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The Blood of Martyrs Proclaims the Truth
of the Catholic Church

Thomas Perrot
Today, there comes before us a holy Pope, who was zealous in combating the heresy of Protestantism and who saved his people from the Muslim yoke.

We are speaking of the great Pope Pius V, born Antonio Ghislieri, and head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from January 8, 1566 to his death in 1572.

Now we will tell you one of his lesser known miracles.

pius v

Pope St. Pius V battled Protestantism
& the Muslim threat to the West

One day the Pontiff, accompanied by the Ambassador of Poland, was crossing the Vatican Piazza, which is on the site of the ancient Circus of Nero. It was in this very Circus that the persecution of Christians began in the year 65.

As Pope Pius V contemplated this history, he was moved by a sentiment of enthusiasm for the glory and courage of the Martyrs who had suffered on that spot in the first persecution. Stooping down, he took up a handful of dust from that hallowed ground, which had been trodden by so many generations of the Catholic people since the Peace of Constantine.

The Pope placed the dust into a cloth and reverently handed it to the Ambassador of Poland, as if presenting him with a great gift. When the Ambassador opened the cloth after returning to his house, he found the cloth all saturated with blood, as fresh as though it had been shed at that moment. The dust had disappeared.

The faith of the Pontiff had worked a miracle: The bits of ground upon which the martyrs had shed their blood centuries before had become their blood. Thus Our Lord gave testimony - against the Protestant heretics - that the Roman Church was the one same true Church for which those heroic martyrs laid down their lives in the days of Nero.

The blood of the first century Martyrs in the small cloth cried out that truth to the Protestants of the 16th century.

Nero's circus

Another victory for the blood shed by Martyrs


Adapted from D. Prosper Gueranger, The Liturgical Year, vol. 8, p. 445.

Posted May 7, 2022

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