Skip to comments.Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings 30-April-2022: Saturday of the 2nd week of Eastertide
Posted on 04/30/2022 4:10:34 AM PDT by Cronos
Saturday of the 2nd week of Eastertide
National Shrine of St. Jude, Chicago
Readings at Mass
Liturgical Colour: White
They elected seven men full of the Holy Spirit
About this time, when the number of disciples was increasing, the Hellenists made a complaint against the Hebrews: in the daily distribution their own widows were being overlooked. So the Twelve called a full meeting of the disciples and addressed them, ‘It would not be right for us to neglect the word of God so as to give out food; you, brothers, must select from among yourselves seven men of good reputation, filled with the Spirit and with wisdom; we will hand over this duty to them, and continue to devote ourselves to prayer and to the service of the word.’ The whole assembly approved of this proposal and elected Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, together with Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolaus of Antioch, a convert to Judaism. They presented these to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them.
The word of the Lord continued to spread: the number of disciples in Jerusalem was greatly increased, and a large group of priests made their submission to the faith.
May your love be upon us, O Lord, as we place all our hope in you.
Ring out your joy to the Lord, O you just;
for praise is fitting for loyal hearts.
Give thanks to the Lord upon the harp,
with a ten-stringed lute sing him songs.
May your love be upon us, O Lord, as we place all our hope in you.
For the word of the Lord is faithful
and all his works to be trusted.
The Lord loves justice and right
and fills the earth with his love.
May your love be upon us, O Lord, as we place all our hope in you.
The Lord looks on those who revere him,
on those who hope in his love,
to rescue their souls from death,
to keep them alive in famine.
May your love be upon us, O Lord, as we place all our hope in you.
Christ, having been raised from the dead, will never die again.
Death has no power over him any more.
Christ has risen, he who created all things,
and has granted his mercy to men.
They saw Jesus walking on the lake
In the evening the disciples went down to the shore of the lake and got into a boat to make for Capernaum on the other side of the lake. It was getting dark by now and Jesus had still not rejoined them. The wind was strong, and the sea was getting rough. They had rowed three or four miles when they saw Jesus walking on the lake and coming towards the boat. This frightened them, but he said, ‘It is I. Do not be afraid.’ They were for taking him into the boat, but in no time it reached the shore at the place they were making for.
The readings on this page are from the Jerusalem Bible, which is used at Mass in most of the English-speaking world. The New American Bible readings, which are used at Mass in the United States, are available in the Universalis apps, programs and downloads.
You can also view this page with the Gospel in Greek and English.
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15. When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone.
16. And when even was now come, his disciples went down unto the sea,
17. And entered into a ship, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was now dark, and Jesus was not come to them.
18. And the sea arose by reason of a great wind that blew.
19. So when they had rowed about five and twenty or thirty furlongs, they see Jesus walking on the sea, and drawing nigh unto the ship: and they were afraid.
20. But he saith unto them, It is I; be not afraid.
21. Then they willingly received him into the ship: and immediately the ship was at the land whither they went.
BEDE. The multitude concluding, from so great a miracle, that He was merciful and powerful, wished to make Him a king. For men like having a merciful king to rule over them, and a powerful one to protect them. Our Lord knowing this, retired to the mountain: When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take Him by force to make Him a king, He departed again into a mountain Himself alone. From this we gather, that our Lord went down from the mountain before, where He was sitting with His disciples, when He saw the multitude coming, and had fed them on the plain below. For how could He go up to the mountain again, unless He had come down from it.
