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Tuesday, May 4, 2004


VATICAN CITY, MAY 4, 2004 (VIS) - Made public today was a Message from the Pope to Bishop Fernando Charrier of Alessandria, Italy upon the conclusion tomorrow, May 5 of the celebrations for the fifth centenary of the birth of St. Pius V.
  In the Message, dated May 1, the Holy Father prays "that the intercession of St. Pius V and the example of his virtues stimulate us to make our faith more solid, maintaining it uncontaminated and in permanent contact with the sources of Revelation, and spreading it in society in order to make humanity more open to Christ and disposed toward building a civilization of love."

  John Paul II recalls that his predecessor was born in 1504 in Bosco, Alessandria. At age fourteen, he entered the Order of the Preachers, was ordained a priest in 1528, a bishop in 1556 and was created a cardinal in 1557. At age sixty-two in 1566, he was elected supreme pontiff. During his pontificate he named St. Thomas Aquinas a Doctor of the Church.

  "St. Pius V," continues the Message, "was concerned with faithfully applying the decisions made during the Council of Trent: in liturgy with the publication of the new Roman Missal and the new Breviary; in the catechetic field, entrusting especially to parish priests the 'Catechism of the Council of Trent'; in theological material, introducing in the universities the 'Summa' of St. Thomas.  He reminded bishops of the duty to reside in the diocese for attentive pastoral care of the faithful and he stressed the opportunity for cloistered life to religious and the importance of celibacy and sanctity of life to priests."

  At the end of the Message, John Paul II prays that the "apostolic zeal, constant attention to holiness and love for Our Lady which characterized the life of St. Pius V may be for all a stimulus to live with greater commitment one's own Christian vocation. I want to invite everyone in a special way to imitate him in his Marian filial devotion, rediscovering simple and deep prayer of the Rosary which, as I recalled in the Apostolic Letter 'Rosarium Virginis Mariae', helps us to contemplate the mystery of Christ."
MESS/ST PIUS V/CHARRIER           VIS 20040504 (380)

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