Antonio Ghislieri was born of
poor parents near Alessandria
on January 17,
His education began with the Dominicans, and he entered the Dominican
order at age 15, taking the name Michael, and became a priest in 1528.
Pius V was a professor of philosophy and theology for years,
and served his order and the Church in several high offices:
Provincial Superior; Inquisitor at Corno and Bergamo; Bishop of Sutri and
Nepi; cardinal; Grand Inquisitor, Bishop of Mondovi and elected Pope
Pius V in a modest ceremony on January 17, 1566, his 62nd
In 1571 a huge Muslim fleet
threatened Christendom. Don Juan of Austria led an outnumbered Christian
fleet to fight the Muslim navy. Pope Pius
V entrusted the Christian fleet to Our Lady.
October 7, 1571, the Christian fleet
won a decisive battle in the Bay
Lepanto. Pope Pius V wished
to institute a special feast to honor the Blessed Virgin’s
assistance in securing the victory and the safety of Christendom. The feast was to be celebrated on October 7,
and Pope Pius V called it the feast day of Our Lady of Victory.
years later Pope Gregory XIII changed the name of the feast day to Our
Lady of the Rosary as it was through the praying of the rosary that the
battle had been won.
is the month of the Most Holy Rosary. Numerous popes and saints have
acclaimed the efficacy of the Rosary. It is, indeed, a most
powerful spiritual weapon. Pope John XXIII called the Rosary “The
Psalter of the poor.” Theologians have called the Rosary, “The
school of contemplation” because it introduces the faithful to
Among Pope Pius V's
numerous merits were his fervent Marian devotion and the institution of
the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.
Pope John Paul II endorsed his predecessor in the Chair of
Peter and petitioned, "May the apostolic zeal, the constant pursuit
of holiness, and the love of the Virgin, which characterized the life of
Saint Pius V, stimulate all."