AUGUSTINE. (de Con. Ev. ii. c. xlvii) This is not at all inconsistent with what we read, that He went up into a mountain apart to pray: (Mat. 14:23) the object of escape being quite compatible with that of prayer. Indeed our Lord teaches us here, that whenever escape is necessary, there is great necessity for prayer.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. xxv. 2) Yet He who feared to be made a king, was a king; not made king by men, (for He ever reigneth with the Father, in that He is the Son of God,) but making men kings: which kingdom of His the Prophets had foretold. Christ by being made man, made the believers in Him Christians, i. e. members of His kingdom, incorporated and purchased by His Word. And this kingdom will be made manifest, after the judgment; when the brightness of His saints shall be revealed. The disciples however, and the multitude who believed on Him, thought that He had come to reign now; and so would have taken Him by force, to make Him a king, wishing to anticipate His time, which He kept secret.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. xlii. 3) See what the belly can do. They care no more for the violation of the Sabbath; all their zeal for God is fled, now that their bellies are filled: Christ has become a Prophet, and they wish to enthrone Him as king. But Christ makes His escape; to teach us to despise the dignities of the world. He dismisses His disciples, and goes up into the mountain.— (Hom. xliii. 1). These, when their Master had left them, went down in the evening to the sea; as we read; And when even was now come, His disciples went down unto the sea. They waited till evening, thinking He would come to them; and then, as He did not come, delayed no longer searching for Him, but in the ardour of love, entered into a ship, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. They went to Capernaum thinking they should find Him there.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. xxv. s. 5) The Evangelist now returns to explain why they went, and relate what happened to them while they were crossing the lake: And it was dark, he says, and Jesus was not come to them.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. xlii. 1) The mention of the time is not accidental, but meant to shew the strength of their love. They did not mate excuses, and say, It is evening now, and night is coming on, but in the warmth of their love went into the ship. And now many things alarm them: the time, And it was now dark; and the weather, as we read next, And the sea arose by reason of a great wind that blew; their distance from land, So when they had rowed about five and twenty or thirty furlongs.
BEDE. (in v. cap. Joan.) The way of speaking we use, when we are in doubt; about five and twenty, we say, or thirty.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. xliii. 1) And at last He appears quite unexpectedly: They see Jesus walking upon the sea, drawing nigh. He reappears after His retirement, teaching them what it is to be forsaken, and stirring them to greater love; His reappearance manifesting His power. They were disturbed, were afraid, it is said. Our Lord comforts them: But He saith unto them, It is I, be not afraid.
BEDE. (in Matt. c. xiv.) He does not say, I am Jesus, but only I am. He trusts to their easily recognising a voice, which was so familiar to them, or, as is more probable, He shews that He was the same who said to Moses, I am that I am (Exod. 3:14)
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. xliii. s. 1) He appeared to them in this way, to shew His power; for He immediately calmed the tempest: Then they wished to receive Him into the ship; and immediately the ship was at the land, whither they went. So great was the calm, He did not even enter the ship, in order to work a greater miracle, and to shew his Divinity more clearlyg.
THEOPHYLACT. Observe the three miracles here; the first, His walking on the sea; the second, His stilling the waves; the third, His putting them immediately on shore, which they were some distance off, when our Lord appeared.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. xliii. 1) Jesus does not shew Himself to the crowd walking on the sea, such a miracle being too much for them to hear. Nor even to the disciples did He shew Himself long, but disappeared immeditately.
AUGUSTINE. Mark’s1 account does not contradict this. He says indeed that our Lord told the disciples first to enter the ship, and go before Him over the sea, while He dismissed the crowds, and that when the crowd was dismissed, He went up alone into the mountain to pray: while John places His going up alone in the mountain first, and then says, And when even was now come, His disciples went down unto the sea. But it is easy to see that John relates that as done afterwards by the disciples, which our Lord had ordered before His departure to the mountain.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. xliii. 1) Or take another explanation. This miracle seems to me to be a different one, from the one given in Matthew: for there they do not receive Him into the ship immediately, whereas here they doh: and there the storm lasts for some time, whereas here as soon as He speaks, there is a calm. He often repeats the same miracle in order to impress it on men’s minds.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. xxv. s. 3. et seq.) There is a mystical meaning in our Lord’s feeding the multitude, and ascending the mountain: for thus was it prophesied of Him, So shall the congregation of the people come about Thee: for their sake therefore lift up Thyself again: (Ps. 7) i. e. that the congregation of the people may come about Thee, lift up Thyself again. But why is it fled; for they could not have detained Him against His will? This fleeing has a meaning; viz. that His flight is above our comprehension; just as, when you do not understand a thing, you say, It escapes me. He fled alone unto the mountain, because He is ascended from above all heavens. But on His ascension aloft a storm came upon the disciples in the ship, i. e. the Church, and it became dark, the light, i. e. Jesus, having gone. As the end of the world draws nigh, error increases, iniquity abounds. Light again is love, according to John, He that hateth his brother is in darkness. (1 John 2:9) The waves and storms and winds then that agitate the ship, are the clamours of the evil speaking, and love waxing cold. Howbeit the wind, and storm, and waves, and darkness were not able to stop, and sink the vessel; For he that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved. (Matt. 10:22) As the number five has reference to the Law, the books of Moses being five, the number five and twenty, being made up of five pieces, has the same meaning. And this law was imperfect, before the Gospel came. Now the number of perfection is six, so therefore five is multiplied by six, which makes thirty: i. e. the law is fulfilled by the Gospel. To those then who fulfil the law Jesus comes treading on the waves, i. e. trampling under foot all the swellings of the world, all the loftiness of men: and yet such tribulations remain, that even they who believe on Jesus, fear lest they should be lost.
