St. Pius V, Pope 1566-1572

Muntoni 45; Berman 1113, PCGS graded MS-63

Bologna. PIVS V PONT MAX, Papal arms. Reverse: BONONIA DOCET, cross fleury between two shields.

Pope Pius V is perhaps best known for his organization of the Holy League of Catholic states to oppose the advance of the Ottoman Empire in Europe. Against the odds this alliance managed to defeat the Ottoman fleet at the Battle of Lepanto in 1517. At the time the victory was won, the Pope, who was miles away in Rome at the time, is said to have stood up and looked to the East before declaring a thanksgiving for the success of the League. Pius V was somewhat less successful in repressing the development of the Reformation, refusing to compromise with the Huguenots of France and excommunicating Elizabeth I of England. He also earned the dislike of many Romans for his attempts to reform the morals of their city by banning horse racing in the Forum and imposing severe penalties for blasphemy and adultery.