Pope Francis and his vist to Santa Maria Maggiore – The Hidden History

Ok, here is the picture that many of you have already seen:


Here is Pope Francis praying before the tomb of Dominican Pope St. Pius V.  Above the tomb is a monument of Conventual Pope Sixtus V who is also buried in Santa Maria Maggiore.

Now, perhaps Pope Francis, a Jesuit who has taken the name of Francis of Assisi, is trying to offer some support to the Dominicans.

However, for us of the Third Order of Saint Francis, this could be a bit ominous.  Pope St. Pius V almost destroyed our order in 1568 when he issued the bull Ea est officii nostri – that took away our Minister General and placed us under the Minister General of the Friars Minor.  Pius V claimed that this was intended to reform us, but the Friars Minor forbade us to accept any more novices and without novices we would would die out.

Fortunately, Pope Sixtus V [that’s his statue above the tomb of Pius V] restored our independence in 1586 with the Bull Romani Pontificis.  

So, needless to say, this is a place full of historical importance for the TOR Franciscans.  Indeed, at least one of our Order had a habit of visiting the tomb of Pope St. Pius V every year on his feast day and would stand before the tomb praying to St. Pius V in the words – “You owe us.” 😉



  1. Thomas Collins
    Posted March 15, 2013 at 12:40 am | Permalink | Reply

    Where have you BEEN?
    We were worried SICK!!

  2. BoBoMisiu
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 1:16 am | Permalink | Reply

    I hope the podcast will return.

  3. ctlw83
    Posted March 22, 2013 at 7:54 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Very Cool

    It is also great to hear from you! The blogging community has been wondering what happened to you after you had been assigned to your new position.

    It is good to know that your are doing OK.

    I am still looking forward to the next Catholic Under the Hood podcast if and when it comes.

    God Bless,


  4. Posted May 19, 2013 at 10:19 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Fr. Seraphim, I sure miss your podcast. Hope you’re well.

    • Russ
      Posted June 17, 2013 at 6:39 am | Permalink | Reply

      Father Seraphim, I echo Paul’s comment – I hope that all is well, and that your podcast will be revived someday.

  5. cavemaster
    Posted July 16, 2014 at 9:12 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I also miss your Podcast Fr. Seraphim very much. I waited for your next Podcast to be posted with anticipation. I wish I knew what happened to you, hope you are OK and have moved on to something better for yourself. God Bless you Father.

  6. cavemaster
    Posted July 16, 2014 at 9:17 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I also miss your Podcasts and waited for the next one to be posted with anticipation. Hope you have moved on to something better for yourself and are happy and healthy. God Bless you Father.

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