THEOPHYLACT. When either men or devils try to terrify us, let us hear Christ saying, It is I, be not afraid, i. e. I am ever near you, God unchangeable, immoveable; let not any false fears destroy your faith in Me. Observe too our Lord did not come when the danger was beginning, but when it was ending. He suffers us to remain in the midst of dangers and tribulations, that we may be proved thereby, and flee for succour to Him Who is able to give us deliverance when we least expect it. When man’s understanding can no longer help him, then the Divine deliverance comes. If we are willing also to receive Christ into the ship, i. e. to live in our hearts, we shall find ourselves immediately in the place, where we wish to be, i. e. heaven.
BEDE. This ship, however, does not carry an idle crew; they are all stout rowers; i. e. in the Church not the idle and effeminate, but the strenuous and persevering in good works, attain to the harbour of everlasting salvation.
Memorial of St Pius V
Pope from 1566-1572 and one of the foremost leaders of the Catholic Reformation.
Born Antonio Ghislieri in Bosco, Italy, to a poor family, he labored as a shepherd until the age of fourteen and then joined the Dominicans, being ordained in 1528.
Called Brother Michele, he studied at Bologna and Genoa, and then taught theology and philosophy for sixteen years before holding the posts of master of novices and prior for several Dominican houses. Named inquisitor for Como and Bergamo, he was so capable in the fulfillment of his office that by 1551, and at the urging of the powerful Cardinal Carafa, he was named by Pope Julius III commissary general of the Inquisition.
In 1555, Carafa was elected Pope Paul IV and was responsible for Ghislieri’s swift rise as a bishop of Nepi and Sutri in 1556, cardinal in 1557, and grand inquisitor in 1558. While out of favor for a time under Pope Pius IV who disliked his reputation for excessive zeal, Ghislieri was unanimously elected a pope in succession to Pius on January 7, 1566.
As pope, Pius saw his main objective as the continuation of the massive program of reform for the Church, in particular the full implementation of the decrees of the Council of Trent. He published the Roman Catechism, the revised Roman Breviary, and the Roman Missal; he also declared Thomas Aquinas a Doctor of the Church, commanded a new edition of the works of Thomas Aquinas, and created a commission to revise the Vulgate. The decrees of Trent were published throughout all Catholic lands, including Europe, Asia, Africa, and the New World, and the pontiff insisted on their strict adherence.
In 1571, Pius created the Congregation of the Index to give strength to the Church’s resistance to Protestant and heretical writings, and he used the Inquisition to prevent any Protestant ideas from gaining a foot hold in Italy.
In dealing with the threat of the Ottoman Turks who were advancing steadily across the Mediterranean, Pius organized a formidable alliance between Venice and Spain, culminating in the Battle of Lepanto, which was a complete and shattering triumph over the Turks. The day of the victory was declared the Feast Day of Our Lady of Victory in recognition of Our Lady’s intercession in answer to the saying of the Rosary all over Catholic Europe.
Pius also spurred the reforms of the Church by example. He insisted upon wearing his coarse Dominican robes, even beneath the magnificent vestments worn by the popes, and was wholeheartedly devoted to the religious life. His reign was blemished only by the continuing oppression of the Inquisition; the often brutal treatment of the Jews of Rome; and the ill advised decision to excommunicate Queen Elizabeth I of England in February 1570, an act which also declared her deposed and which only worsened the plight of English Catholics.
These were overshadowed in the view of later generations by his contributions to the Catholic Reformation. Pope Clement beatified him on May 1, 1672, and Pope Clement XI canonized him on May 22, 1712.
Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (To the Greater Glory of God)
From: Acts 6:1-7
The Appointment of the Seven Deacons
 Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in numbers, the Hellenists murmured against the Hebrews because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution.  And the Twelve summoned the body of the disciples and said, "It is not right that we should give up preaching the Word of God to serve tables.  Therefore, brethren, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may appoint to this duty.  But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the Word."  And what they said pleased the whole multitude, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch.  These they set before the Apostles, and they prayed and laid their hands upon them.
