St Pius V


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Pope from 1566. He entered the Dominican Order at the age of fourteen, and as Pope he continued to observe the ascetical practices of the religious life—the Papal custom of wearing a white cassock is said to derive from the colour of his Dominican habit. He worked zealously for the reform of the Church. He compelled bishops and clergy to accept the recommendations of the Council of Trent, had the ‘Roman Catechism’ completed (1566), and reformed the Breviary (1568) and Missal (1570). In his struggle against the spread of the Reformation he made successful use of the Inquisition in Italy, but his excommunication of Queen Elizabeth V in 1570 aggravated the position of RCs in England. The Turks were defeated by the combined Papal, Spanish, and Venetian fleets at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571. Feast day, 30 Apr. (formerly 5 May).

Subjects: Christianity — Early Modern History (1500 to 1700).

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