Saint Pius V Was Born Into a Guelph Noble Family That Persecution Dragged Into Poverty

January 12, 2023

Michael Ghislieri was born on January 17, 1504, in Bosco, a fortified village not far from Alessandria . . . . The Ghislieri family, originally from Bologna, was of noble origin but lived in a poor condition as a result of the internal battles that had torn apart the city, between the Guelphs, who were tied to the Church, and the Ghibellines, who were tied to the empire. In 1445, as a result of the triumph of the Ghibelline faction, the Ghislieri family, faithful to the papacy, were expelled from Bologna and despoiled of their possessions. One branch of the family transferred to Rome, taking the name of Consiglieri, while the branch of the firstborn son transferred to Piedmont, to Bosco. Paolo Ghislieri and Domenica Augeri named their son Antonio, because he was born on the feast of St. Antony the hermit. Only subsequently, after he entered into religion, did he take the name Michael.

Roberto de Mattei, Saint Pius V: The Legendary Pope Who Excommunicated Queen Elizabeth I, Standardized the Mass, and Defeated the Ottoman Empire, trans. Giuseppe Pellegrino (Manchester, N.H.: Sophia Institute Press, 2021), 54–55.

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 861

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