Today is the feast of St. Pius V, the pope who saved the West from Islam. Had he not raised the Holy League under the leadership of Don John of Austria, today we would all likely be answering the Muslim call to prayer instead of responding to the bells of our local churches to come and worship Jesus Christ.
If you never studied the Battle of Lepanto, you need to repair that big blank spot in your knowledge of Catholic history. You can check it out here and here.
St. Pius V offers us a model of how to deal with any life and faith-threatening event. The coronavirus and the bishops' response to it certainly represent threats to both our physical health and our spiritual. The pope called on all the secular leaders to pray and to raise up warriors to join in the fight. Many responded and they built a fleet to face the Muslim invaders which ultimately, through the power of the rosary saved Europe.
Today we need to respond like those responding to Pope Pius V arming ourselves with the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God. That means immersing ourselves in Scripture and the prayers of the Holy Mass and the rosary. Sadly, our bishops, who should be our generals in the fight have mostly abandoned the foot soldiers on the field to "shelter in place." Even as states begin opening up today, there is little evidence that most dioceses will follow suit. As of a few days ago four of our
One, however, deserves our gratitude. Appropriately, he is an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of the Military and he truly is an inspiration to the abandoned and mostly leaderless flock. Yesterday, Bishop Joseph Coffey joined a group from Defend Life to call on the governor to enforce his ban against abortuaries continuing to operate under the current lockdown. (Article about the event here.) The archbishop led the group in prayer and the Stations of the Cross. A big thank you to Defend Life and Bishop Coffey for defending the unborn!
Ironically, he police department, which isn't bothering the abortion businesses operating in violation of the ban, threatened the group with arrest. We're all equal, but some are more equal than others and those committing grievous evil are most equal of all.
Makes you proud to be an American, doesn't it? Time to throw they tyrants out!
I'll close with two quotes from St. Pius V for reflection:
All the evils of the world are due to lukewarm Catholics. Ouch! does that one pinch?
O Lord, increase my sufferings and my patience! Is this not an appropriate prayer for our current situation? Lots of opportunities to practice, that's for sure.Pope St. Pius V, pray for us as we fight both the disease and our lukewarm spiritual indifference. May be converted right away to embrace the will of God no matter what!
Our Lady of the Rosary, intercede for us.
Lord of Life, have mercy on us!