Memorial of Pope St. Pius V
St. Pius V is probably best known for the leading the Church through the reforms following the Council of Trent. In 1570 he promulgated an updated version of the prayers used at Mass, the so-called Missal of Pius V. This missal was in fact just an updating to the texts of Mass that had been in use almost unchanged since the time of Pope Gregory the Great in the 5th century. At the time of the Second Vatican Council, the texts of the Mass had been in use for over 1500 years.
After the Second Vatican Council ended in 1965 many things were done in the way of experiment with the liturgy. Most of these changes were not authorized but undertaken on private initiative in the name of the “Spirit of the Council.” Our present Holy Father, Pope Benedict, is a great lover of the liturgy as was Pius V and has written extensively about the need to correct some of these unauthorized experiments. Pope Benedict has continued what is often called the “reform of the reform”. In 2007 he gave permission for all priests to celebrate Mass according the the missal of Pius V with a few updates (now technically therefore the Missal of John XXIII). Just yesterday, he approved a new English translation of the Mass to help us return to the use of a more sacred language in the liturgy.
We pray through the intercession of St. Pius V and the leadership of Pope Benedict we way truly see a renewal of the sacred liturgy in the way intended by the Second Vatican Council.