Eulogy of this Saintly Pope of modern times, from the Divine Office.
Pius was born at Bosco, a town in Lombardy, though his parents were the Ghisleri, a noble family at Bologna. He entered the Order of the Friars Preachers, when he was fourteen years of age. He was remarkable for his patience, deep humility, great mortifications, love of prayer and religious discipline, and most ardent zeal for God’s honour. He applied himself to the study of Philosophy and Theology, and with so much success, that, for many years, he taught them in a manner that gained him universal praise. He preached the word of God in many places, and produced much fruit. For a long period, he held with dauntless courage the office of Inquisitor; and, at the risk of his life, pre served many cities from the then prevalent heresy. Paul the Fourth, who esteemed and loved him on account of his great virtues, made him bishop of Nepi and Sutri, and, two years later, numbered him among the Cardinal Priests of the Roman Church. Having been translated by Pius the Fourth to the Church of Mendovi, in Piedmont, and finding that many abuses had crept in, he made a visitation of the whole diocese. Having put all things in order, he re turned to Rome, where he was entrusted with matters of the gravest importance; all of which he transacted with an apostolic impartiality and firmness. At the death of Pius the Fourth, he was, contrary to everyone’s expectation, chosen Pope. With the exception of his outward garb, he changed nothing of his manner of life. The following are the virtues in which he excelled: unremitting zeal for the propagation of the Faith, untiring efforts for the restoration of Ecclesiastical discipline, assiduous vigilance in extirpating error, unfailing charity in relieving the necessities of the poor, and invincible courage in vindicating the rights of the Apostolic See. A powerful fleet having been equipped, at Lepanto, against Selimus, the emperor of the Turks, who was flushed with the many victories he had gained, — the Pontiff won the battle, not so much by arms as by prayers. He, by a divine revelation, knew of the victory the moment it was won, and announced it to his household. Whilst engaged in preparing a new expedition against the Turks, he fell dangerously ill. He suffered the most excruciating pains with exceeding great patience. When his last hour approached, he received the Sacraments, according to the Christian practice, and most calmly breathed forth his soul into God’s hands in the year 1572, and in the sixty- eighth year of his age, after a pontificate of six years, three months, and twenty -four days. His body is honored by the devout veneration of the Faithful; it lies in the Church of Saint Mary Major. Through his intercession, many miracles have been wrought by God; which being authentically proved, he was canonized by Pope Clement the Eleventh.
Pontiff of the living God! Thou wast, whilst on earth, the pillar of iron and wall of brass, spoken of by the Prophet. Thine unflinching firmness preserved the flock entrusted to thee from the violence and snares of its many enemies. Far from desponding at the sight of the dangers, thy courage redoubled, just as men raise the embankments higher, when they see the torrent swell. By thee was the spread of Heresy checked; by thee was the Mussulman invasion repelled, and the haughty Crescent humbled. God honored thee, by choosing thee as the avenger of his glory, and the deliverer of the Christian people: receive our thanks, and the homage of our humble praise! By thee were repaired the injuries done to the Church during a period of unusual trial. The true reform, — the reform that is wrought by authority, was vigorously applied by thy strong and holy hand. To thee is due the restoration of the Divine Service, by the publication of the Books of holy Liturgy. And all these glorious deeds were done in the six short years of thy laborious Pontificate! Hear, now, the prayers addressed to thee by the Church Militant, whose destinies were once in thy hands. When dying, thou didst beseech our Risen Jesus to grant her protection against the dangers which were then threatening her: oh!
See the state to which licentious error has now reduced almost the whole Christian world! The Church has nothing left to her, wherewith to make head against her countless enemies, save the promises of her Divine Founder; all visible support is withdrawn from her; she has been deprived of everything except the merit of suffering and the power of prayer. Unite, O holy Pontiff, thy prayers to hers, and show how unchanged is thy love of the Flock of Christ. Protect, in Rome, the Chair of thy Successor, attacked as it now is by open violence and astute hypocrisy. Princes and Peoples seem to have conspired against God and his Christ: — disconcert the schemes of sacrilegious ambition, and the plots of impiety which would fain give the lie to the word of God. Avert, by thine intercession, the scourges which are threatening Europe that has become ungrateful to the Church, and indifferent to the attempts made against her to whom they owe all they have. Pray that the blind may see, and the wicked be confounded. Pray that the True Faith may enlighten those numberless souls that call error truth, and darkness light.
In the midst of this dark and menacing night, thine eyes, O holy Pontiff, discern them that are the faithful sheep of Christ: bless them, aid them, and increase their number. Ingraft them to the venerable Tree which dieth not, that so they may not be drifted by the storm. Get them docility to the Faith and traditions of holy Church; it is their only stay amidst the tide of error, which is now threatening to deluge the whole world. Preserve to the Church the holy Order, in which thou wast trained for the high mission destined for thee; keep up within her that race of men, powerful in work and word, zealous for the Faith and sanctification of souls, of which we read in her Annals, and which has yielded Saints such as thyself. And lastly, O Pius, remember that thou wast once the Father of the Faithful: oh! Continue to be so, by thy powerful intercession, till the number of the elect be filled up!
Ven. Dom Gueranger – The Liturgical Year
FEAST OF SAINT PIUS THE FIFTH, POPE
Tuesday Fourth Week After Easter
Double/White – Missa ‘Si díligis me’
INTROIT – John 21:15-17
Si díligis me, Simon Petre, pasce agnos meos, pasce oves meas.
Ps.Exaltábo te, Dómine, quóniam suscepísti me, nec delectásti inimícos meos super me. Gloria Patri.
Si díligis me, Simon Petre…
If thou lovest Me, Simon Peter, feed My lambs; feed My sheep.
Ps. I will extol Thee, O Lord, for Thou hast upheld me: and hast not made my enemies to rejoice over me. Glory be to the Father.
If thou lovest Me, Simon Peter…
God, Who didst vouchsafe to choose blessed Pius Thy chief bishop for the crushing of the enemies of Thy Church and the restoration of divine worship, make us to be defended by his watchful care and so to adhere to Thy service that, all the contrivances of our enemies being overcome, we may rejoice in everlasting peace. Through our Lord.
Dearly beloved: The ancients therefore that are among you, I beseech, who am myself also an ancient and a witness of the sufferings of Christ: as also a partaker of that glory which is to be revealed in time to come: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking care of it not by constraint, but willingly according to God: not for filthy lucre’s sake, but voluntarily: neither as lording it over the clergy, but being made a pattern of the flock from the heart. And when the prince of pastors shall appear, you shall receive a never-fading crown of glory. But the God of all grace, Who hath called us unto His eternal glory in Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a little; will Himself perfect you, and confirm you and establish you. To Him be glory and empire for ever and ever. Amen.
At that time, Jesus came into the quarters of Cæsarea Philippi, and He asked His disciples, saying: Whom do men say that the Son of man is? But they said: Some, John the Baptist, and other some, Elias, and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. Jesus saith to them: But whom do you say that I am? Simon Peter answered: Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answering, said to him: Blessed art thou, Simon BarJona, because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but My Father Who is in Heaven: and I say to thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it; and to thee I will give the keys of the kingdom of Heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in Heaven; and whatsoever thou shall loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in Heaven.