The Holy Works of Pope St. Pius V

Jude Missa

The Traditional Latin Mass, often known as the Tridentine Mass, has recently been mentioned in the Catholic media. Some faithful, including young ones, learn about this Holy Mass and begin to attend it rather than the Mass that is currently generally observed, the Novus Ordo Mass. It was then restricted by Pope Francis, which led to more disagreements between orthodox and modernist Catholics. With Sister Wilhelmina Lancaster’s newly discovered incorrupt body and her attendance at this Holy Mass, the Traditional Latin Mass becomes a major issue in both Catholic media and social media. We have recently been accustomed to hearing about Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, Pope St. Pius X, and particularly Pope St. Pius V, who promulgated the Tridentine Mass by his Papal Bull, Quo Primum.

Born as Antonio Ghislieri (then later known as Michele Ghislieri), Pope St. Pius V was known for his internal reform of the church where he kept and strenghten the apostolic and sacred tradition while removing what is not necessary that cause errors inside the church. When the Protestant heresy spread across Europe, Pope Paul III started the Council of Trent to fight the protestant which called the Counter-Reformation. It started in 1545 and ended in 1563. But when the council has ended, most of the plans are not implemented until St. Pius V became the Pope and executed them. He made many changes to strengthen the Catholic Church. Here are some of his major works:

1. Restoring Church Discipline

He requires all the bishops to have a residence to their dioceses and visit their parishes regularly to organize and to keep the discipline to every church. The cardinals and bishops’ lifestyle were simplified which they live luxuriously in the previous years. He made the Parish Priests to attend regular meetings and be responsible for Catholic education. He also removed the Papal Court Jester, horse racing from St. Peter’s square and cruel sports such as bullfighting.

2. The Catechism of the Council of Trent

The Catechism of the Council of Trent or the Roman Catechism was edited by St. Charles Borromeo and published in 1566 by the order of Pope St. Pius V. It was created during and after the Council of Trent. This catechism is for the priests and it is a mandatory for them to study and teach this to the faithful. The protestant attack those who are lack of knowledge of the Catholic faith. Though some have strong faith but unable to defend it. This book is for the priest only until Pope St. Pius X order to have catechism to every church for the faithful to learn.

3. The Holy Rosary
Before Pope St. Pius V became a Pope, the Holy Rosary was only prepared by the Dominicans and the diocese under this order. When he became the Pope, he established the devotion of the Holy Rosary in the Catholic Church in 1569 in his Papal Bull Consueverunt Romania Pontifices.

4. The Holy League and the Our Lady of Victory
When the Ottoman Empire tried to invade Europe, Pope St. Pius V unites the European countries who had conflict to each other. He formed the Holy League to fight the Muslim invaders and break the Ottoman’s control of the eastern Mediterranean Sea. This led to the famous naval battle called “The Battle of Lepanto” where the Ottoman had the upper hand. The pope called all the Christians to pray the Holy Rosary and lead a rosary procession to victory. The Blessed Virgin Mary listened to their petition and help the battle which result a miraculous victory of the Holy League against the Ottoman. After that, the Pope instituted the feast of Our Lady of Victory to commemorate the victory at Lepanto which the Pope attributes the Blessed Virgin Mary. In 1573, Pope Gregory XIII changes the name of the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.
5. The Tridentine Mass and the Real Presence
Before St. Pius V became the pope, the Holy Mass in every city, countries and orders have their own version and celebrating it using their language. When the protestant reformation spread their heresies, the Catholic church experienced difficulties because some faithful including the priest have a confusion about their faith including the real presence in the Holy Eucharist that cause division to Christianity. Pope St. Pius V reformed and Promulgate the Holy Mass according to the Council of Trent in his Papal Bull Quo Primum. The Mass was called Tridentine Mass. In this reform, he did not make a New Mass just what the protestant wants, he made a uniformed Holy Mass that still according to the sacred tradition and have the Latin as its official language, with a reason to unify all the churches in the world. It defines that the Holy Mass is a true sacrifice and that the Eucharist is truly the body and blood of Christ. It may have become difficult for others to adapt this Holy Mass, but it became the great foundation of faith for the previous generation, such as the saints like St. Padre Pio, St. Therese the Child Jesus, St. John Vianney and St. Maximilian Kolbe.

The works of Pope St. Pius V succeed by the next generations until Pope St. Pius X strenghtened it again when the modernist slowly influenced the church. Then Vatican II Council occurred and made its reform according to the modernism with an agenda to unite with the Protestants and to unite with the world. To make it short, it executes the protestant’s reform plan that the Council of Trent countered. The result of this reform causes confusion, liturgical abuses and beliefs that some of the Vatican II’s teachings are truth even it has full of errors. It weakens the faith of most of the Catholics and embrace the worldly desire more (sadly, it includes some of our priests).

Let us reflect on Pope St. Pius V’s works on how he restored and reformed the church without violating the Sacred Tradition. He may have many enemies while restoring the church, but he still faces them with unbreakable courage. Now that the church needs to restore once again, we must not be afraid of restoring it together with sacred tradition including the Tridentine Mass.

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