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tance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession."1
Gregory thought he had failed: so it is; often a cause seems to decline as its champion grows in years, and to die in his death; but this is to judge hastily; others are destined to complete what he began. No man is given to see his work through. "Man goeth forth unto his work and to his labour until the evening," but the evening falls before it is done. There was One alone who began and finished, and died. ("Essays, Crit. and Hist.," vol. II. p. 316.)
ROME AND CONSTANTINOPLE IN 1566.
ST. PIUS V. became Pope in 1566, and Selim became Sultan in that very same year. What a strange contrast did Rome and Constantinople present at that era! Neither was what it had been. But they had changed in opposite directions. Both had been the seat of Imperial Power; Rome, where heresy never throve, had exchanged its Emperor for the succession of St. Peter and St. Paul; Constantinople had passed from secular supremacy into schism, and thence into a blasphemous apostacy. The unhappy city, which, with its subject provinces had been successively the seat of Arianism, of Nestorianism, of Photianism, now had become the metropolis of the false Prophet, and, while in the West, the great edifice of the Vatican Basilica was rising anew in its wonderful proportions and its costly materials, the Temple of St. Sophia in
1 [These two sentences are the late Mr. Bowden's, from a review of whose work on the "Life and Pontificate of Gregory VII.” this extract is taken.]
the East was degraded into a Mosque! O the strange contrast in the state of the inhabitants of each place! Here, in the city of Constantine, a God-denying misbelief was accompanied by an impure, man-degrading rule of life, by the slavery of woman, and the corruption of youth. But there, in the city which Apostles had consecrated with their blood, the great and true reformation of the age was in full progress. There, the determinations, in doctrine and discipline, of the great Council of Trent had lately been promulgated. There, for twenty years past, had laboured our own dear Saint, St. Philip, till he earned the title of Apostle of Rome, and yet had still nearly thirty years of life and work in him. There, too, the romantic royal-minded Saint, Ignatius Loyola, had but lately died. And there, when the Holy See fell vacant, and a Pope had to be appointed in the great need of the Church, a Saint was present in the Conclave to find in it a brother Saint, and to recommend him for the Chair of St. Peter, to the suffrages of the Fathers and Princes of the Church. ("Hist. Sketches," vol. I. p. 150.)
THE ELECTION OF ST. PIUS V.
ST. CARLO BORROMEO, the Cardinal Archbishop of Milan, was the nephew of the Pope who was just dead, and though he was only twenty-five years of age at the time, nevertheless, by the various influences arising out of the position which he held, and from the weight attached to his personal character, he might be considered to sway the votes of the College of Cardinals, and to determine the election of a new Pontiff. It is remarkable that Cardinal
Alessandrino, as St. Pius was then called (from Alexandria in North Italy, near which he was born), was not the first object of his choice. His eyes were first turned on Cardinal Morone, who was in many respects the most illustrious of the Sacred College, and had served the Church, on various occasions, with great devotion, and with distinguished success. From his youth he had been reared up in public affairs; he had held many public offices, he had great influence with the German Emperor; he had been Apostolical Legate at the Council of Trent. He had great virtue, judgment, experience, and sagacity. Such, then, was the choice of St. Carlo, and the votes were taken; but it seemed otherwise to the Holy Ghost. He wanted four to make up the sufficient number of votes. St. Carlo had to begin again; and again, strange to say, the Cardinal Alessandrino still was not his choice. He chose Cardinal Sirleto, a man most opposite in character, in history, to Morone. He was not nobly born, he was no man of the world, he had ever been urgent with the late Pope not to make him Cardinal. He was a first-rate scholar in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin; versed in the Scriptures, ready as a theologian. Moreover, he was of a character most unblemished, of most innocent life, and of manners most popular and winning. St. Pius, as well as St. Carlo, advocated the cause of Cardinal Sirleto, and the votes were given a second time; a second time they came short. It was like holy Samuel choosing Eliab instead of David. Then matters were in confusion; one name and another were mentioned, and no progress was made.
At length, and at last, and not till all others were thought of who could enter into the minds of the electors, the Cardinal Alessandrino himself began to attract attention. He seems not to have been known to the Fathers of the Conclave in general; a Dominican Friar, of humble rank,
ever taken up in the duties of his rule, and his special employment, living in his cell, knowing little or nothing of mankind. Such a one, St. Carlo, the son of a prince, and the nephew of a Pope, had no means of knowing; and the intimacy, consequent on their co-operation in behalf of Cardinal Sirleto, was the first real introduction which the one Saint had to the other. It was just at this moment that our own St. Philip was in his small room, at St. Giralamo, with Marcello Ferro, one of his spiritual children, when, lifting up his eyes to heaven, and going almost into an ecstacy, he said, "The Pope will be elected on Monday." On one of the following days, as they were walking together, Marcello asked him who was to be Pope. Philip answered, "Come, I will tell you. The Pope will be one whom you have never thought of, and whom no one has spoken of as likely, and that is Cardinal Alessandrino; and he will be elected on Monday evening, without fail." The event accomplished the prediction; the statesman and the man of the world, the accomplished and exemplary and amiable scholar, were put aside to make way for the Saint. He took the name of Pius.
I am far from denying that St. Pius was stern and severe, as far as a heart burning within, and melting with the fulness of divine love, could be so; and this was the reason that the Conclave was so slow in electing him. Yet such energy and vigour as his was necessary for his time. He was emphatically a soldier of Christ, in a time of insurrection and rebellion, when, in a spiritual sense, martial law was proclaimed. St. Philip, a private priest, might follow his vent in casting his net for souls, as he expressed himself, and enticing them to the truth; but the Vicar of Christ had to right and steer the vessel when it was in rough waters, and among breakers. A Protestant historian on this point does justice to him. "When Pope," he says,
"he lived in all the austerity of his monastic life, fasted with the utmost rigour and punctuality; would wear no finer garments than before, arose at an early hour in the morning, and took no siesta. If we doubted the depth of his religious earnestness, we may find a proof of it in his declaration, that the Papacy was unfavourable to his advance in piety; that it did not contribute to his salvation, and to his attainment of Paradise; and that, but for prayer, the burden had been too heavy for him. The happiness of a fervent devotion, which often moved him to tears, was granted him to the end of his life. The people were incited to enthusiasm when they saw him walking in procession, bare-footed and bare-headed, with the expression of unaffected piety in his countenance, and with his long snow-white beard falling on his breast. They thought there had never been so pious a Pope. They told each other how his very look had converted heretics. Pius was kind, too, and affable; his intercourse with his old servants was of the most confidential kind. At a former period, before he was Pope, the Count Della Trinità had threatened to have him thrown into a well; and he had replied, that it must be as God pleased, How beautiful was his greeting to this same Count, who was now sent as ambassador to his Court! See,' said he, when he recognized him, 'how God preserves the innocent.' This was the only way in which he made him feel that he recollected his enmity. He had ever been most charitable and bounteous; he kept a list of the poor of Rome, whom he regularly assisted according to their station and their wants." The writer, after proceeding to condemn what he considers his severity, ends thus: "It is certain that his deportment and mode of thinking exercised an incalculable influence on his contemporaries, and on the general development of the Church, of which he was the head. After so