Thursday, May 05, 2005

Pope St Pius V

If it weren't occluded by the feast of the Ascension of the Lord, the Roman Rite would keep today, May 5th, as the feast of Pope St Pius V, the Pope of Lepanto and one of the great patrons of the Holy Rosary. It was this pope who tidied up the Roman Rite and presented it as the common Rite of the Latin Church for all those communities who could not boast of a liturgy at least 200 years old. This rite has become known these days by the unfortunate name of "Tridentine", unfortunate since in its essence it predates the Tridentine Council by some thousand years. (And as the late and greatly missed Fr Bryan Houghton used to complain, "Tridentine sounds like something for people with three teeth.")

The always reliable Catholic Encyclopædia gives the basics of St Pius' life here. But a far better read is this essay of Wyndham Lewis's.