Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Saint Pius V, hero of the Inquisition


     Michele Ghislieri afterwards proclaimed Pope under the name of Pius V, was born 
on the 27th of January, in the year 1504, at the town of Bosco in the Milanese, but his family was a noble one of Bologna. At the age of fourteen years he entered the order of Friars Preachers. He was a man marked by a wonderful long-suffering, a deep lowliness, a great hardness of living, an unwavering earnestness in prayer, and a most strong zeal for the perfect observance of the Rule of his Order, and for the greater glory of God. He gave himself to the study of Philosophy and Theology, and was so learned in both, that he discharged for many years with great reputation the duties of a Professor of those sciences. He preached publicly in many places, to the great profit of his hearers. He long did the work of Inquisitor with unflinching spirit, and preserved many cities, not without risk to his own life, from the heresy which was then creeping in everywhere.

     Paul IV, to whom his virtues had greatly endeared him, raised him in 1556, to the united Bishoprics of Nepi and Sutri, and after two years he was enrolled among the Cardinal Priests of the Roman Church. Pius IV. translated him to the Church of Mondovi in Piedmont, wherein, on his coming, he found that many corruptions had crept in. He reformed the whole of his diocese, and, after settling his affairs, returned to Rome, where his attention was called to matters of the gravest business, in determining which he used Apostolic boldness and firmness. After the death of Pius IV, the fifth Pius, to the astonishment of all men, was elected to succeed him, on the 7th of January, 1566.On becoming Pope he changed his way of life in no respect except as regarded his raiment. The Propagation of Religion was to him the object of unceasing care the restoration of the Discipline of the Church, of unwearied toil the uprooting of error, of sleepless watchfulness the relieving the needs of the poor, of unfailing charity the maintenance of the rights of the Apostolic See, of adamantine firmness.

     The Turkish Sultan Selim was bloated with many victories, and had got together an huge fleet in the Gulf of Lepanto, but Pius V. crushed him, (on the 7th of October, 1571,) not so much by force of arms as by dint of the prayers wherein he pleaded with God. At the hour that the victory was won, Pius knew it by the inward revelation of God, and stated the fact to his servants. He was busied with the preparations for a new expedition against the Turks, when he was laid down by grievous sickness. He bore most sharp sufferings with the gentlest patience, and when the end came, he received the Sacraments as is usual, and with great peace yielded his spirit to God, on the 1st of May, in the year of salvation 1572, and of his own age the 68th, having sat as Pope six years, three months, and twenty-four days. His body is buried in the Church of St. Mary, where the Manger from Bethlehem is, and is there held in great respect by the faithful, who have obtained from God by his prayers, many evident miracles. The said miracles having been proved by a judicial investigation Pope Clement XI enrolled his name among those of the Saints.

From the Breviarium Romanum

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