 And the Word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith.
1-6. A new section of the book begins at this point. It is introduced by reference to two groups in the early community, identified by their background prior to their conversion--the Hellenists and the Hebrews. From this chapter onwards, Christians are referred to as "disciples"; in other words this term is no longer applied only to the Apostles and to those who were adherents of Jesus during His life on earth; all the baptized are "disciples". Jesus is the Lord of His Church and the Teacher of all: after His ascension into Heaven He teaches, sanctifies and governs Christians through the ministry of the Apostles, initially, and after the Apostles' death, through the ministry of their successors, the Pope and the bishops, who are aided by priests.
Hellenists were Jews who had been born and lived for a time outside Palestine. They spoke Greek and had synagogues of their own where the Greek translation of Scripture was used. They had a certain amount of Greek culture; the Hebrews would have also had some, but not as much. The Hebrews were Jews born in Palestine; they spoke Aramaic and used the Hebrew Bible in their synagogues. This difference of backgrounds naturally carried over into the Christian community during its early years, but it would be wrong to see it as divisive or to imagine that there were two opposed factions in early Christianity. Before the Church was founded there existed in Jerusalem a well-established Hellenist-Jewish community--an influential and sizeable grouping.
This chapter relates the establishment by the Apostles of "the seven": this is the second, identifiable group of disciples entrusted with a ministry in the Church, the first being "the Twelve".
Although St. Luke does not clearly present this group as constituting a holy "order", it is quite clear that the seven have been given a public role in the community, a role which extends beyond distribution of relief. We shall now see Philip and Stephen preaching and baptizing--sharing in some ways in the ministry of the Apostles, involved in "care of souls".
St. Luke uses the term "diakonia" (service), but he does not call the seven "deacons". Nor do later ancient writers imply that these seven were deacons (in the later technical sense of the word)—constituting with priests and Bishops the hierarchy of the Church. Therefore, we do not know for certain whether the diaconate as we know it derives directly from "the seven". St. John Chrysostom, for example, has doubts about this (cf. "Hom. on Acts", 14). However, it is at least possible that the ministry described here played a part in the instituting of the diaconate proper.
In any event, the diaconate is a form of sacred office of apostolic origin. At ordination deacons take on an obligation to perform—under the direction of the diocesan bishop--certain duties to do with evangelization, catechesis, organization of liturgical ceremonies, Christian initiation of catechumens and neophytes, and Church charitable and social welfare work.
The Second Vatican Council teaches that "at a lower level of the hierarchy are to be found deacons, who receive the imposition of hands `not unto the priesthood, but unto the ministry'. For, strengthened by sacramental grace they are dedicated to the people of God, in conjunction with the bishop and his body of priests, in the service of the liturgy, of the Gospel and of works of charity. It pertains to the office of a deacon, in so far as it may be assigned to him by the competent authority, to administer Baptism solemnly, to be custodian and distributor of the Eucharist, in the name of the Church to assist at and to bless marriages, to bring Viaticum to the dying, to read Sacred Scripture to the faithful, to instruct and exhort the people, to preside over the worship and the prayer of the faithful, to administer sacramentals, and to officiate at funeral and burial services" ("Lumen Gentium", 29).
2-4. The Twelve establish a principle which they consider basic: their apostolic ministry is so absorbing that they have no time to do other things. In this particular case an honorable and useful function--distribution of food--cannot be allowed to get in the way of another even more important task essential to the life of the Church and of each of its members. "They speak of it `not being right' in order to show that the two duties cannot in this case be made compatible"(Chrysostom, "Hom. on Acts", 14).
The main responsibility of the pastors of the Church is the preaching of the Word of God, the administration of the Sacraments and the government of the people of God. Any other commitment they take on should be compatible with their pastoral work and supportive of it, in keeping with the example given by Christ: He cured people's physical ailments in order to reach their souls, and He preached justice and peace as signs of the Kingdom of God.
"A mark of our identity which no doubt ought to encroach upon and no objection eclipse is this: as pastors, we have been chosen by the mercy of the Supreme Pastor (cf. 1 Peter 5:4), in spite of our inadequacy, to proclaim with authority the Word of God, to assemble the scattered people of God, to nourish this people on the road to salvation, to maintain it in that unity of which we are, at different levels, active and living instruments, and increasingly to keep this community gathered around Christ faithful to its deepest vocation" (Pope Paul VI, "Evangelii Nuntiandi", 68).
