This holy pope was born at Bosco in Italy to noble Italian parents. He was baptized Anthony Ghislieri. Because his family lost their wealth and became poor, his parents had no money to send him to school.
It seemed as though Anthony's dream to become a priest, would never come true. Then one day, two Dominican priests visited their home and met Anthony. They liked him so much that they offered to educate him.
Anthony received an excellent education. He also became very pious and holy. So at the age of fourteen, Anthony joined the Dominican order. That is when he took the name "Michael." He finally became a priest, and was appointed a teacher of philosophy and divinity (religion) in Genoa.
He traveled for sixteen years to the many Dominican houses teaching them how to live for God. Then he was made bishop and later a cardinal. He continued teaching his people how to live a holy life by his words and example.
He bravely defended the teachings of the Church against those who fought against them. He lived a life of penance and sacrifice. When he was sixty-one, he was chosen pope and took the name Pope Pius V.
He had once been a poor shepherd boy. Now he was the head of the whole Catholic Church. Yet he remained as humble as ever and still wore his white Dominican habit, the same old one he had always worn. No one could make him change it.
As pope, Pius V had many challenges to face, he drew strength from the crucifix. He reflected every day on the sufferings and death of Jesus. At this time, the Turks were trying to conquer and take over the whole Christian world. They had a great navy on the Mediterranean Sea.
Christian soldiers went to battle against them at a place called Lepanto, near Greece. From the moment the army set out, the pope prayed the Rosary and asked the people to do the same. Thanks to the help of the Blessed Mother, the Christians won a great victory. In gratitude and thanksgiving to Mary, St. Pius V established the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary which we celebrate each year on October 7.
As pope, he started many new seminaries (colleges for priests) and wrote many church documents to guide the people. He spent much time looking after the poor with money from the church wealth and building hospitals for the sick. Pope Pius V died in Rome on May 1, 1572.