Pope Francis and Pope Pius

March 15, 2013

Pope Francis’ first non-official act outside of Vatican City was delivering a simple bouquet of flowers to our Blessed Mother. The visit took place in Saint Mary Major, one of the four papal basilicas located in Rome. After praying in the Borghese Chapel, he went to the opposite Chapel. He paused a few moments to pray there before the tomb of Pope Saint Pius V, the great Dominican Pope reformer who also prayed the rosary for the battle of Lepanto. History classes often neglect the story of the pivotal battle which shaped the future of Europe. Michael Ghislieri was a poor shepherd boy who entered the Dominicans at the age of fourteen, became a lecturer in philosophy and theology at Pavia, and very early became involved in the reform movement in the Church. His holiness and austerity of life were notable, and he succeeded in bringing simplicity even into the papal household. He refused to wear the flowing garments of previous popes and insisted upon wearing his white Dominican habit even as head of the Church. To this day, the pope wears white, a custom begun by this Dominican pontiff. St. Pius V carried out of the decrees of the Council of Trent; he made a systematic reform of religious orders, established seminaries, held diocesan synods, and reformed the Breviary and Missal. He brought unity into divine worship, published catechisms, ordered a revision of the Latin Vulgate and revitalized the study of theology and canon law. During his pontificate, the Turks were definitively defeated at the battle of Lepanto, due, it was said, to the prayers of the pope who preached the power of the Rosary. Please click here to join our rosary confraternity as we pray for Pope Francis who seeks to accomplish the same types of reform and victories in our own day.

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