Today is the Anniversary of the promulgation, in 1569 (1570 New Style), of the Bull Regnans in Excelsis.
Those with easy access to the Brompton Oratory will probably not need me to remind them that there is a very nice baroque statue of S Pius V on the right hand side of the pietra dura Lady Altar which originated in the Dominican Church at Brescia. (It is where I said my First Mass in Full Communion with the See of S Peter.) There is a 'Latimer-and-Ridley'-style pricket stand conveniently nearby.
Perhaps the people who organise National Celebrations should start ... now! ... preparing for the big junketings due in 2020 (450 years).
Here is what Evelyn Waugh wrote in 1935 about S Pius V and his Bull: His contemporaries and the vast majoriy of subsequent historians regarded the pope's action as ill-judged. It has been represented as a gesture of medievalism, futile in an age of new, vigorous nationalism, and its author as an ineffectual and deluded champion, stumbling through the mists, in the ill-fitting, antiquated armour of Gregory and Innocent; a disastrous figure, provoking instead of a few bullets for Sancho Panza the bloody ruin of English Catholicism. That is the verdict of sober criticism, both Catholic and Protestant, and yet, as on studies that odd and compelling face which peers obliquely from Zucchero's portait at Stonyhurst, emaciated, with its lofty and narrow forehead, the great, beaked nose, the eyes prominent in their deep sockets, and, above all else, the serene and secret curve of the lips, a doubt rises, and a hope; had he, perhaps, in those withdrawn, exalted hours before his crucifix, learned something that was hidden from the statesmen of his time and the succeeding generations of historians; seen through and beyond the present and the immediate future; understood that there was to be no easy way of reconciliation, but that it was only through blood and hatred and derision that the faith was one day to return to England?