July 11

Commemoration of the holy Martyr Pope St. Pius I



    There is a commemoration today of the Feast of Pope Saint Pius I, Martyr and great Pope of the Second Century. According to the earliest list of the popes, given by Irenaeus ("Adv. haer.", II, xxxi; cf. Eusebius, "Hist. eccl.", V, vi), Pius was the ninth successor of St. Peter. The dates given in the Liberian Catalogue for his pontificate (146-61) rest on a false calculation of earlier chroniclers, and cannot be accepted. The only chronological datum we possess is supplied by the year of St. Polycarp of Smyrna's death, which may be referred with great certainty to 155-6. On his visit to Rome in the year before his death Polycarp found Anicetus, the successor of Pius, bishop there; consequently, the death of Pius must have occurred about 154.

    The "Liber Pontificalis" (ed. Duchesne, I, 132) says the father of Pius was Rufinus, and makes him a native of Aquileia; this is, however, probably a conjecture of the author, who had heard of Rufinus of Aquileia (end of fourth century). From a notice in the "Liberian Catalogue" (in Duchesne, "Liber Pontificalis", I, 5), which is confirmed by the Muratorian Fragment (ed. Preuschen, "Analecta", I, Tübingen, 1910), we learn that a brother of this pope, Hermas by name, published "The Shepherd". If the information which the author gives concerning his personal conditions and station (first a slave, then a freedman) were historical, we should know more about the origin of the pope, his brother. It is very possible that the story which Hermas relates of himself is a fiction.

    During the pontificate of Pius the Roman Church was visited by various heretics, who sought to propagate their false doctrine among the faithful of the capital. The Gnostic Valentinus, who had made his appearance under Pope Hyginus, continued to sow his heresy, apparently not without success. The Gnostic Cerdon was also active in Rome at this period, during which Marcion arrived in the capital. Excluded from communion by Pius, the latter founded his heretical body (Irenaeus, "Adv. haer.", III, iii).

    But Catholic teachers also visited the Roman Church, the most important being St. Justin, who expounded the Christian teachings during the pontificate of Pius and that of his successor. A great activity thus marks the Christian community in Rome, which stands clearly conspicuous as the centre of the Church. The "Liber Pontificalis" (ed. cit.) speaks of a decision of this pope to the effect that Jewish converts to Christianity should be admitted and baptized. What this means we do not know; doubtless the author of the "Liber Pontificalis", here as frequently, refers to the pope a decree valid in the Church of his own time. A later legend refers the foundation of the two churches, the titulus Pudentis (ecclesia Pudentiana) and the titulus Praxedis, to the time of this pope, who is also supposed to have built a baptistry near the former and to have exercised episcopal functions there (Acta SS., IV May, 299 sqq.; cf. de Rossi, "Musaici delle chiese di Roma: S. Pudenziana, S. Prassede").

    The story, however, can lay no claim to historical credibility. These two churches came into existence in the fourth century, although it is not impossible that they replaced Christian houses, in which the faithful of Rome assembled for Divine service before the time of Constantine; the legend, however, should not be alleged as proof of this fact. In many later writings (e.g. the "Liber Pontificalis") the "Pastor" or "Shepherd" in the work of Hermas is erroneously accepted as the name of the author, and, since a Roman priest Pastor is assigned an important role in the foundation of these churches, it is quite possible that the writer of the legend was similarly misled, and consequently interwove Pope Pius into his legendary narrative. St. Pius I's feast is celebrate on July 11. (Source: Catholic Encyclopedia, 1911 and Liber Pontificalis, Duchcesne)

    We want to thank the Friends of Our Lady of Fatima for expediting these resources of the Propers. Sources: Saint Andrew Daily Missal and the Marian Missal , 1945


COLLECT
Collect for the Commemoration of Pope St. Pius I
Orémus. Gregem tuum, Pastor ætérnæ inténde: et per beátum Pius, Martyre tuo atque Summum Pontíficem, perpétua protectióne custódi; quem totíus Ecclésiæ præstitísti esse pastórem. Per Dóminum nostrum Jesum Christum Fílium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitáte Spíritus Sancti, Deus,
Per omnia saecula saeculorum.
R. Amen.
Commemoration of Pope St. Pius I
Let us pray. O Eternal Shepherd, do Thou look favorably upon Thy flock, which we beseech Thee to guard and keep for evermore through the Blessed Pius, Thy Martyr and Supreme Pontiff, whom Thou didst choose to be the chief shepherd of the whole Church. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God,
Forever and ever.
R.Amen.

SECRET
Commemoration of Pope St. Pius I
Oblátis munéribus, quæsumus Dómine, Ecclésiam tuam benífgnus illúmina: ut, et gregis tui profíciat ubíque succéssus, et grati fiant nómini tuo, te gubernànte, pastóres. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, Qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti, Deus,
Per omnia saecula saeculorum.
R. Amen.
Commemoration of Pope St. Pius I In Thy loving kindness, we beseech Thee, O Lord, be moved by the offering of our gifts and enlighten Thy Church: that Thy flock may prosper everywhere and shepherds, under Thy guidance, may be rendered acceptable to Thee. Through our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God
Forever and ever.
R.Amen.

POSTCOMMUNION
Dominus vobiscum.
R. Et cum spiritu tuo.
Oremus.
Commemoration of Pope St. Pius I
Orémus. Refectióne sancta enutrítam gubérna, quàesumus Dómine, tuam placátus Ecclésiam: ut poténti moderatióne dirécta, et increménta libertátis accípiat et in religiónis integritáte persístat. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum, Filium Tuum, Qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti, Deus,
Per omnia saecula saeculorum.
R. Amen.
The Lord be with you.
R. And with thy spirit.
Let us pray.
Commemoration of Pope St. Pius I
Since Thy Church has been nourished by the sacred repast, govern her in Thy clemency, we beseech Thee, O Lord, so that under the guidance of Thy mighty rule she may enjoy greater freedom and abiding integrity of religion. Through the Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God
For ever and ever.
R. Amen.
Return to the ORDINARY OF THE HOLY MASS FOR THE FINAL BLESSING

Commemoration Collect, Secret and Postcommunion for Pope St. Pius I