Today is the ninth day before Pentecost. Hence, today is the Feast of the Ascension of the Lord. Notice that today is THURSDAY.
However, in the traditional Roman calendar, used with the 1962 Missale Romanum, today is the feast of St. Pope Pius V (+1572).
I made a PODCAzT about him some years ago, and about his famous document Quo primum.
084 09-04-30 St. Pius V and Quo primum
A friend sent me a list of some of the accomplishments of St. Pius, who reigned for only a bit more than 6 years, but in tumultuous times.
1) began his pontificate by giving large alms to the poor (he did not just talked about them)
2) as Pope, continued the life of penance and virtue he had lived as a mendicant friar
3) made two meditations during the day ON BEENDED KNEES in the presence of the Bl. Sacrament
4) visited hospitals and sat by the bedside of the sick
5) washed the feet of the (non-Muslim) poor and embraced the lepers
6) always opposed Protestantism and the Turks (Islam)
7) excommunicated Elizabeth I (England)
8) instituted the Feast of the Holy Rosary
9) reformed the curia and the Church, leaving, after he died, “the memory of a rare virtue and an unfailing and inflexible integrity”
Let’s pause for a moment to drill into the collect for this saint, who I am sure doesn’t mind at all being bumped off the day by Our Lord’s feast.
Deus, qui, ad conterendos Ecclesiae tuae hostes et ad divinum cultum reparandum, beatum Pium Pontificem maximum eligere dignatus es: fac nos ipsius defendi praesidiis et ita tuis inhaerere obsequiis; ut, omnium hostium superatis insidiis, perpetua pace laetemur.
Contero is, “to grind, bruise, pound, to crumble, separate into small pieces”. That word alone is a hint that this is a great prayer. Obsequium, in the plural here, is a little tricky to get into English just right. First, it has to do with God: it’s with tuis. It has to do with how God is indulgent, toward us. I want to say “cleave to your indulgences”, but that sounds like the use of the indulgences the Church grants from the treasury of the merits of Christ and the saints. So, we have to put it another way.
Slavishly Literal Attempt:
O God, who deigned to choose blessed Pius to be Pontifex Maximus in order to smash the enemies of your Church to bits and to renew the divine worship, cause us to be defended by his protections and to cleave with obedience to what you will in such way that, once the plots of all our enemies are overcome, we may rejoice in perpetual peace.
This is martial and bold. This is exactly the attitude we need more of in the Church right now!
We are in a constant state of war with the world, flesh and the Devil. And the Devil uses human agents (his catch-farts) in his deadly design. The Church is best from within and from without, by enemies internal and external.
What do you think Pius would say today about the state of the Church? The teachings of the Council his closed are nearly abandoned in some parts, our sacred worship is in shambles, there is heresy and indifference, the Church’s external enemies, such as Islam, are rising with little or no guidance or outcry.
Sometimes, friends, the appropriate tools is the sword, so that we can return in peace to the plow.
Note especially the point about “renewal of worship”. I contend that nothing will change for the better in the Church until we undertake a serious revitalization of our sacred liturgical worship of God.
St. Pius V, pray for us.
And while we are at it…
Sts. Nunilo and Alodia, pray for us.
St. Lawrence of Brindisi, pray for us.