O God, who didst raise up Pope Saint Pius V within Thy Church
to uphold the faith
and to provide for a liturgy more worthy of Thee,
grant that, through his intercession,
we may participate in Thy mysteries
with a lively faith and a fruitful charity.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son,
who lives and reigns with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost,
God, forever and ever.
The Teresa of the New World
There are two saints on today’s calendar who can help us better understand what it means to be Catholic. Saint Marie de l’Incarnation (1599-1672), the widow of Claude Martin and mother of an illustrious Benedictine of the same name, founded the Ursuline Monastery of Québec in 1639. She is counted among the great spiritual mothers of the Church in North America. Pope Francis granted her “equivalent canonisation” on 2 April 2014. Bossuet called her “the Teresa of the New World.” There was nothing narrow about Marie de l’Incarnation; hers was a heart dilated by the Holy Spirit to the dimensions of the Heart of Christ.
My Spirit Did Not Cease Its Travels
What the cloistered Ursuline wrote in 1654 is extraordinarily relevant today:
In spirit I roamed through the vast stretches of the Indies, of Japan and China, and kept company with those laboring to spread the Gospel there. I felt closely united to these workers because I felt that I was one with them in spirit. While it is true that in body I was bound by my rule of enclosure, nevertheless my spirit did not cease its travels, nor did my heart cease its loving solicitations to the Eternal Father for the salvation of the many millions of souls whom I constantly offered him. (The Relation of 1654)
A Fruitful Pontificate
Better known is the Dominican Pope Saint Pius V (1504-1572). His was a wonderfully fruitful pontificate of only six years, from 1566 to 1572. In 1566, implementing the orientations of the Council of Trent, he promulgated the Roman Catechism; in 1568 he reformed the Divine Office; and in 1570 he gave the Church the Roman Missal that came to bear his name.
A Pope of the Rosary
Saint Pius V established the feast of Our Lady of Victory, later called Our Lady of the Rosary, on October 7th in thanksgiving for the victory of the Christian navy over the invading Turks. He attributed that victory to the Blessed Virgin and to the prayer of the Rosary. In 1588 the body of Saint Pius V was transferred to the Basilica of Saint Mary Major, a fitting testimony to his devotion to the Mother of God.
The Sacred Liturgy
The Collect for the feast of Saint Pius V recalls, in particular, his promotion of the sacred liturgy. The liturgy of the Church is what saves us again and again from narrowness, from the limitations of our subjective impressions, and from spiritual fossilization. The liturgy is what opens us day after day to vast horizons, connecting us vitally to every cell of the Mystical Body vivified by the Precious Blood.