Thursday, February 07, 2013

The Feast Day of Blessed Pius IX

(The following is excerpted from Yves Chiron's 1999 biography Pie IX, pape moderne, translated and published in 2005 as Pope Pius IX: The Man and the Myth by Angelus Press.)

"...Fr. [R.P.] Huguet, who spent time in Rome and learned confidential details from the Pope's secretaries, gave this account of the Pope's daily routine, even while Pius IX was still alive:"

The Holy Father goes early to chapel....Pope Pius IX celebrates the Mass in a slow and holy manner....He usually says Mass at half-past seven, and then, by way of thanksgiving, attends a second Mass celebrated by one of his chaplains; then, on, his knees, with one of the prelates of his household, he recites part of the breviary, and then returns to his room. As day declines, a time indicated by the sound of the Angelus and called the Ave Maria, the Pope recites the Angelic Salutation together with his household, adding a De Profundis for those of the faithful of the entire world who have died during the day. The Holy Father spends three days every day in adoration before Our Lord. It is thence that he draws so much light and help for the governing of the Church.
"...Before taking his meal, he frequently used to read, or have read to him, a selection of texts from St. Francis de Sales, and he often recommended this work.... We can be sure that it was this love of St. Francis de Sales - which was communicated to him by Cardinal Polidori [one of the pope's spiritual teachers when he was a young priest] - that led Pius IX to proclaim him a Doctor of the Church in 1877. This special attachment to the author of the Introduction to the Devout Life was also evident after his death when, in one of his prayer-books, a special little picture was found: in it, he himself had put together tiny portraits of the saints who were dear to him: the Blessed Virgin [Mary]; the apostles Peter and Paul; St. John; St. Catherine, virgin and martyr [probably St. Catherine of Alexandria, patron of philosophers]; St. Philip Neri; St. Louis [Aloysius] Gonzaga; and St. Francis de Sales."


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