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Saint Pius V

The Legendary Pope Who Excommunicated Queen Elizabeth I, Standardized the Mass, and Defeated the Ottoman Empire

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Few Catholic writers have been as prolific as University of Rome Professor Roberto de Mattei. Over decades he has produced a wealth of incisive analyses about the Catholic world's collapse and charted an authoritative path back to health and sanity.

He has now written an exceedingly compelling and powerful biography of Pope Pius V, widely recognized as one of the boldest and most courageous popes of the past millennium, who decisively defeated the Ottoman Turks at the Battle of Lepanto and fought head-on the Protestant Reformation, which had assailed the Church.

The life of every Christian is a battle, and St. Pius V offers us a luminous example of leadership in a time of trial. In these pages, you'll learn:

  • How the “Revolution of Luther” was met with a papal shrug — that is, until Pius V became pope
  • The inside story of how Pope Pius V led the Counter-Reformation on multiple fronts
  • How the devastating Sack of Rome in 1527 forever changed the Holy See and had deadly consequences for clergy and religious alike
  • Why St. Pius V's no-compromise approach toward both the Renaissance and Humanist corruption preserved the Church to this day
  • The behind-the-scenes story of the Council of Trent — the most dramatic conclave in the history of the Church
  • The role inquisitions played in the time of Pope Pius V and what they enabled him to accomplish
  • How St. Pius V dealt with stray bishops and how his rebukes and mandates led to meaningful reform of both their lives and the Church
  • How St. Pius V dealt with rebellious Catholics in France and England and what led to the excommunication of Queen Elizabeth

You'll also learn of Pope Pius V's remarkable spiritual life and regimen, his foresight and prudence in dealing with the iconoclastic fury of the Huguenots in France, and the way he handled the trials of excommunicated heretics and reformed the rotting religious orders of his

Professor de Mattei makes clear that Pope Pius V was so effective and so holy that no pontificate can be judged accurately without measuring it against his. In page after fascinating page, he shows contemporary Catholics what it means to be “a great pope” or “a saintly bishop.” Here, at last, is the complete life and times of one of the Church's greatest prelates by one of her finest historians.


 In Pius V, Professor Roberto de Mattei, an expert historian, presents the heroic sanctity of Pope Saint Pius V with the uncompromising fidelity to the truth. At the same time, as a true soldier of Christ, he helps us to see the truth about the life of Pius V as an inspiration to follow Christ in our time, with the challenges it presents, not unlike those of the time of Saint Pius V. Thus, Professor de Mattei’s new biography of Pope Saint Pius V not only nourishes the mind with the truth but inspires the heart to live the truth in love by following Christ.

Cardinal Raymond Burke

With characteristically meticulous research, crystal-clear narration, and penetrating historical judgment, Roberto de Mattei in Saint Pius V: Story of a Holy Pope has set a new standard in English not only for the biography of this great figure of the sixteenth century but also for popes in general—a field of study that, far from fading in importance, has acquired an additional urgency in our age of confusion about who and what a successor of St. Peter is supposed to be and do. In this admirable book, de Mattei lets the reader see the personal and pontifical greatness of Michele Ghislieri, who, recognizing the threats of his time, urged the repulsion of the Muslims, repudiated Protestantism in its open and subtle forms, fought against sodomy, simony, and other forms of clerical corruption, implemented the greatest of all ecumenical councils, and bequeathed to the Church an unparalleled set of Roman liturgical books. He was the ideal pope for his age; he remains a realistic guide and model for all ages.

Dr. Peter Kwasniewski

We welcome what promises to be the definitive biography of St. Pius V with all the profound learning and insight, as well as the sure Catholic vision of the Church’s History and of European culture, that have become the hall-marks of its distinguished author.

Fr. Konrad Zu Löwenstein

When a great historian like Roberto de Mattei describes a bygone epoch he simultaneously casts a glance at our present time. As one of the most outstanding connoisseurs of church history he points at the figure of exactly that sort of a Pope, whom the nowadays' church ought to be yearning for: Pius V., the Pope of the Concile of Trient and the proper victor of Lepanto emerged as a fighter on two frontlines, which are, sadly enough, all too familiar to us; against heresy and against the overpowering of European Christendom by Islam.

Martin Mosebach






Dimensions N/A
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SKU 4610
SKU d34627


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Saint Pius V