Wednesday, April 30, 2008

St. Pius V and my Baptism Day

Michele Ghisleri (Pope Pius V) was born 17 Jan., 1504 elected 7 Jan., 1566; died 1 May, 1572. His family was poor, and he was taken in by the Dominicans and trained in theology and ordained. He was made a bishop and then a cardinal. He was noted as the Inquisitor General for all Christendom, and was particularly active against the Prods and the Turks. His real claim to fame is his support of the Christian league against the Turks, and assisted in various ways to the defeat of the Turkish navy at the battle of Lepanto on 7 October 1571.

From the New Catholic Encyclopedia: The original title of the Feast of the Most Holy Rosary. On Sunday 7 Ocotber 1571 the combined Christian fleets under Don John of Austria achieved a significant naval victory over the Turks in the Straits of Lepanto. Thousands of Christians were liberated, the Turkish fleet was destroyed, and they suffered their first great defeat at sea. In gratitude to God and Our Lady, Pope St. Pius V ordered an annual commemoration to be made of Our Lady of Victory. Pope Gregory XIII transferred the feast to the first Sunday of October with the title Most Holy Rosary since it victory was won through invocation of Our Lady of the Rosary In the reform of the liturgy the feast was returned to its original day.

The reason why I commemorate him as a patron is because on this day in 1950 I was baptized by Fr. Joseph Quinn at Immaculate Conception Church in Fort Smith, Arkansas. My parents and godparents were of course present: Paul, and Mary Elizabeth Sherrey, Charles, my father (all gone to their eternal reward, and my mother, Darleen.

St. Louis of France once said that of all the cathedrals and churches of his realm, he prized above all the church of his baptism. As the church of our baptism is the place where we entered into eternal life, we should all hold that place and those persons who brought us to the font in great esteem.