WHY DOES THE POPE WEAR WHITE?
Today we celebrate the feast day of our saintly Dominican brother, Pope Pius V (1504-1572). As a strong defender of the faith in word and deed, his shepherding of the Church at this difficult time was truly extraordinary. He left the Church a legacy which leaves one breathless. Among his many accomplishments, Pius V put the decrees of the Council of Trent into practice, published its Catechism, reformed the clergy and religious orders, and introduced into seminaries the Summa Theologiae of his Dominican brother, St. Thomas Aquinas, and promoted the revision of the Church's liturgical books. He is most remembered for organizing the secular and spiritual warfare (i.e. the praying of the Rosary) at the famous Battle of Lepanto on October 7, 1571. He attributed the victory to Our Lady's Rosary, and instituted a feast in her honor on that day. And, YES, Pius V was also a "Papal Fashion Trendsetter." Previous popes had worn red, but he wore his white Dominican habit. His successor continued that tradition, which is still followed today.