‘… he came, cherub-mounted, borne up on the wings of the wind….‘
Mother Church, in her wisdom, knew that the feast day of the Dominican Third Order’s patroness, St Catherine of Siena, on April 29, would leave you hungry for yet more examples of Dominican sanctity. Wherefore today we celebrate the memorial of the Dominican priest Michele Ghisleieri, who acceded to the Throne of Peter in 1566; reigned as Pius V until his death in 1572; and was canonized in 1712.
Here are three fitting tributes to this holy Pope:
Second, from G.K. Chesterton, who needs no introduction here – A few mentions of St Pius V as ‘the pope’ in the poem ‘Lepanto’, since the eponymous battle took place during Pius V’s papacy. (See also: Our Lady of the Rosary.)
A member of the Dominican order, Pius V worked hard to improve the position of the papacy. Internally, he cut expenditures and externally, he increased the power and effectiveness of the Inquistion and expanded the use of the Index of Forbidden Books. Heresy virtually disappeared from Italy and, for his efforts, he was canonized 150 years later.
‘Heresy virtually disappeared from Italy’! What a thrill this phrase must send through every Christian heart! (As for me, I am skeptical of the claim — but I want to believe!)
Today is the memorial of St Catherine of Siena, virgin and doctor, patroness of the Dominican Laity.
The key-note to Catherine’s teaching is that man, whether in the cloister or in the world, must ever abide in the cell of self-knowledge, which is the stable in which the traveller through time to eternity must be born again.
‘Sign you ask none, but sign the Lord will give you. Maid shall be with child, and shall bear a son, that shall be called Emmanuel.‘
‘… I rose up and am still with you.’
‘And he brought them out of darkness, and the shadow of death; and broke their bonds in sunder.’
‘In that day the root of Jesse, who stands for an ensign of the people, him the Gentiles shall beseech, and his sepulchre shall be glorious.’
Think on the very làmentable pain,
Think on the piteous cross of woeful Christ,
Think on His blood beat out at every vein,
Think on His precious heart carvèd in twain,
Think how for thy redemption all was wrought:
Let Him not lose what He so dear hath bought.
‘… he was wounded for our iniquities, he was bruised for our sins….‘