guys like Pius VII, Leo XIII, Urban V, Clement XI, Innocent XI, and so forth.

This one surpasses them all.

First off, he's a Dominican, which means his awesomeness quotient is already amplified by a factor of 2. In fact, St. Pius V continued to wear his white Dominican habit after his election as pope. Every other pope since then has followed suit.

Second, setting in motion the real glory of the Counter-Reformation. The Council of Trent had basically been over for about three years without significant implementation of the reforms which had been adopted or a major response to the threat of Protestant heresy. Acknowledging the attack on the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass as the most poisonous of Protestant tactics, he issued the bull Quo Primum for the codification of the existing liturgy which had been preserved since at least the time of Pope Gregory the Great in the sixth century.

Third, he refused to take crap from the enemies of the Church, deciding instead to confront them openly. This was most apparent in the bull Regnans in Excelsis, which made formal the excommunication of Elizabeth I and released her subjects from any duty of obedience to her.

Fourth, just to nutshell a few other things since his other ecclesiastical accomplishments could fill volumes, he condemned the neo-Pelagian garbage of Michael Baius, cracked down on clerical abuses, and enforced the recitation of the Divine Office.

Fifth, moreso than any maybe any other pope in history, he saved Western Civilization from annihilation. In 1571, St. Pius V organized the Holy League for the purpose of turning back the invading hordes of the Turks. Both sides' naval forces met at the Battle of Lepanto on October 7. Pius had instructed the whole city of Rome to pray the rosary for victory. Of course, the League armada, led by Don Juan of Austria, was triumphant. Pius himself already knew of the result beforehand, as God had granted him a vision of the Turkish defeat. This is the origin of the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.

Just to point out some modern parallels. We are again threatened by Muslim violence. The Church is struggling again with Pelagian ideas of "just be a nice person and you'll go to heaven." Secular leaders are looking to demolish the influence of the Church. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is abused and violated on a regular basis by arrogant bishops, heretical clergy, and sinful laity.

I'm just sayin' . . .

St. Pius V, pray for us!

Following the example of our predecessors, seeing that the Church militant, which God has placed in our hands, in these our times is tossed this way and that by so many heresies, and is grievously troubled troubled and afflicted by so many wars, and by the deprave morals of men, we also raise our eyes, weeping but full of hope, unto that same mountain (note: he is referring to the Blessed Mother here), whence every aid comes forth, and we encourage and admonish each member of Christ's faithful to do likewise in the Lord.

Pope St. Pius V, Consueverunt Romani.

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