A priest should be avid for the Word of God, St Pope John Paul II emphasizes; he should embrace it in its entirety, meditate on it, study it assiduously and spread it through his example and preaching (cf. e.g., "Addresses" in Ireland and the United States, 1 October and 3 October 1979 respectively). His whole life should be a generous proclamation of Christ. Therefore, he should avoid the temptation to "temporal leadership: that can easily be a source of division whereas he should be a sign and promoter of unity and fraternity" ("To the Priests of Mexico", 27 January 1979).
This passage allows us to see the difference between election and appointment to a ministry in the Church. A person can be elected or designated by the faithful; but power to carry out that ministry (which implies a calling from God) is something he must receive through ordination, which the Apostles confer. "The Apostles leave it to the body of the disciples to select the [seven], in order that it should not seem that they favor some in preference to others" (Chrysostom, "Hom. on Acts", 14). However, those designated for ordination are not representatives or delegates of the Christian community; they are ministers of God. They have received a calling and, by the imposition of hands, God--not men--gives them a spiritual power which equips them to govern the Christian community, make and administer the Sacraments and preach the Word.
Christian pastoral office, that is, the priesthood of the New Testament in its various degrees, does not derive from family relationship, as was the case of the Levitical priesthood in the Old Testament; nor is it a type of commissioning by the community. The initiative lies with the grace of God, who calls whom He chooses.
5. All the people chosen have Greek names. One of them is a "proselyte", that is, a pagan who became a Jew through circumcision and observance of the Law of Moses.
6. The Apostles establish the seven in their office or ministry through prayer and the laying on of hands. This latter gesture is found sometimes in the Old Testament, principally as a rite of ordination of Levites (cf. Numbers 8:10) and as a way of conferring power and wisdom on Joshua, Moses' successor as leader of Israel (Numbers 27:20; Deuteronomy 13:9).
Christians have retained this rite, as can be seen quite often in Acts. Sometimes it symbolizes curing (9:12, 17; 28:8), in line with the example given by our Lord in Luke 4:40. It is also a rite of blessing, as when Paul and Barnabas are sent out on their first apostolic journey (13:3); and it is used as a post-baptismal rite for bringing down the Holy Spirit (8:17; 19:5).
In this case it is a rite for the ordination of ministers of the Church--the first instance of sacred ordination reported by Acts (cf. 1 Timothy 4:14; 5:22; 2 Timothy 5:22). "St. Luke is brief. He does not say how they were ordained, but simply that it was done with prayer, because it was an ordination. The hand of a man is laid [upon a person], but the whole work is of God and it is His hand which touches the head of the one ordained" (Chrysostom, "Hom. on Acts", 14).
The essential part of the rite of ordination of deacons is the laying on of hands; this is done in silence, on the candidate's head, and then a prayer is said to God asking Him to send the Holy Spirit to the person being ordained.
7. As in earlier chapters, St. Luke here refers to the spread of the Church--this time reporting the conversion of "a great many of the priests". Many scholars think that these would have come from the lower ranks of the priesthood (like Zechariah: cf. Luke 1:5) and not from the greatly priestly families, which were Sadducees and enemies of the new-born church (cf. 4:1; 5:17). Some have suggested that these priests may have included members of the Qumran sect. However, the only evidence we have to go on is what St. Luke says here.
Jesus Walks on the Water
 When evening came, His (Jesus') disciples went down to the sea,  got into the boat, and started across the sea to Capernaum. It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them.  The sea rose because a strong wind was blowing.  When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near to the boat. They were frightened,  but He said to them, "It is I; do not be afraid."  Then they were glad to take Him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going.
16-21. It seems the disciples were disconcerted because darkness had fallen, the sea was getting rough and Jesus had still not appeared. But our Lord does not abandon them; when they had been rowing for some five kilometers (three miles), He arrives unexpectedly, walking on the water--to strengthen their faith, which was still weak.
