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St. Pius V

Stained glass window from St. Dominic’s Church in Washington, D.C. Photo by Fr. Lawrence Lew, O.P.

Stained glass window from St. Dominic’s Church in Washington, D.C. Photo by Fr. Lawrence Lew, O.P.

The following reflection is part of an ongoing series about the life of St. Dominic & the Order of Friars Preachers.

One of the most important leaders of the Counter Reformation, Pope Pius V (1504 – 72), born Michael Ghislieri in the Ligurian region of Italy, joined the Dominican Order at the age of fourteen. He lectured in philosophy and theology, held the offices of master of novices and prior, and later served as commissary general of the Inquisition in Rome. On becoming pope in 1565 Pius enforced the decrees of the Council of Trent and checkmated the naval power of the Ottoman Turks in the Mediterranean. He reformed the breviary, completed the catechism of the Council of Trent with translations in many languages, and revised, as part of the Tridentine Reform, the Roman rite missal. Pius was known for his compassion for the destitute and oppressed. After the papal election, instead of hosting an elaborate banquet, he ordered that the food be given to people in real need. Tradition holds that he once restored a beggar’s severed foot.

Fr. Lawrence Lew, O.P. (a member of the English Province) was invited by the Dominican Foundation to take pictures of some of the locations where our friars serve throughout the Northeast. During his time in Washington, D.C., Fr. Lew photographed the interior of the Church of St. Dominic. St. Dominic’s has been the church where our friars are ordained to the priesthood each May. Surrounding the church, is a collection of beautiful stained glass windows that chronicle the life of St. Dominic & the foundation of the Order of Preachers. Fr. Lew accomplished a great work by capturing the splendor of these windows, and in the process, the life of a towering saint.

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