In meditating on this episode Christian tradition has seen the boat as symbolizing the Church, which will have to cope with many difficulties and which our Lord has promised to help all through the centuries (cf. Matthew 28:20); the Church, therefore, will always remain firm. St. Thomas Aquinas comments: "The wind symbolizes the temptations and persecution the Church will suffer due to lack of love. For, as St. Augustine says, when love grows cold, the sea become rougher and the boat begins to founder. Yet the wind, the storm, the waves and the darkness will fail to put it off course and wreck it" ("Commentary on St. John, in loc.").
|English: Douay-Rheims||Latin: Vulgata Clementina||Greek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)|
|16.||And when evening was come, his disciples went down to the sea.||Ut autem sero factum est, descenderunt discipuli ejus ad mare.||ως δε οψια εγενετο κατεβησαν οι μαθηται αυτου επι την θαλασσαν|
|17.||And when they had gone up into a ship, they went over the sea to Capharnaum; and it was now dark, and Jesus was not come unto them.||Et cum ascendissent navim, venerunt trans mare in Capharnaum : et tenebræ jam factæ erant et non venerat ad eos Jesus.||και εμβαντες εις το πλοιον ηρχοντο περαν της θαλασσης εις καπερναουμ και σκοτια ηδη εγεγονει και ουκ εληλυθει προς αυτους ο ιησους|
|18.||And the sea arose, by reason of a great wind that blew.||Mare autem, vento magno flante, exsurgebat.||η τε θαλασσα ανεμου μεγαλου πνεοντος διηγειρετο|
|19.||When they had rowed therefore about five and twenty or thirty furlongs, they see Jesus walking upon the sea, and drawing nigh to the ship, and they were afraid.||Cum remigassent ergo quasi stadia viginti quinque aut triginta, vident Jesum ambulantem supra mare, et proximum navi fieri, et timuerunt.||εληλακοτες ουν ως σταδιους εικοσι πεντε η τριακοντα θεωρουσιν τον ιησουν περιπατουντα επι της θαλασσης και εγγυς του πλοιου γινομενον και εφοβηθησαν|
|20.||But he saith to them: It is I; be not afraid.||Ille autem dicit eis : Ego sum, nolite timere.||ο δε λεγει αυτοις εγω ειμι μη φοβεισθε|
|21.||They were willing therefore to take him into the ship; and presently the ship was at the land to which they were going.||Voluerunt ergo accipere eum in navim et statim navis fuit ad terram, in quam ibant.||ηθελον ουν λαβειν αυτον εις το πλοιον και ευθεως το πλοιον εγενετο επι της γης εις ην υπηγον|
This is the pope whose job it was to implement the historic Council of Trent. If we think popes had difficulties in implementing Vatican Council II, Pius V had even greater problems after Trent four centuries earlier.
During his papacy (1566-1572), Pius V was faced with the almost overwhelming responsibility of getting a shattered and scattered Church back on its feet. The family of God had been shaken by corruption, by the Reformation, by the constant threat of Turkish invasion, and by the bloody bickering of the young nation-states. In 1545, a previous pope convened the Council of Trent in an attempt to deal with all these pressing problems. Off and on over 18 years, the Fathers of the Church discussed, condemned, affirmed, and decided upon a course of action. The Council closed in 1563.
Pius V was elected in 1566 and charged with the task of implementing the sweeping reforms called for by the Council. He ordered the founding of seminaries for the proper training of priests. He published a new missal, a new breviary, a new catechism, and established the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine classes for the young. Pius zealously enforced legislation against abuses in the Church. He patiently served the sick and the poor by building hospitals, providing food for the hungry, and giving money customarily used for the papal banquets to poor Roman converts. His decision to keep wearing his Dominican habit led to the custom–to this day–of the pope wearing a white cassock.
In striving to reform both Church and state, Pius encountered vehement opposition from England’s Queen Elizabeth and the Roman Emperor Maximilian II. Problems in France and in the Netherlands also hindered Pius’s hopes for a Europe united against the Turks. Only at the last minute was he able to organize a fleet which won a decisive victory in the Gulf of Lepanto, off Greece, on October 7, 1571.
Pius’ ceaseless papal quest for a renewal of the Church was grounded in his personal life as a Dominican friar. He spent long hours with his God in prayer, fasted rigorously, deprived himself of many customary papal luxuries, and faithfully observed the spirit of the Dominican Rule that he had professed.
In their personal lives and in their actions as popes, Saint Pius V and Saint Paul VI both led the family of God in the process of interiorizing and implementing the new birth called for by the Spirit in major Councils. With zeal and patience, Pius and Paul pursued the changes urged by the Council Fathers. Like Pius and Paul, we too are called to constant change of heart and life.
Saint Pius V is the Patron Saint of:
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